In Love With Your Glove Series: Spring For The Right Cleaning Gloves

Cleaning Gloves

If someone asks you to imagine a cleaning glove, the bright yellow latex gloves you use to wash the dishes or tub probably come to mind. Although still very popular today, there are other gloves out there, such as nitrile or vinyl, that may be better suited to your general cleaning needs. In this final installment of the In Love With Your Glove Series, we will help you find a glove that will have you beaming while you’re cleaning.

To Dispose, Or To Reuse?

  • Disposable (Spring Fling) – Typically ranging from 2-5 mil in thickness, disposable gloves are a great option for preventing cross-contamination. Their easy disposal allows workers to conveniently change gloves when moving to different areas and cleaners. When sized correctly, they also offer a snug fit with high dexterity and tactile feel (e.g. latex and nitrile), which is great for handling small tools and cleaning equipment.
  • Reusable (Everlasting Love) – Thicker than disposable gloves, reusable gloves provide more economy in use and may be supported for extra durability. Supported gloves use a variety of different glove types and dip them into another material which offers a superior protective barrier. The resulting reusable gloves are usually better for applications with longer wear times as they are more comfortable and durable.

Judging Your Glove’s Character

  • Tragic Love Story – Unfortunately, wearing a glove with low breathability such as vinyl, for a prolonged period can lead to uncomfortable perspiration. The resulting sensitivity from this over-hydration may lead to cases of Occupational Dermatitis. Instances of this skin condition may result in an average of 2 months away from work and can be extremely expensive as well as decrease productivity. Associated costs from doctor’s visits, workers compensation and paid leave can add up quick.
  • Sweet Comforts – Just as in love, sometimes it’s the little things that count. Applying pre-work cream or after-work conditioning cream helps avoid the sensitivity resulting from prolonged wear. Preventing this sensitivity is a huge component in reducing the risk of occupational dermatitis. Less expensive than creams, another option is wearing a soft, cotton inspectors glove under the outer covering, which can instantly make almost any glove more comfortable by preventing excessive perspiration.
  • Tough Love Kind of Glove – As a rule of thumb, the harsher or more dangerous the chemical, the thicker, and more chemical resistant the glove that is needed.  After consulting a chemical resistance guide, you can determine the material and thickness needed for the job.
  • The Cost of Loving Your Glove – It is important to weigh the economy in cost against the economy in use. Tracking the volume and costs of disposable gloves can help you determine if the longer life of a reusable supported glove will be more economical over time. For some applications, the increased investment up front can realize big savings in the long run.

Finding Your Match

  • Light Duty Cleaning requires a basic barrier from low hazard chemicals, such as: dishwashing, all-purpose, and surface cleaners. In these instances, economy is usually the priority as dexterity and protection aren’t that critical. Vinyl is a glove you will come to love in these applications because of its low-cost and resistance to low hazard chemicals.
  • Medium Duty Cleaning jobs include somewhat harsh chemicals in lower concentrations, such as bleach and bathroom cleaners (e.g. glass, bowl, shower and tile cleaner). Latex and nitrile are better options for these applications, as they offer a dexterous barrier, allowing ease of movement that is less prone to tears than vinyl. If the job requires a longer time of wear, then a flock lined glove is a lovely choice. “Flock” is a cotton liner which absorbs moisture from hands for comfort, while providing easier removal.
  • Heavy Duty Cleaning calls for a glove that can withstand higher alkalinity or caustic chemicals like oven and drain cleaners, or heavy degreasers. The high chemical resistance and durability of nitrile make it the best option for these instances, as latex is less chemically resistant and vinyl’s durability is lower. For heavy duty applications that require a supported glove for abrasion or puncture resistance, your needs may be better suited with an industrial type glove.

General cleaning gloves are at the heart of maintaining employee safety and upholding a clean and beautiful building. It’s important to find a cleaning glove worth springing for.

If you are curious to learn more about gloves suited for other industries check out these posts:

Sources: Ansellpro Chemical Resistance Guide


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