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Administrator
Oct 2, 2007
What do people do to keep their hard gear in good shape.

Cam lube...aside from the obvious...what do people use, Petroleum-Based, Silicon Based, anything in specific?

Anything to clean cams? How about after salt-water has gotten into them?

Just curious about what people have been doing. Thanks for your input.
Ladd
Joined Feb 21, 2006
7,139 points
Oct 3, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Well, all of my gear got soaked coming down from Cathedral Wall a few weeks ago. I hung the cams to dry, but they still rusted a bit. I sprayed them all liberally with WD-40 and then the next day used Brake Kleen to remove it. Oil just gums up with dirt, so you don't want any left over. So far so good. Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,619 points
Oct 3, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Profile
After numerous weekend in the harsh sandy desert I treat my cams
to a hearty serving of Meolious cam cleaner/lube. I think this stuff works the best. The lube is just White Lighning you can get it at any bike shop if you can't find the Meolious stuff. I thik it's typically used for oiling bike chains. The Important thing is, to clean all the grime and grit out BEFORE you lube the cam.
SirVato
From Boulder
Joined Sep 15, 2003
491 points
Oct 3, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: South of Windy Peak
Will A. wrote:
What is the best way to get the gunk out of the cams before you lube them?


I've submerged my cams in a pot of boiling water in order to remove the old cam lube, dirt and grime (taking great care not to melt the nylon sling). Works well.
John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 2, 2002
4,456 points
Oct 3, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux?
Hot water and a wax-based lubricant. Chems and slings can equate to death in some cases. Daniel Crescenzo
Joined Jul 2, 2007
51 points
Administrator
Oct 3, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Relaxing at the P1 belay of Fruit Loops at Rumblin...
Will A. wrote:
Does anyone do it differently?

I've never felt the need for boiling water in cleaning my cams. I just use warm water from the sink and dishwashing soap; stick the cam in the water and work the action back and forth to loosen up the dirt, then rinse thoroughly, always being careful not to wet the slings. After the cams are dry, I then use the aforementioned Metolius cam lube. Works great for me.

JL
saxfiend
From Decatur, GA
Joined Nov 14, 2006
4,542 points
Oct 4, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: South of Windy Peak
Will A. wrote:
Is there any way of cleaning the cams that doesn't involve a heat source so close to the nylon? or is it not something to worry too much about as long as you keep the nylon away from the pot?


Last time I cleaned my cams, I just kept the sling in my hand while I dipped each unit into the boiling water. Figured I'd burn my hand before I'd damage the sling; it never was a problem.
John Hegyes
From Las Vegas, NV
Joined Feb 2, 2002
4,456 points
Dec 1, 2007
I have always gone with the hot water and cam lube. I was suprised when I read on the Metolious site to use white gas on the metal. (edit: either I am wrong about the source or they have changed their recomendation on this) I have had friends use this method, but personally I am concerned about white gas fumes weakening the nylon. Any other opinions on this? Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
Joined Oct 20, 2002
646 points
Dec 1, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Berlin
Compressed air works great for removing dirt and grime from cams. Jay Eggleston
From Denver
Joined Feb 5, 2003
17,891 points
Dec 1, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Pea...
Kevin Stricker wrote:
I have always gone with the hot water and cam lube. I was suprised when I read on the Metolious site to use white gas on the metal. (edit: either I am wrong about the source or they have changed their recomendation on this) I have had friends use this method, but personally I am concerned about white gas fumes weakening the nylon. Any other opinions on this?



Gasoline, kerosene, white gas and other petroleum based products don't affect Nylon, which itself is of course petroleum based. So clean away with those solvents if you like. I just don't like the fumes or getting rid of the contaminated remnants. Grease cutting soap works fine and you can get it on your hands.
Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Joined Jan 1, 2001
1,619 points
Dec 1, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Profiley Styley
Tim Stich wrote:
Gasoline, kerosene, white gas and other petroleum based products don't affect Nylon, which itself is of course petroleum based. So clean away with those solvents if you like.

Just make sure you enjoy a clean, smooth cigarette while you are cleaning!
Mark Cushman
From Cumming, GA
Joined Sep 4, 2006
1,049 points
Dec 1, 2007
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving through the crux lock - now that's micro be...
Someone said: After numerous weekend in the harsh sandy desert I treat my cams to a hearty serving of Meolious cam cleaner/lube. I think this stuff works the best. The lube is just White Lighning you can get it at any bike shop if you can't find the Meolious stuff. I thik it's typically used for oiling bike chains.

I've always felt the same. But, when I spoke to Dave at CCH a few weeks back he told me to never use the Metolius lube on an Alien (or any cam, in his opinion). He reco'd plain old WD-40 for all Aliens. For what it's worth.
Sirius
From Oakland, CA
Joined Nov 6, 2003
739 points
Dec 5, 2007
I was at the Wild Country factory in 1995 and saw that they were using WD-40 during assembly! Personally I clean cams with warm soapy water, rinse and dry then lube with 3-in-1 oil. Mike D
From Fort Collins, CO
Joined Jul 5, 2007
18 points
Jan 30, 2008
Rock Climbing Photo: Oregon Coast Bouldering
Aside from dirt collection, WD-40 should be an excellent choice in lubing and protecting the pivot points of cams. WD, was produced during WWII to spray into distributor caps on army trucks to disperse and protect the points and rotor from water and moisture. W-D stands for Water Deterent, and they finally got it right on the 40th formula. it would work great for protecting against rust too. So if you made sure to wipe off all excess WD it should work great! CalmAdrenaline
From SL,UT
Joined Jan 22, 2008
129 points
Jan 30, 2008
Rock Climbing Photo: Me too!
saxfiend wrote:
...then rinse thoroughly, always being careful not to wet the slings.


Maybe a dumb question, but why shouldn't the slings get wet? I hope they can get wet as mine have in the past on a climb. Something I should be worried about?
J. Fox
From Black Hawk, CO
Joined Mar 29, 2007
1,525 points
Administrator
Jan 30, 2008
He is using soap in the water for cleaning. Most soaps degrade nylon material. Ladd
Joined Feb 21, 2006
7,139 points
Jan 30, 2008
Rock Climbing Photo: Me!
Tim Stich wrote:
Gasoline, kerosene, white gas and other petroleum based products don't affect Nylon, which itself is of course petroleum based. So clean away with those solvents if you like. I just don't like the fumes or getting rid of the contaminated remnants. Grease cutting soap works fine and you can get it on your hands.



Ummm . . . WHAT?

Yes, Nylon is a petroleum product. It is also a product of dicarboxylic acid. In spite of this fact I don't suggest pouring acids onto your rope.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nylon#Ch...

I promise you that gas, kerosene, white gas, etc. does damage climbing rope. Some friends and I took an old rope and dumped white gas on it to see what happened. The results were impressive and extremely damaging to the rope. Edit: We retired the rope.

When it comes to cleaning ropes, slings, cams, etc. I think simple is best. I don't want to boil my cams because I don't really need sterile climbing hardware. I don't use any soaps on my ropes because I don't have complete control over the ingredients (most soaps are a bad idea . . .chemistry is fun like that).

I dump my rope & slings into a bog clean pot/tub (rinsed) of warm water. I just use warm because it's more comfortable on my hands. :-) I think water and an old tooth-brush are the best approach for cams. If I must, I'll use a little soap in a cam to get it moving again before I used cam lube or graphite to lubricate it. Just don't get the soap on your rope unless you know exactly what's in it. I don't like soap on ropes because most soaps have some kind of an alkali in them which is what gives them their cleaning power. This pH is as bad for a rope as an acid.
Andy Choens
From Albany, NY
Joined Oct 30, 2006
8 points
Jan 30, 2008
Rock Climbing Photo: feeling free
I have always cleaned my cams in white gas. Fill a cup, submerge the cam lobes, and work the action. You will be able to hear the crunching of all the dirt coming loose. Afterwards spray some simple green on the camming lobes and then rinse with plain water. I've been doing this for years with the same cams. As for white gas coming in contact with the nylon...I would say hell no. Whether it weakens the nylon or not, I don't know, but it just sounds wrong. Why even try it? bbrock
From Al
Joined Dec 1, 2006
993 points
Feb 27, 2008
havent cleaned a cam ever. if I did, it would be Jay Egglestons idea of compressed air. whenever I feel the need to sit around and fondle my gear I go and find the woman. I can see how saltwater can be bad on them and require lube but usually I just never leave the rack on the dirt and for almost 20 years now everything is as clean as it needs to be. never washed a rope either. T Roper
From DC,VA,NM,UT,CT,MA
Joined Mar 31, 2006
1,061 points
Nov 14, 2011
CalmAdrenaline wrote:
Aside from dirt collection, WD-40 should be an excellent choice in lubing and protecting the pivot points of cams. WD, was produced during WWII to spray into distributor caps on army trucks to disperse and protect the points and rotor from water and moisture. W-D stands for Water Deterent, and they finally got it right on the 40th formula. it would work great for protecting against rust too. So if you made sure to wipe off all excess WD it should work great!


I know this is a dead forum, but I wanted to clear up a little misinformation... wd40.com/about-us/history/

WD-40 didn't get started until 1953, and was first made for the aerospace industry.
JasonMills
From Albuquerque, NM
Joined Oct 5, 2011
2 points
Administrator
Nov 14, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: El Chorro
Also, WD-40 is a much better degreaser/cleaner than a lubricant. I personally use it to clean things, but not to lubricate them.

Simple Green is a great cleaner if your cams are really mucked up, but is probably not needed in most cases. I dilute it heavily with hot water, submerge the head of the cam and work the action back and forth. Obviously keep the sling dry, and rinse the cam thoroughly in fresh, hot water. Once dry, use any kind of bicycle lubricant - I buy the cheap stuff at Walmart. Get a pen w/ the tiny applicator straw so you can get into the tiny cracks and whatnot. You don't need much and you don't want your cams dripping.
Ryan Williams
From London (sort of)
Joined May 10, 2009
1,468 points
Nov 14, 2011
Totally old thread I love it. I like to use q-tips for cams. You can clean cams thoroughly. mtoensing
From Boulder
Joined Feb 25, 2006
826 points
Nov 14, 2011
Rock Climbing Photo: Myself placing a a blue/yellow offset MC to protec...
Ryan Williams wrote:
Also, WD-40 is a much better degreaser/cleaner than a lubricant. I personally use it to clean things, but not to lubricate them. Simple Green is a great cleaner if your cams are really mucked up, but is probably not needed in most cases. I dilute it heavily with hot water, submerge the head of the cam and work the action back and forth. Obviously keep the sling dry, and rinse the cam thoroughly in fresh, hot water. Once dry, use any kind of bicycle lubricant - I buy the cheap stuff at Walmart. Get a pen w/ the tiny applicator straw so you can get into the tiny cracks and whatnot. You don't need much and you don't want your cams dripping.



curious how the simple green treats the cords on mastercams? any experience?
rock_fencer
From Columbia, SC
Joined Dec 20, 2009
311 points
Dec 21, 2011
Killis Howard wrote:
5) Metolius Lube. It is just White Lightning.


Which White Lighning product? Clean Ride...Easy Lube...other?

Thanks.
Alpinisto
From Connecticut
Joined Mar 16, 2011
30 points


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