Recommended Cleaners and Lubricants (Cams, Carabiners, and Ice Screws)


Original Post
Karl Henize · · June Lake, CA · Joined Aug 2013 · Points: 570

This thread intended to as a resource to gather the collective knowledge on cleaners and lubricants for Cams, Carabiners, and Ice Screws.

Also, if you have tried any cleaners or lubricants that did not work well, please note the problems / deficiencies in your comments.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 205

I was literally just lubing up my new totem that i got today (woohoo i finally have a complete rack of cams) and I have never been super stoked on the totems action, I am using metolius cam lube right now and while it's probably really good for standard cams i don't feel it's sufficient for stopping the wires on the totem from grinding against each other.

Barrett Pauer · · Brevard, NC · Joined Apr 2013 · Points: 775

Clean with warm soapy water. Lube with some sort of dry finish lube

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,740

Ice screws don't need anything as long as you dry them promptly.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

Ive used metolius cam lube that has some kind of added wax that seals. works pretty well.

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953

I've had slight jamming issues with the Metolius wax cam lube in the winter. maybe used too much?
Silicone lubricant works pretty well, just be careful if you use it on biners, if it runs, it becomes slippery as hell with gloves on.

I've used an ultrasonic cleaner with alcohol in the past to clean cams, worked really well, just keep plastic and webbing out of the bath.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35

Can you post a link of the ultrasonic cleaner you use? After you take it out of the bath do you use a dry lube?

Caz Drach · · Sugarhouse, UT · Joined Jun 2013 · Points: 310

I used the Metolius Lube as well, pretty good but not a fan of the residue.

I started using 3 in 1 Silicone... pretty impressed and it resists dirt...

https://www.3inone.com/products/silicone/

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275

Pulling the trigger rapidly, while swirling the cam in hot or boiling water, cleans it up pretty well. Restores the snap action.

Luc-514 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 8,953
Tylerpratt wrote:Can you post a link of the ultrasonic cleaner you use? After you take it out of the bath do you use a dry lube?
Something like this, temperature control and a timer, we were using it to clean instruments and samples in the lab of the company I used to work for.

I was using pure alcohol, not the rubbing alcohol you get at the pharmacy which contains camphor and other impurities.

And yes, I was using the Metolius lube at first, then went to silicone spray.

Dharma Bum · · Glen Haven, Co · Joined Jul 2008 · Points: 585

White Lightening Clean Ride bicycle chain lube - wax based and you can get it cheap in stores like Target.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
FrankPS wrote:Pulling the trigger rapidly, while swirling the cam in hot or boiling water, cleans it up pretty well. Restores the snap action.
I've had cam axels rust though. So after that happened whenever I hot water cleaned my axels I would run copious amounts of alcohol through the axle to help evap any water that could be in there.
Matt Stroebel · · Lakewood, OH · Joined Apr 2011 · Points: 115
Dharma Bum wrote:White Lightening Clean Ride bicycle chain lube - wax based and you can get it cheap in stores like Target.
Second this, I have metolius cam lube and also use white lightning on my bike. I'm convinced they're the exact same thing.

Also, I have a cheap ultrasonic cleaner from harbor freight that I use. harborfreight.com/25-liter-...

I use my ultrasonic cleaner for a lot of other things like auto parts, firearms parts etc, I'm not sure I'd invest in one if all I planned on using it for was cams. Before I owned the ultrasonic cleaner I had great success with the boiling method. That plus a lot of the wax based lube brought a really old, stuck shut set of HB cams back to life.
Systematic · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 351

BD uses T9 bike chain lubricant. It works well. The Metolius stuff works but in my experience is leaves a black residue and needs to be reapplied more often.

Scott McMahon · · Boulder, CO · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,425

If you pee on your ice screws because your partner forgot to tap out the ice I would recommend warm soapy water, pat down and air dry. :o)

AaronJ · · Japan · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 178

I've only lubed my cams once so far (after swishing in near-boiling water and removing excess oxidation with scotch brite), and I used Finish Line Dry Lube.
I think I've read on a forum somewhere that it's the same stuff as the Metolius lube.
http://www.finishlineusa.com/products/chain-lubricants/dry-lube

Nick Drake · · Newcastle, WA · Joined Jan 2015 · Points: 478
Luc-514 wrote:I've had slight jamming issues with the Metolius wax cam lube in the winter. maybe used too much?
I used a bit too much on a screw gate and had trouble in winter with that biner not wanting to unlock also. Cleaned, used one drop, no problems all last week in -15 to 10 degree weather.
Brandon.Phillips · · Portola, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 55

I like the metolius cam lube for cams. I've heard in the past that it is exactly the same as some bike chain lubes that can be cheaper/easier to find.

When I used to do ropes course work, we used graphite for carabiners. Its the stuff you use to clean locks and can be found near the key cutting area in any hardware store. Retails for about $2.

rocknice2 · · Montreal, Quebec · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 3,018

Metolius Cam Lube is made by White Lightning.
Says so right on the bottle.

Cortney LeNeave · · Golden, Colorado · Joined May 2015 · Points: 5
Mrkb3 wrote:BD uses T9 bike chain lubricant. It works well. The Metolius stuff works but in my experience is leaves a black residue and needs to be reapplied more often.
I use T9 exclusively on my cams when cleaning/re-lubing and it has worked very well so far. it leaves no residue and doesn't attract dirt or grime.
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply

Log In to Reply