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Plumbing Gloves – What Plumbers Must Do To Look After Their Hands

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Plumbing Gloves: In a very male orientated trade, what plumbers must do to look after their hands is “stop being macho”, and start wearing these best plumber's gloves while doing plumbing jobs, both as a professional tradesperson or as an amateur doing Do-It-Yourself jobs.

Plumbing Gloves: Keeping Your Hands In Good Condition

Plumbers are constantly working with their hands, generally near electricity or water. These folks are exposed to sewage that has been tainted, as well as a variety of other dangerous substances ranging from filthy water to corroded pipes.

Wearing rubber gloves while doing plumbing jobs, whether as a professional tradesperson or a Do-It-Yourself enthusiast, will protect your hands and nails, and from chemicals and dirt. But what should you be doing to ensure your rubber gloves are kept in good condition for as long as possible? Plumbing work is very hard on your hands. Plastic gloves are an obvious choice. However, while they are relatively cheap to replace, it's never a good surprise to discover they have sprung a leak. Just as bad, foul-smelling gloves are a sign that mould and germs have set up shop inside them.

You don't want your hands to end up as grubby after using the gloves as they would have been if you hadn't. So, carry spare gloves with you and change them once they get damaged. Wash them out and turn them inside out to dry, should they get grubby.

To keep your hands in good condition use a good barrier cream or hand lotion regularly and apply it before putting your plumbing gloves on, each time. Wear rubber gloves for absolutely everything. The amount of chemicals the body absorbs through the hands/skin is staggering for a plumber.

Best Cold Weather Work Gloves Suitable for Plumbers

Rubber plumbing gloves.
CC BY-NC-ND by Myxi

Good plumbers know how to protect their hands in the cold conditions of winter especially when doing first fix plumbing on new build homes. Choose a superior winter waterproof and insulated work glove as your winter plumbing gloves. A pair of cold weather or winter work gloves will ensure warm hands throughout to allow you to continue to be able to use your hands throughout a long and productive plumber's career. A good glove is protective in the sense that it can keep your hands as dry and warm as possible. I am always glad to read that a work glove features a Thinsulate lining. This brand of lining material is a big help in adding warmth to your hands when working in extremely cold climates. I would also recommend any plumbing glove (for general use) made with a cowhide exterior. It is because I have found such gloves effective in protecting myself from abrasion and scrapes when working on pipes for many hours in the cold.

When looking for suitable cold-weather work plumbing gloves, you need to consider not only the insulation but dexterity. Dexterity is the term given to skills performed with your hands, and this is a vital factor in work gloves. You need to make sure that your hands are protected, not only from your work but the weather, and that you can actually do your work nimbly and quickly while wearing them too. If your job relies on the abilities and creativity of your hands then it is so important for you to not hinder yourself.

While all plumbing jobs will wear out even the best gloves in well under a season's worth of work, the ideal set of work gloves for cold weather isn’t a single glove at all. The high-performance premium work glove of today is a combination of;

  • a soft liner glove that feels good on your hand, and
  • a thicker shell glove – usually leather, deerskin, or something equally durable.

Only with this combination of warmth layering for your hands do you get both a soft interior and a rugged exterior. You'd never be able to find cheap rubber gloves which will perform all the required glove functions that work for your hands.

Essential Qualities Needed in All Gloves for Plumbers

Anyone who has ever worked with power tools, gardening tools, or even handheld tools, can appreciate that plumbing gloves are an essential component that ensures safety and protection for the trade's professional users. Plumber's work gloves are durable and built to last through the harshest conditions, from extreme temperatures to sharp edges that would easily rip soft materials. Plumbing gloves must offer more than just protection—they also offer a better grip against vibrating tools to help you do the job efficiently. Of course, waterproof plumbers gloves are also the best option given that as a profession each practitioner is constantly dealing with water and wet situations. (Hand protection for Hazardous Plumbing tasks.)


In common with most work glove requirements, plumbers' gloves must be above all a high-performance utility glove. It must be a comfortable, form-fitting heavy-duty glove designed to handle all of a plumber's day-to-day work tasks. Similar Waterproof Plumbers Gloves are also supplied for work in shops, at home, for delivery drivers, in clean-up, construction and equipment operation, not to mention rigging, and yard work. The craftsmanship in this glove needs to be of a very high order. A nice touch is the provision of an area of terry cloth on the back of the thumb which can be utilized by the plumber to wipe the sweat away while staying focused on the task at hand. When the job is complete and the day is at an end these high-performance utility gloves need to be rugged enough to be tossed into the washing machine. They must not dry out or shrink when washed.

I only dislike wearing gloves when installing faucets or working with small screws and bolts.

What Do You Need Warm Plumbing Gloves For?

If you've ever had to work a plumbing job in winter conditions, you know exactly how miserable it can get. Even when you're working hard, the cold can creep in and slow you down. Each pipe is cold and cold hands must be avoided to prevent eventual stiffness and injury. Many people suffer through not buying and using insulated winter plumbing gloves, but why?

Male plumbers: Don't kid yourself that you need to tough it out and be a man! We are here to tell you that whatever you think you can put up with, isn't the point. You need to look after yourself in winter and that means that you need warm work gloves to preserve your hands for the summer!

It's not hard to find warm, winter work gloves. Buying plumbing gloves that can stand up to the rigours of the job isn't a difficult task anymore. There are a bunch of fine options which will keep you comfortable and productive all day long. That being said, not all gloves are made equal! You owe it to yourself to get the right information and choose brands and products that will serve you well. Don't waste your money by buying the cheapest, because in this product cheapest will almost always not be the best for your hands, and general health.

The Best Plumbing Gloves 2022

Plumbers are frequently exposed to many occupational risks, including tough materials, adhesives and solvents. This means hand care must also be taken in order to avoid accidents, injuries or even worse. Our search for top Plumber gloves was done by comparing all the available options for securing a safe and productive job for you.

Like most of today’s leading-edge work gloves, suitable for all plumbers, the CLC 125m flex grip work gloves adopt a hybrid design that’s stylish yet tough, warm yet flexible and light but durable. They have a hook and loop cuff closure system that keeps them on your hands regardless of your activity and plenty of insulation so you don’t have to freeze and leave them behind if your job takes you outside. Unlike yesterday’s clunkers, the handyman flex-grip features plenty of spandex along with lycra side panels that take the glove with you when you move your fingers. As a result, your grip and comfort are never compromised.

Many plumbers still wear those old-style work gloves, the orange or yellow ones that you burn the fuze off with a torch when they are brand new. I started wearing them many, many, moons ago so my hands were always “lady-friendly”. They also keep my hands warmer in our cold winters and I've as a rule found my manual dexterity greatly improved when I take them off for short periods to make those “tough to connect” threaded connections. When working in those awkward places that all plumbers encounter.

PVC Gauntlets for Work on Sewers and Drains

“Work” Gloves for Drain Cleaning Drain cleaning gloves are the most common type of glove used by plumbers and can be made of leather, PVC (rubber), or synthetic materials. They provide additional protection against cuts and abrasions caused by handling a metal drain snake, as well as protection from sewage and other bodily fluids that follow the snake up.

plumber working at sink
Plumbing work is invariably hard on the hands.

When working in areas and on pipes that handle foul sewerage flows we recommend wearing a hardwearing sleeved PVC gauntlet, preferably with an overall length of 65 cm to protect arms as well. Such gloves can also provide protection against a range of chemicals, oils and solvents and are ideal for use in wet dirty and foul waste contaminated applications. A soft cotton interlock liner improves comfort and some are pre-treated to provide sanitized hygiene. If provided on a glove this function works throughout extended usage to enhance freshness, hygiene and odour repellence. EU nation users should check that they will be REACH compliant and are phthalate-free.

Before cleaning your gauntlets or gloves and putting all of your equipment away. when working on soil systems be rigorously thorough with your hygiene.  Always make sure that you replace the cleanout plug and test all of the toilets in the house by flushing them several times, before removing your plumber's gloves. If everything works according to plan, and no more sewer or drain backups occur, feel free to clean and put things away. If you rented your drain unblocking tools, be sure to follow the return instructions for cleaning and maintenance so you won't get charged extra. You are not done until your gloves are clean and stored away in a hygienic manner!

Wearing the Right Work Gloves – All Part of Any Safe Work Environment!

Help prevent injuries. Very few accidents cannot be avoided. Why wear hard hats and face shielding safety products and not wear plumbing gloves for all types of work environments where PPE for the hands can be at least as important as PPE for our heads and faces.

Similarly, why take care to ensure the right safety in regard to the human elements of lighting, and the obvious productivity issues that unpleasant lighting conditions create. while ignoring hand care and the correct use of plumbing gloves.

Don't assume there are no risks to your hands if they are not protected while attending domestic plumbing jobs. Work gloves do need to be worn to cover and protect hands and wrists from potential hazards in domestic plumbing tasks, just as they do on construction sites and in commercial environments. Constructed from various materials and embedded with protective qualities, safety gloves are designed to prevent hand injuries such as cuts, splinters and burns.

Good quality plumbing gloves are also used to provide general comfort and cushioning when handling rough or heavy materials. Plumbing gloves can enhance grip on handheld equipment to ensure smooth control and operation.

Drain-cleaning work gloves

Drain cleaner glove provides protection to hands from slits and abrasions that can happen while handling metal drain snakes as well as protection from sewage, hair and other body fluids pulled from the drain. Generally, drain cleansing gloves are made from leather, rubber or plastic. Plumbing professionals sometimes wear disposable or latex gloves under a cleaning brush to avoid chemical injury during the work of solvent-based cleaners. Find gloves with high-quality materials and durability, slip-resistant properties that protect your hands when performing routine drainage cleaning.

Chemical-resistant gloves

Plumbing contractors should have the appropriate chemicals-resistant gloves available on their trucks to prevent exposure to chemicals, solvents, adhesives and others. Assess the chemical-resistant gloves' resistance to chemicals and for bacterial infection protection, commonly described in terms of “barrier effectiveness”. It specifies various types of chemical-resistant gloves for protection from scratches.

About Heavy Duty Work Gloves

Save online by purchasing Heavy Duty Work Gloves for optimum hand protection for the workplace. Plumbers need the most useful tools online, so shop around for the right protective gloves for your work. The best workplace clothing provides both protection for workers and boosts performance in their job duties.

For increased grip and protection, use leather-based or synthetic gloves whenever the job requires physical labour.

Tip: It's a good idea to wear latex or nitrile gloves underneath these, and it should be noted that rubber gloves are excellent for preventing chemical-related injuries and provide the most protection when working with commercial-grade solvents.

Cut-resistant Gloves

ANSI has developed standards for different types of products, services, products, and systems. The ANSI classification of cut-resistant gloves varies by level from A2 to A9.

The larger value indicates a better resistance to cut. Examples of gloves with cut resistance: ANSI Cut A4 gloves are thin gloves with excellent cut resistance for the palm and back.

Applying Good Hygiene When Using Plumbing Gloves

To prevent bacteria build-up and unpleasant smells, it is recommended that you clean your plumbing gloves after every use. Some plumbing gloves can be cleaned in the washing machine and will give details on the label. If not wash them by hand. If you own gloves that can only be washed by hand, there are a few ways that they can be cleaned. One method is to spray antibacterial spray on the inside and work the spray into the glove with a toothbrush before repeating on the inside. Another method, without the same level of bacteria as spraying, but perfectly satisfactory if they have not been in contact with bacteria, is spraying the gloves with water after each use and wiping it down with a towel.

Doing your own plumbing work can save you a lot of money, and simple plumbing jobs do not require a great deal of knowledge or skill. A beginner should be able to cope with straightforward jobs, like replacing a tap washer or plumbing in a basin, and a read of a pumping guide may be all you need to do the job. However, don't forget to wear the right plumbing gloves.

Advantages of Industrial-grade Nitrile Gloves

Premium, industrial-grade nitrile gloves may, depending on the job to be done with them, provide the perfect combination of strength, dexterity and comfort. Such gloves are usually more than 50 per cent thicker than standard nitrile gloves. This adds durability and that means fewer glove changes over the course of a shift.

Manufacturers point out that nitrile has:

  • three times the puncture resistance of latex and at 5-mil thick in the palm with 6-mil fingertips,
  • they hold up when working with tools and machinery;
  • they offer excellent protection against a long list of common and speciality chemicals;
  • really good quality nitrile powder-free industrial gloves are nearly as elastic as latex, so they conform to your hand to deliver comfort, a great fit and a high level of tactile sensitivity;
  • the micro-roughened surface and textured fingertips give them a dependable grip;

Choose the type with a polymer coating as the manufacturers do say that this makes them easy to put on and take off. Also, since they are powder-free, there is no residue to damage a perfect finish or an adhesive bond. A black colour generally hides dirt, grease and grime to help maintain a clean, professional look. Your gloves, if bought in the US, must be made from component materials that comply with FDA regulations for food contact.

Ammex Gloveplus black nitrile powder-free industrial gloves, are potential Safety Gloves for Plumbers one such brand.

“An excellent investment designed to protect your hands is the safeguard nitrile disposable glove. In my opinion, this glove performs well for daily use and proper food handling as it works in maintaining a safety shield and barrier from various kinds of threat. What I like even more about it is that it is 100% safe for use on a number of applications. It is primarily because it adheres to the safety standards set by the food and drug administration (FDA). Constructed out of premium-quality and durable nitrile material, it is possible for it to show its puncture-resistance and elasticity in a number of situations.”

was one recent user comment.

The Importance of Using Plumbing Gloves During Work

Thumbnail for the featured image postPlumbers should always wear heavy-duty plumbing gloves whether draining acidic water from an old gas boiler or working with on soil-pipes and sewer drains, or otherwise exposing your hands to chemicals, it’s important to protect them. Look out for “safety gloves for plumbers” in product descriptions when buying.

Disposable gloves can keep your hands and fingers in working order while protecting them from heat to a certain extent (depending on their thickness), germs and other undesirable materials. To some extent, while covering your hands, vinyl and latex gloves allow you to feel the sensations from touch which are necessary for some occupations, such as at times is needed in gloves used by plumbers.

Best Plumbing Gloves

To keep environments as sanitary as possible disposable latex gloves are also available. But for plumbers gloves despite the fact that users can easily put on a new pair of disposable gloves for each new task, limiting the potential of transferring germs and bacteria between jobs. Many more rugged plumbing jobs will require toughness which only fabric-based and leather/ synthetic leather can provide.

Above all, the correct use of plumbing gloves must never be neglected. They are no less important than PPE as a hard hat, but their use is seldom given any real priority, nor is plumbing glove use much policed by health and safety officials. Plumbers must never forget that like all tradespeople they depend on preserving their skilled and highly dexterous hands.


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    • Milo Horvath
    • December 3, 2020

    When I saw this I thought. I’m a plumber.

    I never thought of wearing gloves, and why the heck would I!

    I read this and you know it’s true. I should and will now wear gloves. My hands are precious to me.

    Thank you for supplying this info.

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