Cleaning Climbing Ropes

Cleaning Climbing Ropes

Modern ropes are very durable and yet cleaning climbing ropes regularly will extend their life and make them safer and more pleasant in use. Our latest top tip shares some ideas. We really hope you find it useful.

Modern climbing ropes are a work of technological genius.  Despite giving them a hard life they remain durable, high performing and offer great handling in extreme conditions.  We ask a lot and they deliver. Even so, some tender loving care along the way will definitely lengthen their lifespan and improve performance.  

The topic of how best to wash these synthetic marvels comes up on courses with surprising frequency on courses.  So much so that we thought a brief guide to rope care might be useful as a new top tip.

Rope cleaner

As in all things, simplicity in rope care is always best.  We wash a lot of ropes and we want to make the job as easy and effective as possible.  The main weapon in our arsenal is Beal Rope Cleaner.  This is a brilliant product with 98% natural detergent content making it safe to use on ropes and harnesses.  Even better, it can be used for both machine and hand washing.

Which leads us smoothly on to other tools we use.  As fans of an easy life we nearly always simply stick the dirty ropes in a lightweight and porous cotton bag, tie up the top and throw them in the washing machine with some of the rope cleaner added to the detergent tray.  Beal cleaner can be used in machines on a 30 degree setting with no spin and the ropes come out looking great.  

Rope cleaning brush

The alternative is a hand washing option and sometimes we choose this if we are only cleaning a short section or the rope is very heavily soiled.  For this we find a Beal Rope Cleaning Brush is perfect.  You can rig something up cheaper. We’ve seen homemade models using PVC pipe and astro turf, but this little device works a charm.  We fill a bucket with tepid water, add some rope cleaning fluid, drag the rope through the cleaner a number of times and rinse in fresh water.  It is really effective.

Rope drying

To dry the rope it is best to air dry on a washing line (whilst avoiding exposure to direct sunlight).  We have a small drying room for the times this isn’t possible but hanging over an interior door in a warm room works well too.  So that’s some cleaning climbing ropes top tips. Love your ropes and they will love you back. Of course, knowing it will perform well feels very reassuring when strung out above your last runner!

While we are talking ropes, you might find our top tip about cutting ropes useful too. You can find it here.