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.

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.

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.

Choosing the Right Shoe Cover

Areas where shoe covers are used vary across industries, but one thing is constant: you have to choose the right disposable shoe cover to meet your needs. While booties might get ranked pretty low in the overall scheme of things when it comes to what to focus on, choosing the wrong shoe cover can result in consequences that range from annoying and insignificant to chaotic and catastrophic. Shoe Inn can help you with clarifying the factors you are or should be considering for your shoe covers and the options we have that meet your needs.

Is it a cleanroom use?

Cleanrooms have stringent requirements, depending on the level of cleanroom. Two Cleanroom scientists wearing shoe coverscleanroom classification systems are widely used: FS 209E and ISO 14644-1. Shoe Inn shoe covers and both of our automatic shoe cover dispensers are validated for use in cleanrooms up to Class 100 (FS 209E) and Class 5 (ISO 14644-1). Our cleanroom certificates are available to download from our website.

How do the shoe covers fit?

Requiring your employees to wear shoe covers should not interfere with their productivity or be potentially hazardous. One consideration is how they fit. Too loose, they can fall off or be a tripping hazard. Too tight and they will be difficult to put on without tearing and resulting in wasted shoe covers and unnecessary expense. Shoe Inn shoe covers are one-size-fits-most and will go up to about a size 15 or 16. The way the opening is designed allows them to fit over larger shoes without tearing. On smaller feet, the dispensing action puts the heel at the rear of the shoe cover while any excess material will be at the front, curled up like an elf’s shoe, and therefore out of the way.

What type of flooring surface do you have?

unlucky carefree business man silhouette

Focus on the type of floor in your facility when selecting the type of shoe covers to supply for your employees and visitors. Smooth and slippery surfaces can lead to slips and falls. In this case, you’ll want to implement something with added traction like our Super shoe covers, which should address the concerns of your Environmental Health and Safety folks and anyone else who deals with worker’s compensation claims. Rougher surfaces can chew up shoe covers, which can lead to cleanliness/contamination issues along with additional expense from having to change shoe covers too often. In this scenario, you should strongly consider a more durable option like our Hybrid shoe covers, which also last longer on boots/shoes with “aggressive” tread.

Do you need them to be waterproof?

While this consideration is trivial or irrelevant in most instances, sometimes shoe covers need to be waterproof because of wanting to prevent liquid from penetrating the shoe cover and getting onto the shoe or vice versa, needing to prevent outside moisture (snow, rain, ice, mud) that might be on the shoe from getting onto the floor. Shoe Inn has several waterproof options, including the aforementioned Super and Hybrid shoe covers and our basic plastic shoe cover.

Choosing the right shoe cover for your application and environment is an important consideration. While cleanliness may be your first priority, you should also factor in employee and visitor safety, whether or not you need a waterproof shoe bootie, and how durable you need the shoe cover to be. If you would like any help deciding on the right shoe bootie for your industry, contact Shoe Inn today.

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.

Top Seven Frequently Asked Shoe Inn Questions

Though we carry a few other products like disposable gloves, sticky mats, and overshoes, at Shoe Inn our focus is on shoe covers and automatic shoe cover dispensers. Let’s just say they’re our bread and butter! However, we know not everyone understands shoe covers and dispensers like we do. Therefore, we have compiled some of the most frequently asked questions about the Shoe Inn automatic shoe cover dispensing and removal system for your benefit.

Are Shoe Inn Shoe Cover Dispensers and Removers Easy to Use?

Stay-fusion-combo375-300dpiAbsolutely! Both dispenser models are easy to load and use, especially after doing it a few times. Take a look at the various loading and usage videos on our videos page to see how fast and easy it is. We also have loading and usage instructions that can be downloaded and printed. Our removers are very easy to use and are ergonomically-friendly as well. Not only are they incredibly simple, Shoe Inn shoe cover dispensers and removers help increase efficiency/productivity and safety in the workplace to boot.

Do Shoe Inn Machines Make it Safer to Put Shoe Covers on and Remove Them?

No doubt. Using our dispensers eliminates leaning against a wall or trying to balance on one leg while putting a shoe cover on the other foot (what we call the “bootie hop” or a worker’s comp claim waiting to happen), thereby avoiding possible falls, injuries and the potential worker’s comp claims that could result. In fact, prior to implementing our system, some customers have even had employees injure themselves while sitting on a gowning bench and putting shoe covers on. ASCR-33-shoe -cover-remover-hires-cropped

Just like putting shoe covers on manually, taking them off is also a hassle and can be dangerous (remember the bootie hop?). Using our automatic shoe cover remover eliminates the danger and will make your EH&S staff stress level go down to be sure.

How Does Using Shoe Inn Dispensers Increase Efficiency and Productivity?

Because it is a minimum of 4x faster to put shoe covers on with our dispensers, at least four people can get booted up in the same amount of time it takes for a person to put shoe covers on manually (see our Why Shoe Inn? video on the videos page). The faster that employees are able to boot up, the faster they can move to being productive where they are making the company money instead of costing money back in the gowning room.

Can My Company Save Money Using the Shoe Inn System?

On the surface, no, but dig a bit deeper and the picture changes. While our shoe covers may cost more than your regular shoe covers, our customers have found that the increased efficiency, productivity, and reduction in potential worker’s compensation claims more than offset the nominal difference.

Can Shoe Inn Products be Used in Cleanrooms?

Yes. Shoe Inn shoe covers and automatic shoe cover dispensers have been tested and validated for use in cleanrooms up to Class 100 and Class 5. Our cleanroom certificates are available here.

Do Shoe Inn Shoe Cover Dispensers or Removers Require Electricity?

No–our automatic shoe cover dispensers do not require electricity, which provides you the freedom to place your dispensers wherever you need them. This also allows you to use your valuable space in the most efficient way possible.

Because they only require a standard 120v electrical outlet, our removers can be easily deployed at any suitable location.

Can We Reuse or Recycle the Shoe Covers?

Our shoe covers are specially packed in a cartridge for easy loading and dispensing and thus cannot be reloaded into the Shoe Inn Fusion or Stay dispensers. Also, we do not recommend the reuse of shoe covers, because doing so would likely lead to contamination and defeat the purpose of using shoe covers in the first place. Regarding recycling, in theory the answer is yes, but we do not currently have a program for recycling. If you find or develop one, please let us know.