The Best Dishwashing Gloves Are Korean, and Translate to ‘Mommy Hands’

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Strong enough to withstand water temperatures that melt takeout containers. Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

Rachel Khong is the author of the cookbook All About Eggs and the forthcoming novel Goodbye, Vitamin.

I’ve already proselytized to everybody I know IRL, so I’m now bringing this declaration to the internet: I am obsessed with Korean rubber gloves. They are superior to American rubber gloves in every way. I love every brand of Korean glove I’ve purchased at my local Korean supermarket, but one brand I recommend in particular, purchasable online, is “Mamison,” which comes in a plastic bag and translates to “Mommy Hands.”

If you handwash any number of dishes, Mommy Hands will change your life. They will at least change your dishwashing life. Before Mommy Hands, I was not a glove-wearer; now I am. First, before even evaluating its utility, there’s the feel. American gloves are thin and somewhat sticky; Mommy Hands are thick and incredibly smooth — the silk to the American rubber glove’s haircloth. Are they made from a different kind of rubber? I attempted to Google this but my search yielded no satisfying answers. In gloves, I want a glide, to be able to slide into them like I’d slide off a dolphin’s back, and these gloves do just that. They’re not just all one texture, however; they’re pleasantly ribbed on the back-of-hand area, and stippled in the finger area, giving you maximum grippiness: Never shall a dish slide from Mommy Hands. And the gloves are thick, meaning you can get the water incredibly hot. Case in point: Once I turned the water on so hot that I warped a takeout container. My hands, sheathed in my Mommy Hands, remained protected, intact and unburned.

The length of the glove’s sleeve is ideal: covering the forearm, before the elbow, slightly less than the elegant length of Audrey Hepburn’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s gloves. I’ve never been a fan of the length of American gloves, which are foolishly short: Water gets immediately into the glove, and if you are washing dishes with scalding water — which is the correct way to wash dishes, it’s how you get persistent dish soap off — is dangerous and not recommended. And then there’s the style: Mommy Hands come primarily in hot pink — compare that to the drab American yellow — thereby bringing joy to an otherwise unjoyful chore.

I use Mommy Hands first for dishwashing; when they begin to lose their luster, I downgrade them to bathroom cleaning. Notes for purchasing: I don’t consider myself as having large hands (though it’s been pointed out that I have long, alien fingers; my longest finger is the middle finger, measuring three and a quarter inches). I buy Mommy Hands in size large, and they fit, well, like a glove.

And a Pot-Scrubber We Love

On first glance, its angry little brown fibers look like they’ll do more damage to your hands than your pots. But fear not: Those fibers, made of hemp palm, soften under water, enough for you to get a cozy, ticklish hold on. And then they will proceed to absolutely obliterate any grime you’ll come across, on any surface. They clean easily. They’re the best kind of gift, too — perfect for a Secret Santa, or a housewarming, in that you’ll buy the one thing people will actually regularly use for the rest of their lives. Your friends will thank you. Your pots will be clean. And the nature of your personal grime will change forever.

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The Best Dishwashing Gloves Are ‘Mommy Hands’ in Korean