What is the Difference Between Sterile and Clean Gloves

Posted by Melanie Predolich on

Often times we use sterile and clean as synonyms, which works in almost any context except for when it comes to gloves. In the medical and pharmaceutical industries, the terms “sterile” and “clean” hold very distinct meanings.
 
A clean glove is one that doesn’t have marks, stains, or dirt and debris present. Clean gloves can be used in certain medical scenarios where patients are not at a high risk of infection.
 
Clean gloves typically come packaged in bulk, as in a large box where you pull out gloves as you need them.
 
A sterile glove goes a step further than clean, in that it is additionally free from bacteria or microorganisms. When a glove is sterile, there is no micro-life form that has the potential to reproduce and spread dangerous germs or bacteria. Sterile gloves are used in surgeries and other medical environments where the patient is at a high risk of infection.
 
Sterile gloves are packaged in individual pairs in order to keep new gloves completely free from any germs.
 
Hopefully this helps to clear up any confusion between these common terms!

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