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Exam Gloves vs. Cleanroom Gloves

boxed gloves vs. cleanroom gloves

We know cleanroom gloves cost more, but they look the same, feel the same, made of the
same material, and even smell the same (for those of you who can’t resist smelling your gloves!). So, what’s the fuss?

There must be good reason to pay a premium for a cleanroom glove. It is the manufacturing. Post manufacturing to be specific, which is what sets cleanroom gloves and exam gloves apart. The real question is whether you should be spending more on cleanroom gloves or not. 

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The Purpose of the Glove

Generally, when people think of gloves they think the primary purpose of using gloves is to keep the person wearing them protected. On the contrary, cleanroom gloves are protecting a product or process from the person wearing the gloves. Exam gloves are commonly used in healthcare facilities to protect the care provider from pathogens, however cleanroom gloves are commonly used to handle products that could be contaminated by human hands or “dirty gloves”. 

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The Difference: Clean Processing & Packaging

Both cleanroom gloves and exam gloves are tested for quality, strength and even pin holes, however, the difference is in the cleaning process and packaging process. Cleanroom gloves are washed, chlorinated and rinsed in highly filtered deionized water. This clean washing process is often done multiple times, and takes place in a cleanroom environment in order to ensure high levels of cleanliness. The gloves are then dried and packaged in bags that have most likely been manufactured and processed in a cleanroom similar to the way the gloves were. All of this is done in a cleanroom and if you’re reading this article, you probably have a cleanroom or are getting a cleanroom. So, you can probably relate first hand that they are not inexpensive to purchase or operate! Ultimately, being “cleanroom clean” is not cheap, but can sometimes be necessary to achieve the best results with certain processes! 

In contrast to the manufacturing, clean processing, and packaging process of cleanroom gloves, exam gloves are not washed or packaged in a cleanroom. They are chlorinated, then are packaged in cardboard boxes and we all know cardboard is filthy. We hear many customers say they just don't bring the cardboard into the cleanroom, they empty the gloves into an acrylic dispenser. Yes, this is better than bringing the cardboard into the room, but those boxes have traveled overseas bouncing around on a boat, collecting cardboard particles from the boxes and then releasing those particles onto your gloves the whole way to your cleanroom, which then releases particles on to your products.

cleanroom gloves and exam glove differences

In conclusion, the main difference between cleanroom gloves and exam gloves are the standards of clean they withhold. Cleanroom gloves and exam gloves are both considered clean, however, cleanroom gloves also meet certain standards that classify them into a much higher category of clean, which is “cleanroom clean”.

So, which one is right for you?

If micro particles cause you problems and your gloves come in direct contact with your product or process, you must make sure you have “cleanroom clean” gloves. On the other hand, if you want something cleaner than the average hand, but don’t need the cleanliness of the cleanroom glove, then an exam glove may be the best fit for you. We sell them both and are not biased! Our goal is to get you what you need, nothing more, nothing less. 

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Now that you know the difference, try them out for yourself with our Free Gloves Offer- Trial Evaluation!

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Cleanroom Questions?

If you have any other questions about which glove is right for you or any other cleanroom questions, visit our education guides on our website here. Still need some help? Our customer support team is here as well at 616-719-4470. 

If you need further assistance, we are here to help! Give us a call at 877-719-4470


Still have questions?

Our team of cleanroom experts are here to help. Call us at 877-719-4470 or send us a message.

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