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.

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.

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

HealthySole: What, Why and Where?

For any problem, there are usually multiple solutions and people looking to improve upon those solutions by building a better mousetrap. When it comes to dealing with harmful organisms like germs and pathogens, existing solutions such as shoe covers and chemical baths may be less than ideal. For example, chemical baths need to be cleaned/maintained and can result in safety hazards with liquids being tracked around the facility. Enter HealthySole, a better mousetrap indeed!

What is HealthySole?

HS-Plus-2THealthySole is the missing solution to a truly disinfected environment. It is a groundbreaking active UVC light sanitizer that reduces contamination and infectious organisms with virtually no workflow interruption, monetary cost to operate or additional staff. HealthySole is the first clinically proven UVC product to kill up to 99.9% of exposed germs and pathogens, which can cause contamination and infections such as hospital acquired infections (HAIs), in only eight (8) seconds. In addition, it is a green technology that disinfects without harmful chemicals.

Why use HealthySole?

img-straight-onThis revolutionary product is essential in the reduction of spreading all pathogens that travel on the soles of footwear and cause contamination and infections. By adding HealthySole to an existing infection control program (such as booties or dedicated shoes), the facility will decrease the overall microbial load starting with shoe and floor contamination. Further, it will add a significant active layer of defense that reduces the rate of airborne, horizontal and cross contamination and does not incur additional labor costs. Lowering the overall microbial burden in a healthcare facility can lead to a decrease in HAIs. Facilities that have positive performance standards by lowering HAIs will reduce the additional treatment cost that is otherwise passed to them, shorten length of stay for patients, and save lives.

HealthySole could also allow you to replace messy chemical baths, thereby eliminating safety issues involved with people slipping on the liquids that are tracked around the facility.

Where would you use HealthySole?

HealthySole was originally invented and designed for hospitals and other medical facilities. In addition to hospitals, industries that could use HealthySole include food processing, laboratory animal research, etc. Bottom line, you can use HealthySole almost anywhere you are concerned about controlling dangerous microorganisms.

Automatic Shoe Cover Dispensers and Removers: Models Comparison

Disposable shoe cover dispensers and removers increase efficiency and productivity, promote safety, and improve compliance and cleanliness. Shoe Inn’s automatic shoe cover dispensers and removers can be simply and easily incorporated into virtually any workplace routine.

Shoe Inn Shoe Cover Dispensers

Shoe Inn’s line of automatic shoe cover dispensers offers a game changing way to increase efficiency/productivity and cut down on workplace injuries. Using a Shoe Inn automatic shoe cover dispenser is at least FOUR TIMES FASTER than putting shoe covers Stay-fusion-combo375-300dpion manually. This significantly shorter gowning time equals increased efficiency that translates to increased productivity, meaning you are not wasting money paying your employees to put on shoe covers but instead are paying them in their work environment where they are being productive. Cumulatively, these small time saving increments add up to big savings for your business! On the safety side, eliminate issues with people potentially falling down while hopping around on one foot – what we call the “bootie hop,” which is a worker’s comp claim waiting to happen – or losing their balance while leaning against a wall to apply shoe covers. It is also worth noting that using automatic shoe cover dispensers increases health and sanitation compliance by facilitating hands-free, contamination-free shoe cover application.

Shoe Inn Stay

The Shoe Inn Stay is designed for medium to high volume usage areas where safety compliance is critical thanks to its built in handlebar. People can easily apply a pair of shoe covers in 5-10 seconds. One Shoe Inn Stay can cover up to 110 pairs of shoes at a time and requires no electricity, so it can be easily deployed at any suitable location.

Shoe Inn Fusion

The Shoe Inn Fusion is perfect for low to medium volume usage. Though it is almost the same footprint on the ground as the Shoe Inn Stay, the Fusion works in some tighter areas since it doesn’t have the vertical component and is also easier to transport. Users can easily apply a pair of shoe covers in 5-10 seconds. One Shoe Inn Fusion can cover up to 55 pairs of shoes at a time and requires no electricity, so it can be easily deployed at any suitable location.

Shoe Inn Shoe Cover Removers

ASCR-33-shoe -cover-remover-hires-croppedUse of hands-free automatic shoe cover removers is the final piece to any health and safety routine in the workplace. Designed to prevent cross contamination, Shoe Inn offers two shoe cover remover options for safe, efficient, and sanitary removal of disposable shoe covers.

 

ASCR-33

Designed for medium to high volume applications, the ASCR-33 features a 33-gallon storage canister that holds 600-plus used shoe covers (depending on the type of shoe cover).

ASCR-10

Intended for low to medium volume uses, the ASCR-10 comes with a 10-gallon canister that holds 100 or more used shoe covers (depending on the type of bootie).

Automatically Apply and Remove Shoe Covers

If your business hasn’t started using automatic shoe cover dispensers and removers, it isn’t running as efficiently, cleanly, and safely as possible. Please contact Shoe Inn so we can help you to find a specific solution to fit your company’s particular needs. Contact us for a quote or demo and to learn more about how Shoe Inn’s automatic shoe cover system can benefit your business.

Shoe Covers in Specific Industries: Food

Cleanliness is vital in the food manufacturing/processing industry (growers, processing plants, etc.) in order to prevent contamination and avoid negative food safeiStock_000013166962Smallty headlines. Along with thorough hygiene practices and sanitation, wearing personal protective equipment such as gloves, beard covers, hairnets, and shoe covers can make a significant difference in reducing food contamination. Here are a few reasons why Shoe Inn shoe covers are crucial in preventing food contamination and the overall food industry:

  • Decreasing Outside Contamination

Tracking outside contaminants into clean environments on the bottoms of shoes is a iStock_000019685054XSmallpotential health hazard in the food industry. New shoe covers are clean and will keep any outside contaminants contained inside the covers, thereby preventing them from being introduced into food products.

Just as it is important to not introduce outside contaminants into the sanitary environment where food is processed/handled, it’s equally important to ensure nothing from the shoe covers gets left behind. Fortunately, the clips on Shoe Inn shoe covers have been designed so that they remain in place during application, wear, and removal.

  • Increasing Safety

Spills happen in the food industry and can be a significant safety hazard in terms of slipsunlucky carefree business man silhouette and falls. Some shoe covers are liquid proof and include non-skid/anti-slip coatings, helping to decrease slipping incidents and thereby promote safety.

Bottom line, shoe covers are an important piece of an overall food safety program and can also improve workplace safety in the food industry.