These 10 household essentials are selling out across the country—here's where to get them
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In light of the recent coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, people are taking precautions to stay healthy and stock their homes with all the supplies they might need to help disinfect surfaces and keep their hands clean, per recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
But many of the household essentials you might need to stay safe during this outbreak are selling out. From paper towels to hand sanitizer and more, these products can help you and your family stay safe and be prepared, no matter what happens.
We’ve rounded up 10 of the most essential household products to have during the coronavirus outbreak and where to get them before they sell out. Due to increased demand, some prices for select items may be higher than usual and there may be shipping delays, but we'll also be continuing to update this list as supplies dwindle, so be sure to check back often.
1. Hand sanitizer and wipes
Hand sanitizers from Purell and GermX are flying off the shelves right now, but you should be picky because the truth is, they’re not all the same. Some contain an alcohol substitute known as benzalkonium chloride, which isn’t as effective if you’re trying to stop the spread of germs. Instead, you want to look for a hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol content, according to the CDC.
But these items are selling out fast (seriously, you may even have to go in-store to grab them), so we definitely suggest you grab them as soon as possible. Or, you could just make your own, especially since the World Health Organization (WHO) just put together this do-it-yourself guide to creating your own sanitizer. Word of caution though—their step-by-step instructions do require 96% ethyl alcohol.
- Get the Up&Up Hand Sanitizer at Target for $3.79
- Get the Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel Pump Bottle at Target for $5.49
- Get the Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer ES Starter Kit at Target for $11.99
- Get the Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer at Office Depot for $3.29 (store pickup only)
2. Hand soap
According to the CDC, one of the best things you can do right now to prevent the spread of coronavirus is to wash your hands frequently. That means scrubbing them after you use the bathroom, ride public transportation, blow your nose, cough, or sneeze, as well as before you eat. The American Red Cross also recommends that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds in order to effectively clean them. While antibacterial soap is crucial, just regular hand-washing is a crucial way to stop germs from spreading.
- Get the NEST Fragrances Scented Liquid Hand Soap at Amazon for $16.60
- Get Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Hand Soap at Staples for $4.49
- Get the Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day Rose Hand Soap at Target for $3.99
- Get the Softsoap Moisturizing Liquid Soap, 1-Gallon Bottle at Office Depot for $14.99
3. Toilet Paper
During natural disasters and other emergencies, toilet paper always seems to be the first thing to go out of stock. The thought of running out of wipes to do your business when you can’t leave the house is absolutely horrifying. While we ranked the Charmin Ultra Soft as the No. 1 toilet paper for your No. 2, in times like these, you’re better off taking what your can get—even if it’s one-ply. Here are all the places you can still order toilet paper from.
- Get the Charmin Ultra Strong, 12 Mega Rolls at Office Depot for $15.16
- Get the Charmin Ultra Soft, 12 Mega Rolls at Office Depot for $15.19
- Get the Seventh Generation 100% Recycled 2-Ply Bathroom Tissue, 12 Rolls at Office Depot for $19.79
- Get the Green2 Tree Free Ultra Soft Bath Tissue, 96 Count at Staples for $109.59
4. Paper Towels
In most instances, paper towels can seem wasteful. While they’re definitely a popular household purchase—and we’ve even rounded up a list of the best paper towels you can buy right now—they’re not eco-friendly and they’re expensive, which can make them seem like a luxury to some households.
But the fact that paper towels are disposable actually could make them beneficial to have, particularly in homes where there’s already someone impacted by coronavirus. The CDC recommends paper towel usage for cleaning and disinfecting homes, which makes them good to have around, just in case.
- Get the Sparkle Professional Series Paper Towels, 30 Rolls at Staples for $32.99
- Get the Seventh Generation Kitchen Roll Paper Towels, 8 Rolls at Staples for $29.59
- Get the Sparkle Professional Series Paper Towels, 30 Rolls at Office Depot for $44.64
- Get the Boardwalk 1-Ply White Multifold Paper Towels, 16 Count at Target for $29.49
- Get the Bounty Select-A-Size Paper Towels, 18 Rolls at Target for $15.29
5. Cleaning wipes
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a list of disinfectants that are safe for American households to use right now to protect against the coronavirus. One of the top disinfectants on the list? Clorox Disinfecting Wipes. Made to kill up to 99.9% of surface bacteria and viruses, these wipes are easy to use, safe on most surfaces, and essential to have around the house right now.
6. Dish Soap
Dish soap is another household item, you’re going to want to have around. The CDC recommends that those who are affected by the coronavirus should not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, or utensils. After these dishes have been used, they should be washed thoroughly with soap and water. When we tested the best dish soap, we washed more than 125 plates, glasses, bowls, and spoons, and found that Dawn Ultra was the clear winner. Not only does it cut through grease, but it’s a great disinfectant as well.
- Get the Method Dish Soap Pump, 2 Pack on Amazon for $8.99
- Get the Dawn Ultra Dish Detergent Liquid at Staples for $11.90
- Get the Dawn Professional Dishwashing Liquid at Office Depot for $6.49
- Get the Seventh Generation Natural Dish Free and Clear Liquid Soap at Home Depot for $4.01
7. Trash bags
If you find yourself at home for an extended period of time, you’re going to find yourself accumulating a ton of trash—and you’re going to want enough garbage bags to contain it. Plus, you want one that’s not going to rip once it’s filled to the brim. We recommend the Glad ForceFlexPlus as they’re the best trash bags we’ve ever tested for their superior strength and odor-blocking material.
The CDC also recommends, dedicating a lined trash bag for anyone impacted by coronavirus as well as using gloves when removing garbage bags and disposing trash. Also, remember to wash your hands after disposing it.
- Get the Glad ForceFlexPlusGrey Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags (30 Count) on Amazon for $14.12
- Get the Glad ForceFlexPlus XL X-Large Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags, 30 Count for $9.96
- Get the Glad ForceFlexPlus Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags (50 Bags) at Target for $10.99
- Get the Glad 13 Gal. ForceFlex Tall Kitchen Drawstring Trash Bags (40-Count) at Home Depot for $17.51
- Get the Glad ForceFlex 13 Gallon Tall Kitchen Trash Bags, 100 Bags at Staples for $15.49
8. Disinfectant spray and cleaner
Similar to cleaning wipes, disinfectant spray can help clear surfaces of harmful bacteria and potentially guard against the spread of coronavirus. The CDC recommends sticking to household cleaners with at least 70% alcohol, and most EPA-registered disinfectants—like Lysol Clean & Fresh Multi-Surface Cleaner, for example—should be effective for regular use. If you haven’t already grabbed a bottle or two, you can get this on Amazon right now, but we’d suggest you hurry and snag it fast, as it’s selling out everywhere.
- Get the Tilex Soap Scum Remover & Disinfectant at Staples for $10.89
- Get the Pledge Citrus Disinfectant All-Purpose Cleaner at Lowe's for $4.78
9. Laundry detergent
One important but perhaps easy to forget household essential that’s crucial to have right now? Laundry detergent. The American Red Cross recommends having plenty of detergent stocked up, especially as the coronavirus situation spreads across the country. Our top pick for best laundry detergent is actually Persil ProClean Liquid Laundry Detergent, since it was better than Tide Original in our testing for getting rid of stains.
- Get Persil ProClean Stain Fighter Liquid Laundry Detergent on Amazon for $7.99
- Get Tide Plus Downy He Turbo Clean Laundry Detergent Liquid at Amazon for $18.99
- Get Persil ProClean Plus Stain Fighter (75 Loads) at Walmart for $15.97
- Get the Persil Proclean Power-Liquid Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent at Staples for $23.49
Although the major symptoms of coronavirus include a dry cough, fever, and shortness of breath, according to the CDC, it's always a good idea to have an extra box of tissues lying around. You could wind up with a runny nose due to allergies or get the cold or flu. After testing nine different boxes (and blowing many noses), we found that Puffs Ultra Soft are the best tissues and won't irritate your nose. You can stock up on these on Amazon right now. Other brands still have tissues in stock, too.
- Get Puffs Ultra-Soft, 4 Cubes at Office Depot for $6.64
- Get the Kleenex Everyday 9 x Pocket Tissues Packs at Amazon for $11.99
- Get the Perk Ultra Soft Standard Tissue, 6 Pack at Staples for $11.99
- Get the Puffs Facial Tissue at Home Depot for $2.68
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.