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How Are Condoms Made?

We'll tell you how condoms are made, what condoms are made of, and the tests we do to make sure our condoms are the highest quality; not just meeting international standards but exceeding them!

This is why millions of people choose Durex everyday... 

How condoms are made

All condom manufacturing starts in pretty much the same way: to give the latex stability and strength, chemicals are added to it, and it’s heated (“prevulcanised”). During this process, the chemicals react with the rubber in the latex to make it stronger, more reliable and give it low allergenic potential. 

Just to be thorough, though, we then test it again.

The latex is then transferred into vast, temperature-controlled storage tanks.

A continuous line of clean glass formers are dipped into the latex, where they become coated.

The formers are rotated to ensure the latex is evenly spread.

After drying, the formers are dipped for a second time.

The formers then pass through an oven to vulcanise the rubber — this completes the chemical reactions and ensures that the latex condoms have the necessary strength and elasticity.

Finally, the condoms are removed from the formers, washed to remove any water-soluble residues, and powdered using pharmacologically safe materials.

"When we're happy it's up to standard, we then apply our magic and start making condoms with it."

Testing, Testing

The latex condoms are now stored for about 2 days to mature.

Then, the Electronic Testing machine! — which checks for holes and imperfections. Next, they're transferred to a machine which inserts them into the single-unit pack — the "foil".

This is when any lube and flavoring that's going to be used is injected into the foil at the same time.

The foils are heat-sealed and stamped with a batch number and expiry date. A sample of the foils is tested for leakage and other defects.

Durex condoms are deliberately foiled in square foils because we've proved this puts less stress on condoms than rectangular foils — this is now an industry standard.

The foiled Durex condoms are packed into their boxes, ready for dispatch to the customer.

Well… almost ready…

…before we dispatch our condoms from the factory, we carry out a final check to ensure they meet the relevant National and International Standards (for latex condoms). They also need to pass the more stringent Durex quality standard.

The tests we do and why

Electronic testing — Every condom is checked for pinholes, defects and imperfections

Water leak testing — A sample of over 2,000,000 condoms per month are filled with water and suspended for a minute to check for leaks

Air inflation test — A sample of about 500,000 condoms per month are given an air inflation test to check for burst-strength and elasticity (International latex standard: 18 liters. Durex minimum latex standard: 22 liters. Typically Durex condoms will expand to 40 liters)

If the condoms fail on any of the tests, the entire batch — which can be up to 432,000 condoms — is discarded!

It's these attention to detail and stringent standards that have lead to Durex being frequently consulted by National and International regulatory bodies, health ministries, hospitals, scientists and academics.

They know… and we know… that you can trust Durex.

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