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Ebola Fears, Start Of Flu Season Spur Jump In Sales For Clorox Disinfectant Wipes

OAKLAND (KCBS) – Oakland-based Clorox said sales of its disinfectant wipes jumped 20 percent last month, with fears over Ebola virus and the start of flu season perking up interest for Americans to stock up on supplies.

In an interview with Bloomberg News, Clorox Chief Operating Officer Benno Dorer said the company is increasingly marketing the wipes for both the back-to-school season and for fighting the flu.

However, Dorer said the company is not marketing specifically to capitalize on Ebola concerns.

"We go out of our way not to be opportunistic," Dorer told Bloomberg. "We don't want to fuel any fears." Dorer is slated to assume the job of chief executive officer later this month.

The Centers for Disease Control And Prevention recommend EPA-registered products like disinfectant wipes for use in hospitals to control germs, including Ebola. The wipes do meet that criteria.

While the wipes do not contain bleach, another Clorox flagship product, liquid bleach is more commonly used to fight the virus, especially in Africa, as workers spray bleach on the ground, homes, clothing, and anywhere an infected person has walked.

Clorox recently donated 12,000 gallons of bleach to aid workers in West Africa.

"Bleach is one of most urgently needed supplies right now. It is essential for disinfecting safety equipment and sanitizing health facilities," AmeriCares Vice President and Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia said from Liberia, where he is overseeing the organization's response to the epidemic. "This donation will help protect health workers who play a pivotal role in containing the epidemic."

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