Reasons Why Disposable Gloves Are Indispensable
Disposable gloves are an indispensable piece of protective equipment in a wide range of industries. You see them in hair salons, doctor’s offices, laboratories, tattoo studios, restaurants and anywhere else where workers need solid hand protection. And while most disposable gloves get soiled easily, they’re affordable and so easy to replace.
Disposable gloves are available in various thicknesses, finishes, tensile strengths, elasticity levels and resistance. Nevertheless, although seemingly simple, buying disposable gloves takes some careful consideration. Factors such as glove properties, material, comfort, fit and cost all have to be considered.
When searching for disposable gloves nitrile, rubber latex and vinyl are the most popular materials you’ll come across. Each of them has distinct features that make them suitable for specific applications.
- Rubber latex disposable gloves are made of natural rubber, and they offer a consistent fit, reliable barrier protection and flexibility. They’re a popular choice for medical and industrial use. The biggest disadvantage to these disposable gloves is the risk of latex allergy reactions that can range from anaphylaxis to skin irritation. Some manufacturers have gone as far as developing low-protein latex that would lessen the chances of allergic reactions. If allergies aren’t a concern for you, rubber gloves are superior in terms of dexterity and comfort over vinyl and nitrile.
- Nitrile gloves are the most popular type of disposable gloves as they have all of the positive features of latex gloves (durability, strength and flexibility), and don’t pose a threat to people who are allergic to latex. Disposable gloves nitrile models are widely used across all industries and besides protecting the wearer, they also protect the products and materials being handled.
- Vinyl gloves are made of polyvinyl chloride and plasticisers to soften the material. They are an economical solution that’s ideal for applications where they need to be replaced frequently. Vinyl disposable gloves are great multi-purpose gloves for general use and activities that don’t demand a high amount of tactile sensitivity. They’re commonly used in the food industry.
As briefly aforementioned, the important properties to pay attention to when choosing the ideal gloves for your application are finish, thickness, tensile strength, barrier protection and puncture resistance.
- Glove thickness is typically measured in mils (1/1000th of an inch, or 0.0254mm). Most disposable gloves range from 4 to 8 mils. The lower the thickness of the gloves, the more flexibility, dexterity and sense of touch it will have. The higher the thickness, on the other hand, the more durable it will be.
- The surface treatment will impact the grip level of the glove. Some of the most common treatments are coating/chlorination and finishing. The grip is determined by surface tack, which can vary depending on the type of coating and level of chlorination used by the manufacturer. Texture disposable gloves feature visible texture that can be felt easily. The textured area may cover the palm, but it can also cover the fingertips.
- Disposable gloves can be powdered and powder-free. Powdered gloves are more convenient to put on and take off. However, they also contribute towards latex allergies as the powder acts as an airborne carrier for the latex proteins. Powder-free gloves, on the other hand, can be either chlorinated or non-chlorinated. Chlorinated gloves are particle-free and easy to put on.
- Tensile strength is the amount of force per unit area needed to stretch the glove until it breaks. The higher the number, the superior its performance. Elongation, on the other hand, is how far the gloves can stretch before breaking. Again, the higher the number, the superior their performance.
Glove Comfort and Fit
Besides providing protection, the gloves you pick should offer comfort as well. Properly fitted gloves can help reduce hand fatigue and improve performance. Latex gloves offer a great combination of strength, elasticity and flexibility. Nitrile gloves are also comfortable, although a bit stiffer than latex. However, nitrile is strong, doesn’t cause irritation and is abrasion-resistant. Vinyl gloves are also comfortable and soft but they provide a looser fit. In terms of size, disposable gloves range from extra large to extra small. Measure your hand around the palm at the widest point with a tape measure to determine the size of your hand so that you can pick the ideal glove size.
Cost is another factor you’ll need to consider when choosing the ideal disposable gloves. The cost of latex, nitrile and vinyl gloves will greatly vary depending on the commodity of the raw materials, combined with the price fluctuations that are based on specific market factors. But generally, nitrile is considered superior to latex, which, in turn, is considered superior to vinyl. Choosing the most affordable gloves may not be ideal for your needed application, yet the more expensive options may not fit your budget, so your best approach is to pick the highest quality gloves that fit your specific needs at the best value.