Does Acetone Go Through Latex Gloves?

Gloves are made to shield our hands and nails from potentially harmful things like harsh chemicals.

There are different types of gloves based on different materials. One popular type is latex gloves.

They are simple to find (online or offline), relatively inexpensive, and provide good dexterity and tactile sensitivity while ensuring comfort. But does acetone go through latex gloves?

This is an essential question to address if you are thinking about using latex gloves for manicure tasks. Keep reading to find the answer. 

Does Acetone Go Through Latex Gloves?

Yes, acetone does go through latex gloves. 

The breakthrough time for latex gloves when used with acetone is 10 minutes. However, there are other factors to consider, such as the thickness of the gloves, the chemical concentration, and the temperature.

Latex gloves’ 10 minute breakthrough time can shorten with lower thickness and higher chemical concentration and temperature. 

Note: Breakthrough time is the time between when a chemical touches the outside of a glove and when it breaks the surface to reach the skin. 

When acetone penetrates latex gloves and contacts your skin, you will likely encounter skin irritations.

You will not be able to smell it because it is a colorless solvent. But your skin can become red, dry, and cracked, which is also medically known as dermatitis. 

Why Does Acetone Go Through Latex Gloves? 

Latex gloves are gloves used with solvent and for these types of gloves, there will always be a permeation factor where solvents will gradually penetrate the gloves. This is the 1st reason. 

The 2nd reason is because acetone is a very strong chemical agent (solvent) that has the ability to penetrate glove materials. 

So, although gloves can protect hands from harmful chemical substances like acetone, it is not possible for them to safeguard hands from consistent and increasing exposure for an extended time. 

Latex gloves are preferred among disposable gloves, particularly in the medical industry because of their comfort, stretchiness, dexterity, and tactile sensitivity. 

Latex is recognized as a decent glove material option when it comes to acetone contact, but this is not absolute (not always the case) because there are more influencing factors, as we have said earlier. 

Latex gloves are popular among disposable gloves
Latex gloves are popular among disposable gloves

Will Nail Polish Remover Dissolve Latex Gloves? 

No, nail polish remover will not dissolve latex gloves.

Even though it typically consists of acetone, and acetone on its own takes 10 minutes to break through the surface of the gloves to reach the skin (as we have said earlier), nail polish remover tends to have other ingredients that dilute acetone.

Hence, it will not completely dissolve the gloves unless there is a lot of nail polish remover and prolonged contact. 

Does That Mean I Cannot Use Latex Gloves When Working On My Nails with Acetone? 

Do NOT use latex gloves if you are allergic to latex

It is essential that you opt OUT of latex gloves if you are allergic to latex. Do not dismiss it as a trivial deal. 

Latex gloves can render latex allergic reactions, through direct contact and inhalation. Mild latex allergy symptoms include reddening skin, itching, and rashes or hives. 

Examples of gloved hands after getting a latex allergic reaction 
Examples of gloved hands after getting a latex allergic reaction

More severe symptoms are wheezing, coughing, sneezing, difficulty breathing, scratchy throats, runny noses, and itchy watery eyes. 

The most threatening symptom is anaphylaxis, which can be foretold by swelling, hives, vomiting, dizziness, blood pressure plunge, and rapid or weak pulse. Seeking emergency medical care is necessary because anaphylaxis can be deadly. 

You MAY consider using latex gloves if you are not allergic to latex 

Even though acetone can go through latex gloves after roughly 10 minutes, these gloves are still categorized as providing good/adequate protection for your hands when using acetone.

Thus, it is still alright to use latex gloves if you, perhaps, want to remove polish from your hands with acetone.

But remember that you must not be allergic to latex and keep other factors in mind, including the durability, thickness, length, and permeability of the gloves to decide whether you should don latex gloves. 

What Can I Use Instead of Latex Gloves? 

The better option is Butyl rubber gloves. These are more specialized, synthetic polymer gloves equipped with higher chemical resistance to acetone.

The breakthrough time for Butyl rubber gloves exceeds 8 hours, so there is less concern about acetone penetrating them.

However, do note that Butyl rubber gloves are more expensive than latex gloves and other types of disposable gloves. 

What Gloves Are Used in Nail Salons? 

Technicians in nail salons work with a lot of different chemicals and also encounter a lot of biological hazards, such as fungi, bacteria, and viruses. So, gloves are one of the many things they rely on to keep themselves (and their customers) safe. 

They usually do not use latex gloves because there is a risk of latex allergy. Instead, they use disposable black nitrile gloves.

Nitrile gloves have similar wide openings, and they feel just like latex gloves. However, they are 100% free of latex. In addition, they are non-allergenic and cannot cause any types of allergic reaction.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) suggests nitrile gloves despite them having a shorter breakthrough time than latex gloves when it comes to acetone.

Nitrile gloves’ breakthrough time is only 4 minutes. Nonetheless, they are deemed to provide enough protection.

Note: Nail technicians must be thrown the gloves away immediately after use. 

Nail technicians typically use black nitrile gloves 
Nail technicians typically use black nitrile gloves


As you have just read above, the answer to “Does acetone go through latex gloves?” is yes. Acetone is a solvent that can penetrate latex gloves after about 10 minutes. If you want a better option, consider Butyl rubber gloves. Their acetone breakthrough time exceeds 8 hours. 

Hopefully, you have found the information you need. Leave any questions and thoughts in the comments below! 


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