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What to Do If You Can’t Buy Disinfecting Wipes

Coronavirus has produced scenes of empty shelves at many stores, especially for items like disinfecting wipes.

Clorox announced in early August that the wipe shortage will likely continue until 2021 due to high demand straining production systems.

The CDC recommends regularly disinfecting commonly touched surfaces such as door handles, light switches, keyboards and phone screens. Until the wipe shortage begins to slow, how can you keep your space clean, especially in shared areas like the bathroom or kitchen?

Here is what to use if you can’t find disinfecting wipes on store shelves:

Disinfectant Spray

Disinfectant spray can be used on surfaces and wiped down with a damp cloth. Lysol All-Purpose cleaner and Lysol brand disinfecting wipes make similar claims to kill “99.9% of germs.” and “99.9% of viruses and bacteris”, respectively. Be sure to leave the cleaner sit for 10 seconds before wiping.

Household Bleach

According to the CDC, you can also use household bleach “containing 5.25%–8.25% sodium hypochlorite” on surfaces. If you are using bleach, dilute it with 4 teaspoons of bleach per quart of room temperature water in a cleaning bucket. In addition, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands. Follow guidelines for using bleach safely such as opening windows, checking expiration dates and avoiding chemical mixing.

Alcohol Solutions

Alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol can be used on hard surfaces. In addition, alcohol-based wipes or alcohol spray with at least 70% alcohol can be used to clean electronics.

The CDC also has a list of disinfectants approved by the EPA for use against COVID-19. Find that list here.


Cara is a Sophomore at Mizzou studying Journalism and Political Science with a minor in Peace Studies. She loves journaling, handwritten letters and nature. You can find her listening to indie or worship music and slam poetry. Cara is also a Cincinnati, Ohio native and lover of Skyline Chili and Greater's Ice Cream.
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