Do you look after your own latex?
I often write about latex. I love this glossy, shaping, vegan (comes from the rubber tree), and simply captivating material. I do own a few things myself, and I know it is as beautiful as it is ‘fragile’ (yes, fragile).
Whether you are thinking of getting something, or you already have a full wardrobe, or just looking at some extra tips, I thought of writing a post around caring for latex. And yes, although it’s fragile, if you look after it well, it will give you years and years of wear!
Here are three steps to look after latex: WEAR IT, WASH IT, and STORE IT.
WEAR IT: A quick guide on how wear it and make it shine
WASH IT: At the end of your night out, or your session in, it will need a good wash
STORE IT: Some notes on how to store it properly
You found something you like, and you bought it. Awesome. First thing: make sure it’s your size. If it’s not a good fit, it will either rip, if you stretch it too much (too small), or will get wrinkly and baggy (too large).
Next, your latex has arrived and it’s ready to wear! If you have bought latex before, you probably had it delivered covered in talcum powder. Talcum powder is your friend.
Talc prevents the latex from sticking onto itself and helps you ease yourself into it. And sometimes make you look like you had a fight in a bakery (think Al Pacino in Scarface), which I can only see a positive and fun experience. Make sure you have some handy, you will need to talcum your latex as well as yourself. Check the seams, make sure they are not twisted and are aligned to where they should be. While getting dressed, try to avoid creases as it’s a pain to sort out later.
If you have any doubts about the fit, and it’s brand new, use just talc. Some shops will do size-exchange, but only if it’s not lubed up.
If you wore it before and it fits, and it’s not covered in talc, then you might be able to just lube yourself up and wear it without talc.
IMPORTANT: careful with your nails, jewellery, and piercings. If you want to wear shibari ropes over it, or a belt, be extremely careful as it might tear the latex.
Once it’s on, you can either wear it matte or shiny, that’s entirely up to you. If you are wearing it matte, then you are fine with talcum powder. In fact, the talcum powder mixes well with your sweat and lubes you up in a way. Most people will shine it, and make it glossy with some silicon-based products. Options: you can use liquid lube on a cloth or on your hands, you can buy some pre-lubed-up-wipes, or you can get the spray version. So long as you lube up with long strokes, in the same direction, and remove the excess after, you are good.
IMPORTANT: If you go for the spray, don’t spray your floor too, or you will slip and fall. Trialed and tested.
Talcum powder is your friend.
Great for lubing up, liquid is quick and easy.
Wipes are perfect for shining your latex.
For a movie-star finish shine.
Earlier I mentioned that latex is vegan. And latex IS vegan. However some companies add casein to it to make it softer and more elastic. Casein is a protein that can be found in milk. Mind you, percentages are really really small, but thought I would flag it anyway.
Wash your latex within a day or two from wearing it. This is because oils and sweat from the skin might damage it (I cannot stress how delicate latex can be). You can hand-wash it in the sink, in a large bucket, or in the bath tub if it’s a lot. Ideally use lukewarm water with gentle soap, like a fabric conditioner, although many use dish soap (I personally prefer the smell of fabric conditioner, but both work). Make sure you wash both the outside and the inside (it tends to stick together when wet), then rinse. You can towel dry or hang it, but you might need to turn it inside out to dry the inside too (did I say it sticks together?).
If you get make up on it or it gets dirty, wash it right away to stop the stain from setting in. Once it has settled, it might be really hard to remove it.
IMPORTANT: do not wash in washing machine, do not tumble dry, do not iron, do not dry clean, do not hang near a radiator or dry in the sun (it melts).
Once you latex is fully dry, you need to store it well.
Firstly: dust the inside of the clothes with talc powder, your new best friend. This will prevent the latex from sticking onto itself.
Secondly: dust the outside of your latex with more talc powder, you use lube on the outside, but I have heard that it might degrade it over time. Stick to talc if you can.
Thirdly: store your latex away from sunlight, in a dry and cool place. Your wardrobe is fine, but keep it away from other materials, for example fold it inside a cotton bag or wrap it in old bed linen.
If your latex is thick and you need to avoid creases (like a latex jacket for example), hang it in your wardrobe. Ideally get a plastic bag to protect it, a transparent plastic bag is best so it doesn’t transfer colour onto your latex. Also, if it’s a dress or trousers, you can hang it a few days before wearing it, so the creases drop out a little.
IMPORTANT: brass, copper, bronze, and some metals will stain light coloured latex. Keep these away and do not handle latex after handling jewellery, coins, belt buckles, etc. Should you accidentally stain it, with metal or other darker latex, you can try to leech it, but there is no guarantee that it will work. Basically, what you can do is use some white scraps of latex (if you have any), and press them against the stain (ideally with a little weight, like a book). it might takes several hours, but hopefully some of the stain will transfer over, and then you can repeat the process. Worth a try if you are desperate.
Latex is beautiful and very durable. Yes, I agree, it’s a lot of work, more than a simple lycra outfit, but it is also so much more rewarding.
I think I covered most of it. If you have more tips to share, drop a comment below, or send me a message from the contact us page. I hope you enjoyed this one 🙂
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