It’s Personalback to top
The relationships we have with our partners are just as personal. Let’s face it, disposable gloves don’t sell themselves. That’s why it’s not enough to have product, you need the tools and resources to drive great impressions in person and online. Most importantly, you need a vendor ready to provide you with that support. You need a partner that’s excited to join your team.
Glove Characteristicsback to top
There are four materials most commonly used in the manufacturing of disposable gloves: latex, vinyl, nitrile, and poly.
- Latex – Known for their excellent dexterity, comfort, and fit, this material is still the top choice for many end-users. They provide the best barrier protection against bloodborne pathogens but can do little to withstand petroleum-based chemicals.
- Vinyl– Due to the rise of latex allergies, end-users demanded an alternative to latex disposable gloves. Vinyl gloves are made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and are a loose fitting, cost-effective alternative to latex.
- Nitrile – Because vinyl gloves fit loosely and cause end-users to experience hand fatigue, a better latex alternative was developed. As body heat warms nitrile gloves, they conform to hands for a comfortable fit. Nitrile is more durable than other disposable glove materials and they have superior resistance to petroleum-based chemicals.
- Poly– Made from polyethylene, poly gloves are used primarily in food service applications. They are thinner than a sandwich bag and are best suited to light-duty tasks.
There are two grades of disposable gloves: industrial grade and medical grade. The difference lies in the rigorous safety tests a batch of disposable gloves undergoes after manufacturing. If more than three gloves in a batch fail the acceptable quality limits (AQL) set by the FDA, then the entire batch cannot be sold as a medical barrier. Industrial grade gloves do not require the same AQL as medical grade gloves but they may only be used for industrial applications. It is important to note that exam grade gloves are not "sterile". Only surgical gloves, which have been irradiated, are considered sterile.
Glove thickness is usually expressed in mils. Thickness needs will vary among different industries and applications. For light duty tasks that require tactile sensitivity, a 3-mil glove is appropriate. For most industrial applications, especially if end-users work with tools or machinery, gloves in the 5- to 6-mil range are preferred. For tough jobs such as replacing a transmission or working in a food processing plant, we recommend disposable gloves that are 8 mils thick and rated for heavy-duty use.
Texture is a key consideration when selecting the right glove for your industry or application. There are four distinct textures available in our brands of disposable gloves:
- Smooth – Gloves with no texture are frequently made from vinyl.
- Embossed – A light texturing imprinted on poly gloves.
- Micro-roughened – Used on most nitrile and latex gloves, this light texture provides a better grip on tools and small objects.
- Raised Diamond – Available in our heavy-duty suite of nitrile industrial gloves, this texture has channels between each raised diamond that allow liquids to pass through which enhances the user’s grip on slippery tools.
Color is a personal preference that varies between different applications and industries. Automotive technicians and tattoo artists, for example, prefer black gloves due to the professional look.
Different colored gloves can be helpful for color coding workers or processes. Some workplaces use color to differentiate sizes.
No matter the color, remember that the durability of a glove relies on thickness and texture. Even if black gloves look tougher, color does not affect durability.
There are four finishes that can be applied during the disposable glove manufacturing process:
- Powder – Powdered disposable gloves are coated on the inside with food-grade corn start to make it easier for them to go on and off, especially in moisture-rich environments. In January 2017, the Food & Drug Administration banned powdered latex exam gloves from sale in the United States.
- Polymer coating – This inside-the-glove finish reduces surface friction, which is a powder-free alternative to making the gloves slip on and off more easily.
- Chlorination – Disposable gloves washed in a chlorine solution have a softer texture, comfortable feel, and go on and off more easily. Double chlorination is used in some gloves, especially thicker latex gloves, to make donning and doffing easier, because latex is a naturally tacky material.
- Polyurethane – Vinyl gloves also tend to be tacky. This finish is used on vinyl gloves to reduce that tackiness and make them easier to put on and remove.