Rubber gloves protect our hands from germs and harsh chemicals as we clean various surfaces at home. Unlike surgical gloves, these rubber gloves are reusable so it is important that they are always well-disinfected.
Keep in mind that rubber gloves are meant to be thrown away once they come in contact with bodily fluids. Holes or discoloration are also signs that you need to replace them. Otherwise, you can continue to use them.
For this article, I will focus on how to disinfect rubber gloves specifically for non-medical use.
Table of Contents
- What You Need
- Step-by-step Guide on How to Disinfect Your Rubber Gloves
- Tips on How to Care for Your Rubber Gloves
What You Need
Dish soap, a mild detergent or antibacterial soap, is sufficient to wash away grease and germs from the rubber gloves you used to clean surfaces.
2. Warm water
Several studies show that hot water can kill bacteria and microorganisms. Furthermore, it is better at removing grease than cool water.
For this tutorial, I recommend dish towels, paper towels, or an old clean rag. Refrain from using the same towel that you use to dry your hands!
Step-by-step Guide on How to Disinfect Your Rubber Gloves
To clean rubber gloves, keep them on your hands after the chore. Pour soap onto your gloved hands then wash them like you normally wash your bare hands.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), proper handwashing involves rubbing your hands to form a lather.
Spread the foam on your palm, between your fingers, around the tips, and the backside of your hands. Do this same method for 20 seconds with your gloved hands.
Rinse your gloved hands thoroughly with warm water. Check all sides to make sure that no residue is left, wipe them with a towel to dry, then remove your gloves and wash your hands.
Now that you’re done cleaning rubber gloves’ exteriors, it’s time to work on the interiors as recommended by MSC Direct.
This will ensure that all the sweat and oils stuck inside are removed.
There are two ways to sanitize rubber gloves’ interiors. The first one is to turn it inside out, put it on your hands and repeat the steps above.
The other option is to make a mixture of soap and warm water, as suggested by this article from Hunker. Then, soak the gloves in it for a couple of minutes.
Lastly, hang your rubber gloves to dry.
Tips on How to Care for Your Rubber Gloves
Now that you know how to wash your rubber gloves, let me share a few tips that will ensure they are indeed clean for the next use. If you don’t take the steps to care for your gloves, you will still risk getting your gloves contaminated.
Tip #1: Always check the manufacturer’s care guide
Nowadays, manufacturers have added new features to improve their line of personal protective equipment.
For instance, some rubber gloves come with fabric linings or insulation, as pointed out by this article on Merry Maids. Hence, the cleaning strategy I shared above may not be appropriate.
Let me also add that storing them away from a heat source will help prolong their lifespan.
Tip #2: Use different gloves for different chores
You probably already heard your mother saying the exact same advice but this article on The Spruce says it’s not advisable.
Imagine all the germs that got into the gloves while scrubbing your toilet. You don’t want to spread those in the place where you make your food!
To avoid getting the gloves mixed up, I recommend buying multiple colors and assigning one pair for each room or task. You can store one in the washroom, another one in the kitchen, and so on.
Tip #3: Routinely inspect for tears, cracks, or punctures
All that work you do with your rubber gloves will eventually wear them down. That said, some holes are impossible to see with the naked eye. Still, this creates an opening for germs or chemicals, which in turn, will harm your hands.
Fortunately, you don’t need special tools to check for pinholes. This article on Princeton University says that you can simply trap air or blow inside the gloves to see if the air escapes.
Washing your rubber gloves inside and out does not just prevent cross-contamination but also from getting your hands dirty. Although it’s additional work, it ensures that they are safe to use for the next round of chores. Besides, the whole process only takes a few minutes!
In this article, I explained that it is not enough to know how to disinfect rubber gloves. By ensuring that they are well-maintained and stored properly, you can better clean the surfaces in your home.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.