Can You Put A Climbing Rope In The Washing Machine? Your life literally hangs through your climbing rope if you are a climber. Adequate maintenance and care ensure a sturdy and robust climbing rope able to withstand all the wild adventures you wish to have, no matter which end of the steep spectrum they lie at. 

Since your climbing rope holds such a crucial position in your life, it is necessary for it to be gristle-free and clean so that it safeguards your life by warding off unnecessary wear and tear and slides seamlessly through your belay device. 

Taking adequate care of your climbing rope in between excursions is a necessity you cannot overlook, for it is highly unwise to take a chance on defective equipment when it comes to safe climbing. 

Furthermore, climbing ropes are prone to getting dirty because of the nature of their job. They are also likely to get a climber’s hands dirty after a couple of climbs and dirt-coat their neck during the coiling process. 

Can You Put A Climbing Rope In The Washing Machine?

If you have countered any of the issues mentioned above, it is about time you take your climbing rope for a good cleaning. But how can you clean it? Can you put a climbing rope in a washing machine? 

This answers all the questions that you may have. You don’t have to worry, as cleaning your climbing rope is an easy endeavor and takes merely a day or two before your rope is as good as new. 

Caring For A Climbing Rope 

Before delving into the intricacies of cleaning a climbing rope, let’s look into a few ways you can generally care for your rope to keep it sturdy. 

The most crucial aspect in this regard is thoroughly examining your rope before using it. This is a fairly obvious, simple, and quick step that should be followed religiously. 

Examining a climbing rope for soft spots, worn-out portions, or abrasions is easy: all you need to do is run your hands along its length and look closely at any rough edges or anomalies you may feel during the process. 

If you detect spongy, dirty, or fuzzy spots on your rope, there is no need to panic, as that is quite common after a day or two of use. However, an excessively soft spot is worth extra attention. 

Do not put off replacing your climbing rope. Keep in mind that although your climbing rope is replaceable, you are not. 

Can You Put A Climbing Rope In Washing Machine? A Step By Step Guide 

The question “Can you put a climbing rope in a washing machine?” is relatively common amongst rope climbers, and the answer to it is an absolute yes. 

You can put your climbing rope in a washing machine as an alternative cleaning method if you do not wish to use your hands to deal with the dirt and grime. 

However, putting your climbing rope in a washing machine does not mean carelessly tossing a tangled and muddy rope into the washing machine and leaving the rest to electricity, the highest possible washing cycle, and the most potent and odoriferous detergent. 

Although it may seem so, it is NOT the quickest way of cleaning your climbing rope. However, it may be the fastest way of ruining both your machine and climbing rope. 

Let us look at a comprehensive step by step guide about how can you put a climbing rope in the washing machine? and how you can clean your climbing rope in a washing machine and have excellent outcomes: 

  1. Start your washing machine and run it empty for one cycle, making sure that you do not add any detergent to it. This process cleans the inner tub of the machine of any previous soap buildup or detergent residue that may stick to your climbing rope. 
  2. Instead of flopping your climbing rope haphazardly into the washing machine, tie it into a daisy chain and ensure that it takes the shape of a big daisy-chain-looking bracelet. If you do not know how to secure such a knot, you can take help from your most trusted friend: the internet. 
  3. Although this step is not compulsory, you can put your climbing tope into a clean mesh laundry bag or simple pillowcase to ensure that it does not get entangled any further. Dedicated rope climbers greatly concerned about the washing machine infinitely tangling their rope can take help from this step. 
  4. Once you have decided whether or not to follow the previous step, put your neatly knotted rope gently into the bottom of your washing machine. Fill the machine’s tub with enough water so that your rope is fully submerged. You might need to experiment with the load size your rope requires, as it primarily depends upon the quantity of water you need to thoroughly soak your rope. 
  5. You can opt for a rope wash, but make sure to follow the instructions mentioned on the package and pour only the recommended quantity into the machine. You can also move the rope around a bit with your bare hands to ensure that the wash covers it evenly. 
  6. Use the lowest cycle to wash your rope, no matter how dirty it is. Fast cycles can cause considerable damage to your rope and are highly unadvisable. Make sure that you take your rope out only after the washing machine has completed its full cycle. Unwind the damp rope’s knots that you put in beforehand. This is an easy process, as the entire length of the rope will unravel if you just pull at a loose end. 
  7. Do not put your damp climbing rope in the dryer but rather put it out to air dry. 

Things You Should Avoid When Using A Washing Machine To Clean Your Climbing Rope 

Things You Should Avoid When Using A Washing Machine To Clean Your Climbing Rope 

Using a washing machine to clean your climbing rope is a great, efficient, and easy method of cleaning. However, there are certain things that rope climbers should keep in mind before going ahead with this process. Can You Put A Climbing Rope In The Washing Machine?

Let us look at a few things you should avoid when using a washing machine to clean your climbing rope: 

Do Not Use Too Much Soap 

Ensure that you only put the recommended amount of rope cleaner or soap when washing your climbing rope, and it can make your rope messy when damp and brittle when dry. 

Avoid The Use Of Fabric Softener 

Although fabric softener is an excellent use when using the washing machine for clothes, it is not so much for a climbing tope. Using fabric softeners on climbing ropes is likely to leave behind a residue, making its texture brittle, tough, and dry. 

This can not only make the rope considerably harder to climb but can also damage its finish.

Wash Your Rope From The Bottom Up 

Choosing the proper alignment when washing a climbing rope in a washing machine is crucial. Ensure that you wash it from the bottom up to prevent unnecessary damage. 

Use Adequate Quantity Of Water 

Using a suitable amount of water is imperative when washing a climbing rope in a washing machine. The general rope-cleaning rule of thumb is to use enough water to completely submerges the rope.  

Rinse The Climbing Rope Properly 

It is important to rinse the climbing rope properly when using a washing machine to wash it. It is likely for some leftover soap residue to damage your climbing rope. 

Do Not Use The Sun To Dry Your Climbing Rope 

As much as we all love a nice sunbath, make sure that you do not expose your damp climbing rope to direct sunlight to dry it. Place it somewhere in the shade and let it air dry. 

Can You Wash A Climbing Rope In A Front Loader?

Washing a climbing rope in a front loader is not a challenging endeavor and is rather quite similar to washing a climbing rope in a top-loading washing machine. 

You need to follow the above-mentioned step of tying your climbing rope into a neat loose coil or daisy chain to prevent it from getting tangled. You can also place it into a mesh bag if you are extra careful about your climbing rope. 

When washing your climbing rope, use warm water, and opt for the no spin cycle option. It is crucial to use a tiny amount of detergent or the designated amount mentioned on a rope cleaning wash box. 

Can You Wash A Climbing Rope In A Bucket? 

Washing a climbing rope in a bucket is a process that requires your hands and effort, but that does not translate to it being a hefty task.

All you need to do is follow a few easy steps, and your climbing rope will turn out to be as clean as new: 

  1. The first step is to take a considerable amount of warm water to wash off all dirt, grime, and rubble from your climbing rope. 
  2. Once you are certain that your rope is free of all kinds of dirt and sand, fill out a tub of clean, warm water and submerge the rope into it. Let it sink and sit for about five to six minutes. 
  3. Thoroughly rinse your climbing rope. You may use the same bucket of water that you submerged it into. 
  4. Fill out another clean tub of warm water and let your already damp climbing rope sink in it for a further five to six minutes. 
  5. Rinse the rope completely again and gently place it on a clean towel covering its entire length. You can repeat the mentioned steps over and over again until your climbing rope is clean according to your standards. 
  6. Allow the rope to dry in the shade, and you are good to go! 

How Do I Dry A Climbing Rope?

Drying a damp, freshly-cleaned climbing rope is unequivocally one of the most crucial steps of washing it. There are two primary methods that you can opt for in this domain:

Drying Your Climbing Rope Outside 

If you possess adequate space outdoors, you can dry your climbing rope outside, making sure it is not exposed to direct sunlight. Place it in the shade on a porch, deck, terrace, patio, or any other outdoor location that has enough space to accommodate your hung-up or spread-over climbing rope. 

Drying Your Climbing Rope Inside 

Dedicated rope climbers who do possess adequate outdoor space do not need to panic, as you can dry it insides too. If you live in a locale with prolonged dry winters, you can easily dry your damp climbing tope by spreading out some clean towels on your floor and placing your rope on them. 

It is advisable to spread it as much as possible and allow it a couple of days to dry completely. If you have a robust, heavy-duty shower curtain, you can also use it as a place to hang your damp climbing rope. 

Can You Put A Climbing Rope In The Washing Machine1

ConclusionCan You Put A Climbing Rope In The Washing Machine?

Can You Put A Climbing Rope In The Washing Machine? That is all there is to washing a climbing rope and answering the prevalent question of whether you can put your climbing rope in a washing machine. 

Following these steps will undoubtedly provide a completely clean rope for you to do your best out there! 

Get cleaning and climbing!

Leave a Reply


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.