By Marc Trudeau
This next essay is mostly based on posts from forums and practical information I collected through the years of being a latex fetishist. I thought it would be nice to elaborate this essay into a guide for those who might want to learn a bit more about latex care and maintenance.
I want to Thank Isabeau, Darthbetta and many other peoples who inspired and help for this essay.
Dressing Aids: Dos and Donts:
Talcum is a mineral, with no organic agent. Choose the ones with as finer grains as possible [softer on the skin]. Downside, it might fly all around when you apply it and then you have to clean around [trick, do it over the bathtub or in the bathtub].
Corn starch is to be avoided. It will dissolve in sweat and will be absorbed by the latex. Plus it supports the growth of bacteria and fungus.
Silicone has been said to be the best by many people, but be warned. It's impossible to remove and accumulates in the seams, getting at the glue of the garments. Plus if it's an oily brand, it will make your piece of clothing impossible to repair.
Lubes are the best way to slide in, but I find that if I put too much, my garment might move "around" me. Not much but sometimes enough to be annoying. The cheapest one is Jlube (http://www.jlube.net/direc.htm) since you can go a long way with a little. But it's got to be mixed which I find annoying.
Shining Latex Clothing:
Most people like their latex rubber clothes to look shiny though this is a matter of personal preference. Some people prefer a matte look on colors like turquoise. Remember that getting a good shine on your latex rubber clothes requires patience, a gentle touch, and practice. The longer you have your latex rubber clothes, and the more often they are shined, the shinier they will be.
To create the effects seen in the best latex rubber photography, the natural gloss of latex rubber should be enhanced by the use of a silicone spray such as Super Shiner, Eros, Rubba Glo, Cult, Wet Platinum or others as designed and silicone based. The use of some household polishes on latex clothing will work, but not recommended, as most can damage the sheen and even deteriorate the latex rubber. Oil based products especially should be avoided. Use a soft cloth when polishing your latex rubber clothes as an abrasive cloth could scratch the surface or remove too much shine.
During the first treatment, mist one side of your latex clothing with a shining product,and then let it sit until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed into the latex rubber. Then flip your latex rubber clothes over and repeat on the other side. You do not want to wipe off the shining product - merely to spread it around. Do not rub hard. At best you will wipe away all the shine and at worst you may damage the surface of the latex rubber. You need to check your work under good lighting and do touch-ups as required. It may take two or three treatments to achieve a nice shiny, mirror-like, finish to your latex rubber clothes.
Washing Latex Clothing:
After each time you wear your latex clothing it is important to clean it and put it away properly. Immediately after wearing your latex clothing, to remove sweat and cigarette smoke, alcohol, rinse in lukewarm water with a little soap or mild liquid detergent [mind that you don't use anything meant to "cut grease" because it will damage the latex rubber]. Wipe down [do not scrub] with a soft dampened cloth being sure to wash inside & out. DO NOT USE BLEACH. Rinse the latex rubber clothes well, Shake away excess water & pats dry with a lint free towel and allow drying naturally; do not use heat. Water streaks can usually be removed with a damp cloth afterwards. After washing, hang your latex rubber clothes to dry on a plastic hanger, finally dust liberally with powder.
You can wash your latex in the washing machine at GENTLE cycle [At your own risk, I personally prefer hand washing]. To ensure that your latex is not being damaged, simply add a few towels with your latex clothes, or put the latex in a wash bag [like the ones used for delicate lingerie]. Use gentle liquid dish soap [you don't need much]. Once the wash is finished, get rid of the water excess by holding the garments either on top of your washing machine or on top of the bathtub.
Hang the latex clothing over the bathtub and let the items dry off. This will take several hours to dry. This is an easy way to let the latex dry off on its own.
Some one suggested you can put the garments in the drying machine at AIR CYCLE [NO HEAT!!] with a few dry towels to absorb the water. If your latex is the kind that sticks together when dry, then apply some lube on it when it's wet, before putting it in the dryer. Note: it might be a good idea to put the clothes in some kind of cotton bag in the dryer if you don't want the lube to cover the inside of your dryer. I would not recommend this if you know your dryer tend to work "HOT". Hang the cloth to dry is a lot safer.
Storing Latex Clothing:
When your latex rubber clothes are
not in use dust well with talc inside and a little outside to stop it
sticking. Store in a dark dry place such as a wardrobe and cover with
a protective material such as a black plastic bag. Take extra care with
colored and transparent latex Clothing, which may stain on contact with
copper-based metals, sweat, and make-up. If you hang your latex rubber
clothes use a very wide PLASTIC hanger.
Tears & Repairing Latex Clothing:
When dealing with latex rubber, a small tear can very quickly become a large one. However, don't despair if your latex rubber clothes begin to tear. As long as you repair the tear when it is small the latex rubber clothes will still be usable. To patch a tear in your latex rubber clothes, you will need the following items: rubber cement, a medium grain sand paper, rubbing alcohol, and a small latex rubber patch. The simplest approach is to buy a bicycle inner tube repair kit as it contains most of the items you will need. First clean both of the surfaces that you are going to glue together with the rubbing alcohol. If there is residue on the surfaces you wish to glue (like shiner) or rubber conditioner, prolonged immersion in soapy water may be necessary to clean the latex rubber. Your next step is to lightly buff both surfaces with the sand paper. This will enhance the strength of the bonding Surface area. Now you're ready to apply the glue! The latex will curl up, but don't worry as it will gradually uncurl when it begins to dry. You might have to help it uncurl if the latex rubber has stuck to itself; for this reason, it is better to glue a small part of the patch at time, rather than the whole thing at once. When the glue is still tacky, but not wet, you want to press the two surfaces together. Run your fingers down the seam, or roll a pen or other cylindrical object down the seam to remove all the air. Let your latex rubber clothes dry for a couple hours [overnight if possible] before testing the patch. This procedure may take a couple of tries to work but be patient and keep trying. There is an ORANGE colored "Carpeting Glue" commonly called " Elephant Snot" in the trade, and it also works wonders as contact cement.
I hope this essay as help you understand more about Latex care and maintenance. I am sure it will make your rubber experience more enjoyable. Have fun and stay rubbery.
Marc Trudeau latex Fetishist!
ŠTHE BDSM CIRCLE 2004