How to Eliminate the Smell From Rubber Gloves

Pair of yellow rubber gloves, view from above.
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People wear rubber gloves for two main reasons. They can protect your hands from smells, substances, and temperatures that wouldn't be healthy for them. They can also keep your skin soft and wrinkle-free. Rubber gloves really do a great job achieving both of those goals, 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 are available and these can 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 can be another person's stink.

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. If disposables are an option, you can buy them inexpensively in bulk. Grab a pair, use them, and toss them, and the smell won't be an issue!

Go With Latex-Free Gloves

There are a number of latex-free gloves on the market as well. Many are 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 will, of course, 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.

This method isn't foolproof, but it 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 have skin that is sensitive to baking soda. Though you probably won't 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're done using the gloves. Then, before you go to put them back on, tap out any excess baking soda. You'll get the advantage of the 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 your favorite 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 it 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 won't smell like the gloves. This isn't a great idea for gloves lined with cotton or foam but is a quick trick to use with unlined gloves. It can really help reduce the smell.