Disposable glove wearing, once reserved for the medical community, has become commonplace for all since the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic. Whether you’re wearing gloves while grocery shopping, filling your gas tank, or while visiting a loved one in a senior care facility, selecting the right type of glove is critical for your protection and also for your safety.  


As you search online, you’ll likely encounter food grade/service gloves, industrial quality gloves, medical grade gloves, surgical gloves, or more. What’s the difference? Which is best? Disposable gloves are categorized according to their intended use.  

  • Medical gloves – used in medical settings for non-surgical matters where there is not usually contact with bodily fluids; categorized by the FDA as medical devices and must pass stringent technical tests before use 
  • Surgical gloves – used in medical or healthcare settings where there will likely be contact with bodily fluids; also categorized by the FDA as medical devices 
  • Food Gloves – ideal for food prep and use as well as low risk and light duty tasks; not designed for prolonged use; fall under the FDA’s jurisdiction as they are used within the food industry 
  • Industrial Grade/General Purpose Gloves - made to withstand contact from harsh chemicals, durable and generally used as personal protection or in non-medical settings 


Due to the shortage of PPE in many parts of the country, we recommend saving the medical and surgical grade gloves for healthcare workers on the frontlines. While food grade gloves are more accessible, they are often not as strong, and best left in the kitchen. We recommend an industrial grade, or general purpose nitrile glove as our top choice for everyday tasks, for its durability, accessibility and material composition.  


Nitrile is a form of synthetic rubber that fits and feels like latex, allows for a full range of motion, is puncture resistant, and stronger than a latex glove. In fact, nitrile has a higher puncture resistance than any other glove material. It is also more resistance to chemicals that latex or vinyl gloves, making this material perfect for when you’re cleaning your home. Nitrile is also a fantastic choice for anyone with a latex allergy.  


The CDC recommends wearing gloves when cleaning and when caring for someone that is sick. For parents and caregivers, it’s a great idea to keep a few boxes of gloves in your household for times when children, elderly parents or those you care for fall ill.  

While the latest guidance doesn’t require gloves to be worn when grocery shopping, operating an ATM machine, or while using other frequently touched places in public, our general rule of thumb is that if it makes you feel safe, or helps you resist touching your face, give glove wearing a go.  

Sometimes having gloves on your hands is a nice reminder and a visual cue to help you remember not to touch your face while out in public. Plus, as a PPE product, gloves are easy to take on and off and can easily be carried from place to place. Nitrile gloves are also durable enough to withstand tough cleaning around the house or disinfecting of your home.  


Interested in purchasing nitrile gloves? Click here.