Latex care

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General Care

Oils, greases and solvents destroy latex rubber. Keep the latex garment away from oils, hand creams, polishes and leather goods (leather contains oils).

Avoid prolonged exposure to excess heat, sunlight and humidity, which can discolor and degrade latex. Silicone lubricants can leach into and unstick seams if not washed off after each use.

Colored latex rubber permanently stains brown when it comes in contact with copper, brass, or bronze. This includes handling copper pennies and then touching latex!

Avoid sharp objects, including long fingernails. To make rubber garments easy to put on, first lightly powder the inside with talcum powder, cornstarch, or apply a personal lubricant (like KY Jelly, Eros Cult or Wet Platinum) and carefully put on. Some people wear cotton gloves while pulling on latex garments.

Be careful around candles, cigarettes, or other open flames. Latex is flammable!

Polishing

Latex rubber garments can be worn with a matt finish or with high polished finish. To achieve a polished finish, spray with a silicone product such as Eros Cult or STP Son of a Gun and buff lightly with a soft cloth (Armor All is not recommended due to the petroleum spirits in its chemistry), a food grade silicone spray used by grocers works just as well. For garments such as thongs that come into contact with sensitive skin, you may prefer to use a personal lubricant like Wet Platinum or KY Jelly.

Cleaning your garment

Wash in warm water with a few drops of antibacterial soap or baby shampoo. Rinse well and hang to dry. Dust with talcum powder or corn starch. Do not iron, dry-clean, or put latex garments into a washing machine or dryer.

Storing your garment

After washing and drying, lightly powder the latex garment with talcum powder or cornstarch to absorb any moisture, and keep it in a cool dark place. Store it in a plastic bag on a shelf, drawer or place it in a storage box. For travel, place the garment in a large zip lock plastic bag with a small amount of talcum powder or corn starch and place in your luggage. Do not store your garment covered in silicone lubricants or dressings. The silicone leaches into the seams and unsticks the bond cementing the seams together.

Repair

If your garment experiences damage, such as splitting, holes, or tears, in many cases it can be repaired. There are many companies that provide this service.

Glue

Various Rubber Cements can be used to glue sheets of latex together. Some brands are:

  • Best Test Rubber Cement
  • Bostik 3851

Each rubber cement will have an associated thinner with it which you can use to remove glue from areas and to clean the surface before gluing.

A good way to apply the glue to a latex sheet is to use a credit card and spread it out on both surfaces. Let it dry for about 15 minutes and then attach the two surfaces together. Go over the seam with a roller and it will finish the seam.

Chlorination

Chlorination is a process for treating latex clothing with a source of chlorine (such as chlorine bleach) in order to reduce the stickiness and allow the garment to be put on easily without the use of talcum powder or silicone oil. Care should be taken when attempting to chlorinate anything and a known method should be used.

Potential side effects from chlorination include slight discolouration and it makes the garment more difficult to repair. It also reduces the squeakiness of the garment.


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