Nitrile gloves are currently the most popular type of gloves used in different industries for diverse purposes, from household food handling to healthcare. They are easily the people's choice because of their added comfort, protection, and nonallergic properties.
Although labeled as disposable, nitrile gloves can be used more than once. They can be rewashed and reused for a while before throwing them away. A large fraction of nitrile gloves users know that and leverage its reusability as often as they can.
That said, how long do nitrile gloves last? Since we have established that nitrile gloves can be reused, you may be curious about when it is ideal to dispose of them too.
Fortunately, we have all the answers in this quick read. Read through to learn about nitrile gloves' longevity and the criteria for determining when to bin them.
Factors Affecting How Long Nitrile Gloves Last
Your nitrile gloves are called disposable for a reason- the materials used to make them cannot last for an extended period. Originally, they were labeled single-use, but nitrile gloves are now being washed and reused due to their shortage in supply and increased price.
So, how long do nitrile gloves last? It depends on several factors, which we have listed below;
How Hard You are on Them
How you handle your nitrile gloves is a major determinant of how long they will last. For instance, if you don't know the correct way to wash nitrile gloves, they may last for a shorter time due to exposure to harsh substances and conditions. Also, the way you wear, and remove the nitrile gloves and what you use them for will determine how long they can last.
How you use your nitrile gloves generally will tell on their longevity. Since they are not made for extreme and continuous usage, going hard on them will shorten their lives. But, if you use nitrile gloves for minor chores, like housekeeping, food handling, and others, they may last much longer than using them for hard jobs.
Whether or Not They’ve Been Contaminated
A very common reason we use nitrile gloves, especially in sensitive industries and places like homes and healthcare, is to avoid contamination. Now, while handling things that are already contaminated with nitrile gloves, they become exposed to the contaminants too. As a result, it would not be hygienic or safe to use such gloves to handle other things.
Such contaminated gloves should be thrown away immediately after use as they are unsafe to use and may affect people or objects around them. The best thing to do is to shut them in a plastic bag and dispose of them responsibly to avoid exposing others to the contaminants.
The Quality of the Gloves in Question
As you know, there are different nitrile gloves brands in the market. That means the quality of the nitrile gloves available will differ from brand to brand. Buying a substandard nitrile glove automatically means it will not last the intended period. Such gloves will probably tear or lose their protective ability faster than a quality product.
That is because the material quality, processing, and finishing are different per brand product. That is why we often advise people to buy the best quality nitrile gloves from reputable sources, like ours. They will last longer than products made with flimsy materials and poorly processed.
The Expiry Date
Most nitrile gloves manufacturers add an expiry date to their products. They do that so you can still enjoy the protective ability of the gloves and use them in optimum condition. Now, most nitrile gloves spend some time on the shelf before they are used. If nitrile gloves with a 5 years expiry date spend above that time on the shelf, chances are they may already be weak before usage.
Sometimes, when nitrile gloves expire, they may still be in a fair condition despite the expiration. That usually happens when the gloves are made with quality material. However, substandard gloves become weak even before the set expiration and may tear upon usage.
The bottom line is the expiration date on your nitrile glove sometimes determines the product's strength. The closer it is to expiration, the more likely it is weak. That means the gloves may not last long before slacking or tearing.
So, How Long do Nitrile Gloves Last Before Needing to be Thrown Out?
Now that you know the factors contributing to their longevity, how long do nitrile gloves last?
As stated earlier, the longevity of a pair of nitrile gloves depends on factors like its quality, storage, expiration date, condition of use, tears, and more. One pair of nitrile gloves may last only one day, while another from the same pack may last a week.
However, when used properly within the pre-expiration date, your nitrile gloves can last between 1 to 5 days on average. Some people even use their nitrile gloves for up to one week because of light usage.
When you don't really use your nitrile gloves or only use them lightly, they are likely to last longer than those used extensively. Also, when you store the nitrile gloves appropriately, it contributes to their longevity.
In the end, you just have to check for signs to know when your nitrile gloves should be binned. Some of the questions to ask are;
- Are there tears in the gloves?
- What is the expiration date of your nitrile gloves?
- What did you use your gloves to handle?
- How did you wash the gloves?
- Do the nitrile gloves still fit properly?
The questions above will help you when checking whether to throw your gloves away or not.
Now that we have answered your main question, you may also want to know how nitrile gloves compare to other materials in terms of longevity. See the answer to that in the next section.
How Does the Nitrile Glove Longevity Compare to Other Materials?
After nitrile gloves, vinyl and latex are the next most used disposable gloves in different industries. The latter is also a good glove choice, but people choose nitrile gloves despite their expensive prices because they are more durable and protective.
Nitrile gloves generally have an average shelf life of 5 years. Some last up to 7 years, depending on how they are stored and their raw materials. Vinyl gloves also have about the same shelf life as Nitrile gloves. They also last for about five years when properly stored.
Lastly, latex gloves last for a shorter time than nitrile gloves. They only have an average life of 3 years with proper storage. That is mainly because latex material is not as strong as nitrile gloves. You can find out other differences between nitrile and latex gloves in our comprehensive comparison article.
How to Make Your Nitrile Gloves Last Longer: Tips and Tricks
As we stated earlier, nitrile gloves can last between one to seven days, depending on how they are handled or their material and finishing. Some don't even last for up to 24 hours and require immediate binning due to some reasons.
Do you want your nitrile gloves to last longer? Here are a few tips and tricks to promote the longevity of your nitrile gloves;
- Always store your gloves properly away from heat and moisture to avoid weakening them.
- Never tear the seal of your glove pack unless you are ready to use them.
- Wash your nitrile gloves appropriately. There are different approaches to washing the disposable and reusable nitrile glove types.
- Whether used or unused, your disposable nitrile gloves should be stored in a cool, dark, and dry place to prevent degradation.
- Do not remove your nitrile gloves carelessly after use to prevent tears.
- Buy only the best quality nitrile gloves for durability and effectiveness.
Looking for Safe, High-Quality, Long-Lasting Nitrile Gloves?
Visit Primo Dental Products to buy nitrile gloves online for the best quality products. Our nitrile gloves are long-lasting, comfy, and have low allergy risks. You can use them whether you are a housekeeper, maintenance worker, or healthcare provider.
Primo Dental Products is your one-stop PPE shop for certified and health-approved medical products. Explore our store now to get the highest quality products at competitive prices.
How Long do Nitrile Gloves Last? Wrapping Things Up
We're glad you read through our article on how long nitrile gloves last. Here's the key takeaway from the whole write-up;
- The longevity of nitrile gloves depends on their usage, quality, storage, expiration date, and other factors.
- Nitrile gloves have an average shelf life of 5 years.
- There is really no set time for how long nitrile gloves can last after purchase.
- When you store your gloves properly and use them appropriately, they have a higher chance of lasting long.
- Buying quality nitrile gloves is a major determinant of how long they will last.
Did you find our article helpful? Explore our site for other useful articles on nitrile gloves other PPE to keep yourself, your patients/customers, and your employees safe!