In an effort to improve sustainability at Fermilab, Kimwipes will be phased out and replaced with the superior actions of Kim’s wipes.
Kim-Tech Kimwipes have been a staple at Fermilab for years. A cleaning tissue often used in laboratories, at Fermilab they frequently replace all sorts of other paper products such as napkins or paper towels.
“What? Oh, you mean the weird, thin sheets we have instead of paper towels?” said Fermilab COO Tim Meyer when asked about the ubiquitous cleaning product. “Why do we have those?”
It is unclear exactly how long Kimwipes have been around at Fermilab, but they have been a fixture since at least the early 1980s. In 1983, a stray Kimwipe left behind in the Tevatron hindered its operations until it was removed. But Kimwipes have also proven useful, if not integral, to efforts such as developing superconducting technology and cleaning of vacuum vessels for the Large Hadron Collider.
But to increase sustainability, Fermilab will be discontinuing Kimwipes (Fermi stock 1660-2500) and equivalent laboratory tissues. Instead, a new hiree, who goes by Kim, will be handling all wiping-related tasks at the laboratory.
When asked, Kim said that he was prepared to take up the task and had been studying wiping techniques.
“I’ve been reviewing classic texts, like Sun Tzu’s lesser known ‘Art of Wiping’ and the video of the ShamWow guy,” he said.
Fermilab employees will be able to send Kim wiping tickets, which will include information such as the location of the incident, whether the wiping required is wet or dry and how urgent the wiping is. Although Kim expects there to be a backlog of requests at first, he’s confident that he can handle wiping needs for all 6,800 acres.
“I’ve been training by running up and down the stairs in Wilson Hall so I don’t have to even wait for the elevator,” he said.
Kim will primarily use a sponge but will also carry a dishcloth, scouring pad and, for emergencies, a set of napkins he swiped from the cafeteria.
“Sometimes you just need an absorbent, disposable material,” he said, and shrugged sheepishly.
An email from the Directorate announced the transition.
“Fermilab is proud to be transitioning from Kimwipes to Kim’s wipes, making Fermilab the first ‘Kim wipes’-only, Kimwipeless laboratory, where wiping is sustainably done when Kim wipes and not by Kimwipes.”