With the COVID-19 pandemic, Americans have been cleaning more often, especially after it was discovered the virus can live up to three days on some surfaces.
Joining this with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggesting paper was better than cloth towels for decontaminating surfaces and the result is empty shelves.
If stores and online retailers are out of stock, a good alternative is buying paper towels straight from manufacturers. Companies such as Sparkle, Brawny and Viva all offer their products directly to consumers, though some of them also show paper towels are out of stock due to the pandemic.
Although environmentalists discourage the use of paper towels – because cloth towels are reusable and do not end up in landfills – the highly contagious virus changed some perspectives for the moment.
One Point Partitions (https://onepointpartitions.com/cloth-towels-vs-paper-towels-vs-hand-dryers/), a commercial bathroom products supplier, recognized the environmental issues of paper towels in a recent report, but also said they are “the wiser choice” during a pandemic
“If multiple people use the same cloth towel to dry their hands and one of them hasn’t cleaned their hands appropriately or they touched a contaminated surface before they dried their hands, every subsequent person who uses the same towel will pick up germs during the hand drying process,” the site reported.
“Because users will throw out their paper towels after they dry their hands, paper towels don’t have the same risk of cross-contamination.”
Other websites, such as Familydoctor.org (https://familydoctor.org/handwashing-and-covid-19/) also recommend paper towels to avoid leaving germs on towels.