HOW TO CLEAN YOUR ROCK CLIMBING GEAR
It’s spring cleaning time! Let’s clean up that rock climbing equipment and get out on those climbing projects!
The sun is finally showing itself, and you haven’t cleaned up your climbing gear since last year (if ever). Let’s get that old dirt gear looking like new!
Rock climbing gear is expensive to replace, and needs to be taken care of if you’d like it to take care of you. It’s actually quite easy to make your equipment last you for many years, if you dedicate just a couple evenings per year to gear maintenance.
Cleaning Traditional (Trad) Rock Climbing Cams and Carabiners
You’d be amazed at how dirty your cams and carabiners are!
Start with a clean workspace.
I like to use a little bit of Dawn dish soap to help degrease and knock the sand/grit out of the cam springs and lobes.
You’ll also need a space for your equipment to dry (like a dish rack in the kitchen)
I like to use a durable bowl/sink to wash the equipment in (accidentally dropping a cam in a glass bowl could cause breakage).
Squeeze your cams repeatedly in the dish soap to dislodge sand and debris. You’ll notice your soap water getting quite dirty.
Hang or lay your rock climbing cams to fully dry after cleaning.
After the cams and carabiners have completely dried, I like to lay them flat on a piece of cardboard.
Then it’s time for the gear lube.
You can purchase cam lube from all of the big gear manufacturers, but I find that bicycle chain lube is just as effective and often more accessible.
When applying the lube, make sure you reach all of the springs and cam lobes.
For carabiners, make sure to lube the hinges and the locking mechanism (if applicable).
Hint: Avoid getting any of the lubricant on fabric slings. The lubricant should be applied to the metallic pieces of the equipment only.
After the lubrication has dried, grab a cloth and wipe off the excess.
How to clean your rock climbing rope!
Yes, you can clean your climbing rope.
Start with a clean workspace.
I like to use my bathtub. Make sure that there are no harmful chemicals present (no bleach or other cleaning products that could effect the integrity of the rope).
Get your dirty rope out while filling the tub with luke warm water.
Loosely flake the rope into the tub.
I find that letting the climbing rope sit in the water for a little bit will loosen up the debris and provide a more thorough cleanse.
I like to plunge and agitate the rope a few times after its been soaking to dislodge the remaining particles of dirt and debris.
Drain the tub, and run the shower on the rope to get rid of the remainder of the dirt.
Hang the rope in the shower or outside to air dry. If drying outside, be sure not to expose the wet rope to direct sun (UV) light, or excessive heat. The rope should be allowed to dry in a shaded area, preferably with a little breeze.
Enjoy your clean gear, get out there and do some rock climbing!
If you’re looking for workshops to help fast-track your rock climbing progression, we’d be happy to help. Have a look at our workshop offerings, and meet other climbers working towards the same goals that you are.