extending the life of rubber gloves

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Fist sign in green vinyl glove Disposable rubber dishwashing gloves aren’t exactly the most environmental product, but I’m someone who suffers from eczema, and gloves are a lifesaver on my hands when washing up and cleaning.

This is an old trick my dad used to help make rubber gloves last longer:

Firstly buy good quality rubber gloves. One or two pairs of sturdy gloves per year is cheaper than going through the poor quality ones regularly, and there’s less waste.

When you finish the washing up, dry your hands well with the gloves still on. Once dry, turn them inside out and let them air dry that way. This stops them getting sweaty and stinky on the inside. You can also give them a quick rinse in cold water while inside out if they need it and then let them air dry well.

You can get natural latex gloves washing-up gloves that are meant to be more environmentally friendly. I found that the don’t last very long, they get sweaty very quickly (and they come in plastic packaging, which is a little ironic).

Apart from using rubber gloves to loosen tight jar lids, I have yet to think up some ways of reusing them once they have a hole and are no good for their intended use.

What are your tips on reusing rubber gloves once they have holes in them and are no longer good for washing up?


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  1. This is a tip from my mum & nan, the right hand glove goes faster than the left as they are right handed. With the extra left hand gloves they get they turn them inside out & use them as a right glove. It does not last so long, & i don’t do it as my big hands stick to rubber inside!

  2. Even if they are no good in water they can be used for stuff like gardening or potting plants where they will still keep the dirt out.

  3. I like to keep at least one pair of rubber gloves in my car. Great for all kinds of jobs like checking oil and radiator fluid. I also use them when refueling. My car runs on diesel and the pump handles are invariably greasy. I do get some odd looks sometimes but tend to get more “great idea” comments.

  4. Oh, they can also be cut up into rubber bands. Bands cut from the fingers are good for sealing the cut corner of a bag of frozen veggies and other freezer items. Larger bands cut from the sleeve section can secure covers on jars and tins etc. You can also use them to make individual grips for jars etc to help stop them slipping from small or arthritic hands, but also around lids for east opening. You can cut the bands as wide as you like to suit need.

    You can use a whole finger to slip over the handle end of brooms, rakes etc to make them kinder on your palms during extended or vigorous use!

  5. My best use for old dish gloves is to use them to get dog and cat hair off the furniture or seats of your car. All you do is wear the glove and take a few minutes to wipe the fur off of the seats–it’s so much more effective that trying to vacuum and it’s a lot cheaper that those tape-filled lint rollers!

    1. Great idea! Our cat was unforntunately baited last year :(. But I’m still finding lots of hair in little hiding places in cupboards as I declutter. The clothes brush just doesn’t get rid of it.