Nitrile Gloves for Cleaning

  • 5 minute read
  • 6 May, 2020
  • Donald Gillespie

Nitrile gloves are used for a wide variety of applications and are one of the most popular types of disposable rubber gloves. They’re particularly popular in cleaning, thanks to their levels of resistance to chemicals and other hazardous materials. 

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Unigloves has been making gloves to protect hands from chemicals used in cleaning for over 30 years. According to the HSE and PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) guidelines, all measures to avoid risk, contamination and injury should be taken before gloves are made a part of the equation. But of course, in cleaning, contact with chemicals is virtually unavoidable.

Our aim has always been to create a glove which protects users involved in cleaning from the chemicals they come into contact with, making their jobs safer, but also easier to do and more comfortable. Here, we take a look at why nitrile gloves are a superior glove for both domestic and industrial cleaning and help you to choose the right glove for your application.

Disposable nitrile gloves being worn by a professional cleaner who is wiping down a worktop.

What are nitrile gloves?

Disposable nitrile gloves have been used for decades in many different applications, from medical examinations to automotive manufacturing, food processing, cleaning, and more. Their synthetic formulation, free from natural rubber latex, is resistant to a range of chemicals and oils, which is why they’re often preferred over other glove materials such as latex rubber and vinyl gloves. Natural latex gloves, as opposed to synthetic materials like nitrile, can also cause reactions in those who suffer from latex allergies, which is another of the reasons many workplaces choose nitrile as their preferred glove material.

Nitrile gloves are formulated to provide a higher level of abrasion and puncture resistance than latex or vinyl gloves, making them an excellent choice for workplaces where hazardous materials are a factor. The majority of disposable nitrile gloves from Unigloves are medical grade, meaning that they are tested and approved for use in non-surgical, medical applications.

Nitrile gloves for cleaning

Chemicals regularly used in both industrial and domestic cleaning can be broken down into four categories: Detergents, degreasers, abrasives and acids.

Nitrile gloves being used by an automotive worker cleaning down a car bonnet/hood.

These are the most common form of cleaning agent used in both domestic and industrial cleaning situations. They break up oil and dirt, making it easy to wash away. Most detergents are made from petroleum products and aren’t particularly harmful to the skin. However, prolonged contact can dry and irritate hands and arms and so, suitable gloves should be worn.

Degreasers: Degreasers are a powerful oil-removing agent often used for heavy-duty cleaning to remove grease, grime, dirt and oil from hard surfaces. Often referred to as solvents, degreasers are often spirit-based (using methylated spirits, for example), can be irritating or harmful to the skin, and can degrade natural materials like latex on contact.

Abrasives: As the name suggests, abrasive cleaning agents depend on abrasion to perform their function. Abrasive cleaning agents can be damaging to work surfaces and equipment, as well as the skin, and should be used with care. Strong, abrasion-resistant gloves should be used when handling abrasives.

Acids: Acids are not only a powerful cleaning agent, but they’re also potentially very harmful to the skin and airways and should be used with great care. These corrosive and potentially poisonous cleaning agents are used in a number of applications, including removal of rust, descaling (dishwashers and kitchen equipment), breaking down stubborn materials, bleaching, and more. Acid-resistant gloves should always be worn when using acid cleaning agents. 

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Coming into contact with cleaning agents without the proper protective gloves can mean irritated, red and sore skin, and even result in the development of rashes or dermatitis. More serious effects can include burns and scarring, or at worst, poisoning. Protective gloves should always be worn when coming into contact with cleaning agents and choosing the right glove for the task is imperative.

Nitrile gloves protect hands against a range of chemicals including acids, oil-based chemicals, solvents, detergents, and abrasives, making them a fantastic disposable glove for most cleaning applications and often superior to their latex or vinyl counterparts. (Consult our recent article, What do Nitrile Gloves Protect Against, for more information on the chemical resistance of nitrile gloves.)

Choosing the right nitrile gloves for cleaning

Cleaning means regularly coming into contact with a range of chemicals, abrasive materials, and other potentially hazardous material. This is especially true for industrial cleaning roles. Selecting the best nitrile glove for cleaning applications means not only ensuring that the hands are protected against the materials they will come into contact with, but that the gloves themselves are comfortable to wear and easy to use. Below, we’ve outlined two of our most popular nitrile gloves for cleaning, to help you select the best glove for your workplace.

Choosing the right nitrile gloves for cleaning is very important. Here a cleaner is using nitrile cloves that are abrasion and chemical resistant as she uses a scouring pad to clean a work surface.


Our Pearl range offers 15 different colours, to allow for colour-coding to reduce cross-contamination in any work environment. These medical-grade, medium weight nitrile gloves are resistant to a range of chemicals and tested to EN374, making them the perfect glove for cleaning. Their textured finish offers a superior grip, while the beaded cuffs allow for easy donning and removal as well as providing an added barrier to protect liquids from rolling beyond the wrist and onto the arms. Powder-free and form-fitting, these gloves are comfortable to wear, free from latex, and suitable for general cleaning tasks.


The PRO.TECT range is a heavy-duty and ultra-heavy duty range of gloves offering our highest level of protection. Suitable in fields where acidic materials are used, such as automotive, manufacturing, construction, and janitorial roles, the PRO.TECT range is a favourite in industrial cleaning applications. The range has been independently tested for chemical permeation by SATRA, leaders in PPE certification in testing. They are silicone-free, latex-free, offer greater puncture resistance, and come fitted with beaded cuffs and textured palms and fingertips for superior protection, grip, and workability which are useful qualities when more heavy-duty cleaning is required.

For over three decades, Unigloves has been developing and manufacturing superior disposable nitrile gloves tailored to suit the unique needs and hazards faced by the cleaning industry. We understand that protecting workers is your number one priority, which is why we’ve developed a complete range of nitrile gloves for cleaning, to offer a solution for every cleaning job, environment, and user need. For greater comfort, protection and ease of use, browse our full range of nitrile gloves today.

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