SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Even though paper towel and toilet paper shortages appear to be over, some San Diego shoppers are still noticing a shortage of cleaning supplies amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Lysol and Clorox disinfectant wipes are still nearly impossible to find.
"What is the problem? That's my question. Where is it?" asked Glo Johnson, a News 8 viewer who lives in Escondido. "The sprays, the wipes have just disappeared off the planet."
Stores can't restock them fast enough. Lysol and Clorox cleaning supplies sell out as quickly as they appear.
News 8 checked several stores across San Diego and found empty shelves.
"My husband is a cancer patient so now more than ever I have to be very diligent in trying to maintain a good, sterile, clean environment," said Johnson.
'I've tried going very early, middle of the day, just randomly, even in the evenings, just randomly, hoping to find some type of sanitizing wipes or sprays," she added.
Though News 8 did spot a few Lysol disinfectant wipes still available online, the prices on Amazon are very high, in some cases five times as high as normal.
On social media, plenty of people have been wondering where to find them too.
"I hope we get it resolved soon, and we can all be healthy and well again," said Johnson.
Both Clorox and Lysol have been hard to find since the pandemic hit in March. Since then, Lysol products were approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for protecting against coronavirus, so that put them in even higher demand.
News 8 reached out to Reckitt Benckiser Group, the company that makes Lysol products and received this statement:
"Given the rapid spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) in the US, our top priority at this time is increasing our production to help curb the spread of illness. We are experiencing unprecedented and accelerated demand for our Lysol® products, and this demand is clearly having an impact on store inventory levels. Our teams are actively working around the clock to increase production and delivery to our retailers, with the goal to maximize access to our products. As demand remains extraordinarily high, we recognize that it is difficult to locate products that you may be looking for. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience and understanding."
Part of the problem is that many companies make wipes using polyester spunlace, a key ingredient also used for personal protective equipment like masks and medical gowns, which is now in short supply.
As for Clorox, it does not use spunlace in its disinfecting wipes. Yet, the company is still struggling to keep up with demand.
Reuters reports Clorox company President and CEO Benno Dorer said recently given the fact we're still in the middle of a pandemic and flu season is now upon us they might not be able to fully restock them until next year.
However, there are plenty of other products that are just as effective as Lysol and Clorox. Products made by Scrubbing Bubbles and Oxyclean are approved by the EPA as effective against COVID-19. Experts say handwashing is still the best defense against coronavirus.
For a list of EPA approved products effective against coronavirus click here.