If you’re out of Clorox wipes, it’s entirely possible you’ll stay that way until the summer.
Clorox Chairman and CEO Benno Dorertold Blayne Alexander on TODAY Thursday that a 500% spike in demand means it won't be until this summer that the company expects to be able to restock store shelves with the disinfectant wipes used to combat the spread of the coronavirus.
He said the company has already increased production by 40% but can’t keep their products on the shelves.
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"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 added Clorox has factories making wipes 24 hours a day to try to meet the demand.
"In some cases we sold as much in one week as we normally sell in one month,'' he said.
Another cleaning product giant, Lysol, did not immediately respond to TODAY’s request for comment. Company representatives have previously said they ramped up production.
On April 15, Lysol posted a message on Twitter addressing the shortage.
“As demand remains extraordinarily high, we recognize that it is difficult to locate products that you may be looking for,” the company said. “We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience and ask that you hang in there with us!”
Experts say the high demand for cleaning products is across the board, as sales of aerosol disinfectants were up 385% in March from the same time last year. The sale of multi-purpose cleaners is up nearly 150% from last year.
"In a normal year you'll certainly plan to ramp up production of key products like sanitizers, disinfectants, wipes, for cold and flu season. This is like an unprecedented event in modern times," Brian Sansoni, senior vice president at the American Cleaning Institute, told Alexander on TODAY.
Jessica Matthews, an employee at a Clorox factory in Atlanta, said there is an increased urgency at a job that has been deemed essential.
"We have to get up every day and do our job, and it really makes you feel like you're valued,'' she said. "And this is what we need to do."