How can I reuse or recycle rubber gloves?

Yellow rubber glovesWe don’t use rubber gloves that often because, frankly, we don’t care that much for cleaning and when we do clean, we don’t care that much about our hands to bother with gloves. But sometimes we pull out the marigolds. For those icky jobs. The ones that involve bleach. Or cat poo. Or both.

When we do use rubber gloves, we don’t always to remember to be careful and have a tendency to pick up thorny rose bush branches, or snag fingers on cheese graters, or test how low a match will burn before the rubber melts (answer: pretty low). We find rubber both rips and melts more easily than skin and heals much slower too.

After mixing and matches odd as-new gloves to make pairs, we’re usually left with a number of random gloves that have small holes in them (usually in the finger tips) and so are no longer waterproof. They lurk in the cupboard under the sink with the old tea towels until they dry out and scream to be thrown away. Any ideas on how they can be put to better use?

Best Suggestions

  • Reuse: Take advantage of their slightly tacky non-slip quality to provide friction – use the palm when opening tight jar lids or underneath plants pots/ornaments to stop them slidding about.
  • See the comments below for more suggestions and ideas

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27 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle rubber gloves?”

  1. bev says:

    I don’t use rubber gloves much easier but I save old ones for when I’m going to be gardening in the area that has had feline “attention”. I don’t need them to be water tight, just something to keep the most of it off my hands.

    • Joniepoo says:

      HI – I just found out i am pregnant, we are very excited! Last night waiting for my husband to come home so I could take the test nearly killed me. but when that little blue + came up there was much jumping up and down and squealing.

      So now finally I am pregnant and suddenly realise that I don’t know anything, so that’s a bit scary!

      I need to start researching diapers and strollers and stuff! This is great!

      I just had to tell someone! weeeeeeeeeeeee!

      • Lianne says:

        LOL this is wierd. I just found out I’m pregnant too about 1 hour ago. We called the inlaws and then I when about washing my dishes. I just pricked my yellow kitchen gloves and was trying to find a solution to patch the hole. Anyway Joniepoo. Congrats on your baby if you had him/her. I think I will just patch it with the hot glue gun:)

      • Katie says:


        Congratulations on your good news. Please look into re-useable nappies, as disposable nappies don’t break down in the landfill!

    • alexisstunner says:

      I feel I might introduce my self here. My name is Kate, I’m a newbie here, someone told me that i might find some good information here so… basically that’s why I’m here, and for any good advice i might get also… hope to have good time here

  2. john says:

    I was just told a great one for this. Cut the fingers off and sew them onto your tool belt to add more capacity for screwdrivers and stuff. Clever one. I bet it works better than a normal toolbelt actually.

  3. Mike says:

    cut them into slices (horizontally across) to make heavy duty rubber bands

  4. alastair young says:

    Cut the fingers off and slip them over the ends of mop handles. Now they don’t fall over when you rest them against a wall

  5. snapper says:

    i always keep an old glove in the kicthen to use when opening tight jars or bottles. i just need the palm bit so i don’t mind about any holes in the fingers or hwatever. it works just like those special pads you cdan by – since they’re just the same sort of patterned rubber as gloves.

  6. SarahP says:

    I use them in a similar way, for their non-slip properties. I stick the palms of old rubber gloves to the bottom of vases and planters. It makes them less likely to be knocked off surfaces by rampant running children.

  7. RibbleRaven says:

    If your not bothered about them being completly waterproof you can just stick a sticking plaster over the hole (its better from the inside rather than on the outside). That keeps out most of the moisture pretty well.

  8. Somehow make them into pencil grips.

  9. Kathleane says:

    Bandage Cover
    Cut all the fingers from the body of the glove. Store in your first aid kit or toolbox. These make great covers for your fingers if you are wearing a bandage. They help to keep the area clean and dry when you are doing a dirty or wet task. For extra protection use first-aid tape to secure to your finger.

  10. You could use them for gardening gloves if they are not too worn out.

  11. Amber says:

    I cut the fingers off and save them in my first aid kit. Then, when you get a cut on your finger and have to do something that involves getting your hands wet, you can just slip the glove finger over your own finger and secure it around the bottom with a little waterproof tape. Then you’re free to do dishes or yard work or whatever you need to without getting your bandage dirty.

  12. renee says:

    use them as extra grip when trying to open stubborn bottles and jars.

  13. Susan says:

    I mended small holes with a bicycle puncture repair kit- cut the patches into small pieces and they fit on the finger tips. Makes the gloves last a bit longer before you have to throw them out/ recycle them.

  14. Anonymous says:

    How do I recycle hair die cantaminated latex gloves???

  15. Daniele Zucchi says:

    I always reuse rubber gloves. I like to feel them cover my hands and I use them a lot of times: washing dishes, making the bed (I am a dude, Italian) and other things.

  16. Sandy says:

    I use them in my craft projects. I’ve made mummy hands out of them by dipping gauze in liquid starch and wrapping the hands. If you turn them inside out they are more like the color of skin so I insert wires in each finger (so they can be posed), stuff them with batting and use them on my life size Halloween figurines and of course I throw a few in the witches boiling pot of stew.

  17. Ganna says:

    Cut off fingers and use as lids for bottles.

  18. Alice says:

    This winter I’m planning to wear the large thinsulate fleece gloves I always find in the street, with a pair of yellow washing up gloves over them cut down to the size of smallish fingerless gloves.

    I reckon they’ll be great for cycling – the yellow will make my hand signals much more visible to drivers, they’ll have much better grip than the fleece gloves on their own, and they’ll keep the back of my warm gloves dry when it rains.

    Plus, I have fairly small hands but always find size large thinsulate gloves. The rubber glove cover will stop them falling off my hands.

  19. septic tank says:

    I cut tge fingers off. Seal the end. Pin prick the finger end and fill with milk for kid goats to suck on. The weaning process is a long one, but enjoyable.

  20. You could use the punctured glove as a water pistol.

  21. AGSP says:

    If you don’t want to clog up the vacuum with pet hair / human hair from carpets, clothing or fabric sofas wet an old rubber glove with water and rub down the item. You can easily pick up hair and throw it in the garbage, then vacuum after with less worry.

  22. Tammie says:

    I constantly emailed this websiite post page to all my contacts, as if like to read it then my contacts will too.


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