11 Common Questions About Disposable Gloves

  • For people trying to do all they can to protect themselves from the COVID-19 virus, along with other infectious agents, there may be some confusion about when or if they should wear disposable gloves in non-medical settings. At the start of the pandemic some people thought that wearing disposable gloves in public could provide additional protection and help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.


    Touching virus-contaminated surfaces is not the most common way COVID-19 spreads, but it’s still a risk. Unfortunately, you may increase your risk of self-contamination if you use and dispose of gloves incorrectly. Here are some of the common questions about disposable gloves and their use.


    1. Can gloves protect me from COVID-19?

    The COVID-19 virus usually spreads through infected airborne droplets. Virus-contaminated surfaces are not the primary source of infection. However, people wearing gloves may forget they have them on, touch their face, and self-contaminate. For the public, frequent hand sanitizing and hand washing appear to be more effective protection than gloves.


    2. Should I wear gloves to the grocery store?

    Gloves are unnecessary at the grocery store. Most grocery stores provide cart sanitizer wipes at the entrance, but just in case, bring disinfecting wipes with you to clean the handle of the basket. People tend to develop a false sense of security when wearing gloves and touch everything with the gloves on, contaminating what they touch and spreading the virus further. Wearing a mask while in the store can help prevent you from touching your mouth and nose.


    3. Should I wear gloves at the gas pump?

    Gas pump handles are dirtier than a toilet seat in the gas station bathroom. But gloves still aren’t necessary. In fact, you may increase your risk of self-contamination if you take the gloves off incorrectly or touch your car with the gloves on. Wipe the pump handle with a disinfecting wipe or cover the handle with a paper towel. Always use hand sanitizer after pumping gas.


    4. When should I use disposable gloves?

    In a medical setting or a home care setting, the caregiver should wear disposable gloves whenever there’s a possibility of coming in contact with the sick person’s bodily fluids or waste. A box of nitrile medical gloves should be part of your home first-aid supplies.


    5. Can I wear my rings or long fingernails with gloves on?

    Any sharp edges can cause holes or tiny tears in nitrile and latex disposable gloves. You should remove all jewelry and keep fingernails short and filed smooth if you need to wear disposable gloves.


    6. Is there a special way to take off disposable gloves?

    There is a right way and a wrong way to take off gloves. The right way avoids touching the outside of the glove with your bare hands. Start by pinching up the palm of the first glove to peel it off, turning it inside out as you pull it off your fingers. Hold the removed glove in your gloved hand. Put your finger under the wrist of the second glove and peel the glove from your hand, turning it inside out as you pull it off. Promptly put the used gloves into the trash.


    7. Do I have to wash my hands after taking off disposable gloves?

    Sometimes people mistakenly assume they don’t need to wash their hands because they were wearing gloves. Gloves are not a substitute for frequent, proper handwashing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand sanitizer.


    8. Can I reuse disposable gloves?

    No, you cannot reuse disposable gloves. Putting on used gloves greatly increases your risk of self-contamination. It is almost impossible to put on dirty gloves without touching their outer surface. Even if you feel certain you didn’t contaminate the gloves the last time you used them, there’s still a possibility that the gloves developed invisible tears or holes.


    9.Can I wash disposable gloves?


    Disposable gloves are designed for single use, so they should not be washed in preparation for reuse. Scrubbing the gloves or washing them with soaps and detergents could break down the protective outer layer of the gloves and cause holes and tears.


    10. What are disposable gloves made of?

    Disposable gloves are generally made from one of three materials: nitrile, latex, or vinyl. In one of our other blogs “What’s The Difference Between Nitrile, Latex, and Vinyl Gloves?”, we explore what makes these gloves different from each other, as well as offer guidance into which environments each type is best suited for.


    11. Are there different kinds of gloves for different uses?

    Yes, there are many types of gloves for different markets and applications. Different materials and design choices make certain products better suited for different medical environments.



    When used properly, disposable medical gloves protect against the spread of infection, both in the clinical setting and in the community. Fengwang offers a wide selection of nitrile and latex gloves for a variety of uses. We’re committed to providing healthcare workers and local communities with the high-quality products you need to fight the spread of COVID-19.