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East Lansing, Michigan

Moist Towelette Museum

Housed in the university planetarium, the thousand-strong collection of tiny towelettes includes a used one from the hosts of Car Talk. 

The office of John French, a Michigan State University employee who works in the planetarium, houses what is likely the campus’s least visited, most unusual museum. There, French keeps a display case full of his collection of moist towelettes from around the globe, with all but one unopened.

Beginning 20 years ago, when French first started collecting towelettes, the museum eventually outgrew its first display case as people donated more and more unique towelettes. Some of the most notable include one called “Finger Pinkies,” which is advertised as “the secretary’s hand cleaner,” a few from the Hard Rock Cafés in Beijing and Kuala Lumpur, and a series with Star Trek-themed packaging from the show’s original run.

The only used towelette in the museum belonged to Tom and Ray Magliozzi, the hosts of the radio program Car Talk. French says that he asked them to donate any towelettes they might have, not knowing they would send him a used one. He has considered asking other celebrities for their used towelettes but decided it might be “a little weird.” 

The Moist Towelette Museum’s website provides a sneak peek into the vast collection, but it can only be fully experienced in person, by visiting his office at certain times in the week.