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Chlorinating latex

Posted by leopard99 on Wed 4 May 2011 to Do_It_Yourself

Not sure if I'm really into latex but thought I'd give it a go. Bought a simple inexpensive black T-shirt at LAM, tried it and quite like it. I have also read about chlorination, which makes latex slippery so it can be used without talc or lube. Seemed like a good idea so time for some DIY.

This paper by Gord was on the Catalyst Latex site: and this note based on Gord's paper is on

I decided to use quantities and method from the 2nd paper, largely because I had the chemicals to hand. I'm confident with handling strong acids and other chemicals so I wasn't too worried. I wore eye protection, a lab coat and elbow length heavy duty chemical resistant gloves. I worked outdoors in a position where I could easily retreat if things got out of hand.

I expected to be greeted by a gas attack from the Western Front but in fact smelt very little chlorine at all. Almost disappointing. Didn't bother with the neutralisation procedure, a bit of bleach down the drain won't hurt anything unless you're on septic tank rather than mains drainage. I rinsed the T-shirt thoroughly both inside and out.

Before treatment I washed the T-shirt using warm water and washing up liquid. This was to remove any grease etc that could hinder the chlorination. I also wiped down a few shiny looking patches with isopropyl alchohol in the hope of removing any bits of silicone or other treatment that might have been left. Silicones can cling very tenaciously to all sorts of surfaces and removing the last residues can be difficult.

It's now hanging up to dry and will need to be turned inside out again to dry it thoroughly. I'll report back when I find out if it is nice and slippery.

Reply by leopard99 on Thu 5 May 2011

Tried it on today. Can't say it felt really slippery. Possibly a little better. Any ideas as to what I might be doing wrong or are there some situations where chlorination just doesn't work.

Reply by MisstressvsHallowdog on Thu 19 May 2011

hmmm, er dunno if silicone spray will help any

Please excuse crap spelling cause i,m rubbish

Reply by leopard99 on Tue 12 Jul 2011

I think the problem was old bleach. I used some of the same bottle to deal with the problem of a white cotton teeshirt washed with red clothing and it didn't work. Tried a fresh bottle of bleach and it worked fine. So I tried the chlorination again. I still didn't get the gas attack but the result is much better. The latex teeshirt is now much easier to put on without talc.

Until now I hadn't realised that bleach had a limited shelf life: