One of the most demanded items in the USA, when COVID-19 started to spread across the United States, was Clorox disinfectant wipes. Everyone’s familiar with the product and its ability to kill germs on contact but it wasn’t considered an essential item until 2020. Then overnight, the entire country wanted to disinfect their house from top to bottom on a weekly basis.
While most of the country was dealing with the great toilet paper shortage of 2020, those who had enough TP on hand noticed a sudden shortage of Clorox wipes.
Until the novel coronavirus, only germophobic people and those with compromised immune systems spent time wiping down airplane seats, rental cars and hotel rooms when they traveled. Some thought excessive cleaning was a bit obsessive but they now appear to be the smart ones. Because of COVID, everyone wants to buy Clorox disinfectant wipes to clean all the surfaces and now there’s way too much demand for the supply of wipes available.
Of the $1 billion disinfectant wipe market, Clorox has a 45% market share. Commercial demand for the wipes quickly outstripped the supply. It’s not like they could just increase commercial production because Clorox also makes industrial-strength Peroxide wipes for hospitals, stores, pharmacies and doctors’ offices to sanitize surfaces against COVID-19 and other germs.
The Clorox President and CEO-elect said that despite trying to increase production, the company wouldn’t be able to meet the increasing demand until sometimes next year.
Given the fact that cold and flu sits in the middle of the year, and then we expect the pandemic to be with us for the entirety of the year, it will take the full year to get up to the supply levels that we need to be at
Another strain on the supply of Clorox wipes is the company’s partnerships with industries that need to show customers they’re taking the cleanliness of their services seriously. The two biggest companies that Clorox has partnered with are United Airlines:
United CleanPlus would include Clorox products being used at United’s hub airports, as the company works with the airline to redefine disinfection procedures and equip customers with amenities at select locations supporting a healthier and safer environment throughout the travel journey.
Uber has committed to buying 270,000 packages of Clorox disinfecting wipes for its New York City drivers as it seeks to reassure customers that it is safe to get back on the road, the company said.
With all of that supply going directly to companies, there’s only so much left to go to the stores. There’s no easy answer because the shortage isn’t with the disinfectants used but with the wipe itself. Those sheets are made with a fiber that’s also necessary to make face masks and medical gowns, both of which are still in relatively short supply and probably more important than a Clorox wipe.
So if you’re not able to find any wipes until 2021, here are some alternate ways to clean your surfaces. And if you do see a package on the shelf at the store, you hit the lottery.
#stayhealthy #staysafe #washyourhands #wearamask
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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary