How to Care for Rubber Household Gloves

Keep your gloves in good condition for cleaning in the kitchen and bath

Washing up gloves

The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Wearing rubber gloves for housekeeping and kitchen chores can protect your hands and nails from chemicals and dirt. But what should you be doing to ensure your rubber gloves are kept in good condition for as long as possible?

While they are relatively cheap to replace, it's never a good surprise to discover they have sprung a leak. Just as bad, foul-smelling gloves are a sign that mold and germs have set up shop inside them. You don't want your hands to end up as grubby after using the gloves as they would have been if you hadn't.

Washing dishwashing gloves
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Rinse the Outside of Your Rubber Gloves off Thoroughly

The very substances you want to keep away from your hands are all over the outside of your gloves. Take a few minutes at the end of a chore to rinse them thoroughly. You can do this while you are still wearing them, and avoid water and residue getting on your hands. Let them dry completely. It might be wise to turn them inside out after the outside has dried, allowing both sides to dry out. Moisture inside the gloves can make a yucky mess to put your hands back in for your next job.

Gloves in drawer
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Protect Your Housekeeping Gloves During Storage

Protect your gloves from heat and sunlight when they are being stored. The window sill where full sunlight streams in is not the right place, nor is a hot storage room. No one wants their household gloves to turn into a melted mess. Gloves should also be protected from being punctured, so don't store them with any knives, shears, or other pointy objects. A puncture wound in your gloves can give you a wet surprise the next time you wash dishes.

Gloves over top of a sink faucet
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Use Separate Pairs of Gloves for the Kitchen and Bathroom and Don't Mix Them

It is not a good idea to wash your dishes with the gloves you wear when you scrub the toilet. Choose a different color for each chore, or use disposable gloves for some chores. For example, some people use rubber gloves for washing dishes in the kitchen but use disposable gloves for chores like the bathroom. Find what works for you. Store each pair conveniently where you will be doing the task. If you have multiple bathrooms, you may even want to store a pair in each one. Or, store the gloves with the cleaning supplies separate for each task, perhaps in a small carrying case.

Cleaning with gloves on
The Spruce / Leticia Almeida

Remember to Use Gloves When Doing Household Chores

It may seem like an extra step to put on gloves for your chores, but take that time for yourself to protect your hands. If you dislike bulky gloves, there are many brands with less weight and all the same benefits. Research different types to find a pair that can protect you.