The Benefits of Powder-Free Disposable Gloves

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Glove Intelligent Assistant

Often, customers will see gloves labeled as powdered or powder-free. To begin with, the powder being mentioned is in reference to the coating inside of the glove. Typically, powder is added to gloves during manufacturing to aid in the mold releasing process. Powdered gloves are useful for easier donning and doffing; however, they have largely been discontinued in the US.

What Are the Issues with Powdered Gloves?

When wearing powdered gloves for long periods, the residual powder can remain on the skin. This often causes dermatitis or skin irritation when the residue is not washed off properly. There are also concerns that during food service, the residual powder can lead to contamination between foods. The residual powder can also cause allergy issues with postoperative patients/wounds, which resulted in the FDA banning powdered exam grade gloves from being used or sold.



The FDA banned the usage of powdered exam gloves in 2016, citing evidence that such gloves presented substantial dangers to patients, such as airway and wound irritation, post-surgical adhesions, and allergic responses. There has been research and studies that reveal that glove powder on medical gloves might exacerbate foreign body responses, promote infections, and function as a carrier of natural latex protein particles that can cause allergic reactions.

The most popular lubricant for patient examination gloves is cornstarch, which is an absorbable dusting powder. The FDA specifically states that it will prohibit the sale, distribution, and manufacture of all powdered surgeon’s gloves, powdered patient examination gloves, and absorbable powder used to lubricate surgeon’s gloves.

Gloves may go through many processes in order to achieve a powder free state. With latex gloves, chlorination is the popular choice, where gloves are treated with a chlorine solution, rinsed with water, and dried to remove most of the powdered residue and tackiness of latex. The chlorination process is used instead of applying powder to the inside of the glove. With nitrile gloves, a polymer coating is applied on the inner surface of the glove instead of powder.

While powdered gloves have been banned, there are actually more incentives to using powder-free gloves. Firstly, it leads to a lower risk in spreading pathogens or contaminants in the workplace. Powder-free gloves reduce the spread of latex protein particles. Secondly, even forgoing allergy or contamination concerns, powdered gloves leave residues behind which can interfere when applying paint or other fine automotive detail work. Powder-free gloves also have the better advantage in being more versatile with environments that come into contact with food, chemical, oil and water as they do not leave residues behind.


Powder-free gloves provide more tactility than powdered gloves, since the absence of powder provides a firmer fit to the hand. This allows for a firmer grip – a very important quality to have when in contact with wet or oily environments. Additionally, powder-free gloves provide better comfort than powdered gloves. The powder added in the manufacturing process would cause dry hands from prolonged contact. Therefore, powder-free gloves are more suited for longer wear. Lastly, recent advancements in the glove manufacturing process have developed techniques to allow for easier donning and doffing of gloves which make powdered gloves obsolete. Powder-free gloves are now equally as easy to put on as compared to powdered gloves.

At SW, we offer many different options for powder-free disposable gloves. Those interested can look at our TrueForm, PowerForm, PowerChem, and MegaMan glove series. The SW brand has always been centered around innovation, research, and technology. We are proud to offer various options for all of our customers as they search for their hand protection needs.