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I never washed my rope
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winglessangel


Aug 13, 2008, 9:14 AM
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I never washed my rope
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Or any other soft gear.

In a recent thread a guy who has a rope for only 2 months and used it only 9 times was asking if it was safe to have used color safe bleach.
Not caring less for the answers the first thing I thought was WHY THE F* was he washing his brand new rope?

My rope is 6yo, time to replace it. In all those year only rain water touched it.

Besides the fact that it will look newer/better is there a GOOD reason to wash ropes I should know of? Like removing dirt particles that could damage it?

The overaal care of the rope is good. I allways keep it in dry cool place, withoui knots, use it (therefore move it) at least once a week.
After 6y of moderate use it still looks good. I feel I should keep doing as I do with my next rope, or shouldn't I?


Partner angry


Aug 13, 2008, 9:27 AM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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Sometimes ropes get muddy, or really really sandy. That's a good time to clean them off.

Some people have ropes that are crusted with aluminum from their hardware. I don't understand how that happens when it doesn't happen to me, but whatever, if my rope was shining of aluminum, I'd wash it.

For safety though, the only rope I ever washed more than a couple times is one of the ones I had to retire the soonest. All the washing caused premature sheath slippage.


shockabuku


Aug 13, 2008, 9:32 AM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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Getting dirt particles out of your rope is probably better for it but personally I just don't like my rope to be dirty when I whip it out. And I don't like to get that aluminum residue on my hands. I got this thing with having clean hands, it's a little OCD I know.


geezergecko


Aug 13, 2008, 9:57 AM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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A lot of the places I climb at have poison ivy and some of the people I climb with are immune and/or oblivious to it so I've had to wash my rope to remove the urushiol (the itchy oil). I live near a lake so I just toss the rope into the water and pull it through a rope brush.


flipnfall


Aug 13, 2008, 10:10 AM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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Ditto to everyone here. If dust gets into the rope, the rock crystals can wear away at the fibers inside the rope and reduce its life time. Most people retire a rope before such damage becomes an issue, but in the interests of having your rope in the best possible condition, washing it is a good idea.

GT


yokese


Aug 13, 2008, 10:41 AM
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Re: [angry] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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angry wrote:
Some people have ropes that are crusted with aluminum from their hardware. I don't understand how that happens when it doesn't happen to me, but whatever, if my rope was shining of aluminum, I'd wash it.

Top roping.


chossmonkey


Aug 13, 2008, 10:52 AM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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winglessangel wrote:

Not caring less for the answers the first thing I thought was WHY THE F* was he washing his brand new rope?
I washed a rope after one day of use.

It landed in a big patch of poison ivy when we pulled it from the rap.


acorneau


Aug 13, 2008, 11:37 AM
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned that a dirty rope wears your carabiners and belay devices faster as well.

If you keep your rope out of the dirt and use anodized biners/belay devices, then you may not need to wash your rope for a long time.


sterlingjim


Aug 13, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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I never, ever wash a rope. I just make more.

Take that, suckahs'!


Carnage


Aug 13, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Re: [sterlingjim] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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sterlingjim wrote:
I never, ever wash a rope. I just make more.

Take that, suckahs'!

hes gone drunk with power....


crimpandgo


Aug 13, 2008, 1:00 PM
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Re: [Carnage] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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I tend to agree with the top roping theory...

I always use a rope bag and I am very careful with my rope while belaying (keeping it out of dirt, etc.). Yet my rope always seems to come up black.. and it doesn't take long either.


winglessangel


Aug 13, 2008, 1:02 PM
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Re: [sterlingjim] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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sterlingjim wrote:
I never, ever wash a rope. I just make more.

Take that, suckahs'!

And then you send one to me, I'll PM my adress Wink
Just say it is a gift under $50 so I won't pay customs taxes


GeneralZon


Aug 13, 2008, 1:20 PM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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Has anyone seen/used this nifty accessory?

http://www.nwbackpack.com/.../cmi_rope_washer.php

My brother is a fireman and he says that they freak out about their ropes getting dirty. They even destroy ropes that have been stepped on. They claim that dirt and debris can abrade the rope from the inside. Can't see why my brother would fabricate this. Any truth to it?


patmay81


Aug 13, 2008, 1:57 PM
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Re: [GeneralZon] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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I was under the assumption that was along the lines of the micro-fracture myth


sterlingjim


Aug 13, 2008, 5:17 PM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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This really should be in Gear Heads instead of The Lab.

But anyway... now a more serious answer.

While it's true that sand, dirt, grit, and so forth accelerate wear and tear on ropes I don't think it's exactly crucial to wash your ropes often. Any occasional rinse in most cases will do the trick. No need to get fancy about it. Just swirl it around in a tub of water, hang it to let the excess water drip off, then lay it on some towels on the floor. Put a fan blowing on it to speed up drying if you like.

If you absolutely have to wash it for real then just do the same thing with some sport wash, rope soap, woolite, or some such stuff added into the water. Give it a couple extra rinses to remove residue.

Water temperature is not important. Hot or cold won't damage the rope. Hot may actually put a little bounce back in a used rope. The water can't get too hot to do damage unless you use a pressure cooker or autoclave.

People use clothes washer machines, too.

By hand or by machine there's no need to get all crazy and complicated about it. For most people once or twice a year is enough. Pros or other full time climbers usually wear a rope out before it needs washing so don't bother asking their advice.


(This post was edited by sterlingjim on Aug 13, 2008, 5:24 PM)


winglessangel


Aug 13, 2008, 5:50 PM
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Thank you.Smile


wmfork


Aug 13, 2008, 6:37 PM
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Re: [yokese] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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yokese wrote:
angry wrote:
Some people have ropes that are crusted with aluminum from their hardware. I don't understand how that happens when it doesn't happen to me, but whatever, if my rope was shining of aluminum, I'd wash it.

Top roping.

Or dogging sport routes with perma-draws.


pumpout


Sep 7, 2008, 6:51 PM
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Re: [sterlingjim] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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I washed my rope yesterday, the black aluminum residue was so bad.

Put in washing machine on delicate cycle (top loading, yes I'm living dangerously) with a touch of woolite and warm water. The water was completely black after 30 seconds. After cycle ended let water drain, but skipped that high speed drying spin.

Repeated process 8 times before water inside washing machine was clear enough to see the rope at the bottom. Had to wipe down the inside washing machine with paper towels in between washes, as it was coated in that black stuff. Glad my wife didn't see it. I believe the ATC Guide really sheds alot of aluminum onto the rope, since I use a rope bag.

Rope has only been in use 1 year.


qtm


Sep 8, 2008, 9:16 AM
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Re: [winglessangel] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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First time I ever washed a rope was after climbing at Kalymnos. Everything got a good scrubbing after that trip.

There are goats everywhere, and some trails are literally rivers of goat droppings. Ugh. Goat crap on rocks you sit on, on holds you grab... after a week it's inevitable that it got on the rope. So when we got home, the rope got a good bath as did all the gear.

Goat crap, I think that's a pretty good reason to wash a rope.


kane_schutzman


Sep 21, 2008, 3:40 PM
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FYI, Ive never washed a single one of my ropes. Enless you bury it in sand, the rock is going to wear the sheath faster, at least in my experience. Plus fuckit, reason to get new gear. As far as washing it to save your belay device? Are you serious? What does an ATC cost nowadays? 10 bucks?


greenketch


Sep 21, 2008, 8:40 PM
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Re: [GeneralZon] I never washed my rope [In reply to]
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General, You are correct about the fireman issue. The primary cause is that it is directed so by the NFPA. These regulations are created by consensus usually by people who have a passing knowedge with this type work. They always error in the direction of saftey. In addition they are usually planning on way higher loads than a climbing rope experiences (imagine the worst case which is high angle litter retreival. A single rope will be hauling three attendants a little and a victum plus whatever medical gear the victumm may require) They are generaly quite anal about the clenliness and process issues.

Often as the ropes are expensive they are retired from rescue service and placed into other rolls. They are however somehow marked or "destroyed" so as to preclude them getting mixed in with the good ones.


moose_droppings


Sep 21, 2008, 10:03 PM
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greenketch wrote:
A single rope will be hauling three attendants a little and a victum plus whatever medical gear the victumm may require)

Not in our neck of the woods. You'll find that each one has their own rope.

Like you said;
greenketch wrote:
They are generaly quite anal


greenketch


Sep 23, 2008, 9:09 PM
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It may well be that they all have their own ropes. But that is not in compliance with the afformentioned standards. They would say that each person have a working line that is used for recovery and that each has an independant belayline. It is acceptable to have more then one person on a line if they are sized accordingly. In verticle work that is much easier. In high angle typically all the folks are on one working line and they are all belayed on one line.

That just makes it way easier. Having three attendants carry a litter each with their own set means having six lines over plus two more for the litter makes eight. Now all of them have to move at exactly the same speed for the group to ascend as a unit. Hence the previously mentioned anal characteristics.

Of course these are also 5/8" static lines that get retired on silly schedules. But, then again if the "professionals" were to have have a problem or drop someone the fertilizer really starts to fly.


kingbiscuit


Oct 12, 2008, 12:36 PM
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in Southern california it only rains a couple times a year and all the climbs are super dirty and dusty. The rope just gets so dirty it is not fun to handle. I suppose belay gloves could help with that, but don't like using gloves when I belay.


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