Disinfecting kills germs on the surfaces of gloves, and if more thorough cleaning is required, sterilization could be recommended.

How to disinfect gloves?


Ansell experts have prepared the following advice for those considering how to clean or ‘cleanse’ PPE for reuse. These guidelines were developed after considering the impact on the PPE performance and protective abilities of various cleaning methods.

To protect the integrity and performance of PPE products, it is important to follow the correct steps associated with different cleansing methods. Below are the four types of cleansing methods in order of effectiveness.

Sterilizing ⇒ Disinfecting ⇒ Sanitizing ⇒ Cleaning/ Laundering


Sterilizing is the bombardment of gamma radiation or Ethylene oxide (EtO) gas to kill organic matter by breaking down bacterial DNA, inhibiting bacterial replication.

This process requires an irradiation chamber/access to EtO gas. It is important to note that PPE made from materials incompatible with gamma / EtO will lose mechanical and chemical properties. Repeated sterility is not a viable method of cleaning as sterility assurance cannot be guaranteed, and multiple exposures to gamma radiation or EtO gas will destroy the product.


Disinfecting kills germs on surfaces or objects. Disinfecting works by using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces or objects.

This process does not necessarily clean dirty surfaces, but by killing germs on a surface after cleaning, it can further lower the risk of spreading infection. The method requires disinfecting agents containing chemicals such as sodium hypochlorite or hydrogen peroxide. Reduction of up to 99.9% of microbial contamination can be seen from the surface of the PPE. The associated risks include degradation or visible changes of the PPE, as well as rapid drying, such as tumble drying, which may compromise the protective properties of the PPE.


Sanitizing lowers the number of germs on surfaces or objects to a safe level, as judged by public health standards or requirements.

This process works by either cleaning surfaces or objects to lower the risk of spreading infection. For sanitizing method, ensure it is performed in a ventilated area far away from a flame or spark as alcohol is flammable.

Cleaning/ Laundering

Cleaning removes germs, dirt, and impurities from surfaces or objects.

Cleaning works by using soap (or detergent) and water to physically remove germs from the surface. Regular warm and soapy water is the only thing required for this method. This method cleans surface dirt only and moves germs from or around the surface of the PPE. It can be challenging to ensure all surfaces of garments are correctly washed, which is why a thorough inspection is vital.

Discover PDF on how to sanitize reusable mechanical PPE


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