How to Eliminate the Smell From Rubber Gloves

Cleaning table with rubber gloves


Agnieszka Marcinska / EyeEm / Getty Image

Rubber gloves can protect your hands from smells, substances, and temperatures, and they can also keep your skin soft and wrinkle-free. But it seems to defeat the purpose if you walk around for hours afterward smelling like a tire. Fortunately, there are a few options for minimizing and eliminating the smell of rubber gloves.

Choose Scented Gloves

Scented gloves leave your hands smelling of something other than rubber. For example, some gloves come with a vanilla scent while others have a light floral fragrance. Be sure to give these a sniff before you buy, though. One person's idea of a lovely scent may stink to you.

Try Disposable Gloves

While rubber gloves really are essential for some tasks, lightweight disposable gloves may be an option for less messy or dangerous work. You can buy them inexpensively in bulk. Use them and toss them; the smell will not be an issue.

Go With Latex-Free Gloves

Latex-free gloves are mainly made of a product called nitrile, which is described as being tougher than latex, easier to put on, and less smelly. People with skin sensitivities to latex will appreciate the latex-free properties.

Turn Your Gloves Inside Out

If you love your gloves but hate their smell, you may be able to manage the problem quite simply. When you're done using the gloves, turn them inside out. Then put them on again. Wash your hands thoroughly while wearing the inside-out gloves and use an antibacterial soap with a scent you enjoy. Hang the gloves to dry. Although this method is not foolproof, it still can make a big difference.

Use Baking Soda

Baking soda is one of the cheapest and safest deodorizers around. Try sprinkling baking soda inside your gloves before you put them on. Not only will the powder help the gloves and your hands smell fresh, but it will also help the gloves slip on and off your hands more easily.

Some people may have skin that is sensitive to baking soda. Though you probably will not wear the gloves long enough for this to be an issue, you can reduce your exposure. The solution is to add baking soda when you are done using the gloves. Then, before you go to put them back on, tap out any excess baking soda. You will get the advantage of using a natural deodorizer while reducing any possible irritation.

You can also add a few drops of essential oil to your baking soda to ensure you smell terrific once your chores are done. To do this, pour the baking soda into a container, then add essential oil—lavender is a favorite—and mix it in until you eliminate all the clumps. The scented baking soda can be used around your home for various cleaning tasks, leaving your house smelling even fresher.

Apply Lotion

Apply lotion to your hands prior to washing dishes then slip the gloves on. When you finish, your hands will be moisturized and will not smell like the gloves. This is not a great idea for gloves lined with cotton or foam but it's a quick trick to use with unlined gloves. It can really help reduce the smell.