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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.
There are a few options still available that are worth grabbing now, including Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel Pump Bottle (available at Target for $5.49) and these Curad Alcohol Prep Pads (available on Amazon for $9.99).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
8. Disinfectant spray and cle
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.
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.
If you’re stuck at home for an extended period of time, you absolutely don’t want to run out of diapers—it could be a mess, literally and figuratively. As you’re trying to plan ahead, you may want to buy a few extra boxes worth of diapers, and these ones from Pampers are some of the most popular on Amazon. Featuring well over 7,000 reviews, these offer leak guard and up to 12 hours of protection for babies, plus you can find them in a variety of sizes. Every baby is different though, and some diaper brands may work better than others, so we recommend you grab your brand (whichever it may be) and stockpile them.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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