What are the Best Gloves for Cleaning?

using gloves to clean a sink

There are a multitude of industries that utilize gloves in day-to-day work, including healthcare, mechanical, beauty, hospitality, and tattooing industries. In addition to commercial uses, we also individually utilize gloves in our households, and now more people are opting to wear reusable and disposable gloves when cleaning.

Why wear gloves for cleaning?

We all know the struggle of having to clean dirty surfaces, dishes, or clothes when the time comes, and many people commonly adorn gloves simply so they don't come into contact with harsh chemicals and the filth they're dealing with (and avoid getting grossed out). Wearing gloves is a good idea even for the most basic cleaning tasks.

The truth is though, there are many other critical reasons why we should make sure to wear gloves when cleaning, the main one being to protect ourselves from hot water and dangerous chemicals.

Hot water becomes an issue particularly when you're washing your dishes without wearing any gloves. Most of us are familiar with how it feels after washing dishes with our bare hands; They're dry and rough, and over time seem to have cracks in the skin. These cracks are a sign that washing dishes has led to the weakening of your skin barrier, which would offer bacteria and other harmful elements easy access into your body.

Many of us prefer to use hot water during dishwashing, because it does a great job of loosening all the grime and gunk off of our dishes. However, dermatologists have warned against constant contact with hot water to our skin, as it could both inflame the area but also strip the skin of its natural oils, the same ones that help prevent cracking.

Similar to how hot water could be useful in removing oily residue off dirty plates, hot water could also melt away any useful oils in our skin. Dishwashing gloves come in handy here, and an added benefit of wearing them is that you could use water in an even hotter temperature, one that your hands couldn't have handled bare.

cleaning while wearing gloves

Wearing cleaning gloves could protect you from exposure to hazardous cleaning chemicals. Most common household cleaning products are made up of strong chemicals and toxins, such as ammonia, vinegar and chlorine bleach.

These are common in so many different cleaning products, such as floor care products, laundry detergents, bathroom cleaners, window sprays, drain unclogging products and oven cleaning products. The worst part is, manufacturers of these products aren't required to even list what chemical ingredients are in the cleaners, although some label them “poison” when it's extremely dangerous, or print “warning” when it's more moderate.

Exposure to these harmful chemicals could be very harmful, from simply stripping your skin of its protective oil barrier just like hot water, but also to causing dermatitis or even worse, chemical burns. You're also constantly being exposed to bacteria and pathogens, especially when cleaning the kitchen sink, as well as the bathroom sink and toilet, which are hotspots for salmonella and E. coli.

Finally, constantly being in contact with these chemicals can harm your fingernails, making them brittle and thin, and a lot easier to crack and break.

If you were to pay attention to the directions suggested when using these products (such as recommended exposure time), you're mostly in the clear, although the truth is you could just avoid the risk if you were to wear cleaning gloves. Even if you were to wash your hands after cleaning, there are certain steps to follow, and a large margin of error.

Reusable vs. Disposable Gloves

While reusable gloves are more environmentally friendly, carry less waste, and are generally thicker and sturdier, it is recommended that you use disposable gloves when it comes to cleaning.

Disposable gloves are the more sanitary option, since you don't have to worry about following rigorous steps to make sure to get rid of all the germs lingering on your reusable ones. On average, most individuals who are cleaning large areas would prefer not to go through the process of disinfecting their reusable rubber gloves when moving from one area to another, it is quite the hassle. Cleaning an area with disposable gloves guarantees that every time you put on new ones, they are 100% sterile.

Best Disposable Gloves for Cleaning

When choosing the best gloves for cleaning, you have to look out for comfort, protective qualities, durability, size and material. It's recommended to use a disposable glove option that is comfortable to wear, but that is also well-designed for the cleaning task you are setting out to do. As for material, you have a few options to choose from.

    Latex Gloves for Cleaning

    Latex is a comfortable, form-fitting, thick, inexpensive and highly puncture resistant material. They provide moderate chemical resistance, and a barrier against chemicals, acids, and oils. However, a downside of latex gloves is that they are made from natural rubber, which prevents them from being used by anyone with a latex allergy. Regardless, latex gloves can be used for light to moderate cleaning, but should be avoided if the cleaning task requires higher exposure to chemicals.

      Nitrile Gloves for Cleaning

      Nitrile gloves have dominated the cleaning industry, racing past latex gloves over the past few years, mostly due to many wanting to avoid the possibility of latex allergies. Nitrile is better at being impermeable to chemicals, and nitrile gloves are waterproof, greaseproof, and also contain a high puncture resistance. Another critical difference between latex gloves and nitrile gloves, is that nitrile gloves are tending towards getting thinner, as they are generally less form-fitting than latex, which is likely to decrease their chemical resistance qualities. Nitrile gloves are also the most expensive gloves, although in recent years they have been decreasing in costs. Regardless, nitrile gloves are the most recommended gloves to use for any heavy-duty cleaning that involves exposure to chemicals, for their high durability.

        Vinyl Gloves For Cleaning

        Vinyl gloves can be useful for even lighter cleaning tasks as compared to latex, and many love this glove option due to their lower costs. They have a looser fit and are resistant against common acid and alcohol, although they are not recommended to be used in any intensive cleaning with exposure to chemicals.

        The good news is that for the most basic of cleaning tasks around the house, such as mopping, dusting and shining, any of the above disposable vinyl gloves are a great choice, and usually at a better price point.

        The Best Disposable Cleaning Gloves at WellBefore

        Our top pick for the best cleaning gloves would simply be nitrile gloves. With the level of protection, sizing options, and durability they offer, they are a clear winner for cleaning gloves.

        As mentioned above, considering comfort, size, and dexterity of the gloves is also critical in choosing the best cleaning gloves for you. You want a properly fitting glove with tight fingers fit but loose cuffs, as well as high dexterity to avoid slipperiness when cleaning.

        WellBefore offers all these options on our website, so you can choose any material glove based on your preference. We offer a wide selection of disposable gloves in nitrile, latex, and vinyl materials for cleaning, in many different sizes and colors.