What Is the Best Way to Wash a Climbing Harness?

What Is the Best Way to Wash a Climbing Harness?
As one of the few items of climbing gear that isn't redundant, climbing harnesses are constructed to be extra-strong and durable. While your average climbing harness can certainly handle a little dirt, keeping your harness clean of grit and other abrasive materials will help prolong its life span. Leaving gritty, abrasive material on your harness may contribute to the wear and tear that will eventually force you to retire the harness from regular use.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cool to lukewarm water
  • Small bowl
  • Mild soap
Step 1
Rinse your climbing harness in cool to lukewarm water to remove any soil. If this doesn't get the harness clean, move on to the next step.
Step 2
Combine mild soap and cool to lukewarm water in a small bowl. Use either your hand or a soft rag dipped in the soap solution to scrub the harness clean. If the harness is especially soiled, fill a sink or large bowl with the soap solution, dunk the harness into the soapy water and hand-scrub it.
Step 3
Rinse the harness in cool to lukewarm water until the runoff shows no sign of soap.
Step 4
Hang the harness to dry in a cool, dark, well-ventilated area at room temperature and regular humidity. A closet with a fan running and the door open is ideal. Don't use the harness until it's fully dry, and visually inspect it for any signs of fraying or other damage before use.

Tips & Warnings

Caustic materials like battery acid can cause serious damage to the nylon in most climbing harnesses. If your harness has been exposed to acid or other corrosive substances, don't try to wash it clean--get a new harness. Your life is worth the cost.

Article Written By Marie Mulrooney

Marie Mulrooney has written professionally since 2001. Her diverse background includes numerous outdoor pursuits, personal training and linguistics. She studied mathematics and contributes regularly to various online publications. Mulrooney's print publication credits include national magazines, poetry awards and long-lived columns about local outdoor adventures.

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