What Glove Materials Resist Chemicals Best?

Looking for the best glove material to protect your hands from harsh chemicals? Look no further! We’ve got the scoop on which materials resist chemicals best.

What are gloves made of?

There are a variety of glove materials available on the market, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. The three most common glove materials are latex, nitrile, and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Latex gloves are made of natural rubber and offer good resistance to many chemicals. They are also very elastic and provide a good fit. However, latex gloves can cause allergic reactions in some people and are not recommended for use with strong acids or bases.

Nitrile gloves are made of synthetic rubber and offer excellent resistance to various chemicals, including strong acids and bases. They also provide good elasticity and a snug fit. However, nitrile gloves can cause skin irritation in some people.

PVC gloves are made of polyvinyl chloride and offer good resistance to many chemicals, including acids and bases. PVC gloves also provide good elasticity and a snug fit. However, PVC gloves can cause skin irritation in some people.

What chemicals do gloves need to resist?

There are three primary categories of chemicals gloves might encounter:

  1. Organic solvents like alcohols, ketones, and oils
  2. Inorganic acids and bases
  3. Chlorinated solvents

Each type of chemical will require a different glove material to provide adequate resistance.

How do different glove materials stack up against each other?

There are a variety of glove materials on the market, each with its own unique properties. It can be tough to know which material is best for your needs, so we’ve put together a quick guide to help you choose. The three most popular glove materials are latex, nitrile, and vinyl. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to resistance to chemicals.

Latex gloves are the most commonly used type of glove in the healthcare industry. They provide excellent barrier protection against viruses and bacteria, and they’re also relatively comfortable to wear. However, latex gloves are not recommended for use with certain chemicals, as they can cause skin irritation or allergic reactions in some people.

Nitrile gloves are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to latex gloves. They’re made from synthetic rubber that is more resistant to chemicals than latex, making them a good choice for use in situations where you might be exposed to harmful substances. Nitrile rubber also provides good resistance to oil and grease degradation.

Nitrile gloves are also more comfortable to wear than latex gloves, and they’re less likely to cause skin irritation. However, they are not completely impervious to chemicals, so it’s still important to choose the right type of glove for the job.

Vinyl gloves are the least popular type of glove among healthcare professionals, but they have some advantages over latex and nitrile gloves. Vinyl gloves are cheaper than both latex and nitrile gloves, making them a good choice for budget-conscious consumers. They’re also more resistant to some chemicals than latex or nitrile gloves, although not all. Vinyl gloves also provide moderate resistance to oil and grease degradation. However, vinyl gloves can be more difficult to put on and take off than other types of gloves, and they tend to tear more easily.

Other glove materials provide protection in the following ways:

  • Butyl rubber provides good resistance to both acids and bases.
  • Natural latex provides good resistance to acids but not bases.
  • Neoprene provides good impermeability.
  • Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) provides good impermeability but can cause skin irritation.

Nitrile rubber, PVC, and neoprene are all good choices for gloves that will be in contact with chemicals. Natural rubber is not as resistant to chemicals as synthetic materials, but can still provide some protection. Leather gloves offer the least protection against chemicals and should only be used when other materials are not an option.

If you are working with hazardous liquids or vapors, you will need a glove material that is impermeable. That is, the glove material should not allow liquids or vapors to pass through it. Finally, if you are working with light oils or greases, you will need a glove material that is resistant to oil and grease degradation.

How do you choose the right glove material for your needs?

Several glove materials on the market provide good resistance to chemicals. However, the glove material that is best for your needs depends on the type of chemicals you will be using, as well as the duration and frequency of your exposure. For example, if you are working with strong acids or bases, you will need a glove material that is resistant to both acids and bases.

What are some common applications for gloves?

There are many industries and applications where workers need protection from chemicals. Some of these include:

  • Agriculture
  • Janitorial
  • Foodservice
  • Hairdressing
  • Painting
  • Printing
  • Auto body repair

Are there any special considerations to keep in mind when using gloves?

There are a few special considerations to keep in mind when using gloves:

  • Make sure the gloves fit snugly so that chemicals cannot seep through gaps in the material
  • Avoid using gloves made from materials that can be easily penetrated by chemicals (such as latex)
  • Be aware that some chemicals can actually cause the glove material to degrade, so check the manufacturer’s recommendations before using.

How do you care for your gloves?

It is important to select the appropriate glove material for the chemical resistance needed for your application and to follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for glove care. Some general information is provided below.

  • You should inspect your gloves before each use.
  • Look for cracks, holes, or other signs of wear and tear.
  • If you find any damage, replace the gloves.
  • After each use, clean your gloves with soap and water. This will remove any dangerous chemicals that may be on the gloves.
  • Be sure to rinse the gloves thoroughly.
  • Hang them up to dry in a well-ventilated area out of direct sunlight.
  • You should also store your gloves in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when you are not using them. Do not store your gloves near chemicals, heat sources, or sharp objects as this could damage the gloves.

In Closing

There are many materials that can resist chemicals, but which one is best for the glove you need depends on the chemicals you will be exposed to. Make sure to check with the glove manufacturer’s SDS to see which chemicals the gloves can protect you from before wearing them.

NEXT UP: Chemical Resistant Gloves: Protection Levels

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James Sylvester
About James Sylvester

James S. Sylvester is an experienced OSHA Safety Supervisor with years of experience in the construction and oil & gas industries. He focuses on workplace safety, occupational health and safety systems. Learn more about James' here or connect with him on Twitter