Reasons To Wear Rubber Gloves That Will Shock & Surprise You

Reasons To Wear Rubber Gloves That Will Shock & Surprise You

Rubber gloves - do people really still use those ugly old things? Often shunned as a cleaning 'accessory' that mums used to wear back in the 70s, there was actually a method to their madness. These women were - as mothers often are - completely right to be wearing them.

Not convinced by your mother's wise wisdom alone? Here are five reasons to buy yourself a pair of retro Marigold rubber gloves for all your own cleaning needs.

Why you need to wear rubber gloves

1. Rubber Gloves create a barrier for your skin

rubber glove and hand
Protect those hands!

While your aunt may gloat about her own, hard-wearing asbestos hands, they actually aren't something she should be bragging about. Our skin is meant to be delicate, soft and smooth. Continually exposing it to harsh conditions over the years will soon turn our hands into quite the opposite.

Most of us are in such a hurry to get our cleaning done, that we don't stop to consider the impact all those chemicals have on our skin. Think of your strongest cleaning product: it melts away grime, limescale and anything else without any effort on your part at all. Now think about it doing exactly the same to your skin cells - not a pleasant thought, is it?

Whilst the effects can't often be seen instantly, over time, they can cause significant damage. Wearing a pair of rubber gloves when doing hard cleaning tasks will provide a barrier for your hands, keeping them protected from all those nasties.

2. The rubber increases your grip

Arguably the best and most versatile cleaning product in the world, Fairy liquid, can also be the most troublesome as far as slipping is concerned.

Whether you're cleaning dishes, the toilet, or even sweeping, a pair of Marigold rubber gloves will provide you with a better grip to tackle the task in-hand with ease. And what does a better grip mean? Fuss-free, no-messing cleaning so you can get the job done quicker and move onto other activities.

3. A more pleasant cleaning experience

Dusting and hoovering are relatively harmless cleaning jobs, but the bathroom and kitchen? There are some real nasties hiding in there.

The grime we find round plug holes and the grease that's slicked across our hob is far from pleasant. In fact, on particularly 'dirty' weeks, it's enough to turn your tummy. Well, while it's necessary to get rid of the stuff, take comfort in the fact that you needn't come into direct content with the dirt around your home.

A pair of rubber gloves will mean you can clean your home confidently, and finishing the job without feeling like you could do with a good scrub, as well as your sink.

4. Protect your manicure

manicured hands and rubber gloves
Keep your nails sparkling!

Just because we spend half our lives cleaning, it doesn't mean we have to look like we spend half our lives cleaning.

Most of us feel good with a fresh lick of varnish over our nails, but it often doesn't last long when cleaning is part of the equation. Just a five-minute bathroom scrub will leave your gorgeous, red manicure chipped to smithereens, and you less than pleased as a result.

Get into the habit of popping on a pair of rubber gloves before you start your clean, and you'll be able to keep even the most elaborate of nail art in check. They'll also help protect your cuticles and the nail surface, so that your hands will look pretty au-natural too. No more nail destruction for you, just healthier, happier nails!

5. Prevent nasty infections

Gunk and grime are pretty nasty, we all know that. However, what we often don't think about is what that dirt actually is: a build-up of dirt, nastiness, germs, and what do germs lead to? Infections and illness.

Sounds much more serious than a chipped nail, does it? As you'll be coming into direct contact with germy surfaces when you're cleaning, a pair of gloves seems like the obvious (but often forgotten) way to go. Make sure you're protected from germs and opt to always wear your gloves before tackling cleaning jobs.

When you should wear rubber gloves

Ok, so we've covered why you should wear your gloves, now it's time to turn our attention to when you should wear them. While some jobs are too quick to warrant gloves, and others really not requiring the extra protection, there are some household tasks you should certainly be using your gloves for:

1. Washing dishes

washing dishes
Get your clean on!

It's obvious, but there's more to it than keeping your hands dry. The rubbery, easy-grip texture not only prevents your tens of glasses after a heavy wine session from slipping from your grasp, but if you do happen to break one, the barrier will help protect you from any cuts.

We all know that washing your dishes in piping hot water is beneficial, working magic to lift dirt and kill off lingering germs. However, hot water is uncomfortable, and for good reason! It's your skin trying to tell you that you're causing damage.

Leave a pair of rubber gloves under the sink and get into the habit of wearing them during every wash, whether it's just a few plates or a banquet's worth.

2. Scrubbing toilets

The chemicals in your toilet cleaner are some of the most abrasive of them all - how do you think they get such gleaming results? The chlorine combined with acids forms toxic chlorine gas, which can cause severe burns on the skin.

Keep a pair of rubber gloves in your cleaning kit so you give yourself no excuses to not wear them. Your skin will thank you for it.

3. Oven cleaning

Oven cleaning products often contain chlorine and ammonia or ammonia and lye which are highly irritable to the skin. Add to this the impact of hard-wearing, abrasive cleaning tools used to remove stubborn dirt and grime on the skin and it's no surprise your hands feel dry and sore after an oven-clean.

Look after your oven and your skin, and be sure to wear gloves when scrubbing away.

4. Cleaning up pet mess

Pets may be cute, but my gosh they create a mess! From rabbit pens to cat litter trays, cleaning your little friend's home definitely isn't the nicest job in the world.

Pulling on a pair of Marigolds before you get stuck in will help make this task significantly more bearable, and will prevent you having to wash your hands half a dozen times to remove the stench, too.

Miscellaneous benefits of rubber gloves

rubber gloves in packet
The most important item in your cleaning kit.

Hopefully, this insightful article has thus far been convincing enough to get you to invest in a pair of good, old-fashioned rubber gloves. However, if you're still not convinced, don't you worry, as I'm not giving up yet.

Here are 10 miscellaneous uses for your new favourite cleaning accessory:

  1. Dying hair: no need to worry about unsightly, brown stains.
  2. Opening jars: the grip will make you feel like you have superwoman strength.
  3. Rubber bands: cut your rubber gloves into strips to make super durable, extra-strength elastic bands.
  4. Sorting recyclables: protect your hands from sharp metal and broken glass
  5. Turning paperwork: get flicking through that stash much quicker.
  6. Remove pet hair: slide your hand over hairy surfaces to lift any debris from your moulting friend.
  7. Mixing cookie dough: forget sticky fingers, wear a pair of rubber gloves.
  8. Vase 'placemats': prevent your vases from budging an inch - cut your rubber gloves into circular vase mats and place underneath.
  9. Pull poison ivy: speed up your gardening process with super-strength grip and protect your hands whilst you're at it.
  10. Needlework: the extra grip will make pulling your needle through thick fabric easy peasy.

The moral of the story? Your mother is always right - at least, in the case of rubber glove-wearing!

I hope you enjoyed my insight to the world of rubber gloves. Do you wear gloves when cleaning or do you prefer to go glove-free? Comment below and let me know!

Stephanie C


Lover of all things fashion & foodie...I look to satisfy my tastes without obliterating my budget. Wannabe interior designer, I'm an avid cushion cover maker and charity shop hunter.

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  1. Author Susie Keen on September 28, 2016 at 11:57 pm

    I have an extra tip. Always keep a spare pair for when you have visitors so at least one of them they can help with the washing up!

    1. Author Stephanie C on September 30, 2016 at 1:09 pm

      Haha! Best.Tip.Ever. Thanks, Susie Keen?

  2. Author Jane on October 6, 2016 at 9:07 am

    I am neither shocked nor surprised

  3. Author Lucy P on October 11, 2016 at 11:13 am

    You don't have to buy the Marigold brand as there are cheaper shops own brands that are just as good (usually). Also don't be afraid to wash your hands with soap and warm water as often as possible to eliminate any germs that may have got on your skin.

    1. Author Stephanie C on March 9, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Hi Lucy. You're absolutely right, there are many other brands that are just as good. :)

  4. Author Edith Calman on January 14, 2017 at 3:59 pm

    I'm a Marigold devotee but I wish you could buy them singly rather than in pairs. Being right-handed, like most people, I go through far more rights than lefts. I like the flock-lined ones, so turning them inside-out doesn't work. (Though your rubber-band suggestion might come in useful for when I'm wondering what to do with all the friendless left-hand ones...)

    1. Author Stephanie C on January 23, 2017 at 3:38 pm

      Hi Edith. This is SO true! Why don't you email them and let them know? Brand are often really grateful for the feedback and willing to make changes to help customers out ?

    2. Author Nancy on February 26, 2019 at 5:13 pm

      I turn the extra left hand ones inside out to use them on my right hand.

    3. Author Joanne A on February 26, 2019 at 5:22 pm

      That's a fabulous idea, Nancy!

  5. Author Rosemary Kerr on May 14, 2017 at 6:44 pm

    How long do you use them before throwing them out

    1. Author Stephanie C on May 15, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Hi Rosemary. Providing you ensure the gloves are dried out before storing, you should be able to keep them for a long time. If the material appears thin in areas or becomes turn, it's time to get a new pair. I hope this helps :)

    2. Author Diana on October 1, 2018 at 11:16 am

      It also depends on how often you wash the gloves & which products you use. I have 2 colors, one for kitchen & one for bath. I use bleach to clean the loo’s then toss in washing machine after every use so they wear out much faster

    3. Author Joanne A on October 3, 2018 at 10:37 am

      Having a couple of pairs for different rooms is a great idea!

  6. Author Kaththee on June 30, 2017 at 12:24 am

    The only shock and surprise is that anyone would assert that a protective gloves are somehow a associated with the 70s anymore than any other decade, or that they could come or go out of style. I buy protective gloves in bulk so I am never without. What is surprising and shocking is how great task gloves can be for household jobs. I used them to make the bed, fold laundry and when I open and close drapes or other handle expensive household textiles. Like the rubber gloves I buy task gloves in bulk as well.

    1. Author Stephanie C on July 3, 2017 at 9:58 am

      Hi Kathy. Your uses sound very interesting indeed - thanks for sharing :)

  7. Author Kylie Dotts on August 8, 2017 at 3:06 pm

    I didn't realize that having a good pair of work gloves could do as much as help you get a better grip on jars! Personally, I had always seen gloves as simply an implementation used when you didn't want to get your hands dirty or needed protection when doing something that you could get hurt. It makes total sense that they could be used to get a better grip on something. Unfortunately, we don't have any gloves like this nearby so I'll have to look at buying them online.

    1. Author Stephanie C on August 21, 2017 at 10:08 am

      Hi Kylie. Thanks a lot for your comment. I find them particularly useful in the kitchen when washing up - they prevent glasses from slipping through my fingers etc. Good luck in your search finding some! :)

    2. Author Patricia Farr on November 3, 2019 at 5:58 pm

      Placing a rubber band round the lid of a jar also helps to get a better grip.

    3. Author Joanne A on November 4, 2019 at 11:15 am

      Great idea!

  8. Author Loraine Flanaghan on September 18, 2017 at 7:05 am

    hi hope someone can help or tell me why its happening now after all the years of protecting and looking after my hand .Always used the best ones always washed them inside and out with antibacterial wash after use and let them dry before using them but from no where my hands have just started shedding skin like a lizard and mean like a lizard .There is layers and layers like i have come out of a zombie movie. .Been a hairdresser for 35 years never had a skin issue ever ..Don't hairdress now due to going blind in one eye after laser eye surgery which was a disaster gone wrong .So if any one any ideas why I leave trails of skin wherever I go or do .very desperate now house wife.

    1. Author Stephanie C on September 19, 2017 at 12:50 pm

      Hi Loraine. You could have had a reaction to a new product. Have you recently started using something new? Probably best to get checked out at the doctor's for this one.

  9. Author Annie Vazquez on November 21, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    I always use gloves for cleaning, cooking, and gardening. I have the rubber ones from Playtex for dishes and cleaning, and I keep a pair in my kitchen and a separate pair in each bathroom. Sysco High Performance Nitrile Gloves for cooking. Gardening gloves from Home Depot or Lowes for gardening. I've been wearing gloves since I was a teenager. My MILF would always tell me that only young single girls should wear gloves and I would tell her that everyone should wear gloves it doesn't matter how old you are chemicals are bad for your skin and I clean better with gloves I don't have to be cleaning carefully afraid of hurting my hands. My MILF' S hands look very bad she's never taken care of her hands and her hands and nails look awful.

    1. Author Kyla Hick on April 2, 2019 at 5:56 pm

      I agree with you Annie. I always wear gloves for cleaning, cooking and gardening too. I do household and RV(recreational vehicle) cleaning for a living. I use the rubber ones from playtex or Mr. Clean for the bathroom, a set of playtex or Mr. Clean rubber gloves for the kitchen. A couple boxes of long cuff disposable exam gloves for miscellaneous tasks, I.e cooking in the kitchen, cleaning job the backyard, hair care and other tasks. I also have a box of cotton gloves to use as liners for the exam gloves. I don't like having the idea of what hands come into contact with. I highly recommend using them at any age.

    2. Author Joanne A on April 3, 2019 at 12:58 pm

      I've never heard someone suggest that gloves have an age range - how bizarre! Thanks for sharing.

  10. Author Annie Vazquez on November 21, 2017 at 2:18 pm

    I always use gloves for cleaning, cooking, and gardening. I have the rubber ones from Playtex for dishes and cleaning, and I keep a pair in my kitchen and a separate pair in each bathroom. Sysco High Performance Nitrile Gloves for cooking. Gardening gloves from Home Depot or Lowes for gardening. I've been wearing gloves since I was a teenager. My MIL would always tell me that only young single girls should wear gloves and I would tell her that everyone should wear gloves it doesn't matter how old you are chemicals are bad for your skin and I clean better with gloves I don't have to be cleaning carefully afraid of hurting my hands. My MIL' S hands look very bad she's never taken care of her hands and her hands and nails look awful.

    1. Author Stephanie C on November 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

      Hi Annie. Wow, it sounds like you're a rubber-glove pro! I agree that wearing gloves is extremely important. My skin can be very sensitive and doesn't deal at all well with chemicals. Thanks for sharing :)

  11. Author Neil on November 29, 2017 at 5:02 am

    it all depends what gloves you could buy that will last you the longest, like the yellow ones like the store brands they are mainly good for a one week the most, one glove do try to get is the casabella waterstop or mr clean bliss the mr clean bliss gloves won't leave your hands with that latex smell and they are strong!!!

    1. Author Stephanie C on November 29, 2017 at 5:30 pm

      Hi Neil. I do agree with you. I have bought a few pair of Marigolds recently and they have not been good at all! Perhaps next time I will try some of your recommendations. Thanks for the tips! :)

  12. Author Anne on March 29, 2018 at 9:58 am

    I have a reason NOT to wear rubber gloves. I was wearing a pair of red rubber gloves and trying to take a light stain from my white trousers with a bleach solution. I now have a red stain on my trousers. Help! how do I get it out?

    1. Author Stephanie C on April 16, 2018 at 10:16 am

      Hi Anne, Ooops! This sounds very unfortunate. Bleach is so powerful, and it sounds like it brought the colour out of the gloves and transferred it onto your trousers. This is almost impossible to resolve - you could try using bleach again to remove the dye, but there's no knowing if it will be a success. Sorry I can't be of more help!

  13. Author Sophie on August 15, 2018 at 5:58 am

    Is there something you would suggest to hold the arm holes down so water doesn't seep in?

    1. Author Joanne A on August 15, 2018 at 12:58 pm

      Hi Sophie! You could try rubber bands, hair elastics or pieces of ribbon tied around the opening? Just be careful not to cut off your circulation!

  14. Author Sue on December 16, 2018 at 9:53 pm

    You mentioned mixing cakes, but you should only use food safe gloves for preparing food. Many people have latex allergies and the latex can get into the food. Sue

    1. Author Joanne A on December 17, 2018 at 9:43 am

      Hi Sue! Yes, we do mean food-safe gloves for this. This article combines a few different types of gloves.

  15. Author Kyla hick on February 6, 2019 at 11:42 pm

    I always wear gloves for anything from cleaning the bathroom to cooking in the kitchen. I I have two sets of reusable glovea in the bathroom(white Mr. Clean Bliss for the toilet amd yellow playtex living hands for the shower.) Have a big box of long cuffed exam gloves in the kitchen to mox meatloaf or another sticky/messy task and I also usw thw exam gloves for yard work too. One tip is to always to get tje gloves in bulk

    1. Author Joanne A on February 7, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Thanks for sharing, Kyla!

  16. Author Sarah on September 17, 2019 at 9:50 am

    Are rubber gloves sustainable? Do they biodegrade or like everything else will they end up in landfill and take 100’s of years to rot away. Why not ditch all the cleaning products we don’t need and use more natural methods that won’t cause irritation to our skin? Usually I like your ideas but this one is just consumer driven.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 17, 2019 at 2:52 pm

      Hi Sarah! That's a great idea, too. We have an article about homemade cleaning products - these won't irritate your skin as much as commercial cleaners and are much kinder to the environment. Alternatively, you can buy biodegradable gloves that can be cut up and added to your compost.

  17. Author Patricia Brown on September 17, 2019 at 2:10 pm

    I also use them when decorating , stops me from leaving paintmarks if I have to answer the phone or answer the door

    1. Author Joanne A on September 17, 2019 at 2:48 pm

      That's a great idea! I always end up with paint splatters all over my hands from the roller brush.

  18. Author Jason Peterson on December 30, 2019 at 1:58 pm

    I have started wearing gloves since I discovered degreasing chemicals that do wonders in the kitchen, and the potency of ordinary acetic acid. It is a strange feeling being able to immerse hands in a bowl of lye or toilet. Just working with a wet dust cloth or cleaning vegetables for prolonged periods of time is enough to upset the hands, especially in winter. Cuts just never heal with routine washing. I'm surprised that anyone would think of gloves as a fashion item from 70s. I'm quite impressed with Nitrile gloves besides the usually cited reasons (chemical compatibility with mineral oils). Nitrile has a stiff surface that is easy to rinse off after use. While lateх does give "grip" while washing dishes, I have dropped items more frequently while using gloves, and also can't tell if an item is still greasy or has detergent on it. I need to smell it and use excessive water. Sometimes washed items have residue with rubber marks.

  19. Author Jason Peterson on December 30, 2019 at 2:21 pm

    A downside of Nitrile is that the glove doesn't envelop my hand as tightly, and feels like 1 unit bigger in size. I use M/7 size, but also L for when I need to slip into and out of the gloves frequently to pick someting up with clean hands. I can only use M with Nitrile. Latex can also develop cracks, usually betwen fingers, and holes that are not obvious. Liquid entering a glove is also not clearly felt since hands usualy sweat and feel cold inside gloves. A pierced latex glove can still provide some protection while working with low moisture. Nitrile tears more easily and obviously.

  20. Author Margaret on February 28, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Hello Stephanie, the getting rid of pet hairs is moulting and not malting, you put malt in the mixture to make beer, hope you do not ind me telling you, you may remember for next time, have a nice day

    1. Author Joanne A on February 28, 2020 at 4:36 pm

      Good spot, Margaret! I have now updated the post.

  21. Author Joseph Thompson on March 1, 2020 at 3:17 pm

    If you put an elastic band around your soap dispenser, you'll use less when washing your hands, or should I say the Kids Will lol

    1. Author Joanne A on March 5, 2020 at 3:38 pm

      Great idea! Thanks for sharing.

  22. Author Jayne Adams on March 3, 2020 at 10:39 am

    I am a devotee of Marigolds and use them all the time for washing up and all cleaning tasks. My skin would soon erupt if I didn’t wear them. I find Marigolds last for ages and particularly like the fact that they have a rolled edge around the wrist area which stops water running up your arm! I make sure a new pair are packed when I go on a self catering holiday - just can’t be without them!

    1. Author Joanne A on March 5, 2020 at 3:27 pm

      I love Marigolds too! Other gloves just don't compare.

  23. Author Michael Coffey on March 19, 2020 at 10:23 pm

    I am a carer for my wife, but at 72 I do not think that my hands can get any better with all the chores I do, but your very good article was great. I do wear rubbers to paint, but after a life I had, I think it is a bit late now! But thanks for the info. I hope the youngsters heed your good word, it is true what you said!

    1. Author Joanne A on March 24, 2020 at 4:43 pm

      Thanks for the lovely feedback, Michael! Wishing all the best for you and your wife.

  24. Author Isabella McTaggart on June 28, 2020 at 2:56 pm

    Always use gloves my mum always used them. Cleaning products these day are more harmful than they were 60 years ago I keep a pair for the kitchen, a pair for bathroom, and a pair for cleaning outside door, I will now add another pair for guests thanks to Susan Keen for the tip

    1. Author Joanne A on June 30, 2020 at 12:28 pm

      Very true, Isabella!

  25. Author Keith on November 4, 2021 at 1:34 pm

    Why don't Marigold - or anyone else for that matter - make XL gloves? It discriminates against men doing the washing-up!

    1. Author Joanne A on October 10, 2022 at 10:27 am

      We're sure you must be able to get XL ones online, though you make a good point.

  26. Author Harry on September 14, 2022 at 10:07 am

    Yes, I wish I used rubber gloves before I got a skin infection but now one of my fingers will never be the same.

    1. Author Joanne A on September 14, 2022 at 3:05 pm

      Sorry to hear that, Harry!

  27. Author Janice Wethers on January 5, 2023 at 3:52 pm

    I use them when wedding in the garden to protect my hands.

    1. Author Joanne A on January 6, 2023 at 11:57 am

      Great idea!

  28. Author Lubos P. on February 27, 2023 at 9:36 am

    Hi. I like to use rubber and latex gloves for many activities. But if I want to help my wife with homework or cooking (here I use disposable latex gloves), wearing the gloves forbids that it is said to be abnormal. They won't allow me to help her in the kitchen if I have them dressed on my hands... :o( I came across your website by chance when I was looking for some interesting things at Your article captivated me mainly with its tips at the end. From my own experience, I can confirm that it is best to work in rubber or latex gloves if they are tightly adhered to the hands. From my own experience, I can confirm that it is best to work in rubber or latex gloves if they are tightly adhered to the hands.

    1. Author Joanne A on March 6, 2023 at 4:10 pm

      Some people may find it unusual to see someone wearing gloves while doing homework or cooking. To avoid discomfort, you could try explaining your preferences, using less conspicuous gloves, or offering to do other tasks that don't involve wearing gloves.

  29. Author Pam on January 26, 2024 at 11:18 am

    In the news at the moment- January 2024, they tell us that you should not wear rubber gloves as bacteria thrives inside the gloves. Now I wear rubber gloves for cleaning anything. Can you enlighten us on this ?

    1. Author Joanne A on April 15, 2024 at 11:16 am

      Thanks for getting in touch! If you're worried about your rubber gloves, wash them thoroughly with soap and water after each use to prevent bacterial growth and allow them to air dry completely. Consider using multiple pairs to rotate and avoid prolonged use to maintain hygiene.


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