Author Topic: How to properly clean a rope?  (Read 2449 times)

Knutern

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How to properly clean a rope?
« on: June 02, 2015, 09:57:33 PM »
Hi.

I have a rope that has being in contact with dirt (in general it covers oil, sand, soil, etc). I've previously tried to clean ropes by regular hand soap, but that gives a very dry and crispy feels-like rope so I won't do that again.

I'm just thinking - there is really no soap products (as I've heard of so far) claiming to be propriate for cleaning ropes.

So I got this crazy idea - Could I use my girlfriends shampoo (and possible that other thing she uses to get the hair soft and slippery) on a rope too?
Anybody tried this? I'l like to try that, bu I expect that it will just cause the rope to be slick but still full of dirt.


Any ideas?
I'm aiming for knots that is secure, AND that is easy to untie.

roo

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Re: How to properly clean a rope?
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2015, 10:05:06 PM »
Hi.

I have a rope that has being in contact with dirt (in general it covers oil, sand, soil, etc). I've previously tried to clean ropes by regular hand soap, but that gives a very dry and crispy feels-like rope so I won't do that again.

I'm just thinking - there is really no soap products (as I've heard of so far) claiming to be propriate for cleaning ropes.

So I got this crazy idea - Could I use my girlfriends shampoo (and possible that other thing she uses to get the hair soft and slippery) on a rope too?
Anybody tried this? I'l like to try that, bu I expect that it will just cause the rope to be slick but still full of dirt.


Any ideas?
What's the material?
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alpineer

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Re: How to properly clean a rope?
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2015, 10:32:51 PM »
Hi.

I have a rope that has being in contact with dirt (in general it covers oil, sand, soil, etc). I've previously tried to clean ropes by regular hand soap, but that gives a very dry and crispy feels-like rope so I won't do that again.

I'm just thinking - there is really no soap products (as I've heard of so far) claiming to be propriate for cleaning ropes.

So I got this crazy idea - Could I use my girlfriends shampoo (and possible that other thing she uses to get the hair soft and slippery) on a rope too?
Anybody tried this? I'l like to try that, bu I expect that it will just cause the rope to be slick but still full of dirt.
 


Any ideas?

You haven't given enough information for one to make anything more than general comments.
That dry and crispy feel will probably disappear once you put your rope back to use.
I'd be cautious about using any products not specified for cleaning ropes, unless there's a history acknowledging it's use for that purpose. 



SS369

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Re: How to properly clean a rope?
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2015, 10:54:34 PM »
Hi Knutern.

Most soaps that are human safe of clothing safe are capable of doing what you want.
But, the real challenge is to flush the soil particles out from between the fibers. Each of those particles are potentially sharp edged and can sever the little fibers over time.
I would use a chosen soap and rinse like crazy to flush as much of the  crud away.

I have seen people use a pressure washer, carefully and not too close, to clean their ropes. Then it needs to dry all the way through.

If yours is a natural fiber rope extra care is needed.

You can use fabric softener, very diluted, on the rope before drying. The softener acts as a lubricant and helps to resist soiling.

But, if your rope is going to be subjected to a truly dirty environment, I would recommend a flexible coating of some kind. Possibly even latex paint.

SS

Knutern

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Re: How to properly clean a rope?
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2015, 12:21:01 AM »
Thanks for answers  :)

Not sure about the material, I guess it's made of polypropylene. It's generally white but a thin thread of blue also.

The rope have being used, I'm aware of that and I won't use the rope for any purpose where the condition of the rope may end in an accident. Therefore I can expose the rope for any material I want, just because I can afford to loose the rope (hopefully that says more about the condition of the rope than my personal economy :D )

I have a water nozzle near the bath tube that makes the water let out very fast and thin, almost looks like steam - but not even close having as much pressure as a pressure washer. I think that it will be safe to do it that way.

I'll give the fabric softener a try.
I'm aiming for knots that is secure, AND that is easy to untie.

knot rigger

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Re: How to properly clean a rope?
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2015, 01:29:19 AM »
I have had good luck washing rope with a very mild detergent  such as woolite.   I've run it through a standard top loading washing machine in a mesh bag.  You can also do a loose daisy chain, but if your using a top loading machine, you must ensure that the rope cannot entangle the central agitator mast of the machine.  Front loading machines are better for rope because you don't run that risk.  You can also run the rope through the wash cycle with no detergent at all and often get decent improvement.  Using fabric softener is another good trick, as stated above

Be sure to air dry the rope in a shadey spot. Avoid prolonged exposer to direct sunlight

Dan_Lehman

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Re: How to properly clean a rope?
« Reply #6 on: June 03, 2015, 05:22:45 PM »
Quote
You can use fabric softener, very diluted, on the rope before drying.
The softener acts as a lubricant and helps to resist soiling.
There is some evidence that fabric softener can help
for nylon, & maybe other, ropes.  "very"* might here also
be unwanted, but Knotrigger might have among his
Nylon Highway caving newsletters some that show first
a charge (by Bruce Smith, IIRC) that fabric softener is bad
for ropes, then a defence by CMC's James Frank that it is
not --if used appropriately, and not w/o proper dilution.
*(I object to "very" on behalf of so many adjectives that
   do NOT want it, as it dilutes their already adequate meaning!)  ;)

Using a washing machine might show value in both
agitating away dirt and especially spinning out water,
to speed drying.  (I tend to hand-wash woolens but
coincident w/some machine wash so that I can toss
the woolens --socks, mostly-- into the spin cycle to
help (hang) dry.)

Incidentally, bleach, hardly a mild chemical to be used
carelessly, is said to be okay for nylon ropes if diluted,
adequate for sanitizing.  (For nylon, water alone is a
more severe strength reducer, but whose effects vanish
along with the moisture --reversible, i.e..)


--dl*
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SS369

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Re: How to properly clean a rope?
« Reply #7 on: June 03, 2015, 06:45:36 PM »
A link to some reading on this subject at the Practical Sailor.

http://www.practical-sailor.com/issues/37_7/features/clean_rope_10509-1.html