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Climbing Holds Cleaning Question
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rcguy


Nov 20, 2012, 9:55 AM
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Climbing Holds Cleaning Question
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I just came into several hundred free used holds that in good condition but the previous owner used a sharpie on them instead of route setting tape to create his problems. So there are rather large initials and other markings that I would rather not have on the holds. Any useful suggestions, (particularly from commercial setters or gym owners that may be lurking) to remove sharpie markings? Thnx!


amarius


Nov 20, 2012, 11:25 AM
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Rubbing alcohol works quite well


acorneau


Nov 20, 2012, 12:53 PM
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rcguy wrote:
I just came into several hundred free used holds that in good condition but the previous owner used a sharpie on them instead of route setting tape to create his problems. So there are rather large initials and other markings that I would rather not have on the holds. Any useful suggestions, (particularly from commercial setters or gym owners that may be lurking) to remove sharpie markings? Thnx!

Unfortunately, most commercial gyms don't need to remove Sharpie marks so you might not get too much help from that particular avenue.

That being said, many gyms use vinegar to clean holds (it eats off the chalk off in a few minutes) but I don't know how well it would work on permanent marker.

Good luck.


brooklynclimber


Nov 20, 2012, 3:18 PM
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Any solvent you use to dissolve the sharpie ink might be powerful enough to corrode or compromise the strength of the holds themselves. I'd do a bit of research and even tests before you proceeded.


milesenoell


Nov 20, 2012, 7:06 PM
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brooklynclimber wrote:
Any solvent you use to dissolve the sharpie ink might be powerful enough to corrode or compromise the strength of the holds themselves. I'd do a bit of research and even tests before you proceeded.

Considering that hydrochloric acid is a popular choice for cleaning holds in gyms I figure they are pretty durable when it comes to cleaning solutions.


darsk20


Nov 21, 2012, 5:03 AM
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+1 - the plastic used in climbing holds is similar to plastics typically used throughout chemical plants for piping, seals, etc. I would just use rubbing alcohol, though. Simple and cheap and safer than hydrochloric.


brooklynclimber


Nov 21, 2012, 5:26 AM
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milesenoell wrote:
brooklynclimber wrote:
Any solvent you use to dissolve the sharpie ink might be powerful enough to corrode or compromise the strength of the holds themselves. I'd do a bit of research and even tests before you proceeded.

Considering that hydrochloric acid is a popular choice for cleaning holds in gyms I figure they are pretty durable when it comes to cleaning solutions.

You may be right - I'm not a chemist. But solvents work through different actions than acids. A plastic that is resistant to corrosion may completely dissolve when exposed to MEK (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methyl_ethyl_ketone), for example, which is a ketone solvent used to weld polystrene. In any case, a quick test will determine the answer.


climb4free


Nov 21, 2012, 6:48 AM
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rcguy wrote:
I just came into several hundred free used holds that in good condition ...

Congrats on this part. Thats a good hook-up.


milesenoell


Nov 21, 2012, 8:46 AM
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darsk20 wrote:
+1 - the plastic used in climbing holds is similar to plastics typically used throughout chemical plants for piping, seals, etc. I would just use rubbing alcohol, though. Simple and cheap and safer than hydrochloric.

Magnesium carbonate (chalk) reacts with acids to make cleaning easier but even a weak acid like vinegar works pretty well, and it's a lot safer to work with than hydrochloric.

I hadn't meant to sound like I was advocating the use of HCl to clean holds. If I understand correctly, even the common muriatic acid that is 30% HCl in 70% H2O is enough to degrade the plastic if used full strength.

Plus, people aren't always smart enough to neutralize the acid (that's with baking soda or lime, NOT just with more water) before disposal and it can destroy your plumbing and kill everything down stream of you if you don't.


(This post was edited by milesenoell on Nov 21, 2012, 8:47 AM)


rcguy


Nov 21, 2012, 1:54 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Seems like the rubbing alcohol was tops in removing the sharpie compared to vinegar, a standard muriatic solution and even toothpaste. Downside is it take quite a bit of color out of the hold and even a bit of texture. The rubbing alcohol didn't really do much at all until after about 30 minutes. In the end after all the scrubbing I don't think it was worth the effort. I'll just deal with the markings.


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