Gloves for Mechanics - drbe
Having recently bought a classic car, it looks as though I will have to get used to the idea of my hands getting dirty.

Or not - as the case may be! Where can I buy surgical type gloves to keep my hands clean?
Gloves for Mechanics - perro
Gloves for Mechanics - bathtub tom
Don't buy surgical gloves, they're not strong enough.

I've just finished a box of latex gloves bought from my local motor factors, but before I replace them I'll watch this thread because I think there's better available now. I don't know what they're called.
Gloves for Mechanics - Garethj
I use latex ones from Screwfix, Partco, or twice the price from Halfords. They're ok but sometimes they rip - no big deal, you just take it off an put another one on.

You can get thicker rubber gloves, as used when working with fibreglass but I've had no problems with the latex ones myself.

What car have you got? Then we can do all the jokes about buying the gloves in packs of 1000 etc etc ;-)
Gloves for Mechanics - drbe
>>>> What car have you got? Then we can do all the jokes about buying the
gloves in packs of 1000 etc etc ;-)


It's a 1960 Morris Minor convertible.

~ Leans back with arms folded, waiting for the jokes ; - )
Gloves for Mechanics - Garethj
It's a 1960 Morris Minor convertible.
~ Leans back with arms folded waiting for the jokes ; - )

It would be like shooting fish in a barrel !!

Nice, hope you enjoy it. I recently sold my Land Rover and bought a 1958 Peerless, both have been a pleasure to work on. A good job too, because the Peerless is part way through a restoration....

The main problem I've found with latex gloves is if you do up small screws and nuts by hand with them on, they get trapped under the thread and get ripped. Then you have to take the nut off again, take the glove off and do it all again.

Take the glove off before you tighten the fastener, get it started and then put a new glove on. It'll save some cursing!
Gloves for Mechanics - jc2
Latex gloves not only keep your hands clean,they get them even cleaner-you'll sweat inside the gloves.
Gloves for Mechanics - madf
I use these:

but can also recommend these:
Homebase Wet Grip Gloves.

Aldi also sell engineer's gloves occasionally.

I have latex gloves but
1. they don't last - tear easily
2. you sweat a lot
3. you may be allergic
4. Very expensive.. due to 1.

Edited by madf on 03/08/2009 at 10:56

Gloves for Mechanics - martint123
Some years ago I bought a box of boxes (10 boxes of 100 gloves) of nitrile gloves from ebay for £10. They are much stronger than latex, don't rot in minutes if contacting oil, petrol or thinners. The oly downside compared to latex ones is that they don't stretch as much - but there again, don't sweat as much.
Gloves for Mechanics - OldSock

You do lose some sensitivity through the rubber when attempting delicate manipulations......
Gloves for Mechanics - Number_Cruncher
I use powder free Nitrile gloves - if I'm working with something that is sensitive, I don't want to contaminate it with powder.

Gloves for Mechanics - drbe
So nitrile are better and stronger than latex? But also more expensive.

Partco have quoted me £3 odd for 100 pairs "as used by the RAC". At that sort of money, I can't go far wrong. I don't know if they are latex, nitrile or a. n. other.
Gloves for Mechanics - Number_Cruncher
>>But also more expensive.

In agreement with DP's point, compared with the cost of the job you're lilkely to be wearing the gloves for, the cost of the gloves is truly marginal.

The ability to remove them, and touch the insides of the car without needing to go and get cleaned up is also very handy.

Years ago, I worked on trucks, and as we didn't have massive premises, only one truck at a time could fit in the garage. So, the apprentice would be working outside going round with the grease gun, checking and topping up the batteries, and changing the diff and the gear oils. I used to use a pair of fingerless gloves in Winter, as it could get a bit nippy if it was wet and windy and full gloves might have well have been mittens. However, the first time I wore thin latex gloves was a revelation - warm hands AND the ability to carry on working.

Short of using a wet suit, I couldn't find any way to make the job of steam cleaning under the chassis for the trucks' MOT any less of a horrid job - like a retro reflector squirting water into a corner in the chassis means it always comes straight back at you - yuk!
Gloves for Mechanics - DP
I bought a big box of 100 pairs of latex gloves that my local motor factor had in their bargain bin (£1.50 or something equally piffling). Hate the loss of sensitivity and the sweat, although very handy when you drop your sump plug in the (full) drain pan or you're working with the underside of the car and its associated crud.

At 1.5p a pair, cost isn't a consideration if I go through three pairs in a job.
Gloves for Mechanics - Dynamic Dave
What's wrong with just getting your hands dirty, and then giving them a good scrub with swarfega? (or as I used to occasionally do when I ran out of hand cleaner, petrol poured onto a rag and then used to wipe the muck off)
Gloves for Mechanics - OldSock
What's wrong with just getting your hands dirty and then giving them a good scrub
with swarfega?

I recall that long-term exposure to waste oil is not too good an idea.

Never found Swarfega - the original green slime stuff - to be much use. They brought out Tufanega - the same stuff with inert gritty 'balls' - which worked much better, IMO.

If no commercial hand cleaner is available, good results can be obtained using washing-up liquid and a tablespoonful of sugar. 'Grind' the stuff into your skin without water for a minute or so, then rinse away.....
Gloves for Mechanics - bathtub tom
What's wrong with just getting your hands dirty and then giving them a good scrub
with swarfega?

I find that stuff brings me out in a rash now, 'sfunny it never used to. Hopefully I won't become allergic to latex.
Gloves for Mechanics - L'escargot
......... Swarfega - the original green slime stuff

In 1956 it was orange ~ and at work we had to buy it from the company stores!
Gloves for Mechanics - primus 1

Use margerine and sugar instead of washing up liquid

Gloves for Mechanics - drbe
What's wrong with just getting your hands dirty )


Er, no thanks. It takes me ages to get rid of all the crud that gets under the nails etc, plus everything you touch then gets dirty.
Gloves for Mechanics - perro
>>> I used to use a pair of fingerless gloves in Winter, as it could get a bit nippy if it was wet and windy and full gloves might have well have been mittens. However, the first time I wore thin latex gloves was a revelation - warm hands AND the ability to carry on working. <<<

(Haha!) That takes me back a bit N/C I used to work on cars *outside* 6 days a week and in all weathers, like DD I just put up with greasy mitts for about 7 years - then I used to wear latex gloves AND those fingerless gloves in winter ... + Damart thermals and 3 pairs of socks of course :)
Gloves for Mechanics - turbo11
What's wrong with just getting your hands dirty and then giving them a good scrub
with swarfega? (or as I used to occasionally do when I ran out of hand
cleaner petrol poured onto a rag and then used to wipe the muck off)

If your hands are continuously exposed to greases and oils then there is a fair chance that you will get dermatitis or an intolerance to oils. After twenty five years in motorsport, my hands blister within 48 hours of any contact with most oils, greases and Industrial cleaners. Any petrolium based household product has the same effect- vaseline,hand creams,even my young son's nappy cream!. My colleagues and I have worn surgical, and now powder free non latex gloves for decades.This is especially useful when one minute there covered in cv grease, the next you require clean hands to strap the driver in or work on the hydraulic system. Also circuits like monaco don't have facilities to wash your hands!, and in Brazil you wouldn't want to even step foot inside the toilets there.
Gloves for Mechanics - madf
Agree with turbo1. Got contact dermatitis from cars: took 20 years and a course of antibiotics before it cleared up.. (the course was for toenail fungal infections).

In that 20 years, one touch of soil meant blisters and raw flesh :-(
Gloves for Mechanics - Hamsafar
I prefer the nitrile ones over latex too. £4 a 100 from my motor factor. Sometimes I get ones called Bodyguards from the cash and carry, these are stronger. They all rip to some extent, but at 4p each I don't mind replacing them every 5 mins.
Gloves for Mechanics - 1400ted used gloves for many years now. I used to buy latex from one of the classic car shows but I found the powder gave me some sort of dermatitis. I changed make, I now get them from a local engineers suppliers at £2 a hundred...these are OK. It may be useful for you to try several.
I also use, occasionally, vinyl gloves. Latex don't last in petrol or paraffin so are no use in a parts washer....they just dissolve ! Trouble with vinyl is, they get very slippery in paraffin....can't have it both ways.
You may also find a good supply of chrome-cotton gloves useful. These are not pricey, I buy them in bundles of 20 for a couple of pounds. They make working on heavier items like suspension and wheel removal a lot more comfortable.

It's probably a bit girly, but after many years, I just don't like my fingerprints and nails impregnated with oil and grease.
To add to the sugar tip, a dollop of Fairy liquid mixed with a bit of washing powder also does the trick....but it can't half sting if it finds a cut !


Edited by 1400ted on 03/08/2009 at 17:32

Gloves for Mechanics - Hamsafar
While not well publicised, don't use washing powder for brightening whites on your skin as a wash, as it has an adverse effect on the male hormonal balance. It is highly penetrative, not readily excreted and mimics oestrogen.
Gloves for Mechanics - turbo11
As an apprentice, before I started wearing gloves we used washing up liquid with granulated sugar mixed in. Works a treat
Gloves for Mechanics - Dynamic Dave
I must have rugged hands. All those years as a teenager repairing my own and other people's motorbikes, never wore gloves once. Hands frequently covered in oil and grease, the majority washed off with petrol, then a follow up wash with swarfega (as previously mentioned)

And then there was all those years I worked with Genklene (before they banned it because it was found to be carcinogenic) not to mention Acetone, meths, Iso-propanol alcohol, and all the other solvents I've used over the years.
Gloves for Mechanics - jc2
Gloves for Mechanics - ifithelps
We usually kept a bag of sawdust next to the Swarfega.

Washing up at lunch and home time was a bit of a ritual, time to calm down a bit, have a chat with the other mechanics, and work out who was doing what next.

It was particularly therapeutic at the end of busy day.

No-one's mentioned barrier cream - we tried it a few times - useless.

Gloves for Mechanics - dxp55
bread making -- perfect for getting your hands and nails clean after a spell of oily repairs. - tasted OK to.
Gloves for Mechanics - injection doc
I would just use a good quality barrier cream. If you use a cheap latex & develop an allergie to them after a while you can't get away from the allergie for years. Iether go without or use a very good quality but watch for a reaction if you use a lot. I had a reaction after 3 years use & one of my employees had a very bad reaction after 5 years use & when i went to hospital they said, even surgeons have to throw the glove in when an allergie bits. hope fully you will be lucky but be warned once its triggered it don't go away.
Gloves for Mechanics - drbe
After research, it seems Machine Mart do a good choice including nitrile for about £8 per 100 pairs.

Thanks for all the responses, I didn't think a simple question like this would run so far!
Gloves for Mechanics - martint123
You said "pairs" - I doubt it when you read again ??

or £39 for a 1000 on ebay.

Edited by martint123 on 04/08/2009 at 11:31

Gloves for Mechanics - drbe
You said "pairs" - I doubt it when you read again ??


You are quite correct Martin, it is for a hundred gloves, not a hundred pairs.

However before reading your post I had bought one hundred nitrile gloves for £8.04 at Machine Mart. Quite good value, I think @ 16.08p per pair and they seem to be quite well made.
Gloves for Mechanics - Dynamic Dave
I've just looked at the brand name we use at work - Touch N Tuff powder free Nitrile disposable gloves, made by Ansell Heathcare,

Googling Touch N Tuff birings up several suppliers.
Gloves for Mechanics - pda
DD, they are a load of 'wusses' :)

Gloves for Mechanics - tintin01
I have bought latex gloves in Tesco, at about £1/1.50 for a pack of ten. I use them when waxing/polishing the car, but mostly when painting and decorating (they are in the decorating/car section). They are pretty good but your hands do sweat a bit. Also, if you have long nails they will tear them easily.
Gloves for Mechanics - bell boy
i use lots of the latex gloves
i buy them in boxes of hundreds in boxes of 10
works out about 2 quid a box
you do sweat
they do tear
i dont like the chalk ones
i dont like the nitrile ones (too tight even in extra large)
i dont like barrier cream
i dont use swarfega
i do use a concoction of sawdust in a paste its about 15 quid for a big tub and is safe on my hands and on the enviroment
Gloves for Mechanics - turbo11
DD they are a load of 'wusses' :)

And how many hours a day are your hands covered in oil then pat
Gloves for Mechanics - Sofa Spud
Boxing gloves would be good because then you can punch your car repeatedly until it works properly.
Gloves for Mechanics - glowplug
Due to my choice of cars I get through a few boxes a year. I tend to search on Ebay for a good price on Nitrile Unpowdered gloves. Around £10 for 2 boxes (50 pairs per box) is a good price. Some brands are better than others, touch n tuff are good if you can get them. Ordinary Latex are OK for quick jobs but they don't like chemicals and some people are allergic to them.

Gloves for Mechanics - pda
Always when hooking up a trailer or opening a taut liner because our Fitters think that greasing the trailer means we'll think they've serviced it!
Never when working on a car or motorbike and never when gardening either.
And I'm female too:)

Gloves for Mechanics - KB.

Holy thread resurrection Batman!

Have read the above. Any updated suggestion all this time later? Someting stronger than the cheapy latex powdered jobbies I've been buying for years from a car parts wholesaler that that's now gone broke (Maccess) .... which were OK but could probably be bettered now (Nitrile?). I see you can pay anything from three or four pounds for 100 up to a million pounds or thereabouts ... and Ebay and Amazon have loads of them but are all unknown to me. Just want something to keep hands clean and dry when fiddling in the garage or shed. Last night I cleaned some rusty tools and used a few chemicals and stuff to treat and repaint them and fnished up with an itchy rash over half my personage. Wasn't nice. Ta in advance.

Gloves for Mechanics - madf

ECP sell decent vinyl ones.

Gloves for Mechanics - corax

Get some of the powder free nitrile gloves from Amazon. Sometimes they split at the finger ends but if you're handling metal parts and still want dexterity then you won't get many alternatives. And there's plenty in the box if they do split.

The ones I have are Polyco Bodyguards.

Gloves for Mechanics - KB.

Ta for the response. I was in fact just looking on Amazon and could see the Aurelia Bold with 200 coming in at around £13. I did also see the Poly Bodyguard name cropping up so will go back and have a look.

Gloves for Mechanics - KB.

100 (50 pairs) Bodyguard blue powder free size XL nitrile gloves ordered from an Ebay seller (£5.60 delivered).


Much obliged.

Gloves for Mechanics - tourantass
Hi, Just a word on latex gloves.. In the workplace,they should only be used if there is no "suitable" alternative because of H&S COSHH regs so worth having a read of the following is interesting reading if you search on some of the claims relating to claims against employers.
Gloves for Mechanics - tourantass
Oops...this is the correct
Gloves for Mechanics - Vitesse6

The link above is well worth reading, I would avoid latex gloves if possible, and definitely avoid cheap latex gloves which are likely to be old stock. As the gloves age the latex proteins are more likely to migrate out of the glove and expose you to risk.

Luckily, old gloves smell more rubbery, so if you have a box of smelly old gloves knocking about, chuck them out and get some nitrile.

Gloves for Mechanics - KB.

The nitrile Polyco Bodyguard arrived today. Great service from the seller and the gloves fit like.... a glove. I have big(ish) hands (100mm across the palm) and the XL is just right..

Thanks for the advice and recommendation.

Gloves for Mechanics - corax

Glad you like them.

I use mine for anything where you might get noxious chemicals on the skin like painting the shed with spirit based preservative, cleaning drains, handling oily parts e.t.c

If nothing else they stop you having to scrub your hands to death afterwards!


Ask Honest John

Value my car