The Myths and Truths of Cleaning and Conditioning.

We feel it's important to give our customers accurate information because there's so much bad, harmful, and incorrect instructions and advice about flogger and leather care, which can result in permanent damage or completely ruin your toys. Although you may have read online or have been told by someone to do or don't do something to your floggers and whips, much of it is absolute myth, misleading, and we often wonder if those people have ever actually done what they tell others to do! Flogger tails don't ever need conditioning and the notion that the leather will "dry out" is false. Many people own our floggers that are 10-24 years old, who've given them proper care and they're still in perfect condition!

Here are some hard facts:

Never allow your flogger tails to get wet! Never intentionally wet them! Water and all liquids are the enemy of flogger tails, and so are all cleaning products! Conditioners such as saddle soap, Lexol, and Neat's Foot Oil are big no no's on the tails! We don't recommend the use of ANY conditioners, sanitizers, or cleaners on your flogger tails, so if you do try to wash or sanitize them in some way, that's at your own risk (and voids our warranty)! Tails will be ruined and damaged if you use any of these types of products! DON'T use a dilute bleach solution, or some type or brand of hospital or household sanitizer or cleaner on the tails if you have gotten blood on them, cut skin, or they touched genital secretions, that is false information! PLEASE DON'T BE SWAYED OR TEMPTED TO DO IT! We have tested many products and they ALL damage leather, and NONE have been FDA-approved for use on leather, which is a porous surface. They won't only NOT sanitize or clean the tails, the damage they do is permanent and can't be reversed with conditioners. I even read some woman's advice on some website, years ago (it may still be around), that she cuts off the ends of her flogger tails, so each time she "cleans" them they get shorter and shorter, and she recommends other people do this, too! Your flogger's tails do NOT need this sort of treatment, they aren't like singletails, and they aren't like saddles. Set the used flogger or whip aside for 4 weeks in a warm, dry environment, or lay it in the sunshine for a few hours, and it will be good to go. There has NEVER been a single documented case of disease transmission by floggers! Have you ever actually met someone who said they did, and can prove it? And don't listen to the mythical "my friend's friend knew So and So, who knew some guy/woman who read/heard about somebody else, in some city/town/state/country".

Conditioning and cleaning leather

We recommend you use a quality leather conditioner on our flogger HANDLES (NOT on the tails!), like BeeNatural Leather Amore or Pecard's Leather Dressing. These two products will not discolor the leather or cause the dye to run. Don't ever use Neat's Foot Oil! It damages and discolors leather, and causes the fibers to swell and rot! We don't recommend Lexol, either, it contains water and can make some colors run and smear on top the others! If the handle gets dirty, lightly wipe it with a soft *damp* cloth and a tiny dab of gentle soap. Don't immerse or soak leather in water, alcohol, or other liquid, ever! When the handle is dry reapply a light coat of conditioner and wipe with a soft cloth. Some conditioners can discolor the leather, so either test a hidden spot, or contact us for advice before you use it. White leather is especially sensitive to discoloration with the wrong conditioner.

Caring for our whips, Tomcats and Hog Slappers are a bit different. They are made from kangaroo hide which isn't a porous leather. They need regular maintenance. Wipe them clean after use with a *slightly* damp, soft cloth. Lint-free cotton is preferable. Let the leather completely dry before you put it away. How often you use a conditioner, like Pecard's or Bee Natural, depends on several factors such as the climate you live in, how often you use it, and the humidity inside your home where it's hung up. You don't want to "over-condition" them, so don't go hog-wild! A greasier conditioner like Pecard's doesn't evaporate as rapidly so you can use it less often. If your whip has colors in it other than black or dark brown, they can be damaged by many conditioners that permanently darken or yellow leather. Be particularly careful with lighter and paler colors, especially white. Keep your whip or Tomcat lubricated enough that it flows freely and smoothly, reducing friction when cracked or thrown. Don't use vegetable-based oils on your whips, they oxidize, and harden fairly quickly. Animal fats and animal-based dressings aren't so great either. They make whips into attractive targets for pets, insects, and rodents to chew on and destroy. Keep your whips hung up by their wrist loop when not in use, in an area with good air circulation and away from sunlight. You can dip the nylon cracker on our singletails and mini-bullwhips in alcohol or bleach to clean them. Rinse with water after 1 minute. Do not get the leather wet.

Care of the flogger Tails

If your flogger's tails become wrinkled or creased from being in your toybag or in your luggage during travel, simply hang them up for a few days in an area with slightly increased humidity, like a hook on your bathroom door while you shower. This is the best way to let them naturally return to their normal shape. You can use a clothes steamer now and then, but don't hold it too close to the tails - it can and will damage and bleach them if you over-do it. Stubborn wrinkles can be removed by ironing the tails. Using a smooth cotton pressing cloth between the iron and the leather, think pillowcase or cotton dish towel , iron only from the flesh side, the buffed suede backside, not the top side! Don't press down too hard, let the weight of the iron do the work. A medium low heat setting, like for polyester, is about right. A higher setting can scorch the leather. Lay the tails spread out flat, a half dozen at a time, and lay the the pressing cloth over them. Check the tails as you go.

Flogger Storage

Your flogger's tails may stretch a little and become uneven with use; this is normal; a flat leather hide was once a 3D living animal and has sections that have more give or tension than others. Hides also vary in thickness on an animal. When we cut a hide into tails it releases these different areas. I trim tails before I ship a flogger, but I can't duplicate you using them. Simply hang up the flogger high enough that the tails are clearly visible, and all are hanging freely. Smooth them out. One at a time, trim the stretched tails with a heavy scissors in a slight curve; multiple short cuts are better than one large one because if you cut too much off it can't be put back on. Or contact me, send it to me, and I can trim it for you. Always hang up your flogger when not in use, away from light, heat, and excess humidity. Extended exposure to sunlight will cause leather to fade. Excess humidity can cause mildew. Hanging it up will keep the tails free from kinks, creases, or wrinkles. Good air circulation during storage is a must to avoid molds and mildew.

Horsehair flogger Care

Our horsehair floggers require a little special care: We recommend you wash the hair when it becomes dull or dirty. Use any good liquid dish soap, and warm to hot water. The hair is not that fragile and doesn't require fancy soap. Keep the handle dry! Squish the soap suds through the hair with your hands. Rinse well and blot dry with towel, then hang to air dry. It will dry pretty fast. We recommend applying "Cowboy Magic" shine and de-tangler, available at many tack and feed stores, and on Amazon. Follow label directions. I'm giving you this advice with authority, as I'm a handspinner of 31 years experience, and I use many kinds of protein (animal based) fibers all the time in my yarns. Horsehair is a protein fiber like wool, silk, alpaca and camel, and human hair, although not as delicate.

Use a pin brush or wide-toothed comb on the hair. Comb gently in short strokes, working from hair-tip to handle-end in small sections, and ease apart tangles with your fingers as you comb; don't force the comb or brush. Be gentle but firm, like you would with your own hair. Tangles will pull apart easiest if you pull the hair along the plane of it's length, rather than just pulling them apart sideways. Regular brushing keeps overall maintenance down and takes only a few minutes. During transport, cover the hair with a long, toeless sock or fabric tube, or braid the hair and put on a rubber band.