Person wearing black nitrile gloves and slicing a tomatoperson wearing black widow nitrile gloves and slicing a tomato

Everything You Need to Know About Nitrile Gloves

What are Nitrile Gloves?

person pulling on a blue nitrile glove

Nitrile disposable gloves are the go-to option across many industries and stand as vital guardians of safety and hygiene for personal use, small businesses and huge corporations.

Best known for being the best alternative to latex gloves, since they are comfortable, stretchy, puncture resistant, and latex-free. With resistance against many harsh chemicals and durability against potential hazards,  the robust protection of nitrile gloves for those hands-on tasks in local workshops and businesses.

What are Nitrile Gloves made of?

Nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic rubber known as nitrile. To get technical, it's a copolymer derived from acrylonitrile and butadiene. This combination results in a durable, resilient material that provides a high level of resistance to many common chemicals which makes it an ideal choice for several industries.

A great alternative to latex gloves, latex-free nitrile gloves are also form-fitting to provide superior grip and prevent gloves from falling off while in use. Nitrile gloves can be made in many colors, so they can be used for color coding to add additional safety in the workplace.

How are Nitrile Gloves made?

The manufacturing process of nitrile gloves involves 4 key steps.

  1. Initially, the raw nitrile material is mixed and compounded, undergoing a polymerization process to create the glove's base.
  2. The mixture is then processed through a series of molds to form the desired glove shape.
  3. The gloves then undergo vulcanization, a step that enhances their strength and elasticity.
  4. The gloves are thoroughly cleaned to remove any residual chemicals and are subjected to quality control measures to ensure they meet stringent standards.

Advantages of Nitrile Gloves

Nitrile gloves have many advantages over other materials like latex and vinyl, here's a quick overview of the top qualities of nitrile gloves:

Characteristic Description
Latex-Free Being latex-free, nitrile gloves cater to individuals with latex allergies, ensuring inclusivity in various professional and medical settings.
Puncture Resistance Nitrile exhibits remarkable puncture resistance, providing a reliable barrier against sharp objects and potential workplace hazards.
Durability Known for their durability, nitrile gloves have a longer lifespan compared to other disposable glove options, contributing to cost-effectiveness.
Tactile Sensitivity Despite their durability, nitrile gloves maintain excellent tactile sensitivity, allowing users to perform intricate tasks with precision and ease.
Versatility Nitrile gloves work across several industries, including healthcare, automotive, food service, janitorial and manufacturing.
Powder-Free Our Nitrile gloves are all powder free which helps avoid cross-contamination in medical and food service settings.
Color Coding Blue Nitrile Gloves are the most common option, but nitrile comes in many different colors. Perfect for color coding in various industries, enhancing organization and reducing the risk of cross-contamination. To learn more about color coding check out our color coding blog post.

Are Nitrile Gloves latex-free?

They are! Latex vs Nitrile Gloves is a widely debated topic, and the fact is that nitrile gloves are the most common replacement for latex gloves. Unlike disposable latex gloves, which are derived from natural rubber, nitrile gloves are made from a synthetic rubber compound, minimizing the risk of allergic reactions.

Latex allergies are increasingly common and can manifest as skin irritation, respiratory symptoms, or, in more severe cases, anaphylaxis. It's especially important to make sure you have nitrile gloves on hand at medical facilities, not only for your staff but for any patients who come in with latex sensitivities and allergies.

Are Nitrile Gloves safe for Medical Use?

Nurse wearing purple grape grip nitrile gloves and caring for a patient

Nitrile exam gloves are widely seen as the most popular option for medical gloves, due partly because of the above-mentioned latex-free feature. This along with their durability, comfort and protection make them a perfect choice for hospitals, dentists, doctor's offices, nursing homes and more. It's important to note that not all nitrile gloves are medical grade - so you need to make sure you select an option that's labeled as either exam grade or medical grade before using them for medical care.

Are Nitrile Gloves Food Safe?

Yes! Nitrile gloves are safe for food handling and all of our gloves are FDA approved for food contact, so you can use nitrile gloves for food prep and for cooking. The comfort and durability of nitrile gloves makes them a versatile option for everything from food prep, cooking and serving. Nitrile gloves hold up really well to oils, fats and greases which even makes them a good option for prepping poultry and fish.

Are Nitrile Gloves Chemical Resistant?

One of the biggest perks of Nitrile gloves is that they have a strong resistance to many common chemicals including oils, acids, bases and many solvents. This resistance is important to provide protection on the job for many jobs including mechanics, pest control, manufacturing, lab work and healthcare. Check out our Chemical Resistance Chart for a more detailed look specific chemicals, and how they hold up against nitrile, vinyl and latex gloves..

How to Choose the best Nitrile Glove for the Job

Nitrile gloves come in a lot of different styles, with different textures, thicknesses, powdered and powder-free. It can be hard to know which glove to choose! Lets take a look at the most important things to consider when making your choice.

Thick vs Thin Nitrile Gloves

Our Nitrile Gloves selection has options as thin as 2.5 mils up to a thick 6 mils. With such a big range it can be tough to choose. The rule of thumb is the heavier duty the task - the thicker glove you should pick for optimal protection, but lets break down the pros and cons in a bit more detail:

Aspect Thick Nitrile Gloves Thin Nitrile Gloves
Durability High, suitable for heavy-duty tasks Moderate, won't hold up to harsh conditions as well.
Tactile Sensitivity Reduced due to thickness. High, ideal for tasks requiring precision.
Protection Excellent protection against hazards. Slightly less protection in comparison.
Comfort Less comfortable for extended wear. More comfortable, better for prolonged use.
Applications Ideal for industrial and high-risk settings. Suitable for medical, laboratory, and delicate tasks.

Powdered vs Powder Free Nitrile Gloves

person wearing black nitrile gloves and prepping burgers

Nitrile gloves typically come in two key styles - powdered nitrile gloves and powder-free nitrile gloves. The main benefit of powdered nitrile gloves is that the powder reduces friction, which makes them easier to pull on, especially if your hands are damp or sweaty. However powdered gloves can cause cross-contamination and are banned for medical use in the US. All of our nitrile gloves are powder-free, which is the more widely popular option. Powder-free nitrile gloves reduce the chance for powder-related allergic reactions, and ensure a clean work space with no cross-contamination, especially when prepping food and dealing with possible food allergens. 

Textured Nitrile Gloves

Textured gloves are designed to have a slightly raised surface to provide additional grip. Sometimes the glove will have a small barely visible texture on the entire glove, and others will have texture just on the fingers. We recommend using textured gloves for tasks where grip is a priority. Anything where it's important to be precise such as lab work, manufacturing, and detailed art work.  Essentially textured nitrile gloves are for you if you need an added layer of confidence and control for tasks that need precision. 

We have Bulk Nitrile Gloves for every use

Nitrile gloves stand as versatile and indispensable tools across a myriad of industries, embodying a balance of durability, flexibility, and chemical resistance. So, whether you're a chef, nurse, mechanic or industrial worker, nitrile gloves have got you covered, making sure you stay safe and do your job well. From an enhanced grip, to food safe, to medical grade we've got you covered!

Check out our selection of Nitrile Gloves
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