Nitrile Glove Guide

Stauffer's Comprehensive Guide to Nitrile Disposable Gloves


Nitrile disposable gloves have become more prevalent in recent years. When shopping for disposable gloves, it’s best to review all the options so you make the best choice to keep your workers safe and avoid cross-contamination. Read on to learn everything you need to know about nitrile disposable gloves and how they compare to vinyl and latex gloves.

Nitrile is made of acrylonitrile-butadiene rubber, a synthetic type of rubber popular in disposable glove production since the 1990s. They were first marketed toward dentists due to their increased puncture resistance. However, thanks to their greater chemical resistance, mechanics, industrial workers, and tattoo artists have also begun using nitrile gloves.

Below, you can learn about the advantages of nitrile disposable gloves, the difference between nitrile, vinyl, and latex gloves, guidance around reuse and food prep safety, and more.

What are the advantages of wearing nitrile gloves?


Nitrile disposable gloves offer several advantages:

  • Latex-free to avoid allergic reactions
  • Up to 3x more puncture-resistant than latex gloves
  • Superior resistance to chemicals, acids, and oils over natural rubber
  • Powder-free options
  • Chlorinated finish that makes putting the gloves on and taking them off easier, even when hands are wet
  • Enhanced flexibility, ideal for environments where dexterity and sensitivity is needed
  • More stable price because it’s a man-made material
  • Longer shelf life than some others
  • High level of temperature resistance, can withstand a range of −40 to 226 °F without becoming brittle or melting

What is the difference between latex, vinyl, and nitrile gloves?


Comfortable Fit

When nitrile disposable gloves were first introduced to the market, they developed a reputation for poor fit compared to latex gloves. This originates from the early composition of the nitrile material and is no longer true — today’s manufacturers have modified the formula to produce nitrile disposable gloves that fit well and offer dexterity and sensitivity. They can even react to your body temperature and conform for a more natural fit. This is especially important in industries where the hands are covered for long periods of time.

They also offer lower friction, which makes it easy to take the gloves on and off even when your hands are wet — a major benefit for environments that require frequent changing of gloves.

Durable & Puncture Resistant

Nitrile disposable gloves are up to three times more puncture-resistant than latex. That makes it a more suitable material for workers who need durable hand coverings to protect against sharp objects. Puncture holes can also be difficult to see on latex gloves, putting the wearer at risk of hazardous material exposure. Nitrile disposable gloves also have a long shelf life before and during use, making them a more cost-effective choice than others.


Even those who don’t currently have an allergy to latex can develop one, so a non-latex glove material like nitrile can be a safer option for those who need to wear disposable gloves often. Non-latex options can also help protect those around the wearer who may have an allergy.

Chemical Resistant

Vinyl and latex have relatively little chemical resistance, so they aren’t a good choice when working in labs with hazardous chemicals or even just when using household cleaners. However, nitrile can help protect workers from corrosive materials that latex and vinyl can’t protect against.

Are nitrile disposable gloves latex free?


While non-commercial household activities like light cleaning or crafting may permit reuse, nitrile disposable gloves should never be reused when handling bodily fluids, food products, or similar substances in any commercial or professional environment.

Can you reuse nitrile gloves?


While non-commercial household activities like light cleaning or crafting may permit reuse, nitrile disposable gloves should never be reused when handling bodily fluids, food products, or similar substances in any commercial or professional environment.

Is it safe to use nitrile gloves for food preperation?


Nitrile gloves are one of the most ideal types of food-safe disposable gloves. When choosing food prep gloves, you need to pick gloves that protect the food from possible contamination from both employee hands and the gloves themselves. Nitrile is an excellent choice due to the powder-free options, and its durability, puncture resistance, and allergy-safe properties will prevent allergens or chemicals from making it into the food.

Why do nitrile disposable gloves come in so many colors?


Nitrile gloves are typically available in black, purple, or blue. Until recently, the color of a disposable glove indicated whether it was latex-free. Nitrile gloves were usually a shade of blue, while latex gloves were close to natural skin color — but not anymore. Now the color of disposable gloves is not indicative of their quality but rather their function.

Black nitrile gloves are usually preferred by law enforcement and postal workers, especially because it allows law enforcement to distinguish themselves from medical professionals during emergencies.

Orange nitric gloves are preferred by auto mechanics and other environments where a worker is in a dark space. The high-visibility orange color can help them see where their hands are and identify their location to other personnel.

In cleanrooms, contamination is a significant concern, and gloves are just as capable of spreading contaminants as anything. That’s why white cleanroom gloves are the industry standard; contamination is easier to spot visually, and the color serves as a constant reminder for workers to keep things clean. There are, however, some cases where blue is preferred to provide more contrast.

In laboratories, employees must always be vigilant about the possibility of transferring substances from one area of the lab to another, resulting in cross-contamination. Assigning different glove colors to different areas of the lab can help combat this, providing employees with a visual cue that reminds them not to carry their gloves to another more sensitive area of the lab.

Want to know more about nitrile disposable gloves?


Stauffer offers a wide range of disposable nitrile gloves so you can find the perfect fit for your needs. Keep your workers safe with the best option.

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