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jkrueger

Washing a Rope

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In preparation for this season of climbing I need to rid my rope of last season's accumulated dirt and grime. As the rain is back, the rope is temporarily out of use so now seems like a good time to take care of it.

I've heard of people using front loading washers & dryers at the laundromat, using the tub, and the oh-so-slick hose attached rope washing widget. Of course I want to get the rope clean, but I'm also concerned about ruining it - that would be bad!!! The only thing I know for sure is not to use detergent soap.

Any comments regarding tips, preferences, or caveats would be appreciated. Thanks!

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hand wsh it in your bathtub..

though i have never washed one of my ropes.....they get trashed before i think it might be a concern........or drag it through the snow...

putting it in some type of actualy washer with an agitator might harm it, though it might not....save your time and money for beer....

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go climb in the rain and when you rap all of the water/dirt will come out. or wash it in your bathtub with MILD detergent.

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Hello,

I wash mine in bathtub. I have 6 ropes. Only washed ropes 2 times ever. They usually wear out. I dont use soap as water seemed to work good enough to keep the ropes until their retirement.

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quote:

Originally posted by jkrueger:
Any comments regarding tips, preferences, or caveats would be appreciated. Thanks!

Double it up and tie it into a big daisy chain. If you have a mesh bag, you can put it in that, or just throw it into a front loading washer and start 'er up. You might be able to add woolite, but I'd confirm that before I did it. If you must machine dry it, do it on no heat (obvious), but better just to hang it up and let it drip-dry.

I've been wondering whether adding a wash-in waterproofer would help restore/add "dry coat" to a rope... Any thoughts on that? I haven't done, and probably won't, but...

m

[ 04-10-2002: Message edited by: Marcus Engley ]

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I've stuck mine in a top loading washing machine before. It doesn't really ruin the rope, however be ready to spend an hour untangling the mess afterwards. You can get away with washing it in a machine with an agitator if you put it in a pillow case or bag. Front loading machines are the same way. You should run the machine through a rinse cycle before you wash your rope so you can be sure there is no residual detergent in the cylinder. Nikwax makes a good rope wash, I might suggest using an extra rinse cycle also.

But like Erik says, handwashing in the tub is a great way to do it too.

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quote:

Originally posted by Bronco:
go climb in the rain and when you rap all of the water/dirt will come out. or wash it in your bathtub with MILD detergent.

Yup. Or fix it on a wall before a rain storm. Go to the bar during the rain storm. Rain storm ends, go back and get your clean rope grin.gif" border="0

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I have done ropes in the bathtub. It works just fine. Then I soaked it in DWR overnight and it held the DWR fairly well for a couple of seasons now.

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I agree with bathtub, no soap. You can run the shower on the rope to keep the dirt flowing down the drain instead of having the rope sit in the dirty water. Then string it up to dry so that there is good airflow.

I'm pretty sure that Woolite has some amount of bleach in it.

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A washing machine (front, or top loading) is far easier than handwashing a rope. A mesh bag (or just keeping it coiled --though loosely) will help minimize tangles. White Snow is a washing machine soap (not detergent) that is very mild. Dumping in a bit of fabric softner will boost suppleness.

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Hello Freeclimb9,

That mesh bag trick seems very cool. I actually have a rope that needs a washing. I dont think it is ready for retirement quite yet.

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Try the old bare foot in the bathtub stomping on your rope submerged in warm to hot water add to it the waterproof treatment and hang to dry (it will take about two days) and man watch how much shit was in it grin.gif" border="0grin.gif" border="0

[ 04-11-2002: Message edited by: IceIceBaby ]

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I've also had success with a front-loading washer. I flake the rope into a big mesh bag, throw it into the washer, add a tablespoon of biodegradable laundry soap (get the soap at Trader Joes for whatever it's worth), and run the washer on the delicate cycle.

This is probably overkill, but I wash the rope twice--once with soap, and then a second time without (to ensure that absolutely no soap residue is left).

Let the rope air dry.

I go through this process less than once a year.

Have an air compressor at home--after a (non-wet) climb, I typically flake the rope out in my garage while blowing it off with the compressor--I’m always shocked at how much shit gets blown off, even when the rope doesn’t look dirty.

grin.gif" border="0

[ 04-11-2002: Message edited by: iceguy ]

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I like to gently stroke and massage my rope while washing. I'm always carefull to lift it above my balls and get the tender sack area too. My rope always comes out squeeky clean and the gurlz like to play with it alot. smile.gif" border="0

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marcus engley,

ive tried the nikwax wash-in dry treatment once on an ice trip in the canadian rockies. i dont think it was worth the effort. it does help a little, but after a few rappels, you start to notice this white residue on your gloves, and the rope quickly becomes just as absorbent as it was before.

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quote:

Originally posted by glacier:
I've found, that after a winter of using my rope to pull engines and tow stuck cars, that a good scrubbing in a lye solution really brings it back to shiny newness.

I've found the same thing works after roping cattle...

Todd,Thanks-- thought it might be worth a try, but it doesn't sound too promising...

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Just take it to REI and say "this rope is dirty, i need a new one".

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I've found, that after a winter of using my rope to pull engines and tow stuck cars, that a good scrubbing in a lye solution really brings it back to shiny newness.

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