Latex care is like influencer beauty regimes. There are as many methods as there are people, and each is sworn to be “the best ever”. While I’d never claim to be an influencer, I figure I might as well share my own. After all, I have kept many of my pieces fresh and supple more than a decade after I bought them.
There are some links ahead to products I use. I'm not being paid for any of them.
Why you need to look after latex
By now you should know the difference between latex and all that other shiny stuff like PVC and wet-look. (If not, I have a handy guide.) Latex rubber is a natural material, and if you look after it, it can last for decades. Investing a little extra cash to care for your rubber wear will pay in the long term because a $10 bottle of cleaning agent is a lot less expensive than shelling out $200 to replace a wrecked catsuit.
Care starts with getting dressed
My care routine starts when I put the clothes on. I use Pjur Cult, a colour and odourless dressing agent, to help slide the latex over my skin. This reduces the amount of pulling and tugging that goes on, which can wreck a seam. Unlike Kim Kardashian being shoe-horned into a pair of leggings, I like to wear my latex more than once.
Once it’s in place, I take a lint-free cloth, add a little of the agent, and give myself a good polish. I don’t know if this helps extend the life of my rubber, but it is fun!
We all sweat when we wear latex. The salt we release can damage the rubber, and spending long periods in it is often uncomfortable. A lot of that comes about when sweat pools around our feet and fingers, and we squelch around.
I use separate gloves and socks so I can quickly take them off, empty the sweat and get back to being a rubberist.
(A side benefit to this is when a sock breaks, I just replace a $20 pair of toe socks, instead of a $200 catsuit).
Time to take the rubber clothes off
For me, undressing is the most important part of latex care. I mentioned already how the salt in our sweat can damage rubber, so it’s important to clean the inside and get rid of all that mess.
I undress under a warm running shower, using a neutral, odourless body wash (Dove works for me). The longer we wear rubber, the more of our dressing aid is absorbed by the skin, and sweat takes its place. This can make undressing awkward as the rubber is likely stuck to us.
The body wash adds a little lubricant that helps unstick us. It also lifts sweat and mess and takes it away. Finally, if you’re using an odourless one, it won’t preserve that lovely latex smell we all like so much.
The rubber gets a thorough cleaning as I take it off, then another wash and rinse afterwards. Be careful though, because the bottom of the shower can get really slippery.
Once I’ve finished showering, it’s time to prep the latex for storage. Another thorough rinse to get rid of the last of the soap comes first. After that, I fill a large bowl with lukewarm water, add a couple of drops of vivishine and soak each item. Make sure it gets thoroughly wet inside and out.
Vivishine does two things. It helps maintain the shine, and it conditions the rubber. These should increase the longevity of your favourite items.
Drying your latex clothes
Hanging latex to dry can be difficult if you’re in a shared house, or living with someone who doesn’t share the fetish. However you do it, don’t store latex that’s still wet. It will rot.
I air dry mine by hanging it in the bathroom on plastic hangers. I’ll start with it inside out, then turn it the right way round once it’s dry. The total process takes 5-6 hours for one of my catsuits.
Storing your latex for later
There are two schools of thought on this. The first says we should store rubber flat, unshone and with a light dusting of talc. I used to do this, only I found it was a pain for playtime as I’d spend so long getting the rubber ready the spontaneity was gone.
My preference is the second approach: stored in its conditioned state, either hanging (for large items) or carefully folded with tissue (for smaller items like masks and gloves).
I use plastic hangers for my catsuits, jackets and so on. These can put pressure on the shoulders and damage the rubber. To reduce this effect, I use the wide-shouldered hangers often used for suit jackets. They’re put inside cloth suit covers and hung in a wardrobe. In all the years I’ve done this, I’ve never had shoulders show any sign of stretching or deforming.
My gloves, masks and so on are stored in ziplock bags with tissue paper between folds. I put one item (a hood or a pair of gloves) in each bag, and I remove as much air as I can before sealing it shut. It then goes into a storage locker in the darker corner of our wardrobe.
That’s how I look after my latex clothes
Latex needs more care than regular materials. I think it’s worth the time developing a routine that works for it. In my collection, I have items that are more than a dozen years old because I take care of them. For the sake of a few extra minutes here or there, that’s a lot of money saved from not having to replace expensive catsuits.