Primer on Types of Disposable Gloves

glovesThere are four primary types of disposable gloves: latex, nitrile, neoprene/chloroprene, and vinyl.  What are the different materials and characteristics of these gloves?  Read on to find out.

 

Latex

Latex is a natural rubber sap that is secreted by rubber trees; when their bark is cut, the rubber sap is used to repair and heal the bark. Over the years, scientists have created formulas to achieve disposable gloves with premium strength, elasticity, tactile sensitivity, and durability. Due to the variety of proteins found in natural rubber, some users may experience skin irritation and allergic reactions, which can also affect other people these gloves come in contact with during use.

150-T The natural rubber latex gloves are made from gives them their stretchability. Gloves made from latex are comfortable and will conform to the shape of your hands. Latex gloves are an excellent choice for your comfort and protection needs.

Nitrile

Nitrile butadiene rubber (nitrile for short) is a synthetic rubber that does not contain latex proteins and is generally resistant to oil, fuel, and other chemicals.

151-TNitrile gloves are more puncture resistant and stronger than natural rubber gloves but are not as strong as neoprene. Nitrile gloves are similar to latex gloves and can be a comparable option for those that have latex allergies. Nitrile gloves provide flexible and tactile wear while generally molding well to hands to provide a tight, second skin fit.

Neoprene/Chloroprene

Neoprene/chloroprene is an organic compound and a type of synthetic rubber that, like nitrile, does not contain latex proteins.  These gloves alleviate the potential for adverse reactions associated with proteins in natural rubber latex.152-T

Chloroprene gloves are best known for their resistance to a variety of acids, chemicals, and other harsh substances.  Because they are made from neoprene, they maintain their flexibility even when working with a wide range of temperatures.

 Vinyl

Vinyl gloves are latex-free gloves that come in both thin and thick sizes.  They do not stretch and are less comfortable than latex, but still provide better tactile sensitivity than neoprene.  Vinyl gloves are ideal for quick usage but are not great for working with hazardous materials.

Other Considerations

Another option with some disposable gloves is to purchase them with or without powder, which can make it easier to slip gloves on but isn’t the best choice for all applications.  For example, powdered gloves should not be used in food preparation.

Though disposable gloves are helpful with many different tasks, they are not suited to all kinds of uses, and the materials they are made from are not always biodegradable. While natural rubber latex does degrade, gloves made from man-made materials like vinyl and nitrile take up space in landfills for a very long time.

Another Angle: Reusable Shoe Covers

Not all shoe covers are disposable, at least in the single-use sense (most everything is eventually disposable, right?).  But who uses reusable shoe covers?  What are reusable shoe covers made from?  What are the benefits and drawbacks?

Who uses them?

Reusable shoe covers are recommended for use in the following industries:

  • Tradespeople (carpet cleaners, electricians, cable installers, plumbers, etc.)
  • Home inspectors
  • Deliverymen
  • Contractors
  • Cleaning services
  • Etc.

Basically, if your profession brings you into the homes and businesses of your customers, and you care about differentiating yourself from your competition, taking the extra step in protecting their flooring from tracked in grime and scratching by using shoe covers is important.  However, instead of using standard disposable shoe covers, which are definitely not as durable and which add up in cost each time you put on a new pair, you can use reusable booties.

Shoe Inn’s washable shoe covers are an affordable way to avoid damage and contamination that will likely lead to losing customers. Our reusable shoe covers are the #1 choice among professionals because of our quality materials and affordable pricing, and they are made right here in the USA!

What are they made from?

black and blue with white background for amazonShoe Inn’s reusable shoe covers are constructed with a premium nylon material, which is the same material used to manufacture rugged items like tarps and backpacks. The extremely durable fabric is permanently sealed with a moisture barrier finish, while the sole is made from a rugged, waterproof, non-slip material.

What are the pluses and minuses?

Let’s start with cons.  There aren’t many, but might as well get them out first.

  • Cost more than disposable shoe covers (at least initially)
  • Require care and keeping track of if you want to make them last as long as possible
  • Let us know if you can think of anything else, we can’t

As for the much longer list of pros:

  • Reusable for approximately 6-9 months (ultimately costing MUCH LESS than disposables)
  • Machine washable
  • Range of sizes from small to extra large
  • Anti-skidpsc_3_colors knockout
  • Waterproof
  • Durable
  • Three different color options (blue, black and red)
  • Customizable (embroidered) for branding value
  • Made in the USA

Basically, if you want an economical way to keep moisture in, while providing you with superior traction and peace of mind that you will not be slipping and sliding around or damaging a customer’s floors because of your shoes/boots and anything that might be on them (oil, mud, dirt, etc.), Shoe Inn reusable shoe covers are an excellent option.

A Primer on the Different Types of Shoe Inn Shoe Covers

There are many types of shoe covers available in the marketplace. Shoe Inn has taken most of the standard available shoe cover types and formatted them in cartridges for loading into and dispensing from our Shoe Inn Stay and Shoe Inn Fusion automatic shoe cover dispensers. We have nine different types of shoe covers and multiple color options available in one of the types. Below we discuss each type in terms of what it is made from; its characteristics in terms of traction, waterproofness, durability, and breathability; and when to use it and when to avoid it. Our website includes a helpful comparison chart of seven of the shoe cover types.

Plastic (7PLA-110HC, 1,650 shoe covers/825 pairs per case): Plastic shoe covers are made from a transparent blue polyethylene (PE). They have poor traction, are completely waterproof, and are on the lower end of the durability and breathability spectrums. Consider using these shoe covers when you need a waterproof shoe cover and/or when you are looking for the lowest cost option. Avoid them when you have smooth, slippery flooring.

28g Fabric (7FAB-100HC, 1,500 shoe covers/750 pairs per case): Our thinner fabric shoe covers are made from 28-gram polypropylene (PP). While not as slippery as plastic, their traction is not great. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie at a low cost. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover.

28g Fabric with Traction (7FWT-100HC, 1,500 shoe covers/750 pairs per case): Our thinner fabric shoe covers with traction are made from 28-gram polypropylene (PP) with an industry standard latex traction pattern. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie and traction is a consideration. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover.

40g Fabric (7FAB-80HC, 1,200 shoe covers/600 pairs per case): Our thicker fabric shoe covers are made from 40-gram polypropylene (PP). While not as slippery as plastic, their traction is not great and they are not waterproof. On the plus side, they are more durable than the 28g fabric and have excellent breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a more durable bootie at a relatively low cost. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover.

40g Fabric with Traction (7FWT-80HC, 1,200 shoe covers/600 pairs per case): Our thicker fabric shoe covers with traction are made from 40-gram polypropylene (PP) with an industry standard latex traction pattern. They are not waterproof but are more durable than the 28g fabric and have excellent breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a more durable bootie and traction is a consideration. Avoid them when you need a waterproof shoe cover. Note that we have this type in multiple color options other than the standard blue (currently yellow shoe covers and purple shoe covers), which may be helpful or desirable in certain situations.

Hybrids (7HBD-70HC, 1,050 shoe covers/525 pairs): Our Hybrid shoe covers are made from a base layer of 40-gram polypropylene (PP) with an outer layer, which covers most but not the entire base layer, of cast polyethylene (CPE). With the CPE layer, they are our most durable option and are mostly waterproof. The CPE layer decreases breathability while providing a good level of traction. Consider using this type when durability is critical and waterproofness is a consideration. Avoid them when cost is paramount.

Supers (7SUP-80HC, 1,200 shoe covers/600 pairs per case): Our Super shoe covers are made from a base layer of 30-gram polypropylene (PP) with an outer coating of low-density polyethylene (LDPE). The LDPE coating gives this shoe cover superior anti-skid slip resistance and makes it waterproof. While breathability is at the lower end of the spectrum, the LDPE layer also increases durability. Consider using this type when traction is critical and waterproofness is a consideration. Avoid them when cost is paramount.

28g Fabric with ESD Ribbon (7FAB-100CS-ESD, 3,000 shoe covers/1,500 pairs per case): We also have our thinner 28-gram polypropylene (PP) fabric shoe covers with an ESD (electrostatic discharge) dissipative ribbon with a surface resistance between 3.5 x 107 to 1.0 x 109 ohms. While not as slippery as plastic, their traction is not great. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie that can handle ESD within the specified parameters.

28g Fabric with Traction and ESD Ribbon (7FWT-100CS-ESD, 3,000 shoe covers/1,500 pairs per case): We also have our thinner 28-gram polypropylene (PP) fabric shoe covers with an industry standard traction pattern and an ESD (electrostatic discharge) dissipative ribbon with a surface resistance between 3.5 x 107 to 1.0 x 109 ohms. They are not waterproof and are on the lower end of the durability spectrum. On the plus side, they have the best breathability. Consider using this type when you are looking for a basic bootie with traction and that can handle ESD within the specified parameters.

Hopefully the information above helps you to understand the different types of shoe covers we offer and will help you target in on the type or types that are best for your situation. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us at (877) 595-7463 or info@theshoecovers.com. We can always send samples to help you make your decision as well.

The Shoe Inn Motto: We Make Putting Shoe Covers On And Taking Them Off Faster, Easier, Safer and Cleaner

Shoe covers are ubiquitous. Quite simply, they’re everywhere. In industries ranging from food manufacturing and processing to pharmaceuticals, biotechnology to energy, aerospace to medical devices, and everything in between, disposable shoe covers are used every day to increase workplace safety and reduce contamination. Closer to home, you might literally use them in your home on a daily basis and/or when selling it. Unfortunately, using ordinary shoe covers can be a real chore or even painful, literally and figuratively. At Shoe Inn, our goal is to make the process of putting shoe covers on and taking them off faster, easier, safer and cleaner. How do we do it?

Faster

With our automatic shoe cover dispensers and removers, people can apply or remove shoe covers in about five (5) seconds, which is at least four times (4x) faster than doing the same thing by hand. This means that in the time it takes a person to put on a pair of shoe covers manually, at least four others can put their booties on with a Shoe Inn dispenser (see our Why Shoe Inn? video on the videos page). Implementation of the Shoe Inn system will therefore result in increased efficiency and productivity.

Easier

For some, putting shoe covers on and taking them off by hand is a loathsome or burdensome process. Their objections range from physically oriented (bad backs, bad knees, or being pregnant to name a few) to mere annoyance or inconvenience. But use automatic shoe cover dispensers and removers, which make it so much easier, and those challenges and objections will vanish, thereby increasing happiness and compliance.

Safer

iStock_000020353612LargeWe are not flamingos, and we’re not getting any younger. Instead of bouncing around while attempting to balance on one foot and lifting the other leg, which we refer to as the “bootie hop” (see The Bootie Hop video on our videos page) or a worker’s comp claim waiting to happen, people can safely apply and remove their shoe covers in an ergonomically friendly manner with the Shoe Inn system.  Both the Shoe Inn Stay and the removers include a safety handlebar for extra balance and security.

Cleaner

Open hand raised, Stop Bacteria sign painted, multi purpose conc

Have you ever stopped to consider what is on the bottom of your shoes?  Besides the obvious things you can see, there are the countless little nasties you cannot see.  All of these things walk with us everywhere we go and are brought into areas where they are unwelcome unless shoe covers or other methodology are used. However, it is nearly inevitable that you’re going to touch your shoes while putting shoe covers on manually and thus contaminate your hands. With the Shoe Inn system, problem solved.

Workplace Contamination

Contamination in the workplace can halt production, necessitate expensive product recalls, or require lab experiments to be started over. It is a very real concern, perhaps even a fear, that laboratories, food processing companies, and manufacturers are particularly aware of and have measures in place to minimize or prevent. In this post, we discuss what contamination is, how it can be spread, and what can be done to try to prevent it.

Contamination: what is it?

The definition of contamination is the act of contaminating, or of making something impure or unsuitable by contact with something unclean, poisonous, etc. One of the most publicly visible examples of the effects of contamination is widespread food borne illness leading to hospitalizations and deaths. Negative food safety headlines are the worst nightmare of food processing companies and restaurants. This issue is discussed further in our shoe covers in the food industry blog post.

How is it spread?

istock_000015278265xlargeContamination can be spread through a variety of ways, including through the air (think tiny infectious droplets spread by coughs and sneezes), water, food, touching unclean surfaces, etc. Workers who don’t correctly follow procedures can cause cross-contamination, thereby halting production, having to decontaminate or discard products, needing to clean equipment, and other effects that result in lost time and money.

What can your company do to be safe from contamination?

Open hand raised, Stop Bacteria sign painted, multi purpose concCompanies minimize workplace contamination by developing, implementing, and enforcing proper processes and procedures (including disinfection and cleaning procedures), having necessary infrastructure and equipment, and the like. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is also an important consideration. By wearing shoe covers, hair nets, face masks, beard covers, and gloves, potential contaminants should be kept away from critical areas. The PPE will also help keep the work environment clean and sanitary.

Contamination is a very important matter, but you can lessen the likelihood of it occurring if you know what it is, how it spreads, and what can be done to minimize or prevent it entirely with cross-contamination prevention. Compliance with company processes and procedures is critical, as is having proper infrastructure and equipment, which may include shoe covers, disposable gloves, and sticky mats.

Shoe Covers in Specific Industries: Manufacturing

One of many industries where using shoe covers can be advantageous is the manufacturing industry. Many manufacturing businesses require personnel and visitors to put shoe covers on before entering the manufacturing area or when entering the office space from a dirty manufacturing area. We wrote about this under the header “Dirty business” in another blog post.

unlucky carefree business man silhouette

Shoe covers for workmen can also help with safety and accident prevention. It is important to provide safety for employees and visitors as they go from one surface or area to the next. In manufacturing environments, people may slip, especially on wet or smooth surfaces. While there is only so much any shoe cover can do on wet or oily/greasy surfaces, the anti-slip properties of some of our shoe covers can help reduce slips and related accidents.

So, which shoe covers are best for the manufacturing industry? While all of our shoe covers are used in virtually every industry that uses booties, some are more prevalent than others. Shoe Inn primarily provides protection for manufacturing companies with two different shoe covers. The Hybrid shoe cover has a heavy duty, waterproof outer layer that now covers most of the shoe cover; it is our most durable option. Alternatively, andiStock_000020353612Large especially if traction/slip resistance is a primary consideration, our Super shoe covers have an anti-slip outer layer and are 100% waterproof.

Bottom line, shoe covers for workmen are an important piece of an overall workplace safety program in the manufacturing industry.

GMP and Shoe Inn Products

Good manufacturing practices (GMP) are the practices required in order to conform to the guidelines recommended by agencies that control the authorization and licensing of the manufacture and sale of food and beverages, medical devices, pharmaceutical products, and cosmetics. These guidelines provide minimum requirements that a manufacturer must meet to assure that their products are consistently high in quality, from batch to batch, for their intended use. The main purpose of GMP guidelines is always to prevent harm from occurring to the end user.[1]

GMP covers the entire operation – everything from the materials used to employee personal hygiene. All guidelines follow a few basic principles, one of which is particularly relevant to Shoe Inn products:

  • Manufacturing facilities must maintain a clean and hygienic manufacturing area.

glovesProcedures, like wearing personal protective equipment (PPE), help maintain the clean and hygienic manufacturing area and reduce the risk of contamination. Garments such as smocks, hair nets, beard covers, disposable gloves, and shoe covers are donned beforeAll-shoe-covers-on-shoes-500entering critical environments and manufacturing areas. Oftentimes sticky mats, also known as tacky mats or cleanroom mats, are used in parts of facilities to pull contaminants off the bottom of street shoes prior to entering the gowning area or other sensitive areas. A newer technology that is being employed is the use of a UVC light sanitizing system to kill germs and pathogens on the soles of footwear.

Shoes on sticky mats

When it comes to adhering to GMP protocols, Shoe Inn has a range of products that will definitely help with maintaining clean and hygienic manufacturing areas.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_manufacturing_practice