Demand for Surface Disinfectant Wipes to Remain Elevated Due to COVID-19

Demand for surface disinfectant wipes is expected to remain elevated through 2026 due to trends related to the COVID-19 pandemic, finds a new Freedonia Group analysis:

  • While demand for surface disinfectant wipes fell in 2021 from the pandemic-induced spikes of 2020, it remained well above pre-COVID-19 levels; consumers and nonresidential end users continued to purchase these products to protect themselves from potential viral exposure.
  • Major wipes suppliers have invested significantly in expanding their domestic production capacities for surface disinfectant wipes, in some cases enlisting contract manufacturers to help supplement their own lines.

It is expected that demand for surface disinfectant wipes will remain elevated as cleaning regimens in industrial and institutional settings that address healthcare associated infections (HAIs), foodborne illnesses, and other potential viruses continue to be rigorous. While consumer demand for these wipes will decline as households reorient their approach to reducing viral transmission, an expanded base of users will help demand remain above pre-pandemic levels.

US Demand for Wipes to Grow 2.3% Annually Through 2026

Demand for wipes is expected to advance 2.3% per year off a relatively high base to $4.3 billion in 2026. While this growth rate is relatively slow compared to historical norms, it stems from elevated market levels, as pandemic-related sales spikes for various wipes (notably disinfectant wipes in 2020), supply chain challenges, and higher raw material costs led prices for wipes to jump in 2020 and 2021, inflating market value in those years.

In unit terms, wipe demand growth will accelerate, supported by:

  • consistent increases in the industrial and institutional market, with major submarkets like healthcare and foodservice returning to pre-pandemic levels of operation
  • product development that improves the functionality and environmental profile of available personal care wipes, thereby increasing adoption among consumers

Want to Learn More?

Wipes provides historical data for 2011, 2016, and 2021 and forecasts for 2026 and 2030 for wipe demand in units and current dollars (which are not adjusted to account for inflation) by product (wet wipes and dry wipes), market, and application.

Markets (applications):

  • baby wipes
  • personal care (personal hygiene wipes, facial wipes, hand cleaning moist wipes and towelettes, medicated wipes, other)
  • household care (general purpose cleaning wipes, floor care wipes, other)
  • manufacturing (general purpose wipes, special purpose wipes)
  • healthcare (patient care wipes, hard surface disinfectant wipes, skin disinfectant wipes ,other)
  • commercial & industrial (foodservice wipes, other)