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Sterimax supplies disposable gloves in bulk, helping healthcare facilities, food processors, manufacturers, procurement agencies and other industries reduce the risks associated with global sourcing.
We offer a wide range of disposable gloves, including vinyl, nitrile, and latex in powdered and powder-free varieties.
On request, we can also specify the right disposable gloves per use case, helping you assure the health and safety of your end-users.
Disposable gloves – a quick guide
Disposable gloves protect the wearer from harmful substances, prevent cross-contamination and protect against infection. They are essential in medicine and healthcare, food processing, cosmetics, forensics and many other industries.
There are three main types of disposable gloves – nitrile, latex, and vinyl. Nitrile is a synthetic, allergy-safe substitute for latex in all applications, with greater chemical resistance. Latex gloves are cheaper and more flexible, and vinyl gloves are the thickest, with a loose fit most suited to food processing.
You can also get powdered nitrile and latex gloves. Powdered gloves use corn starch as a donning agent, helping hands slip into the gloves. However, the powder is a contaminant for materials and surfaces it comes into contact with, so powdered gloves are only recommended for specific applications.
The right disposable glove depends on what end-users will do with them. For medicine, healthcare and scientific applications, nitrile is the best type. For food processing, engineering and general labour, vinyl is best. Latex is a cheaper alternative to nitrile, but latex is an allergen, so it is not suitable for everyone.
You might also notice that nitrile gloves are available in different colours; this does not necessarily mean enhanced chemical resistance, strength, etc. Refer to the specification sheet if you require nitrile gloves with special properties. Get in touch with us, and we’ll recommend the right product for your requirements.
The “best” material depends on the application: • Vinyl gloves are the thickest gloves, resistant to water, oils, greases and fats, but they have low chemical resistance and are loose-fitting. Vinyl gloves are best for engineering and food processing applications. • Nitrile gloves are a hypoallergenic alternative to latex for scientific and medical applications. Nitrile is strong, flexible, tear-resistant, inert to common chemicals and suitable for use in all industries. • Latex gloves are a natural alternative to nitrile; latex is an allergen, but they are suitable for medical applications if the end-user has no allergy to latex. Latex gloves are a bit thinner and offer better mobility.
Nitrile is a surgical-grade material; nitrile gloves are available sterile and non-sterile, in various thicknesses, and in different colours. Nitrile is best-suited to environments with a high risk of hazardous substances, infection and disease. Vinyl is a thick, strong plastic most suited to low-risk environments, like food processing, mechanics and general protection. Vinyl gloves are inexpensive, tear-resistant, loose-fitting and offer limited protection from chemicals. Which is best? Nitrile is superior to vinyl, but it is not always necessary. Vinyl is cheaper and more than suited to general applications.
Powdered gloves have a type of corn starch acting as a donning agent, which also helps to manage sweat and improve overall comfort. However, the powder can contaminate materials and surfaces it comes into contact with. Powder-free gloves have no donning agent, so they can be difficult for the user to slip on if they have sweaty hands. However, there is no risk of cross-contamination, so powder-free gloves are the industry standard in healthcare and medicine.
Disposable gloves are used for short-term protection against chemicals, oils, greases, and biohazards, including infection, cross-contamination and abrasion. However, the level of protection depends on the type of disposable glove. All disposable gloves are single-use only, so they should be thrown away following use. Surgical-grade nitrile gloves are designed to be worn all day, while you can use general nitrile and latex gloves for a few hours. Do not use disposable gloves to handle concentrated acids, caustics and chemicals, and they can also degrade when exposed to concentrated vapours. When handling high-risk substances, always use graded chemical handling gloves.
Sterimax is proud to supply disposable PPE and hygiene products to multinational food, manufacturing, and healthcare companies. Our established supply chain removes risks associated with global procurement, helping companies meet demand at volume with great customer service for a seamless experience.
We are one of the UK’s leading suppliers of disposable gloves, disposable PPE, face masks, wet wipes and sanitising sprays and hand gels. We only stock CE marked and approved products that meet industry requirements.
We invite you to browse our collection if you know what products you need. If you require advice before buying, please contact us for help. We are here to assist in any way we can, delivering a quality service from start to finish.