Practical Tips: Caring for Latex

Latex Fashion Practical Tips

It’s often said that the best things in life are free, and whilst this is true in many, many cases we here at Latex24/7 also believe that sometimes the expensive items can be worth the money and bring great pleasure to our lives.  By this we, of course, mean our favourite shiny material! There’s no arguing with the fact that latex fashion is not cheap; with designs ranging anywhere from £40 to £400+ it is often beyond the reach of many pockets.  Given the investment often required it’s therefore important to ensure that you are caring for latex in the correct way.  Follow these simple tips below to help look after your latex garments and help them stay in pristine condition for as long as possible.

Putting on Latex

Latex clothing can be tricky to put on and take off, but if you keep the following tips in mind, getting into and removing your latex garments won’t be nearly as much nuisance!

Whilst pulling on latex clothing – which is normally tight and fits snugly – it is possible to easily damage, leave permanent finger marks, stretch the material, or in some instances even rip or tear  Be patient.  The process can often be helped by use of baby/talcum powder which should be applied generously on the inside of your garments. Alternatively, another option is to use a silicone-based shining product or a non oil-based lubricant to make putting on your clothing easier.  Examples of this include our recommendations; Vivishine Vividress, Pjur Cult Dressing Aid and beGloss Easy Slide. Use as much or as little baby powder or lubricant as you feel you need; the excess can always be wiped off.

Be careful about grabbing the latex material with or between your fingers. This increases the likelihood of leaving finger indentations or causing damage to your clothing, instead be sure to use your whole hand to pull the clothing. Slide your hand between your skin and the latex and gradually shift until the garment is fitted properly and you are comfortable.

Be sure to watch your fingernails and any sharp edges on jewellery or watches, as these will catch the latex and possibly cause a tear. Metals including copper, brass, and bronze will stain your clothing if permitted to come into contact with one another so ensure you remove any items which may be made of these metals. Use makeup and perfume sparingly as these may stain or even degrade the latex material.

To remove your clothing, follow this same ‘pull and shift’ method to remove garments with care.

Shining Latex

Latex will normally look best when it is shined.  To accomplish this use a silicone based spray, made for Latex, to polish and build the shine of your item. Refrain from using other products, including household polishes, as these are not recommended for use and will probably damage your garment. Again, as with putting the outfit on, be patient.  It is better to shine the latex little and often as this will help to improve the materials natural gloss.

Building a shine is as simple as three steps: first, spray one side of your outfit entirely. Let the silicone spray seep into the latex material, and do not rub, pat, or wipe it. Turn your outfit over and proceed to spray the other side. Taking care to spread the silicone spray softly into areas you may have missed, make sure you have covered all areas. Once the garment is dry, pick it up and examine it carefully to ensure you have thoroughly shined the entire garment. After this initial application, you may notice a shine beginning to build within three to four thorough applications. Once you begin to notice a shine, do not stop polishing and maintaining your clothing!

Examples of suitable sprays are Honour Silicone Spray, Pjur Cult Polish and the Vivishine Polish.

Washing and Cleaning Latex

When wearing latex, sweating is normal and this will often be increased by the constriction of this type of material and snug fit. It is therefore important to clean your clothing after each wear as this will remove the sweat and odour from the latex material and will help the costume look its best for years to come.

Latex Fashion Practical Tips CleaningFill a bathtub, sink or buccket with lukewarm water. Mix a small amount of Vivishine Viviclean or beGloss Special Wash into the water and rinse your garments thoroughly. Do not scrub them, as this may damage the latex, but wipe with a soft cloth inside and out and rinse completely. Ensure that you do NOT wring out your clothing.  All you need to do is gently shake the garment to remove free excess water, pat gently with a towel to soak up remaining moisture, and hang to air-dry in a room temperature setting. Do not hang up using pegs or outside. It is often advisable to apply some talcum powder inside your outfit to prevent sticking.

NEVER attempt to tumble dry and definitely NEVER iron or dry clean latex garments.

Storing and Hanging Latex

Part of caring for latex is ensuring that it is stored correctly so that the material does not degrade when not being worn.  Avoid storing light coloured latex with stronger coloured latex as it is possible for the stronger colours to stain the lighter ones.

It is always a good idea to apply talcum powder to the garment so that it does not stick together and potentially rip as it is unpeeled next time the outfit is to be worn. Where possible, avoid folding the latex garment and instead hang the item.

Latex Fashion Practical Tips HangingWhen hanging garments, ensure you use fabric or plastic hangers as metal hangers can often stain the latex.  It is best to store latex in a dark, cool location and away from direct sunlight.  Where possible store the garment is clothing hanger bags as this helps to separate items (to prevent them sticking and staining each other), prevents dirt and dust sticking to the garment and also prevents the item from being exposed to daylight.

Caring for Latex Top Tips

  • Use talcum powder or water/silicone based lubricant to assist in putting the outfit on. This will make it easier to get into and reduce the risk of the latex splitting or tearing
  • Keep the outfit away from heat, direct sunlight, metals, and oils to prevent staining or degrading of the material
  • Only shine with latex polish as this cleans and nourishes the latex, keeping it stretchy and vibrant
  • Only wash in lukewarm water and approved cleaning products.  Do not use detergent and definitely do not wash in a washing machine. Ensure it is dried fully after cleaning
  • Store washed latex in a dark, cool location and only hang with plastic or fabric hangers
  • Most importantly, enjoy wearing it!

For other latex fashion practical tips, check out our Practical Tips section for further help and advice.  Also follow us on social media at FacebookTwitter, Instagram and YouTube to notified when other practical tips are published.

Are there any other tips which you would recommend when caring for latex? Do you have a unique storage or cleaning idea? If so, please let us know in the comments below.

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