FAQ: Disposable Latex Gloves

Disposable latex gloves are an economical option for single-use hand protection.  Latex gloves feature the best level of stretch, dexterity and comfort when compared to other disposable glove options.  Here are some of the most common questions and answers about latex gloves.  

What are disposable latex gloves?

Disposable latex gloves are a single-use, basic form of hand protection made of natural latex rubber.  They are generally thin, fit extremely close to the hand providing excellent dexterity and comfort and are typically worn for short periods of time.  

What are latex gloves made from?

Disposable latex gloves are made from natural rubber latex, which is harvested from rubber trees.  

Are latex and nitrile gloves the same?

No, latex and nitrile gloves are not the same.  Latex gloves are made of natural latex rubber.  Nitrile gloves are made of durable synthetic rubber.  Latex and nitrile gloves each have unique features and benefits as well as factors to consider.

  • Latex Gloves:
    • Features:
      • Biodegradable
      • Close fitting for excellent range of motion
      • Superior protection from bacteria and viruses
      • Comfortable for long-term wear
    • Considerations:
      • Increased chance of puncture
      • Poor protection from cleaning chemicals
      • Potential for allergic reactions
      • Less durable than nitrile
  • Nitrile Gloves:
    • Features:
      • Puncture resistant
      • Chemical resistant
      • Long-lasting and durable
      • Allergen-free
    • Considerations:
      • Less comfortable
      • Typically, not biodegradable
      • Restricted ease of movement
      • Less protection from viruses and bacteria

What are latex gloves used for?

Latex gloves have a superior dexterity, stretch and tactile sensitivity compared to other disposable gloves.  Because of this, latex gloves are often used in healthcare, laboratories and dental environments.  

Are latex gloves food safe?

Latex gloves are not recommended for use when handling food or cooking.   This is due to the potential for latex gloves to cause an allergic reaction for some people.  Alternative food safe disposable glove options include vinyl gloves, nitrile gloves and poly gloves.  

What do latex gloves protect against?

  • Waterproof
  • Detergents
  • Alcohols
  • Biohazards
  • Viruses
  • Bacteria
  • Bodily Fluids

Are latex gloves chemical resistant?

Latex gloves are not resistant to chemicals.  Nitrile gloves are recommended for use when handling chemicals.     

Can latex gloves cause an allergic reaction?

Yes, latex gloves can cause an allergic reaction.  The most common reaction is dry, itchy irritated areas on the skin.  Most latex-caused allergic reactions are mild, however some can be severe including asthma attack, hives, breathing difficulty and anaphylactic shock.  

When should latex gloves be changed?

Disposable latex gloves should be changed at least every two hours.  For medical applications, gloves should be changed between every patient or procedure.  Gloves should also be changed when transitioning from one type of task to another.  

Are latex gloves waterproof?

Yes, latex gloves are waterproof.  

Are latex gloves recyclable?

Latex gloves are recyclable as long as they are not being used with hazardous materials or bacteria.  It is recommended that latex gloves be recycled according to local recycling standards.  Latex gloves are mostly biodegradable as they are primarily made from natural latex material.   

Do latex gloves conduct electricity?

Gloves made from natural latex rubber are inherently static insulative.   This means they hold onto a charge and release it in an uncontrolled manner, which can lead to damage.  Rubber gloves should not be used as protection against electric shock.    

Why do latex gloves turn yellow?

Latex gloves can become discolored, typically in either shades of yellow or brown.  This can be caused due to a number of factors, including natural skin oils, reactions with acids in sweat and heat.  Prolonged UV light exposure will also cause glove discoloration.

Do latex glove leave fingerprints?

Although latex gloves are non-porous, they can leave fingerprints on surfaces.  The thinner the glove, the higher the likelihood that fingerprints will be left on a touched surface.  

Do latex glove work on touchscreens?

Most disposable latex gloves will work on touchscreen devices.  Some touchscreens may not be sensitive enough however, to work when wearing gloves.

Where can I buy latex gloves?

SupplyLand offers a range of disposable latex gloves in various colors and sizes.  Shop now.   

The information contained in this article is for informational, educations and promotional purposes only and is based on information available as of the initial date of publication.  It is the reader’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable laws, rules, codes and regulations.  If there is any question or doubt in regard to any element contained in this article, please consult a licensed professional.  Under no circumstances will SupplyLand be liable for any loss or damage caused by your reliance on this article.