Gardening Gloves – A guide to protect your hands

Every gardener knows that a good pair of gloves is an essential gardening tool. However, with the many types of gloves available, it can be overwhelming to make a choice. Here’s a simple
guide by type to help you with your choice.
(see links in titles below)

Leather and Pruning Gloves

Leather gloves are the standard for strength and
durability. You chose from standard driver’s styles to models used for wire fencing. For pruning, purchase a pair of pruning gloves specifically designed for pruning with reinforced arm protection. If you are working in wet conditions look for pigskin gloves since they will dry soft if they get wet. Newer artificial leather gloves are fine and will last longer than natural leather.

Cotton and Jersey Gloves
Cotton and Jersey gloves are the most popular because they are inexpensive but they have
limitations. They are breathable and lightweight and will keep your hands clean and protect you
from blisters. However, they will absorb moisture and not protect you from chemicals or cuts and
abrasions. Also, they are not very durable or long-lasting. 

Disposable Gloves (Latex, Nitrile, Vinyl PVC)
I do not recommend using disposable gloves since they are not durable and do not offer proper
protection against most chemicals and pesticides. Plus, latex gloves will dissolve when exposed to
gasoline or motor oils used in lawnmowers.

Rubber Gloves
Although rubber gloves tend to be hot, they offer great protection against moisture and most
chemicals. If you only need moisture protection – natural rubber is fine. However, I suggest you
look for nitrile or vinyl gloves for use with chemicals and pesticides.

Bamboo Knit Gloves
These are becoming extremely popular since they are earth friendly, last long, fit and feel
great, and inexpensive. They also come with a coated palm for added protection and grip. My
personal biased choice is the GO Greens® Bamboo Gloves from GO Gloves.

Pesticide Gloves

It’s that time of year for gardening and more people are planting vegetable gardens to save money. However, I was reminded to post this information while I was on vacation recently and watched the landscaper at the resort where I stayed. He was spraying dangerous pesticides (I saw the poison label on the metal container) and he wasn’t wearing protective garments including, you guessed, gloves.

You should note that dangerous liquid and dust fertilizers and pesticides WILL absorb into your skin (cutaneous absorption). Example: You may recall the Anthrax bioterrorism scare in 2001.

When using pesticides, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines regarding suitable glove material. The most functional models will be Nitrile Coated Gloves or PVC Coated Gloves which provide a broad range of chemical resistance.

The Do Not’s:

Do NOT use latex gloves for chemical protection. They will not provide the required protection.

Do NOT use cloth or leather gloves since they will absorb the pesticide liquids and dusts like your skin or become a serious source of exposure.

The Do’s:

Wear waterproof, washable gloves.

Wear durable, chemical protective gauntlet gloves which extend up the forearm.

Glove recommendations:

GO Greens LP (Liquid Proof)

GO Blues PVC

MAPA Kronit-Proof (for cut resistance)

If anyone has a question about selecting a glove using a particular chemical, send me an e-mail or give me a call and I will cross reference our reference data.

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