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How to Safely Remove Disposable Gloves, According to the CDC

Who knew there was a right and wrong way to remove disposable gloves? Follow these steps to maintain a protective barrier and keep your hands safe.

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Hands with black nitrile glovesMikayla Borchert/Family Handyman

There is a different glove for every situation. The purpose of disposable gloves, such as nitrile or latex, is to create a temporary barrier between your skin and potential external threats. To maintain that barrier, you should never touch the outside of the gloves with your bare hands. So properly removing gloves is crucial. Take the seven-step approach to safe de-gloving. This method is recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American Red Cross.

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Step 1 of removing nitrile glovesMikayla Borchert/Family Handyman

Step 1

Remove one glove at a time. Start by taking your non-dominant hand and pinching the outside of the glove at the wrist of your dominant hand.

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Step 2 of removing glovesMikayla Borchert/Family Handyman

Step 2

Stretch the glove away from your body and pull it inside out and off. Continue to grasp the now-removed glove with your non-dominant hand.

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Step 3 of removing glovesMikayla Borchert/Family Handyman

Step 3

Bunch up the glove in the palm of your still-gloved hand. Take care to not touch it with your bare hand. Close your fingers in a fist around the glove.

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Step 4 of removing glovesMikayla Borchert/Family Handyman

Step 4

Slide two fingers under the edge of the remaining glove at your inner wrist, not touching the outside.

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Step 5 of removing glovesMikayla Borchert/Family Handyman

Step 5

Using your two fingers as a hook, pull the remaining glove inside-out and off your hand, capturing the first glove inside. You should now have a little pocket containing the first glove.

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Step 6 of removing glovesMikayla Borchert/Family Handyman

Step 6

Safely dispose of the soiled gloves. Single-use gloves should not be re-worn. If you’ve been disinfecting your home, they can go in the trash. Some counties ask for them to be double-bagged if you’ve been handling chemicals or cleaning bodily fluids, so check your local waste management regulations.

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Step 7

Disposable gloves are most effective when combined with proper hand hygiene, so always thoroughly wash your hands with soap and water after removing gloves.