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Taking Care of Fetish Stuff
#1
Inspired by that picture of a first lycra suit (mine looked about the same) and a few rubber items that are ruined, I would like to start a thread about preservation and care of fetish items. I am not a pro in that field but for a quick start:

Latex / Rubber
Both are not the same, I have no idea what is what. Some say to only use a damp cloth for cleaning, others allow "mild soap". It should be powdered to prevent it from sticking to itself. In order to make it shiny, silicone spray can be used. I do like the smell, but I am not sure how healthy that is.

Vinyl

Vinyl as water supply tubes is said to last for 50 years at least. I have a vinyl coat for about 5 years now and it doesn't seem to have changed at all. And I have a couple of really old pvc bags in my basement which look fine too. But vinyl is sensible to sunlight, it can become brittle. I also remember pvc floor in a kitchen wich somehow glued itself to the wood underneath. PVC clothes can be washed in cold water with some soap. It melts at pretty low temperature, so it can't be dried or ironed. In order to make it shiny, silicone spray can be used at the wearers risk. I haven't found any hint that silicone could be harmful to vinyl or pvc though.

Lycra

It seems that lycra is very resistant to standard washing methods. It is even said to recover its stretch when washed thoroughly and dried. Well, I have seen an old leotard and an old overall and they both are worn out, larger and don't recover by washing. So I guess, lycra has a limited lifespan when stretched too much. But I have been wearing a gymnastic suit almost daily for about one year and it is still in relatively good condition. However, small knots have appeared where it is streched when worn. I have seen worse though, so I guess it depends on the quality of the fabric.

Leather

I don't know much about leather, so here is a link with lots of information:
http://www.essortment.com/all/leathercaretip_rico.htm
But somewhere I read that hardening oils, such as walnut oil, linseed oil and almond oil are good for leather. I tried it on the box for my sitar which is covered in crappy leather. It looks a bit better now and hasn't fallen apart so far (about two months, not really a long term test). I also used to have a leather sofa, which I never treated with anything. The leather surface slowly became harder and started to look like fish scales - so I had to get rid of it.

Polyester (down jackets for example)
I have an old polyester wind breaker which looks like new although heavily used for quite a while - in rain and in SB. Polyester is the carrier material of photographic films as well, and so its life span must be quite long. The light-sensitive and later developed coating fades away much faster.

Well, these are my spontaneous findings and there might be mistakes. I hope that others check it and also post their personal recommendations. And there might be more materials to talk about, silk for example and, if not covered yet, the material of tights.
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#2
A good candidate for a FAQ.

It must be mentioned that latex, oil and copper do not mix. The latter two convert latex into goo.
Fetish shops sell various special cleaning liquids. I prefer some of them to the cheapest soap (and, strangely enough, the best soap I could find in NL, DE, AT, BE and FR) I buy in the Dutch supermarket Albert Heijn. It costs less than 50 cents for half a litre (will post photo later).This liquid soap contains no funny flavours and does not leave sticky residuals like other the so called "skin friendly" stuff.
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#3
As for "clean" soap, I wonder if curd soap is good too then, it is the base material for making solid soap - no additives or anything and controlled ph value.
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#4
Any sort of bleach or washing powder that has Chlorine/Oxygen bleach in is a sworn enemy of the precious lycra. So always pick the family washing powder to be lycra friendly that way your less likely to find you favourite item damaged by a wash cycle.
Swimming pool water is bad especially if the lycra formulation is not designed for it. Many expensive low friction professional swim suits are only good for six to ten swims as the fabric degrades that fast.
Another enemy is oils, including the stuff that seeps from your skin, so don’t leave items unwashed for long lengths of time.
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#5
What is a good way to store latex gear? I think it would be great to have a dry wardrobe to hang the clothes but not everybody can do that. I clean the stuff after use, dry it with a towel then powder it and put it into my special place. Sometimes, I have no time for that and simply put it away and try to remember to clean it as soon as possible. The second part is obviously not so good, but how about the first part? Better ideas?

When I get sperm on latex, I clean it right away with some water because I learned the hard way that mould feeds on sperm, and it is quite difficult to impossible to remove mould properly and very unhealthy.

I wonder if oil and sweat is what ruins my lycra bodies over time. After wear, they usually rest in the laundry bag for up to one week, saturated with dried up sweat, skin particles etc.
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#6
I take it the only latex friend is talcum powder. And probably some polishes and cleaners. The rest are enemies. Sun light, shampoo, shower gels, very skin friendly soap, oils, sweat, age, perfume, anything with smell, anything what stains, metals, high humidity, very low humidity...
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#7
It is easy to get wrinkles into PVC clothing. Apparently, such clothing can't be pressed directly, but there are a few ways to de-wrinkle them:

Steamy Bathroom: Hang your garment in a steamy bathroom, for example during a long bath or shower. The temperature will make the pvc softer and it will (should) straighten. By the way, this is said to work on "normal" clothes as well.

Hair Drying: Put the garment on a clothes hanger and carefully blow hot air from a hair dryer. I think, this method is a bit dangerous because pvc melts at quite low temperatures. But perhaps that temperature is higher than the temperature you like on your head, then simply do this as if you were drying your own hair, never stay on a single spot but keep waving the dryer. I might try this on a pvc coat that I don't really like. The pvc will outgas some of its components, this could be unhealthy. And it might degrade the pvc as well.

Tumbler: Set the tumbler to a low temperature, put the garment in for 2 minutes, then instantly hang it on a clothes hanger. If the duration and temperature was right, the wrinkles will go. If not, you could try a slightly higher temperature. I have asked an online-pvc shop about the temperature resistance of pvc clothing and if I get a reply, I will post it here.

Pressing (!!!): Cover the garment with cotton cloth and press with a cold iron. If this doesn't work, use a damp cloth, set the iron to "high" and iron. See here for a tutorial:
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#8
This is the video Smile



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#9
Quite a while ago, I was playing with medical adhesive and silicone breasts. I had ordered adhesive and adhesive-remover from the same company, so they should match. I applied a lot of adhesive and re-applied more where the breasts did not completely attach to my chest. Except for a hairy accident, it worked really well, I even took a shower. At that time, I roughly cleaned the breasts and put them into a special bra with pockets.

Today, I considered trying the adhesive again, I still have a lot of it. When inspecting the breasts, they were still covered with a lot of dried adhesive, quite a mess to look at. Furthermore, all around the shape, there is a flat border, just a fracture of a mm thick, which was partially glued to the main part. So I took some cotton pads and started cleaning the breasts thoroughly. The remover works fine on thin layers of adhesive, but it evaporates quickly and so I had to do a few patches very often. I am not yet finished, still a few spots and removing the outer "rim" is only partially done. But the good news is, that the remover really works and the surface of breasts feels soft again.

Now I wonder, do I really have to use this expensive adhesive remover? On the can, it says "hexamethyldisiloxane" and "isobutane A-31 propellant". Obviously, the second one is just the gas to push the stuff out of the can. Hexamethyldisiloxane is also the solvent used in the adhesive, but there might be alternatives. Any ideas?

Anyway, if you are using Hollister Medical Adhesive, it can definitely be removed with Hollister Medical Adhesive Remover, even after years. I removed lose patches and pellets first, then (after perhaps two years) used cotton pads with the adhesive remover. Except for the thin rims, the breasts look almost squeaky clean again.
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#10
5 things that are able to remove sticky stuff:
  • WD-40
  • Lighter fuel (petrol)
  • Nail-polish Remover
  • Fat
  • Salt/vinegar solution
None of these are probably of any use for your particular need, but handy to keep in mind anyway Big Grin

Also:
I believe I remember hearing that milk and banana peels are good for keeping leather supple. Either that, or for removing Biro marks from it.

And finally, on top of what's already been said about latex:
Store light coloured latex away from dark coloured latex; the colours will bleed.

/LLL
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