We use rubber gloves for all kinds of cleaning tasks, so they can get pretty dirty. As with other cleaning products, it’s necessary to wash rubber gloves, particularly after an especially grubby task.
But what’s the best way to do this? Is it in a washing machine? Let’s find out.
Can You Put Rubber Gloves in the Washing Machine?
Technically, you could put rubber gloves in a washing machine, but it’s definitely not the best way to clean them.
You’d need to put them on a cool and delicate cycle to avoid damaging the rubber. However, this likely wouldn’t clean them properly depending on what you wore them for.
Although synthetic rubber gloves (such as Marigolds) are fairly resilient, it’s the prolonged exposure to water in the washing machine that can damage them. The same is true for other kinds of rubber gloves, such as gardening gloves or surgical gloves.
Also, a washing machine is a wasteful and inconvenient way to wash rubber gloves. After all, it’d involve running a full wash for a few pairs at most, and they don’t take up much room.
How Do You Clean Rubber Gloves?
The best way to clean rubber gloves is by hand. The exact method depends on how dirty they are and whether they’ve got any harsh chemicals on them.
An easy way to give them a quick clean is to simply wear them and go through the process of washing your hands. Use hot water and a few drops of washing up liquid, and the gloves should be clean in no time. You can then just hang them to dry.
Alternatively, if they need disinfecting or a deeper clean, soak them in hot water for an hour or so. Add a bit of laundry detergent or washing up liquid. Rinse the gloves and hang them upright to dry (for example, with a broom handle poked into the glove).
If you plan to soak them, you might need to dry them inside out before rinsing and drying the outside. It might take a bit longer, but giving them two washes and rinses guarantees they’ll be clean and dry on both sides.
Can You Put Rubber Gloves in the Dryer?
As with putting rubber gloves in the washing machine, there’s very little point in putting them in the tumble dryer. You’d need to run them on a very cool cycle, which almost entirely negates the purpose of using a dryer.
Instead, just hang them up and they’ll dry quickly. This could be pegged on a washing line (opening facing down), over a towel rail, or on the side of a sink. Avoid drying them on radiators, as it could damage the rubber.
Rubber gloves are super easy to clean, as you can do it simply by washing your hands with them on. If you’ve been doing something dirty, it’s best to wash them straight away. Not only will it be easier but it also means they’ll be ready next time you need them!
Jacob is a freelance writer based in Wales, where he lives with his partner and two dogs. All his work is fuelled by extensive research and buckets of coffee.