When to Replace Chemical Resistant Gloves

Many jobs that require the handling of hazardous chemical also warrant the use of high-quality, chemical resistant gloves.  Safety Gear Online is a leading source to find protective wear for your hands, such as PVC gloves, industrial latex gloves and nitrile gloves for any number of applications.


Certainly, you know your protocols and the ideal glove for chemical handling as it pertains to your industry. However, even the best chemical resistant gloves available have their limitations and must be replaced. When operations require many sets of gloves, this can be a costly consideration. How do you know when to retire gloves, keeping employee safety and budget at the fore?


  • If substances can pass through the chemical resistant gloves on a molecular level, this is called permeation. Permeation is often referred to as the “silent killer” and warrants glove replacement immediately.
  • When there is damage, such as pinholes or tears, it is evident that harmful chemicals can reach skin and also indicates a need for immediate replacement.
  • If the material of the glove begins to feel less resistant, it is likely that degradation, or physical breakdown, of the material has occurred or is occurring. Replace as soon as possible.
  • If appropriate glove removal or placement is not followed, gloves can be contaminated. Some may need to be replaced, and others may need decontamination.

Check For:

  • Brittleness in the materials
  • Chemical smells that remain after washing
  • Integrity of the glove—external materials and linings

When a glove doesn’t measure up, it’s time to retire. There is no cost that is comparable to worker safety.


In order to retain the integrity of your gloves, you’ll want to ensure that all workers know how to properly care for their chemical resistant gloves. You’ll want to have periodic meetings in which you discuss proper wear, cleaning, removal, and storage, as well as post these guidelines in a location that all employees can access. For companies that have people working with chemicals regularly, you may want to have individual, written copies of the guidelines provided.


Shop SafetyGear Online for chemical resistant gloves and everything else you need for worker safety.