Are Nitrile Gloves Chemical Resistant?

Are Nitrile Gloves Chemical Resistant?

11th Apr 2023

Black nitrile disposable gloves for industrial, medical, and protective use

They are to a point, so you should keep reading if you want to keep your hands safe!

Nitrile gloves are great for handling a variety of solvents and chemicals. They’ve been around since the 1990s as a replacement for latex gloves for those with latex allergies. Today, people use nitrile gloves to handle chemicals such as trichloroethylene and perchloroethylene. While that protection helps, these gloves are NOT 100% chemical/solvent resistant. Let’s take a look at what this means for anyone who uses these disposable work gloves.

What Does “Chemical Resistant” Mean?

It’s a rating given for certain materials’ ability to withstand exposure to solvents. This rating is given by various testing companies. The company immerses materials into various solvents for one minute. The material is then removed and brushed 10 times. This process is repeated two more times. After the third time, the material is rinsed, blown dry, and examined for damage. Ratings are then given based on the amount of deterioration.

Based on these tests, materials receive what is known as a chemical resistance rating. These ratings range from letters A through D. Each designation describes the effect specific solvents and chemicals have on specific materials. Here are the chemical resistance ratings:

A: No Attack but possibly slight absorption. 

B: Slight attack by absorption. Some material swelling is likely. 

C: Moderate attack of appreciable absorption. The material will have limited life. 

D: Material will decompose or dissolve in a short amount of time.

What Chemicals Do Nitrile Gloves Resist?

Before we give you the list, there is something you should know. Nitrile gloves only provide limited protection against chemicals and solvents. This means that the gloves only protect you against brief contact with chemicals. Once your gloves contact with various chemicals, you need to follow this four-step process:

  1. Immediately remove your nitrile gloves, 
  2. Safely dispose of them, 
  3. Wash your hands, 
  4. Put on a new pair of gloves.

Here are some chemicals/solvents that you can briefly handle with nitrile gloves:

  • Most fuels 
  • Some acids 
  • Certain caustic chemicals 
  • Most household detergents 
  • Some organic solvents 
  • Various greases 
  • Vegetable oil 
  • Most petroleum products 
  • Various chlorinated solvents

If handled too long, these solvents might dissolve your nitrile gloves. Here are some of those chemicals:

  • Acetone 
  • Ketones 
  • Strong Acids 
  • Some types of alcohol

How quickly or slowly it takes for the glove to dissolve depends on the chemical and the glove’s rating. Each nitrile glove has a different rating based on its thickness and the type of solvent with which it comes into contact. For example, ketones tend to dissolve nitrile gloves quicker than alcohol.

Choosing The Right Nitrile Gloves

As you know, the protection these gloves offer is temporary. Even so, you can still get the right nitrile gloves. The first thing to do is get gloves that are the right size for your hands. If a glove is too small, it will stretch when you put it on. This stresses the material and makes it less protective. Always use the manufacturer’s size chart to get the best fit.

Thickness is another way to find the right nitrile gloves. As a general rule, the harsher the chemicals, the thicker the glove. It all comes down to finding the right mils, which is the unit that measures glove thickness. A mil is one one-thousandth of an inch, so 10 mil gloves are 1.010 inches thick, for example. Pay attention to the chemical resistance rating of the chemicals you’re working with and consult the manufacturer’s recommendation.

JB Tools Has The Nitrile Gloves You Need

Check out our selection of nitrile gloves. You’ll find a variety of sizes, counts, and top-name brands that includes Derma-Lite, Microflex, and Red Lightning. You’ll also find a variety of sizes and thicknesses. (Be sure to read the product descriptions before choosing!) We’re proud to carry the biggest selection of nitrile gloves online. With our rock-bottom prices and free shipping on most orders, JB Tools is the best place to buy these disposable work gloves.