Wash rope before first use? Really?


Original Post
Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Okay gear head know-it-alls, I have a question for you: 

I'm curious, why do some rope companies suggest washing their rope before first use?

My dynamic rope didn't say to wash it but, this new static rope I received says to wash before using it.

Any ideas why?

Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 110

What is the make/model of the rope?

Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Skye Swoboda-Colberg wrote:

What is the make/model of the rope?

Tendon Rope Static 10.0

Skye Swoboda-Colberg · · Laramie, Wyoming · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 110

The instructions I found do not mention this: http://www.mytendon.com/file/2483/navod_statika_09_nahled.pdf

What led you to the conclusion that it should be washed before use? I soak my ropes 1-3 times a year in warm water to let dirt particles dissapate, this prevents them from cutting the rope when it is loaded.

Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

The instruction manual that came with it:

See last two lines.

Pat Cooper · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 0

You soak it in clean drinking water, remove the rope, and drink the water. It bonds you and the rope spirituality as one. Makes for good karma.

Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0
Pat Cooper wrote:

You soak it in clean drinking water, remove the rope, and drink the water. It bonds you and the rope spirituality as one. Makes for good karma.

I took it a step further. That's right, I added Rope Cleaner to the water. Adam Ondra, I'm coming for you!

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,500

Never heard of such a thing- can't imagine why you would...

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 930

man if i bought a new rope with a grease residue i would lose it.

DrRockso · · Red River Gorge, KY · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 181

I've heard of this, never done it personally. I think it's supposed to shrink the sheath on to the core a bit to make the rope more durable or maybe it's to get any residuals from manufacturing off, either way some manufacturers of static recommend you wash them before use. Do it if you want,  not going to cause your rope to break of you don't though. 

Sunny-D · · SLC, Utah · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 60

Edelweiss and Beal Static lines have the same wording on their packaging.  I just bought 92 m spool of 9.1mm static from Edelweiss and the "wash before use" was on the label.  I would guess that it is to get the rope to shrink and tighten up the braid before using it.  

Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

Interesting. Thanks, everyone!

Nathan.H · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2013 · Points: 0

I just washed my static rope yesterday.  Before...it was very stiff.  It made it hard to stack in a rope bag.  After...it is not stiff anymore...and it handles great!   

Washing seems to take the stretch back out of it so it handles less like a cable and more like a noodle.

Mark Berenblum · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 15

From what I've heard, the washing shrinks the rope a bit, which is a way to get a bit more elongation (on a percentage basis) out of it when you use it later. 

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 204

My eldelrid (sp?) static line said to wash it and it will shrink a little. I ignored it without obvious consequence.

David Coley · · UK · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 0

This is common with static ropes. With softer ones it seems to shrink the sheath and toughen the rope up a bit. Many people just throw the rope in the bath for an evening, turing occasionally. No soap.

that guy named seb · · Britland · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0
David Coley wrote:

This is common with static ropes. With softer ones it seems to shrink the sheath and toughen the rope up a bit. Many people just throw the rope in the bath for an evening, turing occasionally. No soap.

This

Jason4Too · · Bellingham, Washington · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

*insert smart-ass comment about washing hot to convert a dynamic rope into a static rope*

I started to type it like I was serious but didn't want anyone to miss the joke.

Aaron Guillotte · · Boston · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
Nate Doyle wrote:

I took it a step further. That's right, I added Rope Cleaner to the water. Adam Ondra, I'm coming for you!

Following your link to the Rope Cleaner, it states on that page, "Notice if you buy a new static rope and a situation occurs that you have to use it in a wet environment, we recommend you to wash the new rope before the first use. This way you will remove greasy additives (used during production of PA fibre) that would get released from the rope on the first contact with moisture." 

I'm guessing this is the reason for the recommendation, and not any of the shrinkage theories above (not discounting their validity, but this company certainly has a particular reason for washing prior to use).

Nate Doyle · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

The reason why we recommend to pre-wash the rope is that in case of new rope – if it become to be used in a wet condition during first time (when is new) it could happenned that from fibers is outgoing emulsion which makes sheat of the rope slippery. So it may be uncomfortable belaying or when descending.

Direct from the horse's mouth! Yup, it's not about shrinkage, it's about removing fiber emulsion so the rope, should it become wet, isn't a slippery mess to handle while belaying or descending.

Jonathan Steitzer · · West Lebanon, NH · Joined Feb 2010 · Points: 1,526

Nice, I was right with my speculation. Well that's gratifying.

Now I wish I hadn't deleted my first comment saying it was probably grease residues from the manufacturing process. Everyone was so sure of sheath shrinkage I second guessed myself, haha

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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