Cleanroom Gloves: Finding Best Size, Comfort, and Fit
The comfort of a cleanroom glove depends on two main factors, the substrate material and former. This video reveals how despite variations in size from XS to 2XL, it is impossible to create formers that will offer ideal comfort for every cleanroom operator in the industry.
Let's discuss the comfort of cleanroom gloves and what's the most comfortable. We've already established that the starting point for cleanroom gloves was PVC polyvinyl chloride. PVC also goes by the code name of vinyl. And you can see that a vinyl glove doesn't have much elasticity, and if a glove doesn't have much elasticity, it's not going
The sub issue of comfort as it relates to a glove is the challenge that ambidextrous gloves really come in five sizes. There's an extra small, small, a medium, a large, and an extra large. With some gloves there is an extra extra large, but the most commonly used cleanroom gloves are really small, medium, and large, right?
Three sizes. And the most common glove sizes used are medium and large. Probably 30% of all gloves, 35% of all gloves are medium. About 40% of all gloves are large. In my experience it’s because most people tend to like a bigger glove versus a tighter glove.
But the challenge with that is we take a potential of six sizes, right? Extra small, small, medium, large, extra-large, two extra-large. So very best case scenario, there are six sizes. But the real life scenario is most facilities only have three or four. Some facilities stock small through extra large.
Most facilities really only stock small, medium and large. If you look at a lot of our clients, they stock small, medium and large. Some stock small, medium, large, extra large. You're going to say, why is he perseverating on three or four sizes?
Because if you look in Wikipedia, the world's total population now exceeds 5, 6, 7 billion people. OK. And the beauty of a wiper is you just fold the wiper in half and fold the wiper in half, and it sits on the palm.
And it’s as good to go, right? It works. Because palm width is pretty consistent. Whereas if you look at the, if you look at the structure of a hand, different people from different parts of the country, different parts of the world, different strengths in their hand,
there are no two pair of hands that are alike. Some people have very thick fingers. Some people have long fingers. Some people have huge palms. Some people have skinny palms. Some people have short fingers and a long thumb.
What does this translate into? A glove that isn't comfortable, right? If you were to do what I call the Pepsi challenge with your accounts and just to do a blind challenge, if you took 100 people on average, 30% really don't like the glove they're in and they just stop complaining.
They just have come to accept the fact that the glove doesn't fit that well, right? They don't complain because they got the job, and that's the glove that was issued to them. When you go to introduce a new glove, right, and you have all these set group of people, if you introduce a new glove to 100 people,
guess what? You're still going to have about 30% of the people don't like the glove, but you're going to have 30% of the 70% that liked the old glove. And you take 30% of the 70, you get about 20% of the people, right,
that used to like the glove, and they're the majority. And so you've got 20% of the majority that says, “Hey, what are you doing? You put me in cleanroom. You don't let me wear makeup. I can't smoke.
I've got to stay in there a whole shift. You make the room cold. I have to wear shoe covers and a high tech bootie, and a bunny suit. Then I have to wear goggles and a face mask. Then you make me wear this glove and now you're changing the glove and it doesn't fit as well.
You're really messing with me. That's just not fair. I'm going to complain. I'm going to say, Hey, go back to the old glove.” Well, the 30%, the minority that didn't like the old glove, they've been marginalized anyway. Nobody really cares what they think, right?
Because they just weren't happy campers anyway, right? And they're never going to be happy. So the issue I wanted to speak about comfort is there are two contributors to comfort. One of them is the substrate material, PVC, latex, and nitrile.
But the other real limiting factor with gloves is the former, right? And this is just the tradeoff. When you offer a glove option to a client, you need to make sure that the client considers construction, cleanliness, chemical compatibility, and cost.
Because when it comes to comfort, it was Abraham Lincoln who said it best. And Abraham Lincoln said, “You can please some of the people some of the time. You'll please all of the people some of the time. But you will never please all of the people all the time.”
And because we have 7 billion unique sets of hands and arguably four formers, on a very good day six formers, you're going to get 25 to 30% of the people that wear the glove, it just doesn't fit them that well. And they're not being difficult.
It's just the reality that this is a compromise, right? You know, some people, I'm fortunate, I wear a 42 long off the rack. I just happen to be able to wear 42 long. There are some people that their arms are too long, right?
Their torsos are too short. They just can't fit something off the rack. And that's the problem that you run into with the glove. You just, the tough love is, you just have to tell 30% of the population, I'm sorry, we just kind of came up with a compromise and it's going to fit some of the people some
of the time, and all the people some of the time. But all the people are just never going to be happy all the time. So it's really important from a comfort standpoint that you have the buy-in of the facility that they look at the other factors. Because you know what the outcropping of this is, is there
are some facilities that don't have one glove. They don't have two gloves, they don't have three gloves. They have four gloves, because Susie said she wants this glove, and somebody else says I want this glove. And a third person said, “Oh, well, no. I need a glove
that's stickier. That's got longer fingers.” The challenge with that is you don't have uniformity, you don't have any control. What happens if you have a problem from a cleanliness standpoint? You don't know which glove contributed to the cleanliness standpoint.