You May Not Be Able to Find This Key Disinfecting Product Until 2021

The company says demand has increased by more than 500 percent since the pandemic began.

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Protecting yourself and your loved ones against coronavirus means more than just wearing a mask in public; appropriately cleaning surfaces—from the handles of grocery carts to your doorknobs at home—is an essential step in the fight against COVID-19, too. Unfortunately, one of the most trusted EPA-approved products for killing coronavirus on surfaces may be unavailable for quite some time. On Monday, Aug. 3, Clorox CEO Benno Dorer told Reuters that the brand's disinfecting wipes likely wouldn't be fully restocked by retailers until 2021.

Calling them "the hottest commodity in the business right now," Dorer said that it will be quite a while before the supply of wipes catches up with demand because it requires "a very complex supply chain to make them." According to Reuters, polyester spunlace—the material used to make Clorox wipes—is also an essential component in high-priority medical gear like masks, gowns, and medical-grade disinfecting wipes.

clorox disinfecting wipes on store shelves
Shutterstock/Roman Tiraspolsky

Months earlier, Dorer had suggested that Clorox might be able to significantly increase the company's wipe production by May. Soon after, however, he explained to Yahoo! Finance that the company's 40 percent increase in production had been met with a 500 percent increase in demand for the cleaning product. "No supply chain in our industry is built to satisfy that demand increase in a short period of time," he said.

While it may be some time before you can find Clorox wipes on the shelves of your local drugstore or supermarket again, many of the brand's competitors have increased production to capture market share.

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On April 5, Laxman Narasimhan, CEO of Reckitt Benckiser, the company that manufactures Lysol and Dettol products, told the South China Morning Post that Lysol and Dettol factories had ramped up operations to three shifts per day—up from one to two daily shifts prior to the pandemic—to meet consumer demand. And for some surprising products made scarce by the pandemic, check out these 6 Things You Won't Believe You Can't Buy Right Now.

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