Because the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 can spread via contaminated surfaces, some people are taking the extra step of wearing gloves for apparent protection.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the US suggests people use gloves while disinfecting the high-touch surfaces of their homes and discard them after each cleaning. If you're using reusable gloves for the sole purpose of ridding your house of coronavirus, the CDC says to use them only for that purpose.
But what if you're outside your home and want to use and reuse gloves to do grocery runs or other errands?
Health experts weighed in, and don't recommend either practice.
You probably shouldn't be wearing gloves at all.
One reason health experts don't endorse wearing gloves outside is that they can give wearers a false sense of security that they don't need to wash their hands.
The World Health Organisation does not believe that wearing gloves outside is effective in preventing coronavirus infections: "Regularly washing your bare hands offers more protection against catching COVID-19 than wearing rubber gloves," the health organisation said in a Facebook post.
Coronavirus across the globe
Coronavirus across the globe
Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldiers wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the new coronavirus march past a banner depicting Chinese President Xi Jinping at their living squatter inside the Tiananmen Gate in Beijing during a plenary session of China's National People's Congress (NPC) at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Monday, May 25, 2020. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)
The Frecce Tricolori aerobatic squad of the Italian Air Force flies over Milan's Duomo cathedral, northern Italy, Monday, May 25, 2020 on the occasion of the 74th anniversary of the founding of the Italian Republic on June 2, 1946. This year the acrobatic squad will fly over several Italian cities to bring a message of unity and solidarity during the coronavirus pandemic.(AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
A supporter of the late Yugoslav communist president Josip Broz Tito wearing a mask to protect against coronavirus holds an old Yugoslav flag with the communist five-point star in front of memorial complex prior to a wreath laying ceremony in Belgrade, Serbia, Monday, May 25, 2020. People flocked to Tito's grave to mark the 128th anniversary of his birth. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
Shoppers maintain a safe social distance between each other as they wait in line to enter a food section of the Matsuya Ginza department store which partially reopens Monday, May 25, 2020, in Tokyo. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to remove a coronavirus state of emergency from Tokyo and four other remaining prefectures later in the day. Japanese words read as "For entrance only." (AP Photo/Eugene Hoshiko)
Bangladeshi Muslims offer Eid al-Fitr prayers in Dhaka, Monday, May 25, 2020. The holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, a usually joyous three-day celebration has been significantly toned down as coronavirus cases soar. (AP Photo/Al-emrun Garjon)
Indian policemen patrol during Eid al-Fitr near the Jama Mosque at the old quarters of New Delhi, India, Monday, May 25, 2020. The holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, a usually joyous three-day celebration has been significantly toned down as coronavirus cases soar. (AP Photo/Manish Swarup)
BRASILIA, BRAZIL - MAY 24: Supporters of Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro wearing face masks with his face wave and shout slogans during a demonstration in favor of his government amidst the coronavirus pandemic in front of Planalto Palace on May 24, 2020 in Brasilia, Brazil. Brazil has over 352,000 confirmed positive cases of Coronavirus and 22,291 deaths. (Photo by Andressa Anholete/Getty Images)
Bosnian muslims, some wearing face masks to protect themselves from the COVID-19 infection, attend Eid al-Fitr prayers in Sarajevo, Bosnia, Sunday, May 24, 2020. Muslims worldwide are marking a muted religious festival of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan _ a usually joyous three-day celebration that has been significantly toned down due to the new coronavirus outbreak.(AP Photo/Kemal Softic)
A Muslim man wearing a protective mask prepares to pray outside the closed National Mosque while celebrating Eid al-Fitr, the Muslim festival marking the end the holy fasting month of Ramadan, amid the coronavirus outbreak, in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, Sunday, May 24, 2020. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Worshippers wearing protective face masks offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside a shrine to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, in Tehran, Iran, Sunday, May 24, 2020. Muslims worldwide celebrate one of their biggest holidays under the long shadow of the coronavirus, with millions confined to their homes and others gripped by economic concerns during what is usually a festive time of shopping and celebration. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)
Augsburg's Eduard Loewen celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's opening goal during the German Bundesliga soccer match between FC Schalke 04 and FC Augsburg at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, May 24, 2020. The German Bundesliga becomes the world's first major soccer league to resume after a two-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, Pool)
Nuns and faithful respecting social distancing look at Pope Francis reciting the Regina Coeli noon prayer on a giant screen in St. Peter's Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, May 24, 2020. For the first time in months, well-spaced faithful gathered in St. Peter’s Square for the traditional Sunday papal blessing, casting their gaze at the window where the pope normally addresses the faithful, since the square had been closed due to anti-coronavirus lockdown measures. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Muslims, some wearing face masks and gloves to protect against coronavirus, observe social distancing guidelines as they attend Eid al-Fitr prayers in Grozny, Russia, Sunday, May 24, 2020. Muslims worldwide are marking a muted religious festival of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, a usually joyous three-day celebration that has been significantly toned down due to the new coronavirus outbreak. (AP Photo/Musa Sadulayev)
MANAUS, BRAZIL - MAY 23: Melida Marquez, a 23 years old venezuelan woman holds a sign asking for job and help with her daughter Genesis, 6, at downtown Manaus on May 23 2020 in Manaus, Brazil. Melida arrived in Manaus a year ago, is pregnant of her fourth kid and has no protective masks. She uses the money got from pedestrians to buy food for her family. Brazil has now 330.890 people infected by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) according to Health Ministry and became the the second country in the world with more cases. (Photo by Andre Coelho/Getty Images)
French bishop Monsignor Emmanuel Gobilliard wearing a protective face mask, prepares to lead the first mass in the Lyon Saint-Jean cathedral since the beginning of the lock down due to Covid 19 pandemic, on May 23, 2020. - France went into lockdown on March 17, to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD / AFP) (Photo by JEFF PACHOUD/AFP via Getty Images)
A man stands outside his house, flanked by white cloths displayed to demand humanitarian aid during the home quarantine against the spread of the novel COVID-19 coronavirus, at Concepcion neighborhood in San Salvador on May 23, 2020. - El Salvador's Supreme Court of Justice (CSJ) revalidated on the eve the state of emergency decree -in force since last March- to face the COVID-19 pandemic, after intervening in a legal battle between the Legislative Assembly and the government of President Nayik Bukele. (Photo by Yuri CORTEZ / AFP) (Photo by YURI CORTEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MAY 23: A man wearing a protective face mask looks at a clothing store with protective masks on mannequins on May 23, 2020 in Turin, Italy. Restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers and other shops have reopened, subject to social distancing measures, after more than two months of a nationwide lockdown meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
TURIN, ITALY - MAY 23: A server wearing a protective mask serves a table of people in Piazza Vittorio Veneto on May 23, 2020 in Turin, Italy. On May 23, the Piedmont Region was able to reopen table seating at cafes and bars as long as people practice social distancing. Restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers and other shops have reopened, subject to social distancing measures, after more than two months of a nationwide lockdown meant to curb the spread of COVID-19. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
SINGAPORE, SINGAPORE - MAY 23: Volunteers wearing protective face masks and face shields check in with operators of a factory converted to a dormitory on May 23, 2020 in Singapore. This reassurance operation is an initiative by Covid-19 Migrant Support Coalition, a non-governmental group in Singapore.(Photo by Ore Huiying/Getty Images)
A patient covers his face in the COVID-19 zone of a hospital in Atizapan, Mexico, on May 22, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP) (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)
A health worker checks a patient at the COVID-19 zone of a hospital in Atizapan, Mexico, on May 22, 2020, amid the new coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by PEDRO PARDO / AFP) (Photo by PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)
The poster dedicated by Armani to all Italian nurses in Milan on May 22, 2020 in Milan, Italy. Restaurants, bars, cafes, hairdressers and other shops have reopened, subject to social distancing measures, after more than two months of a nationwide lockdown meant to curb the spread of Covid-19 (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
MADRID, SPAIN - MAY 22: Two women are seen talking at the town of Griñón during day 69th of the state of alarm decreed as a result of the coronavirus and still phase 0 of the reduction of confinement established by the Government on May 22, 2020 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Eduardo Parra/Europa Press via Getty Images)
BEIJING, CHINA - MAY 22: Chinese women from the country's ethnic minority groups wear protective masks as as they talk before the opening of the National People's Congress at the Great Hall of the People on May 22, 2020 in Beijing, China. China opened its annual parliamentary gathering, known as 'The Two Sessions', at the Great Hall of the People on May 21 after being postponed at the heigh of the coronavirus outbreak in China earlier this year. (Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)
Paramilitary police officers stand guard in front of a poster of late communist leader Mao Zedong on a street south of the Great Hall of the People during the opening session of the National People's Congress (NPC) in Beijing on May 22, 2020. - China moved to impose stringent new security laws on restive Hong Kong as its coronavirus-delayed parliamentary session opened on May 22 with a warning from Premier Li Keqiang of the "immense" challenges facing the world's second-largest economy. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo by GREG BAKER/AFP via Getty Images)
A police officer issues a pro-democracy protester (C) with a fine for breaking government-imposed social distancing rules against the COVID-19 coronavirus, during a march from outside the Western Police Station to the Chinese Liaison Office in Hong Kong on May 22, 2020. - A proposal to enact new Hong Kong security legislation was submitted to China's rubber-stamp on May 22, state media said, a move expected to fan fresh protests in the semi-autonomous financial hub. (Photo by Anthony WALLACE / AFP) (Photo by ANTHONY WALLACE/AFP via Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 21, 2020: Dmitry Nikitenko (L), first deputy general director of the Pirogov National Medical and Surgical Center, and Brock Bierman, Assistant Administrator at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), by a McDonnell Douglas/Boeing C-17 Globemaster III military transport aircraft of the United States Air Force at Vnukovo-3 Airport. The plane has delivered medical ventilators for the Pirogov National Medical and Surgical Center. The USA plans to donate 200 ventilators to Russia amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
A group of people with face masks on May 21, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain, Since today, protection mask are mandatory in all Spain except in some cases. The government put this measure to protect the citizen against the Covid-19 virus. (Photo by Adria Salido Zarco/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
AUSTIN, TEXAS - MAY 20: Residents swim, paddle board and kayak in Barton Creek on May 20, 2020 in Austin, Texas. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced that bars, wine tasting rooms, bowling alleys, skating rinks, bingo halls, aquariums, and equestrian events will be allowed to open on Friday, May 22nd despite a surge in confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) cases in the state. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
A Sri Lankan Health personnel in protective gear collects nasal swab sample from a worker near the Manning Market, Colombo, Sri Lanka, on May 20, 2020. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
A worker wearing a protective suit and mask, disinfects a tramway at the Solea transport depot in Mulhouse, eastern France, on May 20, 2020, as France eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON / AFP) (Photo by SEBASTIEN BOZON/AFP via Getty Images)
GUAYAQUIL, ECUADOR - MAY 20: Municipal workers disinfect at Pedro Carbo street on May 20, 2020 in Guayaquil, Ecuador. After 63 days of strict lockdown to curb spread of COVID-19, Guayaquil starts a new phase easing measures in some activities and industries. The capital city of Guayas province is one of the most affected territories in Latin America. (Photo by Eduardo Maquilon/Getty Images/Getty Images)
BARCELONA, SPAIN - MAY 20: A couple wearing a face mask and they entertain themselves with their smartphone during the night at Park Guell by architect Antoni Gaudi as it opens it's doors to neighborhood residents for the first day since March 13 on May 20, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. Some parts of Spain have entered the so-called "Phase One" or "Phase Two" transitions from its coronavirus lockdown, allowing many shops to reopen as well as restaurants who serve customers outdoors. Locations that were harder hit by coronavirus (Covid-19), such as Madrid and Barcelona, remain in a stricter quarantine. (Photo by Miquel Benitez/Getty Images)
A child wearing a face mask amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus commutes on a train in Tokyo on May 19, 2020. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
A worker sprays disinfectant in a classroom at a high school in Seoul on May 19, 2020. - South Korea has been held up as a global model in how to curb the coronavirus, but a spike of new cases, driven by a nightclub cluster in Seoul's Itaewon district -- including several gay clubs -- forced authorities to delay last week's planned re-opening of schools for a week. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo by JUNG YEON-JE/AFP via Getty Images)
HANOI, VIETNAM - MAY 19: Motorbike riders with face masks are stuck in traffic during the morning peak hour on May 19, 2020 in Hanoi, Vietnam. Though some restrictions remain in place, Vietnam has lifted the ban on certain entertainment facilities and non-essential businesses, including pubs, cinemas and spas & other tourist attractions to recover domestic tourism. On April 23, the Ministry of Transport started to increase domestic flights and trains to major destinations with limited passenger capacity. As of May 19, Vietnam has confirmed 324 cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19 ) with no deaths in the country, 263 fully recovered and no new case caused by community transmission for 33 days. (Photo by Linh Pham/Getty Images)
A passenger carrying his belongings walks to board on a bus as Telangana State Road Transport Corporation (TSRTC) resumed bus services after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, at Jubilee Bus Station (JBS) in Secunderabad, the twin city of Hyderabad on May 19, 2020. (Photo by NOAH SEELAM / AFP) (Photo by NOAH SEELAM/AFP via Getty Images)
People wearing face masks walk past the China Central Television (CCTV) headquarters building (R) and a cellphone tower (L, back), used for a 5G network, on a street in Beijing on May 19, 2020. - The annual meeting of the National Peoples Congress, Chinas rubber stamp legislature, opens on May 22, after a two month delay due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI / AFP) (Photo by NICOLAS ASFOURI/AFP via Getty Images)
People wearing face masks amid concerns of the COVID-19 coronavirus walk in a train station in Tokyo on May 19, 2020. (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU / AFP) (Photo by CHARLY TRIBALLEAU/AFP via Getty Images)
People pass by and notice cartoon dragon dolls the restaurant uses as space keepers in their booths for social distancing to help curb the spread of the coronavirus at shopping mall in Bangkok, Thailand, Monday, May 18, 2020. Thai authorities allowed department stores, shopping malls and other businesses to reopen from May 17, selectively easing restrictions meant to combat the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit)
Father Jose Maria Galvan, wearing a sanitary mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19 opens the door for the morning mass at St. Eugenio Church, in Rome, Monday, May 18, 2020. Italy partially lifted sanitary restrictions Monday after a two-month coronavirus lockdown. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 18, 2020: Russian Emergency Situations Ministry employees carry out disinfection of Kiyevsky Railway Station amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Vyacheslav Prokofyev/TASS (Photo by Vyacheslav Prokofyev\TASS via Getty Images)
Commuters, some wearing protective masks to protect against coronavirus travel on a Jubilee Line underground train, in London, Monday, May 18, 2020. Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced last Sunday that people could return to work if they could not work from home. (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)
Faithful wearing gloves and face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, pray during the morning mass at St. Eugenio Church, in Rome, Monday, May 18, 2020. Italy partially lifted sanitary restrictions Monday after a two-month coronavirus lockdown. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
A supporter of Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro flies a Brazilian flag during a protest against the Supreme Court and Brazil's National Congress, and to back Bolsonaro's open-the-economy drive amid the pandemic, in Brasilia, Brazil, Sunday, May 17, 2020. Bolsonaro greeted hundreds of supporters who gathered at the presidential residence to back his open-the-economy drive even as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the country. (AP Photo/Andre Borges)
A Christian wears a protective mask as she attends Mass while maintaining a social distance at the Cathedral Church of the Resurrection in Lahore, Pakistan, Sunday, May 17, 2020. Pakistani churches welcomed worshippers for Sunday Mass for the first time in nearly two months, as authorities eased restrictions imposed in March to limit the spread of coronavirus. (AP Photo/K.M. Chaudary)
Migrant workers from other states trying to return to their homes stand in queue as they wait for transportation to a train station in Ahmedabad, India, Sunday, May 17, 2020. Tens of thousands of migrant laborers have been returning from big cities to their villages after losing jobs because of a countrywide lockdown imposed in late March to contain the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
An Orthodox priest swings a chain censer in front of faithful during a Sunday mass taking place outside a church, in Athens, Sunday, May 17, 2020. Greek government allowed churches throughout the country to reopen their doors to faithful on Sunday, a decision that applies to regular services and ceremonies like baptisms and weddings. (AP Photo/Yorgos Karahalis)
BROOKLYN, NY - MAY 16: Views of New Yorkers as they make the come-back from the Covid-19 epidemic by heading to Coney Island Beach upon the arrival of the Memorial Day 2020 in Brooklyn, New York City on May 16, 2020. Credit: mpi43/MediaPunch /IPX
Footballs are disinfected during the Bundesliga soccer match between Duesseldorf and Paderborn in the Merkur Spiel-Arena, Duesseldorf, Germany, Saturday, May 16, 2020. The German Bundesliga becomes the world's first major soccer league to resume after a two-month suspension because of the coronavirus pandemic. (Sascha Schuermann/AFP pool via AP)
Police officers arrest a man during a demonstration against restrictions and measures to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus in Berlin, Germany, Saturday, May 16, 2020. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn)
Patients sit on the ground as they wait in queue outside of a hospital for Covid-19 test in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Tuesday, May. 16, 2020. (Photo by Syed Mahamudur Rahman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
HARRISBURG, PA - MAY 15: Demonstrators rally outside the Pennsylvania Capitol Building to protest the continued closure of businesses due to the coronavirus pandemic on May 15, 2020 in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has introduced a color tiered strategy to reopen the state with most areas not easing restrictions until June 4. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 16: People return to shop and dine along Ponsonby Road on May 16, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. New Zealand has eased restrictions under COVID-19 Alert Level 2, which is being introduced in three stages. Restaurants, cinemas, retail, playgrounds and gyms have been allowed to open with physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in place from Thursday 14 May. Public gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people and New Zealanders are now able to travel domestically. Schools and early childhood centres will open from Monday 18 May while bars will be allowed to reopen from Thursday 21 May. New Zealand was placed under full lockdown on March 26 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images)
MOSCOW, RUSSIA - MAY 16, 2020: Flusher trucks disinfecting Novoarbatsky Bridge amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Gavriil Grigorov/TASS (Photo by Gavriil Grigorov\TASS via Getty Images)
OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC - MAY 15: People enjoy the first largest live car concert featuring the band Mirai in Ostrava, Czech Republic on May 15, 2020. The band played their car concert in an industrial environment in the Lower Vitkovice area. The organizers stated that the total capacity of 500 cars was sold out. Viewers were not allowed to leave their vehicles due to government measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Only horns, turn signals and lights were allowed to support the band. (Photo by Lukas Kabon/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
Patients lie down on the ground as they wait in queue outside of a hospital for Covid-19 test in Dhaka, Bangladesh on Tuesday, May. 16, 2020. (Photo by Syed Mahamudur Rahman/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND - MAY 16: COVID-19 signs educate visitors at Matakana Village Farmers Market on May 16, 2020 in Auckland, New Zealand. The Matakana Village Farmers Market has reopened with new COVID-19 safety measures in place following the easing of restrictions across New Zealand under Alert Level 2, which came into effect from Thursday 14 May. Entry points to the market have been limited to help control the number of people attending at one time, with market staff also monitoring people gathering and social distancing measures and implementing a contact tracing register for visitors. All stall holders are required to sterilise their areas and have hand sanitiser available, and no samples are able to be offered to customers. COVID-19 Alert Level 2 measures are being introduced in three stages with public venues, restaurants, cinemas, retail, playgrounds and gyms have been allowed to open with physical distancing and strict hygiene measures in place from Thursday 14 May. Public gatherings are permitted for up to 10 people and New Zealanders are now able to travel domestically. Schools and early childhood centres will open from Monday 18 May while bars will be allowed to reopen from Thursday 21 May. New Zealand was placed under full lockdown on March 26 in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. (Photo by Fiona Goodall/Getty Images)
People in a line wait for verification before receiving food and other essentials from the members of the US Army National Guard at a food pantry amid the coronavirus (covid-19) pandemic in Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Ron Adar / SOPA Images/Sipa USA)
CASCAIS, PORTUGAL - MAY 15: Hairdresser Maria Tomaz (Kina) and her client wear protective gear during a beauty session at Nuance Salon due to COVID-19 Coronavirus pandemic on May 15, 2020 in Cascais, Portugal. The government downgraded, as of midnight of May 02, the country's state of emergency to a state of calamity, permitting certain non-essential services and commercial activities to reassume as the epidemic appears to be under control. (Photo by Horacio Villalobos#Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images)
MOSCOW REGION, RUSSIA - MAY 15, 2020: Taking a sample of a serviceman who has arrived from Italy for a COVID-19 coronavirus infection test at Chkalovsky Airport. An Ilyushin Il-76 plane of the Russian Aerospace Forces has brought back the last team of Russian military specialists who helped in fighting the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in Italy. Specialists of the Russian Defense Ministry and Italian servicemen carried out disinfection of care homes and other facilities in Italy's Lombardy Region and Province of Brescia. Valery Sharifulin/TASS (Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images)
Nurses wearing protective face masks participate in a protest with signs bearing the names of healthcare professionals who died from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) amid the COVID-19 outbreak in Brasilia, Brazil May 12, 2020. REUTERS/Adriano Machado TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
ISTANBUL, TURKEY - MAY 13: A health official, wearing protective suit and mask, from Istanbul Health Directorate Provincial Ambulance Service Chief Physician is seen with a patient in an ambulance in Istanbul, Turkey on May 13, 2020. Medical workers in the 112 Medical Emergency Centre, fighting against coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, work in 24-hour shifts. (Photo by Arif Hudaverdi Yaman/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
A man reacts while being tested for the COVID-19 coronavirus in a neighborhood in Wuhan, in Chinas central Hubei province on May 15, 2020. - Nervous residents of China's pandemic epicentre of Wuhan queued up across the city to be tested for the coronavirus on May 14 after a new cluster of cases sparked a mass screening campaign. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP) (Photo by HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP via Getty Images)
TOKYO, JAPAN - MAY 15: A RakuRo autonomous self-driving robot developed by ZMP Inc. moves through the Chiba Zoological Park during a rehearsal for an online virtual tour event tomorrow, on May 15, 2020 in Chiba, Japan. Robot maker ZMP and Chiba Zoological Park, which temporarily closed due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will be holding an online event tomorrow where children quarantined at home can virtually tour the zoo through a remote controlled robot with a 360-degree camera. (Photo by Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images)
Men carry boxes to be installed for the coffins at the Sao Pedro municipal cemetery, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, May 14, 2020.REUTERS/Amanda Perobelli TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Migrant workers pray in their dormitory during the holy month of Ramadan, amid the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Singapore May 8, 2020. Picture taken May 8, 2020. REUTERS/Edgar Su
A health worker dressed in protective gear uses a swab to collect sample from a man for a coronavirus test at Kalimati vegetable market during a government-imposed nationwide lockdown as a preventive measure against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Kathmandu on May 14 2020. (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA / AFP) (Photo by PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP via Getty Images)
An employee of the RATP (Autonomous Parisian Transportation Administration) distributes hydroalcoholic gel to commuters walking out of a metro station in Paris on May 14, 2020 during the ease of lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the COVID-19 (the novel coronavirus). (Photo by Philippe LOPEZ / AFP) (Photo by PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
A boy washes his hands after arriving in his classroom at the Saint-Exupery school in the Paris' suburb of La Courneuve on May 14, 2020 as primary schools in France re-open this week after an almost two-month closure due to the lockdown imposed since March 17 to curb the spread of the COVID-19 disease caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Martin BUREAU / AFP) (Photo by MARTIN BUREAU/AFP via Getty Images)
A migrant worker waves from the window of a special train going to Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh state back to his hometown after the government eased a nationwide lockdown imposed as a preventive measure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Amritsar on May 14, 2020. (Photo by NARINDER NANU / AFP) (Photo by NARINDER NANU/AFP via Getty Images)
Migrant workers wait outside the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Terminus railway station before boarding trains to return to their homes after the government eased a nationwide lockdown as a preventive mearure against the COVID-19 coronavirus, in Mumbai on May 14, 2020. (Photo by Punit PARANJPE / AFP) (Photo by PUNIT PARANJPE/AFP via Getty Images)
ANKARA, TURKEY - MAY 14, 2020: An elderly woman wearing a face shield walks in a street in the city centre amid the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.- PHOTOGRAPH BY Altan Gocher / Barcroft Studios / Future Publishing (Photo credit should read Altan Gocher/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
TEL AVIV, ISRAEL - MAY 14: An ultra-Orthodox Jewish man checks-in for an international flight at Ben Gurion Airport on May 14, 2020 near Tel Aviv, Israel. Authorities are preparing for the full reopening of the airport, Israel's main gateway, by June 1, 2020 as coronavirus cases across the country continue to decline. According to reports only visitors from countries with low infection rates and compulsory protective equipment laws will be granted entry while Israelis will need to report to the Health Ministry before traveling abroad. (Photo by David Silverman/Getty Images)
Construction workers wearing face masks travel in a back of a crew cab in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Thai government continue to ease restrictions related to running business in capital Bangkok that were imposed weeks ago to combat the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
A child walks with an adult through a ray of light in a narrow ally in Bangkok, Thailand, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. The Thai government continues to ease restrictions on small businesses that were imposed weeks ago to combat the spread of COVID-19. (AP Photo/Gemunu Amarasinghe)
Hairdresser Hatem Somai, wearing a face mask, cuts a client's hair in Tunis, Wednesday May 13, 2020. Shops reopened Monday in Tunisia and the country is expected to reduce the hours of its nightly curfew imposed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. (AP Photo/Hassene Dridi)
A man sprays disinfectant as he sanitizes Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica to prevent the spread of COVID-19, in Rome Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Italy partially lifted lockdown restrictions last week after a two-month lockdown and from May 18 churches are expected to reopen to the public for masses. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)
Zeynep Berra Gun, 6, wearing a face mask for protection against the coronavirus, plays with a dog in Kugulu public garden, in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. Parks filled with the sound of children as Turkey allowed kids aged 14 and under to leave homes for the first time in 40 days. The country's youngest population were allowed to venture out for four hours between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm on Wednesday as Turkey eased some restrictions in place to fight to coronavirus outbreak.(AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici)
People stand in a queue to buy liquor outside a wine store during a nationwide lockdown to curb the spread of new coronavirus in New Delhi, India, Wednesday, May 13, 2020. India’s lockdown, imposed March 25, is set to at least partially end May 18. Some restrictions on manufacturing, agriculture and self-employment were lifted May 4 to ease the burden on the poor and informal sector workers who comprise the majority of India’s workforce. (AP Photo/Altaf Qadri)
A child wears a protective face mask in a classroom at the Trinite public school in the Groix island, on May 12, 2020, two days after France eased lockdown measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
People wearing protective face masks sit on a motorcycle, as the outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Mexico City, Mexico May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Edgard Garrido
A teacher wearing a protective face mask speaks with pupils after they have returned to their classroom at the Trinite public school in the Groix island, on May 12, 2020, two days after France eased lockdown measures to curb the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, caused by the novel coronavirus. (Photo by Loic VENANCE / AFP) (Photo by LOIC VENANCE/AFP via Getty Images)
A medic wearing protective gear looks out from a window of the Saint George hospital after a fire broke out in the medical facility in Saint Petersburg on May 12, 2020. - A fire at a hospital in Russia's second city Saint Petersburg on May 12 killed five coronavirus patients who had been attached to ventilators, officials and news agencies said. (Photo by Olga MALTSEVA / AFP) (Photo by OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP via Getty Images)
A man disinfects the Santa Maria in Trastevere Basilica, during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak, in Rome, Italy, May 11, 2020. REUTERS/Remo Casilli TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
People collect fish on the beach during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak in Da Nang, Vietnam May 6, 2020. REUTERS/Kham TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A day laborer sleeps on his hand cart while waiting for customers during the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, May 11, 2020. Muslims across the world are observing Ramadan, when they refrain from eating, drinking and smoking from dawn to dusk. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul)
A young visitor, wearing face masks, waves at the Disneyland theme park in Shanghai as it reopened after the coronavirus closure, Monday, May 11, 2020. Visits will be limited initially and must be booked in advance, and the company said it will increase cleaning and require social distancing in lines for the various attractions.(AP Photo/Sam McNeil)
Grave diggers wearing protective suits bury a COVID-19 victim as relatives and friends stand at a safe distance, in the special purpose for coronavirus victims section of a cemetery in Kolpino, outside St.Petersburg, Russia, Sunday, May 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Dmitri Lovetsky)
Romanian care workers with face masks accompanied by police and security arrive at the train station of Vienna's Schwechat airport, Austria, Monday, May 11, 2020. This is the first train from Romania with care workers who had difficulty getting to Austria due to travel restrictions. The Austrian government has moved to restrict freedom of movement for people, in an effort to slow the onset of the COVID-19 coronavirus. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)
The Portuguese word "Hunger" is projected over the Rio's Christ the Redeemer statue amid the new coronavirus outbreak in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday, May 10, 2020. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
A man waits for a takeout order in a fast food restaurant in Toronto, Saturday, May 9, 2020. (Chris Young/The Canadian Press via AP)
Anti-lockdown protesters hold placards on the steps of Victoria's state parliament in Melbourne on May 10, 2020 before police arrested 10 protesters - Hundreds of people gathered to protest the state's tough lockdown laws as well as 5G, vaccinations and coronavirus being a hoax. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Anti-lockdown protesters chant on the steps of Victoria's state parliament in Melbourne on May 10, 2020 before police arrested 10 protesters - Hundreds of people gathered to protest the state's tough lockdown laws as well as 5G, vaccinations and coronavirus being a hoax. (Photo by William WEST / AFP) (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP via Getty Images)
Relatives help a worker of SOS Funeral, wearing protection equipment, remove the body of Eldon Cascais, who according to the relatives had preexisting health conditions and died at his house after having trouble breathing, amid the new coronavirus outbreak in Manaus, Brazil, Saturday, May 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
Demonstrators calling for Gov. Gavin Newsom to end the stay-at-home orders gather at the Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Saturday, May 9, 2020. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli)
Soldiers wearing a face mask patrolling next to barbed wire at a newly locked down coronavirus affected area at old town of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, on Sunday, May 10, 2020. Many business sectors reopened since May 4 in some parts of Malaysia since a partial virus lockdown began March 18. (AP Photo/Vincent Thian)
Maria Rita Dias dos Santos, 53, wipes away tears inside her home after receiving donated food from former inmates, part of a nonprofit organization known as “Eu sou Eu” or “I am me”, who are delivering food to people struggling due to the new coronavirus pandemic, at the Para-Pedro favela in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo)
Cemetery worker Bruno Avelino walks among graves as he waits for the arrival of a coffin that contains the remains of one-year-old Vitoria, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday, May 8, 2020. According to her mother, Vitoria died from the new coronavirus, infected in the health unit where she was being hospitalized for a gastrointestinal problem. (AP Photo/Leo Correa)
A counter-protester beats on the hood of a car as he is pushed back after blocking a drive-by rally to reopen the country and economy outside City Hall in Philadelphia, Friday, May 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
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It's difficult to use gloves without causing some contamination.
Both latex and nitrile medical-style gloves are designed to be single-use, noted Lucy Wilson, the chair of the department of emergency health services at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
One reason for this is because "removing them is difficult, and you can contaminate yourself and them by removing them," she said. Properly taking off gloves involves inverting them, and this can be difficult to do without contaminating the gloves.
After the gloves are inverted, if you are going to reuse them, "You then have to figure out a way to get them in their regular shape without contaminating them," she said. With their flimsy shape, that's going to be difficult.
Washing disposable gloves can compromise their integrity.
Once you have used your gloves to touch potentially contaminated surfaces, cleaning them for reuse comes with risks. Medical gloves are not indestructible barriers. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration noted that even wearing hand lotion under latex gloves can break down the material.
"Disposable gloves were not designed for long-term wear," said Kelly Reynolds, director of the environment, exposure science and risk assessment center at the University of Arizona. "Reusing disposable gloves may increase the risk of exposure to viruses as microscopic tears can develop over time. Washing gloves can disrupt the integrity of the glove and is not recommended."
It's easier to keep hands clean than gloves.
If you're thinking of trying to sanitise your gloves for reuse, recognise that most peoples' hands are easier to clean and maintain than gloves.
"Let's say you touch a surface that happens to be contaminated, even though statistically that's going to be less likely outside of the health care setting," said Thomas Russo, the chief of the infectious disease division at the University of Buffalo. "The secret then is to go ahead and decontaminate your hand and/or glove. The problem is that the gloves are much more difficult to decontaminate."
Russo noted that rubber latex gloves can easily tear and break with cleaning and multiple uses, but your hands can withstand this kind of regular cleaning. "Your hands are really easy to maintain [with] good hand hygiene," he said.
Keep in mind how this coronavirus primarily spreads: Wilson noted that it is not absorbed through unbroken skin, it enters through your mucus membranes or openings. "Your skin is a protective layer in and of itself, but you have to be sensible and careful with hand-washing," Wilson said.
- This article originally appeared on HuffPost US.