|How To Make Toys|
Leather Care and How to Spit Shine Boots
used by permission of the author
See Artamas Flogger site @ http://differentstrokes.tripod.com/
I don't know of any leather care websites, but I do have a few tips.
While visiting a friend (a former marine), I received instructions on how to "spit shine" boots. My friend uses regular black waxy shoe polish. First the can is warmed (place under warm water) so the wax is soft and a thick coat is applies with the finger tips massaging the wax well into the leather grain. After a short drying period, the excess wax is wiped off and the boots are shined with a cloth. THEN, the wax is striped with alcohol.
A second coat of wax is applied, but this time, the is cooled with ice or ice water. The wax should be very stiff for the second coat and it should be applied with a cloth so body heat doesn't make it too soft. After a coat of wax is applied, my friend rubs the leather surface with an ice cube, again making the wax very hard. Finally, the excess wax is wiped away with a cloth and the boot is polished. For older or well worn boots, the process may need to be repeated more then once.
The finally finish should be so shiney a person should be able to see their reflection in it.
Other cleaning tips: I know that some people use alcohol to clean a whip or flogger that has been exposed to bodily fluids, but many of the leather dyes are alcohol based, so not only the waxy finish will be stripped by alcohol, but the underlying dye might also be partially stripped leaving a mottled finish. Hydrogen peroxide is a very good disinfectant and it does not strip the dye. Also, ultra-violet light will kill most bugs so exposing the flogger or whip to strong sunlight for a period of time will help kill any viruses.
Keep in mind, however, that while the HIV virus will die within minutes of being exposed to oxygen, Hepatitis is much more robust. Hepatitis C can survive for two or three weeks outside of a host and is not killed by exposure to oxygen. Therefore, if a flogger has been exposed to body fluids, particularly blood, it does need to be very carefully cleaned. A flogger that is comprised of flat tails can be more easily cleaned then a woven whip or cat because the bugs will have no crevices to "hide" in, so the portion of the whip that has been exposed to body fluids should be soaked for several minutes to make sure that the antiseptic has reached all the infected areas. Since this is not particularly good for the leather, it's a good idea to avoid exposure to body fluids in the first place.
Reconditioning leather that has become hard: I've found that rubbing a good moisturizer into dried out leather helps recondition it. Lubriderm cream works very well. For example, if I needed to soak a whip or flogger in a disinfectant, I would wait for it to completely dry out (a couple of days at least), and then apply the moisturizer. It might need a couple of treatments, and make sure the moisturizer has had a chance to dry in-between each treatment wiping off the excess in each application. Once the leather is soft and pliable again, then I would apply a waxy coating. I like leather balm with atom wax myself, but there are other good products. Having a waxy coating on the leather will make it water resistant but not waterproof.
Suede is very hard to clean and can't be protected with waxy polishes. On the other hand, suede is very unlikely to draw blood. For cleaning suede, I just use a good stiff brush, but this will not get any stains out. Suede can be partially reconditioned after it's wet just by working the leather over and over again with a brush until it becomes pliable again. Dry cleaning fluids can be used on suede to remove stains, but some of them might affect the color, so spot test any cleaner on an under portion of a tail to see how it will effect the color. If suede is exposed to body fluids, I would recommend exposure to a strong UV light and letting the fluids dry out completely. Then brush the residue out (you might want to wear rubber gloves for this). I would then expose the suede to UV light again for a period of time to be sure that all the bugs are killed. Keep in mind, however, that strong light will make some dye colors fade over time, so it is best to simply avoid using a suede flogger where it can be exposed to body fluids.
I've recently started making fur floggers as well. To clean the fur side of each tail, I just brush it. Dust and other surface dirt can be removed by either brushing or by wiping with a damp cloth. Avoid using soap or alcohol on fur because it will strip the natural oil in the fur and make it look dull and lifeless. The underside of the fur tails should be treated like suede since it is not a grain leather. Brush or wipe clean with a damp cloth. If the leather side of the fur tail becomes hard, it can be reconditioned with a very light coat of moisturizer. The fur lining of cuffs and collars should be periodically brushed to prevent the fur from pilling (although this is much more likely with faux fur then with real fur).
Or How To Truly Serve Your Domme by Macavity (who wrote this at my request!!)
If you are truly interested in submission and service you need to know how to clean a house and keep it that way. You probably dont like housework. You may even hate it. Well, guess what? So does your Domme, and if you really want to please Her and show your devotion there are few better ways to do it than keeping Her place clean so She doesnt have to. Furthermore, the less time She has to spend on housework, the more potential playtime there is. And if you have a happy Domme, who isnt tired from housework, and has time and energy to play, you are going to be in subbie heaven.
Now it doesnt sound like housework is very difficult to do. But if you are going to do it right it requires time, effort, and technique. Time isnt usually a problem; at least not once youve got the place mostly clean. Effort is up to you, but I hope the first paragraph will sufficiently motivate you. Technique is what this article is about. Most people, women as well as men, dont do any more than they have to to keep the place neat. If you are going to serve a lifestyle Domme, you are going to have to do a lot better. You are also going to have to learn the basics of cooking, but thats another article.
So, youre motivated and ready to learn, right? Ok, the first things you are going to need are cleaning supplies. There arent really that many that you need. Tub and tile cleaner, glass cleaner, general purpose cleaner (like 409), toilet cleaner, cleanser or softscrub, ammonia, oven cleaner, and furniture polish. You will also need a toilet bowl brush, mop, duster, vacuum cleaner, broom, dustpan, some cleaning rags, nylon scrubbers, rubber gloves, a bucket and a toothbrush. Wear some ratty clothes for cleaning, even if you dress fem. A French Maids costume may be a turn on in some circumstances, but youll only ruin it if you wear if for serious cleaning. Once you have the house in a condition where it only takes a few minutes of maintenance a day you can dress up. But a first time cleaning is almost as messy as painting, if not more so.
You should start at one end of the house or the other. Whatever room you start in, start at the ceiling and work your way down. Work from one end of the room to the other and whatever you pick up put it where it goes immediately. Never move things around more than once. Take your duster and knock down any cobwebs from the walls and ceilings. Dust whatever is on the shelves or other horizontal surfaces. Throw away any trash. Put away anything that is out of place. Use furniture polish on any appropriate wooden surfaces. Use glass cleaner on any windows, computer monitors, or television screens. Use your general purpose cleaner for anything that doesnt wipe up by itself on non-glass surfaces.
Make sure you dust all electronic equipment; they are magnets for dust. After you clean the top of something, clean the underside. Use the toothbrush for any hard to reach areas that you cant get to with your rag. Sweep or vacuum the floor carefully; a quick once-over will not do the trick. If you are vacuuming, move the vacuum cleaner slowly over the carpet and cover each area three times. If you are sweeping, sweep each area three times and make sure to pull any dust bunnies off the end of the broom so you dont merely move the dirt around.
Take a cleaning rag and some cleaner and make sure the floorboards are clean. If you have a tile or wood floor you are going to have to mop it. When you mop, use a combination of ammonia and hot water. Start at the far end of the room and work your way out backwards. Mop a 3-foot by 3-foot section and wring out the mop before doing the next one. Use a scrubby pad under your shoe for anything that doesnt come right out with the ammonia and water. When you finish mopping, dump out the dirty water and refill the bucket with pure hot water. Repeat the mopping process to clean up the ammonia and any residual dirt. When the floor dries, its time to apply wax. Some people prefer liquid wax, but if you are going to use it, you need to use a separate mop from your cleaning mop; otherwise the wax will interfere with your next cleaning. You can also use spray furniture wax and buff it out by hand. It makes a very nice shine. If you are really lucky and have a buffer you can use soft wax and buff it out. Buffers also can be used to loosen dirt and grime before mopping if you use the right pad. Supposedly, you can buff out soft wax by hand, but Ive tried it many times and it just doesnt come out very well, no matter how much elbow grease you use. When you finish one room, give yourself a quick break and some sort of reward coffee, cigarette, chocolate, etc.
This procedure should cover most of your house. But there are two rooms that require special attention: the kitchen and the bathroom. Most of the house has to be clean; these rooms need to be sanitary. Clean isnt good enough. If your bathroom has ventilation problems like mine, you are going to need to start by mopping the ceiling with hot water and ammonia. Next, clean the tub and tile with the cleaner of your choice. For many of these cleaners you are going to need the rubber gloves. If the cleaner doesnt get rid of all the soap scum, its time to break out with the cleanser and a scrubby pad. Apply a little water to the pad, sprinkle cleanser around the tub and scrub. Dont use the ammonia water to rinse it off with. Most cleansers contain some form of chlorine bleach and the combination of bleach and ammonia produces very toxic gas. Spray the toilet bowl cleaner liberally under the rim and use the toilet brush to spread the cleaner evenly around. Use the tub and tile cleaner and clean the top of the toilet, the toilet seat, and the outside of the toilet while the bowl cleaner has a chance to work. When you are done with the outside, vigorously clean the inside of the bowl. Rinse your rubber gloves off with hot water and remove them. Clean the sink and the walls the same way you cleaned the tub and tile. Remember, start at the top and work your way down. Mop the floor as described earlier and replace any carpeting and toilet lid covers. Oh, and make sure the soap dish is clean.
The kitchen is a little easier.You wont need rubber gloves unless you have to clean the oven. Get another bucket of ammonia and hot water. Dust the ceiling, wash the walls, open the refrigerator, get rid of anything that is moving under its own power. Remove items from shelves. Wash shelves, scrubbing where necessary, rinse shelves, replace shelves, and replace items. Clean the outside of the refrigerator. Scrub the counters. Clean the stove (this involves cleaning the drip pans under the burners), dont ignore the sides of the stove. If the inside of the oven is dirty, clean it. If you are lucky it will be a self-cleaning model. If not, you are going to have to use oven cleaner. You will need rubber gloves for this because oven cleaner will take the skin right off you. Follow the directions on the can exactly. Clean the microwave using general purpose cleaner. Dump and refill the bucket of hot water and ammonia. Sweep the floor thoroughly and mop, rinse, and wax it. Change into some decent looking clothing and wait for your Domme to arrive or to inspect it. Remember to be thorough. The cleaner most things are, the more a dirty spot is going to show by contrast. If youve done your work well, you will have pleased Her. If youve done it poorly, you will have to do it over, possible using nothing but the toothbrush. Ive experienced the toothbrush only method while in the Army. It doesnt really clean any better, but it will teach you to pay attention to your work.