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 10-20 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 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 a week, or lay it in the sunshine for a few hours, and it will be good to go. There has NEVER been a single known case of disease transmission by flogging! 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 Pecard's Leather Dressing. 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 ontop 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.