Toilet paper and Clorox Wipes disappear from stores: But why?

If you've been to your local department store in the United States in the last several days, you might've noticed some oddly bare-looking aisles. Upon closer inspection, you might've also noticed a sign like the one you'll see at the head of this article. The bad news is, if you're in desperate need of some toilet paper today, you might need to hit a few Target and/or Walmart stores before you find a pack.

Part of the situation is due to panic over reports of the spread of COVID-19 (novel coronavirus). Especially now that COVID-19 has been declared a pandemic, and the NBA cancelled their regular season for the first time since Space Jam, and Tom Hanks tested positive, things just got serious.

The good news is – this isn't a shortage that cannot quickly be replenished. Unlike many products produced overseas, the vast majority of the toilet paper we use here in the United States is sourced and manufactured in the United States. For example Charmin, creator of "sustainable toilet paper products." All Charmin facilities are located in the USA – that includes both manufacturing and sourcing.

The same goes for Clorox brand cleaning products. Also Pine-Sol, and 409, and Tilex, and Scoop Away (cat litter), and Fresh Step (also cat litter). Not that you'd use those in a COVID-19 panic sort of situation, but it's nice to know The Clorox Company (which covers all of these other brands) makes their products inside North America – short shipping!

In short: Shortages of cleaning products and "essentials" like toilet paper are not due to the manufacturing process. No credible reports have been made on any sort of defects or health issues with the products themselves. For now, this is all because of consumer panic – and that's it.

For more information on COVID-19, take a peek at the timeline below, and stick around the front page of SlashGear for further updates. Also see the latest from the World Health Organization, re: alarming levels of inaction – it's a bit of a mess, to be frank.