When you pick up a new box of gloves, more than likely, there is a disclaimer that tells you they have been sterilized. But, do you ever wonder what this process looks like? How are the gloves made and how do they decontaminate the gloves from unwanted bacteria and get them ready for immediate use?
Sterile gloves are commonly used for hospital procedures or in laboratories where various contaminations must be avoided. To give you a better understanding of the science behind glove sterilization, here are common steps in the manufacturing process:
- Hand-shaped ceramic or aluminum molds are dipped in wash tanks with hot water and chlorine or bleach and then dried.
- Once the molds are cleaned, they are coated with a calcium nitrate and calcium carbonate solution to coagulate the rubber and prevent it from sticking to the mold.
- When dry, the glove molds are dipped into tanks of latex, nitrile, or polyvinyl chloride.
- Once the forms are out, they spin to remove excess rubber and are then washed in hot water and chlorine to remove excess chemicals, which lowers the risk of any allergic reactions.
- The gloves then go through the beading process which rolls their ends into cuffs.
- Finally, the gloves are ready for testing.
Gloves must meet regulatory requirements to be certified as medical grade and then go on to batch testing to ensure quality is being maintained. For batch testing, gloves are:
- Filled with air to perform the pinhole leak test, which ensures the pinholes are not big enough to allow fluid to reach the skin
- Filled with a liter of water to see if any leaks occur
- Put through a dimension test
- Required to pass sterility tests in line with the U.S. Pharmacopeia, which demands the gloves meet performance standards after being heated between 70-100 degrees C for numerous hours.
This summarizes the manufacturing and sterilization process behind disposable gloves. To learn more about Omni International’s glove line offerings, click here.
About Omni International Corp.
Omni International’s focus is to develop and market state-of-the-art products and to provide unparalleled service to our customers. For many industries, gloves serve as one of the main lines of defense to protect businesses and consumers alike. At Omni International Corp., we don’t take safety for granted, and as a result, we’ve provided gloves of the highest degree of quality and consistency since the beginning.
Whether you need vinyl, nitrile, latex, or stretch vinyl gloves, we have the products you need for the customers you serve. From food service to healthcare and food processing, our wide selection of gloves will satisfy the industries you specialize in.