Mountain Project Logo

How long to dry rope after washing?


Original Post
Jordan Tamborine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

I was about to clean my rope because it is very sandy from my recent Red Rock trip. Just wondering how long it would take to dry and the best method because I will want to use it this weekend if the weather is nice. I've heard some say to hang it on your banister or shower curtain rod while others suggest just flaking it loosely onto some towels. Which do you prefer?

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,551

Don’t know where you are from so hard to predict how long. High arid desert? The humid jungle of the Amazon? Big difference. Still, maybe someone has some data.

I have often thought I should figure this out for my locale / conditions.  Weigh the rope when dry.  Then weigh again after washing and then once every twentyfour hours. Eventually it would return to the dry weight and I’d have my answer. 

Sorry, am not much help. But for me, I am guessing it takes about four days in this high desert environment.


Trevor. · · Boise, ID · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 849

Have a box fan? Lay the box fan on it's side(ideally in a way that still allows for good air flow), flake the rope onto the fan, and turn it on. Reflake every few hours and it's dry in a day no problem. 

Andrew Krajnik · · Plainfield, IL · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 334

If you have a laundry drying rack, flake it over that. Aim a fan at it, if you have one. I'm not sure where you are, but obviously humidity is a factor. Is there even any humidity anywhere in the US right now? Desert air is dry, but so is winter air pretty much anywhere else; if the outside temp is low, the relative humidity inside will be low as well, facilitating drying. I washed my ropes a few weeks ago, and dried them in my laundry room.  (I'm in the Chicago suburbs.) The air is so dry, they were good to go within a day or two.

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

I recently washed my ropes (San Diego, about 1 mile from the ocean) using a front loading washing machine for one and a Beal rope brush for the other.  I just flaked both out on a clothesline and let try for 2 days inside (neither room has AC, one has a "heater" that only sometimes works), and that was good enough.  Weather's been a bit fluid here lately ("rained" over the weekend, dry and hot today), though, so YMMV.

Edit: You do want to maximize airflow around the rope, so I would suggest draping over a clothesline/shower rod/banister as opposed to on top of towels.  And somewhere that has some ventilation (aka not a basement room).

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

If you can use a front loader and can drape it over a banister, maybe a couple days if it's not crazy humid. 

If you use a bath tub and actually soak it? A long ass time. I seem to recall that it took my first rope a week or two to dry when I washed it in the tub.

Nathan Hui · · San Diego, CA · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

John Wilder wrote:

If you use a bath tub and actually soak it? A long ass time. I seem to recall that it took my first rope a week or two to dry when I washed it in the tub.

Lesson - don't soak it.

My biggest takeaway from washing the rope was to buy a cheap pulley and use it to tend the rope brush, and just have the shower spray on the rope brush to flush the dirt out.  More efficient than soaking it, and your arms will love you for the pulley (esp if you have a 70 m rope).  But the biggest takeaway was just throw it in the washing machine - your arms will love you even more for that.  I quadrupled up the rope, then daisy chained it and kept the tails long-ish.  It only undid itself a little bit.

frog pirate · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2018 · Points: 0

I live in a hot humid environment and I wash my ropes in the bathtub with the Sterling rope wash satchels and a rope brush. I soak them for 30 minutes before using the brush. I drain the tub then rinse the rope, let it sit in the tub for 5 minutes to drain a bit then butterfly coil it (good workout with wet rope), then hang it on some rope under an awning I use to dry clothes when it's raining. I spread it out over a couple of metres so the breeze can get to most of it. It takes two days to be dry to the touch. I leave it for an extra day, then bring it inside, re-coil it, and hang it in a sling so it's free-hanging not touching anything. I have a few ropes so most times i'll leave it for a week total just to be sure it's dry to right to the core.

Drew Nevius · · Oklahoma · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 1,513

Def double it and daisy chain the whole rope. At the end I tie the tails I started with through the final loop with a figure 8 bend. After washing, undo the daisy chain and flake it over an open closet door and aim a fan at it. I’d give it overnight with the fan and it will probably be dry

nathanael · · Riverside, CA · Joined May 2011 · Points: 348

I daisy chain and wash it in the front loading machine and let it spin dry, it's pretty dry when it finishes spinning. Drape it on something and it's good to go the next day.

Nick Hatch · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jun 2017 · Points: 0

After washing doubled over & daisy chained in a front-loader, I just hang the daisy chain looped over a ceiling hook. In the Pacific NW it takes 2-3 days to dry with a fan in the room. 

I tried bathtub/soaking/rope-brush but stopped when I saw how much more dirt the front-loader could get out, and how much faster it dried. 

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

I'm not sure if I've been climbing on wet ropes my whole life or if you guys are crazy.

When I get a rope wet, I flake it out and generally consider it good the next time I climb. Often the next day. Geez, I've even soaked a rope and jept climbing, within a pitch or two, it seems perfectly dry.

I don't coil it up and use it until I go again. Sometimes that's a few weeks. Really though, I don't notice a difference whether it was weeks or overnight. I've done this in the desert and tropical places. 

So my answer is, flaked over a bannister or fence, leave it overnight. It's a lot less time than some here are suggesting.

Jordan Tamborine · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2017 · Points: 0

Thanks for all the replies everyone! Unfortunately I don't have access to a washer and would have to do the bathtub soak method. I live in southern Ontario so not sure how it would effect the drying time but might just give it a shot as I am not a fan of my gym rope and don't wanna drag the sandy one around the gym.

Hillary Valdetero · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 0

Hi Jordan,

I cleaned mine in cold water and a little nix wax in the bath tub.  I flaked it from side to side to flick the dirty water out which worked quite well.  I hung it over my shower and turned the heat up to 73 and shut the door.  It dried in two days and looks much better!


Hillary

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,551

A little data to add to this thread ...

Did some weighing at the local post-office scale before and after washing to see how long it took to dry out my old 35m ~10mm gym rope with no dry treatment.

Here in the desert SW it appears to have taken 20 hours or less to completely dry.

Guessing results would be far different in a different climate.  Perhaps someone living in a more humid environment with access to a good scale would care to repeat the experiment.  Details below.

Bill

  • outside relative humidity cycled roughly between 30% and 10%
  • outside temps between low 40's and 70
  • house heater (gas) ran overnight a little
  • weighed 35m dry rope at local post office (5 lbs 8.80 oz dry weight); scale indicates to hundredths of an ounce; likely good to a tenth of an ounce?
  • rope washed in front loader with NO spin cycle (saturated like soaking in a tub)
  • weighed rope:  8 lbs 6.4 oz saturated weight (i.e., 45.6 oz of water)
  • hung rope inside from pull-up bar; no fan-driven air
  •  at ~7.5 hours, 32.68 % water remained
  • at ~20 hours, 0.44% water remained; that's likely within the precision of the scale; may have been completely dry earlier.
rockklimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

Drew Nevius wrote:

Def double it and daisy chain the whole rope. At the end I tie the tails I started with through the final loop with a figure 8 bend. After washing, undo the daisy chain and flake it over an open closet door and aim a fan at it. I’d give it overnight with the fan and it will probably be dry

+1  and give it a day to hang dry daisy chained and hung up over the back of the chair or on the shower curtain rod (or similar) and then un-chain it and hang it to dry another day.  

T Roper · · the gym · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

Bill Lawry wrote:

A little data to add to this thread ...

Did some weighing at the local post-office scale before and after washing to see how long it took to dry out my old 35m ~10mm gym rope with no dry treatment.

Here in the desert SW it appears to have taken 20 hours or less to completely dry.

Guessing results would be far different in a different climate.  Perhaps someone living in a more humid environment with access to a good scale would care to repeat the experiment.  Details below.

Bill

  • outside relative humidity cycled roughly between 30% and 10%
  • outside temps between low 40's and 70
  • house heater (gas) ran overnight a little
  • weighed 35m dry rope at local post office (5 lbs 8.80 oz dry weight); scale indicates to hundredths of an ounce; likely good to a tenth of an ounce?
  • rope washed in front loader with NO spin cycle (saturated like soaking in a tub)
  • weighed rope:  8 lbs 6.4 oz saturated weight (i.e., 45.6 oz of water)
  • hung rope inside from pull-up bar; no fan-driven air
  •  at ~7.5 hours, 32.68 % water remained
  • at ~20 hours, 0.44% water remained; that's likely within the precision of the scale; may have been completely dry earlier.

Science of rope drying. I have to know why you did this.

Bill Lawry · · New Mexico · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 1,551

T Roper wrote:

Science of rope drying. I have to know why you did this.

Simple curiosity, my friend.

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,785

T Roper wrote:

Science of rope drying. I have to know why you did this.

Just a longshot here... but maybe he was answering OP's question. The fact that he was rigorous and scientific about it is just a bonus.

T Roper · · the gym · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

Bill Lawry wrote:

 Perhaps someone living in a more humid environment with access to a good scale would care to repeat the experiment.  


Gunkiemike?

Gunkiemike · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 2,785

T Roper wrote:

Gunkiemike?

Sure, next time I wash a rope. (BUT... short of rapping an Adirondack gully in a thunderstorm, I don't expect to be doing this anytime soon)

I find it takes 3 days to dry a thoroughly wet rope. Most often that's draping it over a closet door. 67-68 F room temp. Maybe put the ceiling fan on low if I'm trying to hurry it along.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "How long to dry rope after washing?"
in the Climbing Gear Discussion

Log In to Reply