Disposable gloves: When and Where to use it?

Disposable gloves are single use gloves. As the name suggests, it should be disposed of immediately after use. It is widely used in the medical and food industry. Medical professionals use gloves to protect themselves and patients from spreading infections. Gloves are also used while dealing with edible items to maintain hygiene.

Disposable gloves come in various sizes, materials, texture, sterility, color, etc. Gloves are also available in two forms, powdered and powder free gloves. Thus all disposable gloves are not the same. You need to choose gloves based on material type as per your requirement. They all have different properties.

Disposable gloves are generally made from natural or synthetic rubber. Here we will discuss various types of disposable gloves based on the material they are made from. We will provide you with information that will help you find the right gloves for you. 

Polyethylene Gloves

These gloves are made from polyethylene. They are widely used by food industry workers while preparing food items. Poly gloves are also available in the embossed form. They are known as polycast gloves. They provide a better grip and tight-fitting. 


1. Thin and can be used for light-duty tasks

2. Loose fit and can be easily changed

3. They are inexpensive


1. Does not provide protection against pathogens

2. Cannot be used around hot surfaces

3. Not advisable for the medical and chemical industries

Latex Gloves

Latex is natural rubber with a chemical compound added to it while processing. Plasticizer is the main component in making vinyl gloves. Latex gloves are the most versatile gloves in the market. They are available in powdered and powder free form. If latex gloves are disposed of properly, they are biodegradable.  People are allergic to natural rubber protein present in latex. If you are not allergic to latex then this is the best type of gloves to choose from.


1. Comfortable to wear

2. Highly elastic

3. Provides the best feel and touch

4. High tensile strength and so they resist tearing 

5. Provides good protection against pathogens

6. Disposal is also cost effective and environment friendly


1. Allergic to a lot of people 

2. These gloves should not be used while dealing with oils, grease, and gas

3. It is difficult to detect tears in these gloves

Vinyl Gloves

Vinyl gloves are made from PVC(Polyvinyl Chloride). These gloves can be used for low risk tasks. It is used for food preparations and service, hairdressers use them for coloring hair, etc. These gloves can be used for cleaning and hygiene duties. They are generally used in powder free form. Powder free gloves are a little expensive compared to powdered gloves.


1. Softer and lighter in weight

2. Can be used by those allergic to latex

3. Low cost


1. Less elastic

2. Less protective against pathogens

3. Cannot be used while dealing with fats or fatty food

4. Provides low protection

Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic material called NBR(Nitrile Butadiene Rubber). They are available in various thicknesses. They are used by medical professionals, janitorial, tattoo parlors, etc. They provide moderate protection against pathogens. Also, they are available in powdered and powder free form. These gloves are suitable for most medical needs.


1. Better chemical resistance than latex gloves

2. Advisable for medical use as they are highly puncture and tear resistant

3. Can be used by people allergic to natural latex


1. Little expensive compared to latex

2. Stiffer than latex gloves

3. Touch sensitivity is less

4. Disposal of these gloves is expensive

Neoprene Gloves

Neoprene gloves are made from synthetic rubber known as chloroprene. They are made by radical polymerization process using different chemical reactions. They can be used for high risk applications, dishwashing, etc


1. Flexible

2. Heat-resistant

3. Thick and reusable

4. High risk applications


1. High cost

2. Incapable to insulate electricity

3. Poor resistance to oils and strong acids

Knowing the difference between each type of gloves will let you find the right pair of gloves for yourself. Choose the gloves for yourself depending on your needs. Also, keep in mind the size of the gloves. Wearing gloves that are too big for your hand will not fulfill the purpose. And gloves that are a size smaller will increase the risk of tearing or puncture. You should also consider the quality of the gloves while buying one. Purchasing it from vendors who follow regulatory guidelines will provide you with good quality gloves. 

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