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Everyone has one household chore that they dread — ours just might be washing the dishes. Thankfully, dishwashing gloves can be the key to maintaining soft, moisturized hands (or that brand-new manicure you just got) while you're scrubbing away last night's leftovers from your plate. "Gloves can protect hands from drying out and nails from incurring damage from repeated exposure to soap and water," cleaning expert Kathy Cohoon of Two Maids & A Mop tells PEOPLE.
They can also protect your rings from getting damaged, and — if you find a cute enough pair — they might make the chore (at least a little bit) enjoyable.
If you’re new to dishwashing gloves or searching for your perfect pair, here are seven expert-approved picks to choose from.
Anyone on a budget who’s looking for a basic and effective dishwashing glove
Someone who needs extra small or extra large gloves
These gloves are the gold standard when it comes to dishwashing gloves — and they’re budget-friendly, making them an even more appealing option. As Cohoon says, these gloves are “an affordable option that is thin enough to offer a comfortable grip but thick enough to protect skin against gunk or hot water."
Cohoon explains that they’re great for dishwashing, of course, but they can also be used for other household chores, like scrubbing bathtubs and washing floors. What’s more, they’re latex-free, cotton-lined, and come with an embossed palm for extra grip and comfort.
Price at time of publish: $15.97
Material: Latex-free proprietary material | Available sizes: One size
Anyone with sensitive skin or with a latex-allergy
If a reusable pair of gloves isn’t what you’re looking for, these might not be for you
For those in search of a latex-free, super user-friendly glove, these PVC Dishwashing Gloves from Wahoo are some of the best on the market — and they’re made of skin-friendly cotton and PVC.
Cohoon explains that keeping allergies or skin sensitivities in mind is key when shopping for dishwashing gloves. “Many dishwashing gloves are latex-based, but alternatives exist. If comfort is your concern, look for brands that have a cotton lining, so they will keep your hands cushioned,” she says.
Complete with an anti-slip pattern that makes doing dishes even easier, these gloves are also available in a variety of colors.
Price at time of publish: $9.99
Material: Cotton and PVC | Available sizes: Small, medium, large
Anyone with extra small hands who is shopping on a budget
Anyone looking for a long-lasting glove
Most dishwashing gloves come in small, medium, and large sizes, but if you need an extra small pair, consider a kids-sized set of dishwashing gloves. With a 4.4 out of 5-star rating on Amazon, these would be a good option for you if you find yourself shopping for kids-sized mittens and gloves each year (or if you can’t find a pair of adult-sized dishwashing gloves that feel comfortable). They’re also hypoallergenic and come with a leakproof and anti-slip design.
However, these gloves aren't the most durable, so you may end up buying several pairs over the course of the year.
Price at time of publish: $6.99
Material: Rubber | Available sizes: One size
Anyone searching for size-specific, heat-resistant gloves
People looking for ultra-thin gloves
Created from food-grade silicone, these gloves are perfect for the highest (and coldest) of temperatures. Not only does this make them excellent for washing high volumes of dishes in extra hot water, but they also work for hot food prep, dealing with dry ice, and more.
Another cool detail of these gloves is that they come in actual sizes instead of the typical one-size-fits-all or small/medium/large options.
Price at time of publish: $32.99
Those washing dishes in extra high water temperatures
For those with eczema, household chores (and even just soap and water in general) can really aggravate flair-ups. And in fact, according to the National Eczema Association, even wearing waterproof gloves for more than 20 minutes at a time can be detrimental to those with eczema. That’s where cotton gloves come in handy.
The National Eczema Association suggests keeping “several pairs of cotton gloves around the house to protect your hands while doing chores.” These 100 percent cotton gloves from Eczema Honey Co. come in sets of 24, so you can use them throughout the week and protect your hands from water and other irritants. They’re also very easy to clean and reuse, according to the brand's website.
Price at time of publish: $24.95
Materials: 100% Cotton | Available sizes: One size fits most
Anyone who finds themself washing fragile or slippery dishes often
Those who prefer cotton-based gloves
In addition to being perfect for those with latex allergies, these latex-free Wahoo gloves are also particularly good for washing fragile, slippery dishes and glassware, thanks to their excellent grip and non-slip design.
Wahoo also offers cotton-lined gloves or unlined gloves, which may make it easier for some to maintain a firm grip on dishes while washing them. Plus, as an added bonus, Cohoon says that they work well for spot-cleaning laundry or upholstery, too.
Price at time of publish: $9.99
Materials: PVC | Available sizes: Medium
Those who do heavy-duty dish cleaning regularly or use extra hot water
Those looking for disposable, lightweight gloves
For particularly heavy-duty cleaning jobs, Cohoon suggests Tucker’s Safety Steamgloves, which are watertight, submersible, and protect hands in up to 225 degrees Fahrenheit temperatures for up to 15 seconds.
“Durable and perfect for extra grimy jobs, these gloves last a long time and hold up well in super soapy water,” Cohoon explains. “They are great for scrubbing down smoker windows, greasy pots, or even larger home jobs like outdoor cleaning.”
If you are cleaning up after a particularly intense cooking day (Thanksgiving Day, perhaps), or you’re looking for a pair of gloves to tackle more intense household cleaning, these might be for you.
Price at time of publish: $24.50
Materials: Nitrile | Available sizes: Medium
Depending on how much dishwashing you do, your perfect pair of dishwashing gloves will vary. A pair of gloves that’s too loose will make it difficult to comfortably grip dishes and other items. They can also allow water to slip into the gloves easily, which defeats the purpose of wearing gloves in the first place.
Alternatively, a pair of too-tight gloves can be uncomfortable and will deter you from actually wanting to use them. Using your winter glove/mitten size can be a good guide for finding the most comfortable-fitting dishwashing gloves for you.
“Only rinsing a dish here and there? A cheap pair will probably do just fine. Washing dishes throughout the day? Time to invest in a good pair of gloves,” Cohoon explains. However, if you are looking for a pair of gloves that are going to be used in a more heavy-duty, industrial setting, like a restaurant, then it’s best to opt for the most heat-resistant pair possible, like the Tucker Safety Glove. This way, you can wash dishes in the hottest water without having to switch gloves or worry about burning your hands.
“When shopping for dishwashing gloves, look for a pair with semi-thick latex or rubber," says Cohoon. "Thin gloves may tear easily, and super thick gloves may impose on grip and function. Be mindful of the grip of different gloves – look for textured finger pads to help grip slippery dishware.”
And, of course, consider materials and their effect on allergies when shopping for gloves. When in doubt, opt for a latex-free, cotton-lined glove for optimum comfort.
There are major benefits to protecting your hands while washing dishes.
“Gloves can protect hands from drying out and nails from incurring damage from repeated exposure to soap and water,” Cohoon says, adding that putting on a thin layer of lotion before wearing the gloves can soften your hands while scrubbing the dishes.
Gloves also allow you to get a better grip on the dishes themselves and use hotter water without worry.
The best part of dishwashing gloves is that they’re easy to disinfect and reuse for other tasks around the house.
“Dishwashing gloves can be used to protect hands while doing a multitude of things like scrubbing floors by hand or cleaning out grimy garbage cans,” Cohoon explains. “Some gloves with textured fingertips can be used to reach behind sink faucets or in tight corners.”
For everyday use, the best pair of dishwashing gloves is Mr. Clean Bliss gloves. They’re effective, comfortable, and recommended by cleaning professionals. They’re also affordable, which only adds to their overall value. Finally, they’re a perfect thickness for both hand protection and grip, making them ideal for doing dishes but also for other tasks, like household cleaning.
Loose Bag Olivia Muenter is a freelance writer who has written for numerous outlets such as Refinery29, Glamour, and Byrdie. She is also a co-host on the lifestyle podcast Bad on Paper. For this piece, she aimed to cover retailers of all types for people of varying household incomes. She also evaluated specific, expert-backed recommendations and considered third-party insights and reviews. She also interviewed Kathy Cohoon of Two Maids & A Mop for additional insight.