When I bought my first rubber suit at the age of 20, I had no idea what I had to do to keep it looking as fresh as the day I bought it. Rubber care seemed like a dark art as far as I was concerned and I struggled to find out what to do and what not to do. As I asked around, different people told me conflicting things and I ended up none the wiser.
Having worked with rubber for a number of years now I've picked up some tips, tricks, do's and don'ts that might not be as obvious as you'd expect.
To kick things off here is a shopping list of all the things you'll need to take good care of your rubber:
- A Plastic Coat Hanger
- Washing Up Liquid
- Scent Free Talc (Or Regulation's Rubber Dusting Powder)
- Silicone Lube
- Rubber Polish (Water-based or Silicone)
When you first get your hands on some rubber you're going to want to wear it asap. But first you should probably trim those toe and fingernails; if they're sharp you run the risk of making holes in your shiny new rubber and we don't want that. Even if Regulation do have a pretty slick rubber repair service.
The best way to get rubber on is with silicone lube, spread some either on the inside of the rubber or on your body and it will slide right on. If you don't fancy feeling a little greasy you can just use talc but take extra care not to over stretch or rip the latex.
Right, you're in, now lets make you shiny. Water-based polishes like Regulation's Rubber Polish are ideal for a non greasy natural shine but it can take a little work to look perfect. All you need to do though is generously spray it on and buff it up with a lint free cloth. The Regulation polish has the added bonus of blocking out damaging UV rays; which is important if you're wearing rubber outside.
If you want a super high shine you might want to use silicone. Whilst you're wearing your rubber you can just cover yourself in a thin layer of any pure silicone lube and you'll get an instant high shine. Or your can use Vivishine, which is a type of silicone polish that you apply at the rubber washing stage in either a large sink or a bathtub. You don't need much of this liquid and it gives rubber a perfect all over shine, time after time.
You may want to wear things like knee-pads, harnesses, collars and what not. You can wear any of these over the top of your rubber but bear in mind their abrasive qualities. The top, shiny, surface of rubber can over time be worn or scuffed. So you just need to be careful with coarse materials such as hard leather.
Ok so you've got all sweaty, had some fun and it's time to take off your rubber. It should slide right off at this point but if you have any difficulty you could take it off in the shower, or add more lube. Just try not to force it and have some patience if you have to.
At this point you're probably at the end of a night out, that or you've just had the best sex ever. You're probably not going to want to wash it straight away and that's fine, put it somewhere dark or in a bag and forget about it till tomorrow. It's best not to leave it forever though, rubber can sometimes absorb some nasty smells.
Time to clean, this is where the washing up liquid comes in and nothing cuts through grease quite like Fairy Platinum (other brands are available). Throw your rubber in a heap, in either the bath or the sink and cover it in washing up liquid. More than you think you should use, you can't really use too much. Then use the shower or the tap to spray on some warm, not hot, water. Bear in mind that the more water you use the less powerful the detergent will be but you want a good couple inches.
With two hands, move the rubber around in the soapy water, lightly rubbing the layers together to make sure every surface is covered. Turn the item inside out, swish it around some more and maybe leave it to soak for a couple minutes. Any more soaking time though is unnecessary.
When you're happy it’s clean, pull the plug on the water and start rinsing off the suds. You can leave your rubber to dry by just hanging it up but remove any codpieces and make sure any snaps or metal components are thoroughly hand dried. This will avoid any potential rusting that could occur.
Once your rubber is dry you should apply a light coating of talc to the inside, this stops your rubber from sticking to itself. You can store rubber on a coat-hanger in your wardrobe or just keep it in a zip seal or normal plastic bag. The important thing to do here though is to keep it out of reach of UV light. Sunlight and artificial light can cause damage to rubber and over time it can cause rubber to discolour or loose its shine. Over very long periods of time rubber can also oxidize, this is a natural process where rubber can react with the oxygen in the air. To prevent this you can keep your rubber in plastic bags or if you store your rubber fully vivishined then oxygen won't be able to get to it.
If you're storing rubbers of different colours together, bear in mind that rubber is a dyed material and that some darker colours can transfer or bleed onto lighter colours.
Do not, whatever you do, store any TPE moulded toys in direct contact with natural latex rubber. They can damage each other within hours and you'll either end up with melted toys or bubbled rubber. Bubbled rubber can potentially dissipate over time by wearing it. This way your body temperature and a slight stretch can sometimes return it to it's normal form, but let's not risk it.
Sometimes rubber can get creased but if it's as skintight as it should be then this shouldn't be a problem. If you don't like your rubber getting creased though I recommend you keep it hung on a hanger when it's not in use.
To re-cap, here's a list of things to remember:
- Do keep your nails short to avoid damaging your rubber.
- Do use either talc or silicone to get rubber on.
- Do wash your rubber after use.
- Do use rubber polish to look good be it water or silicone based.
- Do take care of your rubber, it can last a long time if you do.
- Don't leave rubber in direct sunlight.
- Don't allow your rubber colours to bleed into other lighter items.
- Don't store moulded toys and natural latex in contact with each other.
Most importantly have loads of fun, don’t let the prospect of a minor scuff on your rubber hinder your enjoyment of it. If you’re worried about damaging it then you won’t have the complete experience.
By Archie Alpha @ArchieAlpha