Soaring demand and panic-buying has made finding cleaning supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic a difficult and sometimes impossible task. And, unfortunately, Clorox wipes probably won't be fully back in stock for some time to come, according to the company's CEO.
Clorox CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters on Aug. 4 that the company has been struggling to keep up with an increased demand for disinfectants, including Clorox wipes. And while Dorer said stock for most disinfectants, like bleach, will improve over the next four to six months, Clorox wipes will continue to remain scarce in stores until 2021.
"Disinfecting wipes, which are the hottest commodity in the business right now, will probably take longer because it's a very complex supply chain to make them," Dorer told Reuters. "That entire supply chain is stressed. ... We feel like it’s probably going to take until 2021 before we’re able to meet all the demand that we have."
Clorox disinfecting wipes are on the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) list of products that can be used against the coronavirus. Products on this list must be tested to be proven effective on a harder-to-kill virus than COVID-19 or a similar one. Clorox wipes claim to kill 99.9% of germs on surfaces for up to 48 hours and are especially convenient for cleaning large shared surfaces kids frequently touch, like playground equipment, toys, desks, and countertops.
In a call to investors on Aug. 3, according to CNN, Clorox president and CEO-elect Linda Rendle reportedly said the company expects demand for wipes to rise during upcoming cold and flu season, which typically begins in October, as the coronavirus pandemic carries on in the United States.
"We continue to see unprecedented demand for disinfecting products, and our priority continues to be getting products to people and healthcare facilities," Clorox says on its website. "We’re running our cleaning plants 24/7 and we continue to add capacity for disinfecting products. The point at which people will see our products on shelves consistently will depend on demand."
Evidence suggests that the novel coronavirus can live on surfaces for a few hours up to a few days, according to the CDC. While it's much more likely for someone to become infected through respiratory droplets, the virus can live on doorknobs and countertops. As such, wiping down high-touch surfaces has become a much more frequent task in families' homes across the country.
While Clorox wipes may be hard to find in the coming months, the EPA also recommends using similar products like Arm & Hammer Essentials Disinfecting Wipes, Lysol Disinfecting Wipes, as well as Lysol Disinfectant Spray against the virus. And in addition to cleaning, the CDC has stressed that frequently washing your hands, avoiding close contact with others, and wearing a cloth face covering in public settings are all important steps you can take to protect yourself and your family from COVID-19.
If you think you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, which include fever, shortness of breath, and cough, call your doctor before going to get tested. If you’re anxious about the virus’s spread in your community, visit the CDC for up-to-date information and resources, or seek out mental health support. You can find all of Romper’s parents + coronavirus coverage here.