Supply chain issues are expected to continue to cause delays in the manufacturing of disinfecting wipes.

If you are one of the millions of Americans who find themselves rushing to the store to score a container of Clorox wipes, we have some bad news for you. The manufacturer of the popular disinfecting wipes says they won’t be able to meet global demand until at least 2021. As the coronavirus began showing up in the U.S., consumers rushed to stores to buy disinfecting wipes, hand sanitizer, disinfection sprays, and cleaning solutions. Wipes offer an easy and quick way to disinfect surfaces in the home, restaurants, and businesses. 

From the beginning of the pandemic, wipes have been difficult to find causing people to wait in line for stores to open or pay exorbitant prices to have wipes shipped to their home. In an interview with Reuters, Clorox CEO Benno Dorer said he doesn’t expect wipes to be readily available until 2021. He says the shortage is due to a supply chain shortage that will likely affect every company making disinfection wipes.

clorox wipe

Courtesy Christa Emmer

Several brands of disinfecting wipes are made from a fabric called polyester spunlace. Components of that fabric are also used to make essential items like medical gowns and masks. Dorer does believe other essentials the company produces like Clorox bleach and trash bags will normalize in the next four to six months. 

Until then, you can probably expect to have trouble finding wipes, no matter what brand. So what can you do in the meantime? Homegrown recipes for wipes have been circulating around the internet, but mixing chemicals can be dangerous. A simpler fix is to use paper towels and a spray disinfection cleaner. Here are some tips on using cleaners from the Environmental Protection Agency, EPA:

  1. Use an EPA-approved product. You can find a list here.
  2. Read the directions on the bottle.
  3. Pre-wash the surface if its visibly dirty.
  4. Follow the directions for contact time on the bottle.
  5. Wear gloves, ventilate the area, and wash your hands after you are done cleaning.
  6. Store chemicals where pets and children can’t get to them.

What do you think about the Clorox wipes shortage? How do you disinfect surfaces in your home? Tell us in the comments!