If this COVID-19 pandemic has taught us something, it is definitely to take care of our hygiene. One can’t be too careful when it comes to health. And while we use rubber gloves to protect our hands from various chemicals, we need to protect our hands from rubber gloves! It may sound silly, but it is of utmost importance to keep our gloves as clean as possible when using them.
Of course, buying new pair of gloves for every use would cost a fortune, and while some people may afford such behavior, there is an alternative – to disinfect our rubber gloves after use. How? There are various ways to clean your gloves to use them again without causing problems to your health.
Here are the most common ways to do it:
- Hand wash
- Machine wash
- Hydrogen Rinse
What things do I need to disinfect my rubber gloves?
- Hot water,
- Antibacterial cleaner,
- Sodium bicarbonate.
3 Basic way to clean your rubber gloves
1. Hand wash
When you have finished using the gloves, use the hot water and soap to wash them from outside. You can either leave them on or take them off, either way is acceptable, but the first option is always popular due to time-saving. Rub the whole external surface of your rubber gloves and wash the soap away with water.
When thoroughly washed, you should dry the gloves completely. You can simply hang them someplace until they are dry, or, if you are in a hurry, you can use a clean paper towel to hurry up the process.
It’s time to clean them from the inside as well. Prepare a mixture of hot water and soap (you can either fill your sink or, even better – a clean plastic container). Gloves should be turned inside out and then put into the water. Leave them inside for a few minutes. Again, leave them to dry.
When completely dry from the inside, turn the gloves back to normal. Then use any antibacterial spray or disinfectant cloth to go over the exterior surface of the gloves. It is most advisable to use disinfectants and not alcohol as the latter can damage the rubber. Once the whole surface has been disinfected, leave the gloves to dry.
Step 5 (optional)
You can use baking soda to neutralize any unpleasant smells. This is especially useful if you have been washing your gloves for some time as unpleasant smells will occur. Not only this, but the baking soda will keep the rubber remain flexible, so it will be easier for you to put the gloves on and off after each subsequent use.
2. Machine wash
While it would be much easier to wash your rubber gloves in the machine, this should be done only occasionally. Machine wash is possible, but this way of cleaning can cause damage more quickly.
I would always recommend hand wash as it cleans better and keeps the gloves healthier for much longer. But, if in a hurry, a machine wash will do the trick to a certain extend.
Here is what to pay attention to when doing machine wash.
Use specific chemicals
To keep your gloves intact and your hands healthy, it would be best to use some commercial soap for laundry. This way, you will avoid chemicals that contain bleach, chlorine, or dry-cleaning solutions.
Never go over 205 degrees Fahrenheit! Washing around 140 degrees is just fine for regular disinfection, and a quick wash of 15 minutes will do the trick. If the gloves are dirtier than usual, you can go to 203 degrees max. Around 190 degrees is the standard medium which will clean the gloves nicely while not damaging them too much.
Be sure to rinse the gloves after watching. While the commercial laundry soap is delicate for rubber gloves, you should always rinse at the end to avoid any unpleasant effects on your hands. Any cold water temperature is acceptable for rinsing. It is used only to wash away any remaining chemicals.
Use a bag
To avoid damaging your gloves, it would be best to put them inside laundry bags used for machines (such as those for socks). This is another reason why I prefer hand wash over machines.
3. Hydrogen Rinse
This method is the best for thoroughly disinfecting your gloves but comes with the most caution. Hydrogen peroxide is fantastic against any bacteria, viruses, fungi, or any other type of microorganisms that can harm our health. As such, it should be treated with care.
To disinfect gloves this way, simply soak them into between 3 and 6% hydrogen peroxide for 2 hours.
Ensure to rinse or wash them with warm water to clean any remaining chemicals away.
Dry them out thoroughly before using them again.
- Before each use, check that there are no holes in the rubber. This is especially important if you work with harmful chemicals such as bleach or harsh cleaning products.
- Keep your gloves away from heat and direct sunlight. Exposure to excessive heat can melt your gloves. Store your gloves in a clean, dry area when not in use.
- Always have more than one pair of gloves in your home – never use the same gloves for washing the toilet and dishes.
- A discolored glove means the rubber is wearing off and must be replaced.
Must I wash my household rubber gloves after each use?
While it is not needed to wash them after light use, it is always recommended. Whether you were cleaning the toilet or dishes, some chemicals may remain on the gloves, and all chemicals should be washed away after use.
What is the easiest way to wash my gloves?
You can use warm water and soap to wash your gloves while they are on your hands. Simply wash them as if you were washing your hands; just cover the whole area of the gloves. Or you can wash them in a machine.
How long can one pair of rubber gloves last?
Depending on the frequency of use, one pair can last up to three months. Of course, if heavy chemicals are often used (and consequently heavy cleaning is being done), it would be advisable to replace gloves more frequently.
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