A lot of people are wearing latex gloves with the intent of stopping the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The only problem is that these gloves aren't as easy to use as you'd expect, and they come with caveats.
While we've got links for you to get latex and other rubber gloves online, we recommend you only buy what you need. Yes, we all want to be protected, but do not hoard these gloves. Medical professionals need these gloves, just like they need the N95 respirators, face-masks and hand sanitizer. (Be sure to check out our guide on where to buy face masks, or how to make a face mask at home).
- Where to buy hand sanitizer: These retailers still have stock
- Where to buy Clorox wipes: Retailers with stock (updated regularly)
Personally, I'm using these gloves sparingly. As a part of social distancing, I'm cutting back on grocery store trips, and any trips outside where I'd touch anything other than my door, to get back in the building.
So, while we want to help make sure you can find these gloves, we're going to start with everything you need to know before putting a pair on.
Where to buy latex gloves — Quick links
- Shop all gloves at Office Depot
- Shop all gloves at Staples
- Shop all gloves at Target
- Shop all gloves at Ace Hardware
- Shop all gloves at CVS
- Shop all gloves at Home Depot
- Shop all gloves at Lowe's
Where to buy latex gloves online
You'll notice a variety of rubber gloves in this list. While I could find yellow latex gloves at my local CVS, they're not the only option. If you see Nitrile gloves, those are a good option because they've got a stronger durability than Latex gloves, but still feature a high degree of protection against viruses. Avacare Medical, a firm that sells products for elderly care, explains more here.
Ergodyne Nitrile-Coated Nylon Gloves: $4 @ Office Depot
These nitrile-coated nylon gloves deliver outstanding grip in dry conditions. The fingerprints are touchscreen compatible so you can check your mobile with the gloves on. (Just remember to clean/disinfect your mobile after doing so). View Deal
Clorox Duo Latex Gloves: $3 @ Target
This pack of Clorox Duo Latex Gloves offers two different colors so you can designate a pair of gloves to each task at hand. Keep a pair in the kitchen for dishes and another in the bathroom to protect your hands from household cleansers.View Deal
What to know about latex gloves
The biggest piece of advice we're seeing from medical professionals is to not treat latex gloves as an easy way to go back to living your life normally. They're not an alternative to washing your hands, using hand sanitizer or performing any of the other important safety measures we've been doing these days.
Dr. Amesh Adalja, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the Today Show that "Latex gloves can rip very easily ... They're not designed for going out, running up stairs, doing things in daily life. They're not very durable when it comes to pumping gas or anything ... They're going to get holes. They're not meant for wearing during activities and daily living. Even as a physician, I have my gloves rip all the time."
You should also know how coronavirus spreads, because the gloves won't protect against every method. Aline Holmes, an RN in New Jersey, told Today that the virus spreads through mucus and water droplets that people emit, and "those droplets go about four or five feet and then drop to the ground. Wearing gloves isn't necessarily going to do anything ... Eventually, you'll take those gloves off."
This is why I'm throwing away each pair of gloves after use, and taking care to avoid touching the outsides of the gloves. That last part is huge, as Adajla said people will likely touch their faces while wearing the gloves, which you shouldn't do. You wouldn't carve open a hot pepper wearing gloves and tap your gloves' fingertips against your eyes right?
Lastly, we've got proper glove removal instructions, straight from the CDC.
How to remove latex gloves
- Do not touch your bare skin with the outside of a glove.
- Using one glove, pull the other from the base at wrist.
- Peel the glove away from your body, pulling it inside out.
- Hold that glove in the still-gloved hand.
- Using the hand that isn't in a glove, peel off the glove you're wearing, by inserting your fingers inside, at the wrist.
- Pull the second glove inside out, and dispose of both properly.