Having a clean rope could give it a longer life and will help keep your hands fresh for the send. You might already consider giving your rope(s) a scrub a few times a yet, but have you ever considered disinfecting it?
Maxim climbing ropes has been making and testing climbing ropes since 1980. In light of the recent coronavirus outbreak, Maxim republished a story and study on disinfecting ropes. Read the study here and for a pdf see here.
They stated: “The Corona Virus and the Covid-19 disease caused by it are spreading all over the world. The general recommendations include a limitation of social contacts and increased hand hygiene to slow down the contagion. When it comes to climbing gyms, the recommendation is to wash your hands with soap before and after climbing. In most gyms, equipment is disinfected after each use by the user, but for some reason we do not do the same with holds, ropes and gear in a climbing gym. With that in mind, we wanted to answer the question, if there is a way to disinfect ropes and if it does this harm them?”
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Is climbing Freerider (5.13a) on El Capitan “free in a day” easier or harder than sport climbing 5.14a, according to current standards? Jordan would say “Freerider in a day” is easier, but there are probably plenty of you that would disagree… This photo was taken last year by Justin Olson, after @cannonjtc did his successful one day free ascent of Freerider, supported by Mark Hudon. #maximropes #freerider #elcapitan
In the study, the ropes were disinfected once with a solution made of 70% Isopropanol and 30% distilled water for a total of three minutes.
They were then left to air dry for 48 hours before strength testing. The residual strength of the rope fell 2% to 4% after disinfection.
For more on the coronavirus and the precautions you should be taking visit here.
- Ropes can be disinfected by being submerged in a solution of 70% Isopropanol and 30% Distilled Water for three minutes maximum.
- Air-dry the ropes naturally away from heat source and direct sunlight.
- Disinfection should be done when needed and not daily – the long term impact is being tested. A qualified inspection of the rope by the gym/end user is mandatory.