Disposable gloves are used for several purposes. They provide hand safety while performing different tasks such as cleaning, cooking, washing, medical assessment, etc. Disposable gloves are an effective precaution to keep you and the people you come in contact with safe.
Making the choice of disposable gloves can be intimidating because there are several options out there. So, how does one know which would be the right pick for their particular use?
There’s no need to worry because we are here to help you make the best choice. In this comprehensive buying guide, we’ll overview different types of disposable gloves along with their applications and benefits. Let’s dive right in!
Types of disposable gloves
1. Polyethylene Gloves
Polyethylene, or PE, gloves are made of thin material, which makes them ideal for light-weight tasks. They are commonly used for handling food. Due to their lightness, they are mostly recommended for jobs that require a frequent change of gloves. Kitchen and restaurant workers often use them for food preps and serving. Polyethylene gloves are also very economical, which makes them an excellent option for one-time use.
- Ideal for light tasks such as food prep
- Economical choice
- Latex and allergen-free
- Loose fit, excellent for quick use
- Recommended for food handling
- Not suitable for high-risk tasks
- Maybe prone to tearing
2. Latex Gloves
If versatility is what you’re going for, then latex gloves would make a great choice for you. Latex gloves are useful for nearly everything except high-risk tasks. They are highly elastic, so they last a long time. Latex gloves are not prone to punctures or tears, and they provide a comfortable fit for the wearer. They are also very economical.
For all their benefits, latex gloves have one major disadvantage. They are made of a protein that may cause allergic reactions in the wearer. An estimated 6% of Americans are sensitive to latex. That’s why latex gloves are now banned in a few states in the US. Although they are not recommended for food handling, they can be a great choice for tasks such as cleaning, medical examinations, washing dishes, etc. However, you need to make sure that the wearer isn’t sensitive to latex before using them.
- Biodegradable rubber
- High-elasticity and durability
- Provide easy fit
- Comfortable for extended use
- Not the most economical choice
- Can cause allergic reactions in latex-sensitive wearers
- Not recommended for food handling
3. Vinyl Gloves
Vinyl gloves are a safer alternative to latex gloves as they are latex-free. They are highly appropriate for food handling. They are commonly used in restaurants across the US. Vinyl gloves are made of polyvinyl chloride or PVC. If you run a food business, then this would be the right choice for you.
Vinyl gloves are ideal for tasks such as cooking, food prep, and serving. You can also use them for low-risk janitorial work.
- Great for short-term use
- Multifunctional, suitable for food handling as well as medical examinations
- Provide easy fit
- Not suitable for high-risk tasks
4. Nitrile Gloves
Nitrile gloves are useful for performing a variety of tasks. They come in a range of sizes and thicknesses to provide protection for different activities. You can use thinner nitrile gloves in foodservice while thicker ones are fit for industrial use.
Nitrile gloves are made of a rubber, which is synthetic and latex-free. They are just as elastic and durable as latex, which makes them an excellent latex-free alternative.
- Offer powder-free option
- Thin and durable
- Made of strong, lasting material
- Multi-functional, i.e., food service, industrial use, etc.
- They are relatively expensive
5. Neoprene Gloves
Neoprene gloves are great for high-risk tasks. They are heat-resistant, flexible, and thick. You can also reuse these gloves. They are also offered with flock lining.
- Provide protection in high-risk tasks
- Mostly reusable
- Thick and durable
- Only recommended for industrial use
Things to consider when buying disposable gloves
Since several options for disposable gloves are available, it can difficult to pick one. To help you narrow it down, we recommend considering the following factors while buying disposable gloves:
- Material of gloves
- Comfort and Fit
- Service grade
What is service grade?
Service grade determines what kind of tasks a type of gloves is fit for. Food grade gloves are those that are suitable for use in food handling. Industrial grade is the type best for high-risk industrial tasks. The material and design used for each service grade vary based on their purpose.
What are powdered gloves?
Powdered gloves are any type of gloves that come with cornstarch powder. The powder prevents the gloves from sticking to each other, and they are easily wearable. The powder allows the hands to slip in easily. They are recommended for quick-use. The powder reduces friction and is ideal for workers that are required to change gloves frequently. Powdered latex gloves are relatively cheap and donot tear easily.
However, we don’t recommend powdered gloves for food handling. Even though the powder is made of starch, it can still cause allergic reactions. Powdered gloves also often leave a residue after use.
What arepowder-free gloves?
Powder-free gloves do not come with any added substance that makes then non-sticky. The biggest benefit is that they don’t leave any residue. Therefore, they are recommended for food handling and medical examination.
Powder-free gloves are also less prone to the risk of contamination. The latest manufacturers offer powder-free gloves that do not stick, which eliminates the need for powdered gloves. The chlorination process during manufacturing makes them non-sticky.
Although powder-free gloves are a bit more expensive than powdered gloves, they provide more protection and health safety.
The ideal choice of disposable gloves varies depending on the tasks that you have to perform. We hope this guide makes it easy for you to choose from.
Manoj Parmar has been working in the manufacturing and importing of medical and healthcare supplies for over 15 years. He currently works at Glove Club Ltd which was established in 1994 and a leading manufacturer and supplier of medical consumables with products including disposable gloves, masks, dental and paper products. Bringing his wealth of experience he has recently started Supreme Wellbeing, supplying a range of vitamins and supplements. You can find him on Linkedin or Twitter @p4rma