Benefits of washing a rope


Original Post
Bob Johnson · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined May 2014 · Points: 53

I have a Mammut Infinity that's about 2.5 years old that has spent a good amount of time in the sand at Moab and Red Rock. It has lost its nice slippery dry treatment, is a little fuzzy and doesn't feed through the ATC smoothly anymore. In your experience, is this something that can be partially rectified through washing? Does getting the dirt out make the rope feed any more smoothly?

ViperScale · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2013 · Points: 165

Washing my rope has never made it feel any smoother if you are talking about just rope wear. If however you are feeling the texture of dirt or sand stuck on the rope it will get rid of that. Dry treatment will never get fixed by washing a rope it is only temporary and wears off after a certain amount of use, if anything washing the rope will remove the dry treatment faster.

mstolorena · · Shelby, NC · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 95

I wash my standard infinity once it is noticeably dirty. To me, its nice to use a clean rope, more visually appealing, keeps my hands cleaner, and clothes cleaner when sweaty and coil the rope over shoulders. Agree with what was mentioned about the handling.

Just throw it in the bathtub with some soap, let it soak a little, swish it around, drain water, repeat until satisfied. Hang dry on drying rack or snake it around room. I'm always surprised by how much dirt comes off and how clean the rope looks afterwards.

Steve Williams · · Denver, CO · Joined Jul 2005 · Points: 0

One needn't necessarily use soap. If the rope is particularly dirty,
a good rope wash soap works well. But just putting the rope for a wash
cycle with no soap works pretty well too.

BigB · · Red Rock, NV · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 5

getting it duuuurty again

Andrew AJ Jackson · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Dirt impeded in a rope acts like sandpaper passing through rings and carabiners wearing them out prematurely.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Andrew AJ Jackson wrote:Dirt impeded in a rope acts like sandpaper passing through rings and carabiners wearing them out prematurely.
Theres also a line of thought that washing a rope doesnt help it at all it just makes it look nicer.

You might actually be working the dirt deeper into the rope when you wash it causing abrasion on the more important core than the sheath that you see and cannot stand being dirty for whatever reason.
Robert Michael · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 101
mstolorena wrote:Just throw it in the bathtub with some soap, let it soak a little, swish it around, drain water, repeat until satisfied. Hang dry on drying rack or snake it around room. I'm always surprised by how much dirt comes off and how clean the rope looks afterwards.
That's what I do as well. Even without using soap, a lot of dirt comes out just from the swishing and soaking.
20 kN · · Hawaii · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 1,128
Tylerpratt wrote: Theres also a line of thought that washing a rope doesnt help it at all it just makes it look nicer.
You can clearly see the dirt and sand in the water being removed from the rope as you wash it. If the rope is dirty enough, the water will be so black you cant see 12" through it. Clearly the rope is getting cleaned.
JK- · · SLC · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 13

Hardware longevity, especially in sandy environments. It can make a huge difference.

Wilburn · · Cheyenne, WY · Joined Jul 2011 · Points: 265

Zen monks in the mountains of Japan regularly wash climbing ropes as part of learning about the philosophy. The monks learn that washing the rope is an ultimately pointless endeavor since the rope immediately becomes dirty again. Yet the monks persist in the washing. The teaching here is that the joy of a clean rope is immediately squashed as soon as the rope is used again. The monks must not focus on the joy of the clean rope, but rejoice in repeating a tedious endeavor.

AaronP · · colorado springs co · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 15
Tylerpratt wrote: Theres also a line of thought that washing a rope doesnt help it at all it just makes it look nicer. You might actually be working the dirt deeper into the rope when you wash it causing abrasion on the more important core than the sheath that you see and cannot stand being dirty for whatever reason.
What???
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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