Off-Brand Product Reviews

Charmin and Purelle belong to another era now. But, as familiar brands vanish from store shelves and websites, their off-brand cousins are emerging from the shadows. Here’s a quick look at some offerings from this alternate brand universe.*

*If you aren’t deterred by escalating security warnings from your computer, and unsolicited links to local “dating” opportunities, many of these items can be found at aladdinsanitary.com.



“You Fill Your World With Chuzzy And You’re The Best” is a sweet sentiment from the package text, and about the only information we have on the product. The tag line “It’s Chuzzably Soft” may be true, if by “Chuzzably” they mean “Not Very”. Two ply.

That unreachable area above the refrigerated cases in bodegas, until recently home to towers of Scott tissue, has been a black hole for weeks, but a new denizen has been peeking out lately: KWALLA-T Tissue. Like an actual koala, KWALLA-T is tough, smells like eucalyptus, and may scratch you if you get too close.

The budget for WIPESWELL Tissue clearly began and ended with the package design. It is “Seemly” (something we all look for in toilet tissue), but otherwise it’s a coarser, flimsier, single-ply version of CHUZZY. A square of WIPESWELL and a comb could combine to make a workable home-made kazoo if you’re conserving your wax paper.


An ill-conceived attempt to market toilet paper for dogs, WUFF! tissue has been gathering dust in a warehouse for years, until the current crisis brought it out where the sun shines. WUFF! is a surprisingly good value — it comes in a combo pack with another hard-to-find commodity: latex gloves for sidewalk poop pickup. And the zip-lock poo bags are perfect for storing those bulk dry‑goods purchases.

Cashing in on the hand sanitizer shortage, it became obvious (when the label fell off) that this is a hasty repackaging of PLUCK’S HAM SANITIZER, a quasi non-toxic chemical spray used — in tandem with the five-second rule — to get pork products that have fallen on the floor back up on the conveyor belt in meat processing plants. Not recommended.


Also not recommended is EDEN DOVE. Erroneously purchased as a hand sanitizer, a closer look reveals that this is a “Hand Sanctifier,” and the only active ingredient is holy water. Even that claim is iffy — the Diocese of Scranton has denied any knowledge of the “Certified by” claim on the bottle.

We were surprised to find a site that had N95 masks available, and even more surprised when they arrived — “N-95” is apparently a minor villain in the OgreNight game world. That said, the mask is mildly effective in blocking airborne droplets, and extremely effective in encouraging social distancing.