Cleaning Rope

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Cleaning Rope

Postby BryantG » Sep 27, 2013 10:32 am

I recently purchased a brand new length of 11mm PMI pit rope and its inaugural cave trip got it very dirty. What is the easiest and safest way to clean the rope? Any advice is appreciated! Thanks.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby snoboy » Sep 27, 2013 11:11 am

Soak it, rinse it.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Sep 27, 2013 11:19 am

Pressure washer or car wash seems quite popular. Search the forum a bit and you'll find a lot of discussion on this topic.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby Chads93GT » Sep 27, 2013 1:01 pm

I pressure wash at the car wash to get the most of it, then I throw it in my GLASS LENSE front soap.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby Shane S » Sep 27, 2013 3:26 pm

I bought a large bucket at a farm supply. I fill it up with water and drop the rope in forming loose coils around the bucket. I then let it sit for about 30 min and then splash the water around some. No soap. I have a soft bristle brush I can hit the rope with as well. If the rope is really dirty I may have to re-fill a time or two. My fear with a pressure washer or car wash is that residual soap remaining in the plumbing could coat the rope and cause corrosion. It wouldn’t take much. I have thought about purchasing a small pressure washer and never putting chemicals in it. Having it dedicated to cleaning caving gear.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby UnderGroundEarth » Sep 27, 2013 3:52 pm

It's a little pricy, but you could also purchase a Bokat Rope Washer. Just hook it up to a water hose and pull the rope thru. ... &parent=17
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby Carl Amundson » Sep 27, 2013 9:32 pm

I use the Bokat Rope Washer most of the time, it works really well.
I have also used a pressure washer. They work great and will not damage the rope.

I have a friend that takes his ropes to the local laundromat and washes it in a large front loading washing machine.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby Scott McCrea » Sep 27, 2013 9:42 pm

I have a rope washer and a pressure washer, but most of the time, when it is appropriate, I just spray the coil or mound of rope with the garden hose to get the chunks off and hang it to dry.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby paul » Sep 28, 2013 2:50 am

Ther are a couple of DIY solutions on this thread:
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby tamarmole » Sep 28, 2013 12:09 pm

Plan A: Make a tube out of Astroturf (fake grass), hold tube together with cable ties, feed rope into said tube, plonk the whole lot in a bucket (an old bath is even better - you can leave the rope to soak ) and pull rope through until clean.

Plan B: Stick rope in duvet/quilt cover bung in washing machine.

I tend not to use any detergent as I am not too sure what it does to the rope. (I have heard both pros and cons)

The one thing I would suggest is that you clean your rope at the earliest opportunity after your trip. Before you put it away run the whole length through your hands to make sure there are no nicks or dings
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby NZcaver » Sep 29, 2013 3:12 am

As previously discussed here on the forum...


For mild washing I would use a hose (if available) or dump the rope in a creek or waterfall. For more serious washing I generally use the spray wand at the car wash, and periodically chain it and run it through the washing machine on gentle cycle. I find running a rope back and forth laboriously through a tube of bristles is a PITA.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby OpenTrackRacer » Oct 2, 2013 5:54 pm

Wait... you're supposed to clean your rope?



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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby Extremeophile » Oct 3, 2013 10:02 am

I got a Beal Rope Brush and some supplies at the hardware store to make my own semi-automated rope washer. The brush goes inside a length of PVC tubing with a tee that allows direct connection of a garden hose. I run the rope through 3-4 times and then soak it in a bucket of hot water for decon purposes.
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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby hank moon » Oct 7, 2013 5:39 pm

I have been told that a pressure washer can damage rope by forcing contaminants into and/or through the sheath. I have not seen any testing to verify this. Petzl warns against using them in their instructions for use (see below). Anyone have emperical info on this topic?


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Re: Cleaning Rope

Postby GroundquestMSA » Oct 7, 2013 6:04 pm

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