How to Polish Latex

Updated March 23, 2017

Latex is different from most other fabrics because of its rubbery nature and shiny texture. This natural fabric comes from the sap of a rubber tree. Latex is used to make skin-tight clothing such as leggings and catsuits. Latex is stretchy, strong, and shiny, especially when it is polished regularly and correctly. You must polish latex to prevent it from cracking or losing its shine.

Lay the latex on a flat surface. Make sure your hands are clean, because oils damages the latex.

Dampen a soft cloth with water. The cloth should be damp, not wet.

Wipe the outside of the latex with the damp cloth to remove any dirt and grime. Make sure the cloth stays damp; a dry cloth can permanently damage latex by scratching it.

Use a second soft cloth with a silicone-based polish, such as latex polish. The polish can be sprayed directly onto the latex or onto the cloth. Wipe the latex in circular motions to polish it and bring out its natural shine. Lightly polish without rubbing excessively. Repeat if necessary.

Clean and polish the latex after wear to extend its life and restore its shine. Leaving latex uncleaned will damage it, since oils, sweat, and dirt make the fabric weaker and cause it to break down over time.


Wash latex in warm water without any detergent or soap. Blot it with a towel, and hang it to dry. Do not iron or place latex in a dryer. Use talc on the inside of latex to make putting it on easier.


Do not use any oil-based polish, because it will destroy the latex. Keep latex away from sunlight and heat. Store latex in a dark, cool place such as a garment bag in a closet, and sprinkle talc on the inside before you store it.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft cloths
  • Silicone-based polish
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About the Author

Aleksandra Ozimek has been writing professionally since 2007 for a fashion blog, various online media and the "Queens Courier," in addition to interning at "Cosmopolitan" magazine. She completed her Bachelor of Science in journalism and photography from St. John's University, where she is completing her master's degree.