Disposable vs. Reusable Safety Clothing

Different jobs call for different types of protection. Technology and safety wear has come a long way, giving today’s employers many options for protecting their workers. Often, the choice for using disposable clothing versus reusable clothing will be dictated by cleanliness standards or the difficulty of regular clean-up.

Disposable Safety Garments for Dirty Jobs

For lab technicians and others who need to maintain sterile environments or otherwise need protection from contaminants, there is a serious risk of introducing harmful matter into new environments if the clothing is taken out of the facility. When you need to protect yourself or your team from harmful substances while ensuring they won’t track them anywhere else, disposable garments are an economical alternative to fabric.

Disposable clothing is also valuable in manufacturing operations. Some substances will stubbornly cling to material and clog up washing machines during cleaning. Sometimes the extent of the mess that would have to be cleaned up isn’t worth washing out either, as with spray painting on production lines. Disposable materials can be as durable as cloth, but without requiring the same level of investment of money or clean-up time. Disposable clothing can be light enough so that they can be comfortably worn over regular clothing, but strong like cloth to resist tearing. Some types of disposable work clothes are also fire resistant or impermeable for addressing specific types of hazards. Disposable lab coats, coveralls, shoe covers, gowns, safety suits, and more are available in bulk packages for industrial companies.

Reusable Protective Wear for Tough Jobs

When there isn’t a risk of contamination or unmanageable mess, it can be a wiser investment to buy reusable clothing instead. When only light protection from dirt or contaminants is needed, fabric clothing may be the better choice for employee wear because of the added advantages of stronger materials, long-lasting gear, and savings from less frequent replacements. They can also incorporate antimicrobial, fire resistant, chemical resistant, and grease resistant treatments or materials. This high level of protection is invaluable in protecting workers from fire or acid burns as well as harmful vapors or gasses.

After considering what type of protection is needed for a given working environment, costs to take into account include the price and frequency of disposable garments versus the costs of laundering reusable clothing and replacing protective wear as needed.

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