What Happens to Latex When it Gets Hot?

By James Phillips

Latex as a material for women's clothing offers designers a new medium for their aesthetic endeavors. Latex can be shined to a glimmer that's unique to the material. Latex's fragility requires particular care to ensure a garment's lifespan. Keep your latex away from sunlight, heat, perfume, metals like copper, sharp objects, oils, waxes, smoke, alcohol, sweat, water, and leather. Rather than using threaded seams, a latex garment's seams are glued together with a binding agent, and care should be taken with them.

White latex can be susceptible to other colors of latex while being stored.

Heat's Effect on Latex

Latex garments are made out of the same material as prophylactics and protective gloves, which degrade in the presence of heat and pressure. They can literally melt under extreme heat, like from candles or radiators. Heat degrades latex, but unlike prophylactics and gloves, latex garments have seams that are equally susceptible to heat. These seams can be weakened by prolonged exposure to heat as the material gradually decays.

Heats Effect on Color

Latex garments come in a variety of colors, and their consistency and brilliance makes latex clothing desirable. Heat can degrade these colors, causing the garments to grow dull. Colored latex garments are generally susceptible to environmental factors, such as smoke, light and metal. Store your garments in a cool, dark place, and wrap each garment individually. Colored garments can actually stain transparent latex clothing, so be sure your colored garments are stored separately.

Sunlight and Other Heat

Sources of strong light can degrade latex just as easily as heat, causing brilliantly colored garments to fade. While going out in the sun for a day probably won't damage your latex, storing it in sunlight will. It's best to keep them in garment bags, or even black plastic bags, and lightly powdered. Heat will weaken the latex in general, which makes it more susceptible to tearing.


Designer latex garments can run into the thousands of dollars, but even more affordable garments can cost several hundred, so make sure that you have everything ready to store your garment before you buy. Keep your garment in a cool, dark place, away from any metal, oils and waxes. After you wear latex, wash the garment in mild soap, and when shining them, use a petroleum-free lubricant. If you don't plan on wearing your garment for a long period, dust it lightly in talcum powder.