Do you know there was a right and wrong way to remove disposable gloves? According to the CDC, there are 6 steps to remove a disposable glove that help to keep your hands safe.
There is a different glove for every situation. The purpose of disposable gloves, such as nitrile or latex, is to create a temporary barrier between your skin and potential external threats. To maintain that barrier, you should never touch the outside of the gloves with your bare hands. So properly removing gloves is crucial. Take the seven-step approach to safe de-gloving. This method is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Red Cross.
Do gloves protect me from infection?
The coronavirus spreads through droplets in the air. The primary way it enters the respiratory tract is when people inhale droplets that carry the virus. A smaller proportion of cases happen when someone touches a contaminated surface and then touches their face.
Gloves provide a physical barrier between your hands and your shopping cart, your car steering wheel, door handles, and other common touchpoints. But ultimately, gloves don’t provide full protection against the virus.
If you touch your face with a contaminated gloved hand, it’s possible that the virus can enter your respiratory tract. You can also get infected by failing to properly remove your gloves.
If germs are stuck to the gloves after you’ve gone grocery shopping and you transfer germs to your steering wheel or door handle and then your face, you can get infected.
However, gloves do keep your hands clean. For many people, disposable gloves provide a sense of security. If you don’t touch your face and you practice proper glove removal, and you discard your gloves in the garbage, then there is no harm in wearing gloves.
Types of disposable gloves
There are three main types of disposable gloves on the market. Nitrile, latex, and vinyl all offer different benefits like puncture resistance, protection, flexibility, cost, and materials that are free of allergens. Check out the differences below.
Nitrile gloves are the strongest of the three types of disposable gloves. With superior puncture resistance, they are made of synthetic rubber and are also known as medical-grade gloves. Nitrile gloves are latex-free which makes them a safe choice for people with latex allergies.
Latex gloves are another popular choice of disposable gloves for medical or industrial use. Made of rubber, they are considered more comfortable and provide better dexterity than nitrile gloves, but are not as strong as nitrile.
Vinyl gloves are often used in the food and beverage industry and when protection is not the main priority. Vinyl gloves are a less expensive option, have a looser fit, and are good for low-risk, short-term tasks.
A step-by-step guide to removing your gloves
Remove one glove at a time. Start by taking your non-dominant hand and pinching the outside of the glove at the wrist of your dominant hand.
Stretch the glove away from your body and pull it inside out and off. Continue to grasp the now-removed glove with your non-dominant hand.
Bunch up the glove in the palm of your still-gloved hand. Take care to not touch it with your bare hand. Close your fingers in a fist around the glove.
Slide two fingers under the edge of the remaining glove at your inner wrist, not touching the outside.
Using your two fingers as a hook, pull the remaining glove inside-out and off your hand, capturing the first glove inside. You should now have a little pocket containing the first glove.
Safely dispose of the soiled gloves. Single-use gloves should not be re-worn. If you’ve been disinfecting your home, they can go in the trash. Some municipalities ask for them to be double-bagged if you’ve been handling chemicals or cleaning bodily fluids, so check your local waste management regulations.
Disposable gloves are most effective when combined with proper hand hygiene, so always thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after removing gloves. Find out the hand washing mistakes everyone makes.