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Essential Facts About Using Rubber Gloves for Cleaning

Do you have doubts about using rubber gloves for cleaning around the household? Here are some facts about using protective gear when dealing with dirt, grime, and bacteria around your home.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

Written by Eunice Samson

Essential Facts About Using Rubber Gloves for Cleaning

When shopping for household cleaning tools, Filipinos rarely add rubber gloves to the top of their list. However, they’re quite inexpensive, considering the many benefits they can give. Besides, they come in different materials, making them ideal for other purposes beyond cleaning. A pair of latex gloves is always the best choice for avoiding cross-contamination and protection when doing various chores.

So, if you’re still doubtful about using rubber gloves for cleaning and other household tasks, this blog post is for you. We’ll share some of the essential facts about wearing protective gear for your hands when dealing with activities that involve chemicals, dirt, and bacteria.

Why Using Rubber Gloves for Cleaning Is a Must

Do you clean your bathroom or wash the dishes without wearing rubber gloves? Well, here are some of the risks you might encounter:

  • Inflamed or dry skin – Do you use hot water to rinse away grease and oil from your dishes? Dermatologists warn that hot water can strip your skin of natural oils, causing inflammation and dryness.

  • Chemical burns – If you’re not making your own dishwashing liquid with natural ingredients, you’re probably using store-bought products. Studies show that daily exposure to these chemicals, even in low concentrations, can cause skin lesions.[1]

  • Illnesses – Did you know that 94.4% of kitchen sinks are contaminated with illness-causing bacteria? Without proper protection, you’re exposing yourself to E. coli, Pseudomonas, and other types of germs that can cause pneumonia, urinary tract infection, and other diseases.[2]

Image of someone putting on rubber gloves

How to Choose the Right Gloves

Before you start using rubber gloves for cleaning, you must understand the different options available in the market. This way, you can choose the one that will serve a specific purpose. The University of California, Berkley has a comprehensive guide on selecting gloves.[3] However, in general, these are the common types you’ll encounter for household use:

Latex Gloves

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Latex gloves are made from natural rubber materials that can protect your hands from biohazards, pathogens, and chemicals. They are ideal for handling water-based solutions or biological materials. You can use them for eldercare, childcare, or food preparation. However, they are not the best option for sharp objects or organic solvents. 

Nitrile Gloves

Produced from synthetic rubber, nitrile gloves are more puncture-resistant and stronger. Moreover, they offer effective protection against chemicals, oils, grease, and biohazards. However, they often impede freedom of movement. Moreover, they are not practical when you’re handling smaller items or fine instruments.

Vinyl Gloves

Made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC), vinyl gloves offer flexibility. If you’re not handling pathogens or chemicals, they can be the cost-effective option. For instance, if you’re doing simple household cleaning or preparing food, vinyl gloves would suffice. However, they are often softer and less durable than nitrile gloves. Also, they aren’t as breathable and may cause your hands to perspire after long use.

Image of vinyl gloves

Other Uses of Rubber Gloves Besides Cleaning

There are disposable and reusable types of rubber gloves. However, even the reusable ones do not last forever. Even so, there are other ways you can use them besides cleaning or sanitizing your kitchen and other parts of your house. Here are creative uses for rubber gloves:

  • Opening jars – Are you struggling to open a tight jar lid? Well, use your old rubber gloves to improve your grip.

  • Adding grip to your broom or mop – It’s quite annoying when your mop keeps slipping off your hands. You can cut the fingers off your old rubber glove and remove the ends. Insert your mop or broom handle into the holes. Doing so will give them an extra grip.

  • Protecting walls from scratches – If your door handle sticks out, you can use the finger of a rubber glove to prevent it from scraping your wall. 

  • Preventing kitchen items from slipping – Does your chopping board keep sliding around when you use it? Perhaps you’re struggling to keep your mixing bowl in place whenever you’re preparing food. If so, you can take your old rubber gloves and cut them into whatever shape you want. You can place it on your countertop and put your cutting board or bowl on top of it. The rubber will provide a grip for the item, preventing it from slipping.

Protect Your Family’s Health by Using Rubber Gloves

Remember that wearing rubber gloves while cleaning will protect your hands from dryness, lesions, and inflammation. Besides, using them will prevent cross-contamination and even prevent illness-causing bacteria from spreading. Whether you’re cleaning your bathroom with Domex Ultra Thick Bleach or you’re doing laundry with Breeze powder detergent, don’t forget to wear rubber gloves. 

FAQs About Using Rubber Gloves for Cleaning

Q: What are eco-friendly alternatives to rubber gloves?

Compostable gloves can be an eco-friendly alternative to rubber gloves. Made with plant-based materials, they decompose a few months after use.

Q: How do you extend the life of rubber gloves?

You can extend the life of reusable rubber gloves by washing them according to the instructions. Storing them in a Ziplock bag can also prevent them from cracking and disintegrating.

Q: What are the best gloves for cleaning with chemicals?

Nitrile gloves are generally resistant to chemicals and other hazardous materials. Besides, many options in the market are thick, making them more durable and highly resistant to punctures. They are recommended for cleaning using industry-grade chemicals.


1. Klein, G. R., Grubauer, G., & Fritsch, P. (1992). The influence of daily dish-washing with synthetic detergent on human skin. British Journal of Dermatology, 127(2), 131–137. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1365-2133.1992.tb08045.x

2. Al-Taee, G. A., Al-Naqqar, S. S. B., & Bahjet, S. A. (2007). Prevalence of bacterial contaminants in domestic kitchen sinks and laundry machines in houses of Mosul, and the effect of common disinfectants. مجلة التربية والعلم, 19(4), 23–32. https://doi.org/10.33899/edusj.2007.5907

3. Glove Selection Guide | Office of Environment, Health & Safety. (n.d.). https://ehs.berkeley.edu/glove-selection-guide

Originally published