I know that standard latex and nitrile gloves don't stop common organic solvents such as DCM and acetone. However, I was reading a Reddit thread and there were comments that if you are coming into contact with solvents you are just wearing the wrong type of gloves. In a non-manufacturer specific fashion, what types of gloves will stop DCM and acetone? What will it slow down long enough for me to have a chance to finish what I'm doing and change my gloves in a safe manner? I am looking for a guide on what gloves to use. I just had DCM on my mind since nitrile doesn't slow it down, and it burns. And acetone, since it is hard to stop.

  • $\begingroup$ There is a very common (and wrong) thought in this question: All or nothing, black and white etc. No glove made from any rubber will "stop" a solvent. Solvents (the smaller the molecule the faster) will diffuse through all rubbers, the diffusion rates may differ a bit, but not much. The problem to use some rubber or a different type is resistance of the rubber against swelling! Depending on polarity of rubber/solvent and degree of crosslinking, the rubbber will swell a little bit, or often so excessivelly, that it will tear from a touch. $\endgroup$
    – Georg
    Jul 18 '12 at 18:52
  • $\begingroup$ If you're curious about solvent penetration through your gloves, I suggest pouring some solvent in to a glove, closing it at the top, and then seeing how long it takes to smell the solvent through the glove. Just be sure to waft carefully - some of the solvents will penetrate faster than you think! $\endgroup$
    – user642
    Sep 17 '12 at 14:38
  • $\begingroup$ When you try to find a suitable glove for acetone, don't ever let nitrile gloves come across your mind. Go and check for the permeation rate and breakthrough time in order to find the most suitable one, even neoprene gloves were not strong enough to prevent the breakthrough of nitrile. $\endgroup$
    – user13315
    Feb 10 '15 at 6:38
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ somebody did run a test on youtube: youtube.com/watch?v=TlJj0JLmLBI $\endgroup$
    – JinSnow
    Mar 10 '16 at 19:29

You can use tips from the site link - the table at the bottom or just google which glove can suit your needs. As you can read from the link:

  • Nitrile gloves are Low cost, excellent physical properties, dexterity, but they are Poor vs. benzene, methylene chloride, trichloroethylene, many ketones. They are recommended for Oils, greases, aliphatic chemicals, xylene, perchloroethylene, trichloroethane; fair vs. toluene,
  • According to Agronne for dealing with acetone you should use Natural Latex/Rubber or Butyl gloves.
  • For DCM there are no good gloves - you could try using neoprenes

I just did a bit of an experiment. My lab uses Kimberly Clark nitrile gloves, and we have a huge jug of acetone. First, I put a glove on my hand, and poured acetone all over it. My hand felt cold, but not nearly as cold as it feels when I spill acetone on my bare hand. I allowed the acetone to evaporate from the glove (approximately 30 s), and removed the glove. There was absolutely no acetone on my hand or the inside of the glove. I then took a fresh glove, and poured enough acetone into it to fill the fingers with acetone. I held the opening shut for about 5 minutes, and poured out the acetone. During that time, the glove slowly felt thinner and easier to stretch. At the end, it was so thin that it tore with almost no effort. So for the particular pair of nitrile gloves and acetone, it looks like somewhere between 1 and 5 minutes' exposure will render the glove useless.


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