Viruses, bacteria and plenty of other pesky “germs” have caused problems for humans since human life first began. Depending on the germ in question, exposure could lead to everything from coughing and sneezing to a full-blown illness with days of feeling awful and missing school or work. In severe cases, like what the world experienced with COVID-19, germs can cause severe respiratory or other health problems and even lead to death.
When you put the potential risk in perspective, it’s easy to understand why products like Lysol disinfectant spray have become almost impossible to find in 2020. Each Lysol can is boldly labeled with the claim that it kills 99.9% of viruses and bacteria, and that number provides a lot of peace of mind to a world full of frightened people. The potent disinfecting spray also prevents the growth of mold and mildew in your home and can be safely used on both hard and soft surfaces. As a bonus, numerous appealing scents help deodorize all the rooms in your home.
In 2020, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officially added Lysol to the list of disinfectants capable of killing coronavirus when they are used appropriately to clean and disinfect surfaces. As a result, Lysol quickly disappeared from store shelves, and it continues to be difficult to find in stores across the U.S. As long as the demand for the product remains high, it will continue to be impossible to know for sure where you can find cans of Lysol on a specific day, but we’ve put together a list of the retailers who are most likely to receive frequent shipments.
Keep an Eye on Your Local Grocery Stores
The first and most obvious place to look for Lysol disinfectant spray is your local grocery store, especially if you have multiple large chains like Kroger, H-E-B, Publix, Aldi and Wegmans in your area. Giant retailers have access to very efficient, very well stocked supply chains and distribution channels, which improves their ability to frequently receive and restock items — as long as the manufacturer can keep up. Don’t forget to add warehouse stores like Sam’s Club, Costco and BJ’s to your rotation of stores to check too.
Phone calls to these stores aren’t always helpful, so you will probably have to go in person. If you don’t find any cans of Lysol, be sure to ask which days they get deliveries and what time of day they typically stock their shelves with the items they receive. Some stores stock their shelves in the middle of the night, for example, meaning you would want to be onsite and waiting when the doors open first thing in the morning to snag what you need.
Online grocery shopping with order pickup was already picking up steam in early 2020, and the pandemic pushed the shopping trend to even greater heights of popularity. However, keep in mind that for a hard to find product like Lysol disinfectant spray, you are more likely to find it shopping at the store in person. For grocery pickup, you don’t have any control over when your shopper picks your items, which could lead to missed opportunities to snag the spray. As long as disinfecting supplies are scarce, you can also expect your local grocery stores to put a limit on the number of cans you can buy at one time.
Check Out Your Local Pharmacies
If you always rely on drive-thru service to pick up your prescriptions, you might be truly surprised to hear that pharmacies now carry a range of products for many different household needs. The days of pharmacies with nothing more than a few staff members to fill your prescriptions and a few shelves of over-the-counter medications are long gone in most areas. Even many pharmacies in small towns have embraced the idea of expanding profits by offering everything from toys and gift items to household cleaners and food.
Many people don’t think about pharmacies selling cleaning supplies, and you might be able to take advantage of that oversight to find products like Lysol disinfectant spray, particularly at large drug store chains like Walgreens, Rite Aid and CVS. Even pharmacies that don’t sell many grocery and other types of items may stock a selection of disinfectant sprays for medical sterilization purposes.
Scope Out All Your Big Box Stores
Just like the major grocery store chains, big box retailers like Walmart, Target, Home Depot and Lowe’s have access to enormous supply chains, allowing them to quickly order and receive products to keep their shelves full — under normal circumstances. Throw in a completely unexpected global pandemic, and the story quickly changes, thanks to manufacturers who can’t keep up with the sudden surge in demand.
Also like grocery stores, big box stores tend to have set routines for processing inventory shipments and getting the goods on store shelves. For the best chance of timing your shopping trip to coincide with the potential restocking of Lysol disinfectant spray, be sure to find out when new deliveries arrive and when items typically hit the shelves. Again, you will probably be forced to adhere to strict limits on the quantity of cans you can purchase.
Take Advantage of Easy Online Shopping
When you head out in search of Lysol and other disinfecting cleaners, it’s best to prepare in advance and have a plan. Those same rules apply to scanning online shopping outlets like Amazon, but at least you can do all your searching with minimal fuss and effort from the comfort of your couch. The primary downside to searching for a hot commodity on sites that allow third-party sellers — again, like Amazon but also Walmart and others — is you have to watch out for price gouging when supplies are limited for items in high demand.
The company made it crystal clear back in April 2020 that it would not raise the price of its products due to the crisis. If you find Lysol at an outrageous price, you’re encouraged to report it to your local Consumer Affairs division for investigation. On a more positive note, many online retailers like Amazon and Walmart will send you notifications when products are back in stock.
Don’t Forget About Office Supply Stores
Today’s office supply stores are often huge and stocked to the ceiling — usually literally — with every type of office accessory and supply you could ever imagine needing. Although most people may not realize it, that list of supplies often includes cleaning essentials for the office. Whether it’s a small business or a national chain like Staples or Office Depot, these outlets attempt to capture every dollar that a business spends on products for the office.
Like pharmacies, these stores probably won’t be the first stores to come to mind when the masses shop for cleaning supplies. That means you might be able to stay ahead of the competition to get the Lysol disinfectant spray you need for use at home, at the office, in your car and more. Bonus: The inventory may include some heavy-duty cleaning supplies used primarily in businesses like doctor’s offices and schools.
If all else fails, you can always gather the supplies you need to make your own disinfecting wipes at home. Wipes won’t help you with all your soft surfaces, but they can help you keep all your hard surfaces germ-free.