The Right Way to Care for Your Latex
Latex is a highly coveted material cherished by many. The benefits of having a latex garment are plenty; it doesn’t only feel amazing but it also looks amazing. Most of us latex owners have one or two (or several!) pieces that we love to death and be incredibly sad to see it damaged. That is why is so important to take care of latex pieces; it’s not that hard but you do have to take into account some special specifications:
As you may aware, extreme heat is not latex best friend. So while you should be fine going out with it on hot weather or temperature, you shouldn’t be close to heaters, radiators and candles because it will melt. So be careful if you are playing with hot wax! (and I’m sure you probably will be wink*). And since we are on this page, you also have to be careful with sweat and salt and water. Obviously you will sweat while wearing latex and that is exactly why you should always wash it after each use.
You should also be careful with oils. “What kind of oils?” You are probably asking. Well, house household oils like solvents, mechanical oils and greases. If you want to shine up your latex, and be sure to do so! Wink*, do it with a water or silicone based lubrication.
Now, I know you love the color of your garment, so if you want to preserve it, you better keep metal objects like pennies, some jewelry and nickels far, far away from it; basically anything copper, brass and nickel based. And you know what also stains latex? Nicotine; so if you are a smoker make sure to wash your hands before touching the piece. Both metal and nicotine can cause some weird spots on the material. And to avoid any possible discoloration, keep out of the sun and don’t get the piece exposed to it for long periods. Light colors are the ones that are most at risk for changes in color.
As a last piece of advice you have take care not to rip the fabric. Latex is delicate so you have to treat it very gently and never with sharp objects. Long fingernails can easily rip it so be careful when you are putting it on and taking it off.
As I mentioned earlier, you should always wash the garment after each use. High humidity and water are latex enemies because they can discolor and rot your piece. You have to give it time to dry and wash it properly. And since I know you will ask, this is the right way to do it:
- Begin by filling a bathtub or the sink with some warm water. Put one or two drops of baby shampoo, mild shampoo or a mild liquid washing detergent and wash the piece. When you are done, give it a rinse with fresh water and make sure to take out all the cleaning products remains. Now, some people like to put some lubrication on the piece and swiff it around a little before letting it dry.
- Afterwards, put the latex on a plastic or wooden hanger (remember never metal!) and let it air dry indoors.
- When it’s dry, separate any pieces that may be stuck and put some talcum or baby powder on it. This will help them not to get stuck together. Alternatively you can rub some lube on the piece if you haven’t done it yet; this will make it shiny : )
- Then, you can store it on a garment bag or on a drawer, depending on the piece. The key here is to put it on dry and dark place. Now, be careful where you are putting it, specifically if there are other items around it. Colored latex can stain other items, especially if they are white, light colored or transparent. And be careful with clothing that has metal buttons!
- Remember to always follow those steps. Never use a washing machine, dry clean it or use soap powder because you will damage your piece.