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How to Properly Take Off Gloves? (According to CDC)

Fact checked by Andrew Carnegie

how to properly take off gloves

Disposable gloves keep your hands from contacting unsafe liquids, objects, and surfaces. But do you know how to properly take off gloves? Removing them incorrectly might transmit contaminants and infections directly to your body.

This article explains 6 steps to removing gloves according to the CDC guidelines. Don’t put your safety at risk! Find the proper glove removal procedure below.

What to Prepare

Before doffing gloves, make sure that you have:

  • Appropriate waste container to discard the gloves
  • Soap and water to wash your hands afterward

How to Remove Disposable Gloves Properly


You should take off medical gloves using a glove-to-glove and skin-to-skin principle. When you touch your skin with gloved hands, especially if you have an open wound, you will transmit infectious bacteria and pathogens to your body.

Here’s how to properly remove gloves:

  • Step 1. Pinch the wrist or palm of one glove. Do not pull the fingers to remove rubber gloves as you might damage the pair.
  • Step 2. Slowly roll the glove towards the fingers to peel it off. Then, hold that glove in the palm of your gloved hand.
  • Step 3. Slide two fingers under the gloved hand.
  • Step 4. Peel off the glove from the inside out, wrapping the other glove in it.
  • Step 5. End with one glove wrapped in another. Both are inside out, exposing no outside parts. Applying glove-in-glove removal lowers the risk of transferring contaminants to the environment. Discard the gloves in an appropriate container.

    • Note: To safely remove gloves, you mustn’t snap the rubber. Doing so risks tearing the gloves and sending infectious materials into the air, which might get to your eyes and nose. So, ensure that you have a good grip and work cautiously

  • Step 6. Wash your hands immediately after you remove contaminated gloves. Follow these five steps:

    • Wet your hands with clean water. Then, turn off the tap and apply a generous amount of soap.
    • Rub your hands together to clean them. Don’t forget the backs of your hands, under your nails, and between your fingers.
    • Do so for at least 20 seconds.
    • Rinse your hands thoroughly under running water.
    • Dry your hands with a towel.

Three Essential Tips


1. Only discard gloves in an appropriate container

After taking off gloves properly, you should place them in a biohazard waste receptacle. Ideally, the receptacle should have a foot pedal so you can open it without touching the lid.

If you don’t have access to a trash container, put the gloves in a leak-proof plastic bag and seal it.

When you are in a building, be sure to follow the place’s policy to dispose of contaminated materials the correct way.

2. Use hand sanitizer when you don’t have soap and water

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best practice to remove germs. However, in emergencies, you can replace them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. You should:

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand
  • Gently rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds
  • Keep rubbing until your hands are dry

A hand sanitizer can quickly kill most bacteria and germs on your hands. Still, it can’t remove harmful chemicals, such as pesticides and heavy metals. Thus, rewash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can.

3. Practice makes perfect

The best way to know whether you remove gloves properly is to practice. You can put a small amount of ketchup or shaving cream on the gloves. Rub your hands together to spread it out. Then, practice doffing the gloves.

When it comes to contaminants and infections, you can’t mess around. Thus, spend time practicing before donning and removing gloves in real-life situations.


Gloves help halt the spread of pathogens, but they will become the source of contamination when you remove and discard them incorrectly. So, practice taking them off the proper way to ensure your safety.

Don’t forget to save this guide so you can always read how to properly take off gloves when in need. If you have any questions, let us know in the comment section. We will get to you promptly. Thank you for reading!

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