11 June 2020

CHSA warns of shortage of cleaning, hygiene and PPE supply

The Cleaning and Hygiene Suppliers Association (CHSA) has warned Covid-19 will have a further impact on the cleaning, hygiene and PPE supply chain.

CHSA on cleaning hygiene and PPE supplied admist Covid-19

In an bulletin dated 10 June 2020, CHSA said:

“Supply-side shortages in biocides and virucides, gloves, disposable polythene aprons and non-woven cleaning wipes continue.

“Manufacturers are working hard to obtain new supplies, ramp up production in the UK and Europe and develop alternatives but supply will continue to be challenging for the foreseeable future”.

The Association is asking suppliers to plan for shortages now and forewarn customers that the impact on the supply chain will continue to be a challenge.

Product type

Anticipated impact by CHSA

Biocides and virucides

Demand is exceptionally high, placing real pressure on raw materials. Chemical manufacturers are adapting, reformulating and seeking new. However, manufacturers may temporarily go out of stock.

Hand sanitiser

The supply of ethanol, the alcohol used in hand gels, is reducing. The supply from the petroleum supply chain is drying up as people are driving again and the supply from

distillers is ceasing. The extraordinary demand for alcohol hand gels, therefore, will continue to far exceed the capacity of available ethanol production.

Nitrile and latex gloves

Access to nitrile gloves is extremely challenging. Demand has increased about 500-fold while supply has been cut by half.

The gloves are manufactured in China. Supply began to drop in January as China responded to the Coronavirus. Product was diverted to China and production was affected by the lockdown and Chinese New Year. In January, UK suppliers

turned to Malaysia, where production was also affected by the lockdown. Malaysian factories now have no more capacity – order books are full to Q3 2021. There is evidence

some factories, aware of the extraordinary demand, are retaining capacity to supply the product at inflated prices.

Gowns and aprons

Disposable single use polythene aprons have seen a huge increase in demand. These have traditionally been made in the

Far East, which brings supply chain challenges when demand goes up. UK production has restarted to meet the extra

demand but is not keeping up with the national requirement.


Yellow wipes were the key colour for Covid-19 wards, resulting in very heavy demand. Demand for dry and wet wipes is now

changing day-to-day.

Sourced from the Far East, non-woven wipes have been affected by the Chinese New Year and the lockdowns. There is also evidence some factories are holding back materials for

use in their own country or to obtain higher prices.

Soft tissue

The supply of paper products is expected to be able to meet demand.


Let us know of any issues you’re having getting the products you need to keep yourselves and clients safe during Covid-19.


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