Clorox CEO Says Wipes Won't Be Fully Stocked Until Summer

by Christina Marfice
Originally Published: 
Clorox Wipes in store shelf.
Roberto Machado Noa/Getty

Out of Clorox wipes? You may not be able to get more for quite a while

In addition to toilet paper, paper towels, and hand sanitizer, one of the items that disappeared from store shelves at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic was disinfecting wipes. And while some sold-out products are starting to stay stocked once again, disinfecting wipes are still hard to find in many places. According to the CEO of Clorox, the company may not be able to fully stock its disinfecting products in stores again until this summer.

Clorox Chairman and CEO Benno Dorer told the Today show that fears of the virus led to a 500 percent increase in demand for Clorox wipes, but production has only been able to increase by 40 percent so far. That means that while the company is producing more wipes than it ever has before, it’s still not nearly enough to keep store shelves stocked across the country.

“In some cases we sold as much in one week as we normally sell in one month,” Dorer said.

That means that, for now, Clorox wipes will stay largely missing from store shelves, until the company is able to increase its production even more, or until people stop buying stores out of products like disinfectant wipes.

“We know that right now we cannot make enough products for everybody to find products at the store all the time,” Dorer said. “But we’re making tremendous progress. We think we will be in substantially better shape by the summer.”

Dorer did explain that his factories have been running around the clock — 24 hours per day — for some time now, attempting to meet the increased demand for disinfectants and other cleaning supplies. But as we’ve all learned during this pandemic, many companies weren’t prepared for how essential they would become amid a global health crisis, and Clorox is apparently one of those.

Since mid-March, when the pandemic was beginning to become apparent in the U.S., people have shared photos of apocalyptic scenes in grocery stores, where shelves were completely picked over and there was not only a shortage of dry goods and cleaning supplies, but also food. While most supply chains have stabilized amid extended stay-at-home orders, the U.S. now faces a nationwide meat shortage due to coronavirus outbreaks at meat packing plants. It may be a while still before grocery stores return to their normal supplies, but the best way to help them get there is to avoid hoarding products and buy only what you and your family need.

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