Sterile latex gloves are often used in healthcare services to prevent the dangerous transmission of microorganisms upon contact. Any invasive procedure requires the use of sterile tissue and gloves to avoid infections. So, it’s recommended that we use sterile gloves manufactured and tested to follow regulations.
Meanwhile, some of us try to sterilize gloves at home for tasks that do not involve many risks of infections. So, in this article, we will go through the science behind sterile gloves and how to sterilize latex gloves using 70% Ethanol solution for those who are curious.
Table of Contents
- What to Prepare
- How to Sterilize Gloves Made of Latex
- Can We Use an Autoclave to Sanitize Disposable Gloves?
- Should I Sanitize Used Latex Gloves for Reuse?
- What is the Sience Behind Glove Sterilization?
What to Prepare
70% Ethanol solution
You will need to prepare a 70% ethanol solution to disinfect latex gloves. For your information, this concentration consists of isopropyl alcohol and water. In this agent, water is a catalyst to denature the vegetative cell membranes’ proteins. This ratio of water and ethanol is perfect for glove sanitizing.
Please know that the concentration of ethanol solution higher than 80% will have lower disinfecting effectiveness. So, we should stick to 70% ethanol concentration as the safe and advisable method of sanitizing pharma settings and gear, including latex gloves.
- A pair of latex gloves
- Clean space and tray to carry the task
- Hand soap
How to Sterilize Gloves Made of Latex
Step 1: Make a 70% Ethanol solution (optional)
If you do not have the solution available, just make it from 100% ethanol and distilled water. It’s easy to measure the volume required, as the ratio is 7: 3. After doing the math, we need a measuring cylinder to pour in the alcohol and water. Then, use a funnel to pour our 70% solution in a clean spray bottle without spilling.
You can skip this step if you already purchase a 70% Ethanol solution for this disinfecting task. If not, watch this video for clear instructions to follow:
Making a 70% Ethanol solution
Step 2: Clean your hands
Use the soap to clean your hands before you sanitize latex gloves. Make sure you wash your fingers and wrist thoroughly and avoid touching any surface before carrying on with the task.
Step 3: Spray the solution
Now, spray the 70% Ethanol solution on the latex gloves lying on the clean tray; use the other hand to turn the gloves as you spray the whole piece. Now, use your hands to turn the glove inside out and carry the same procedure thoroughly.
Step 4: Put on the gloves and start your task
After you sanitize and wear your pair, please do not touch any ground or surface to avoid getting dust and dirt before the task.
Can We Use an Autoclave to Sanitize Disposable Gloves?
Autoclave sterilization is for medical settings and laboratory equipment to eliminate spores and bacterias. We can use this method for nitrile gloves, of course, with wrapping aluminum foil. But, we should not sanitize latex gloves with autoclaving.
Should I Sanitize Used Latex Gloves for Reuse?
No, you should not. Disposable latex gloves are made for use just one time. It might be punctured, scratched, and contaminated beyond repair. So, we should just follow the instructions, discard the used gloves at the right place, and wash our hands carefully. When a new task comes up, it’s time for a new pair.
What is the Sience Behind Glove Sterilization?
Every glove manufacturer has its process of making qualifying sterile gloves for medical or laboratory use. We can go through some essential stages of making sterile work gloves here:
- Aluminum or ceramic molds in hand shape will be washed with hot water and bleach. Then, the molds are coated with a solution of calcium carbonate and calcium nitrate. Therefore, the rubber coagulated will not stick to the molds.
- After preparation, the molds are ready to be dipped in the mixture of latex. Then, the molds spin to eliminate the excess rubber. They are later washed in chlorine and hot water to get rid of the excess chemicals. This step is to ensure the product is safe for allergic people.
- Then, the work gloves will go to the final step of beading to create their cuffs for easy wearing. And they are submitted to testing to meet regulatory requirements.
- The testing includes a pinhole leak test via air and water methods. Then, the gloves will go through a dimension test to ensure a good fit and dexterity. Lastly, they are lined up for a sterility test with intense heat.
Hopefully, you now know how to sterilize latex gloves before use, which is recommended when handling food or healthcare service. Remember to follow the regulations of your work to ensure safety for everyone involved in the duties. For any questions or verdicts, reach out to us via our contact page.
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