How to Wash a Climbing Rope

How to Wash a Climbing Rope
Climbing rope is one of your most important pieces of gear as a climber and so you want to take proper care of it. Try to keep your rope clean in the first place by using a rope bag. When a rope does get dirty and starts leaving marks on your hands when you are belaying someone you know its time to give it a wash, but don't put this precious piece of gear in a regular washing machine. Handle it with care. Here are the essentials of washing this equipment.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • Rope wash Large bucket Water
  • Rope wash
  • Large bucket
  • Water
Step 1
Uncoil your rope and flake it out into a large plastic or metal bucket that is large enough to hold the rope and several gallons of water. If you don't have a bucket, use a clean bathtub and fill it with warm water.
Step 2
Pour in a mild rope cleaner or mild soap, not a detergent into the water. Do not pour anything with bleach in with your rope, it will weaken the fibers. Some rope soaps come in packets, such as Sterling Rope Wash, that you add to about 4 gallons of water and others come in bottles, such as PMI's Rope Soap, which recommends pouring 6 to 8 oz. into 15 gallons of water. Bottles are better for the tub method.
Step 3
Swish your rope around in the warm soapy water for about 10 minutes until the water turns gray with the dirt from the rope.
Step 4
Pour out the water and refill the bucket or tub with clean warm water and swish the rope out again getting as much dirt out of it as possible. Pour out that water and fill the tub or bucket with clean warm water. Let it sit for half an hour.
Step 5
Rinse your rope. Squeegee it by gently pressing it on the edge of the tub or bucket as you take it out. Place it out to dry for several days before using it again. Let it dry in an area that is not in direct sunlight.

Article Written By Naomi Judd

Naomi M. Judd is a naturalist, artist and writer. Her work has been published in various literary journals, newspapers and websites. Judd holds a self-designed Bachelor of Arts in adventure writing from Plymouth State University and is earning a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from the University of Southern Maine.

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