This is a project I made to clean my ever-growing number of climbing ropes, as well as the many ropes I use at my local Scout camp's climbing tower.Previously I had only ever used the "big bucket of soapy water" method, until I was introduced to this one this fall. Cleaning a climbing rope regularly will significantly increase it's lifespan and safety.The scrubber is based on a design used by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS), specifically the Southwest Branch out of Tucson, Arizona. This design works with both Static and Dynamic ropes of pretty much all designs and sizes from cordelette to rescue lines. It consists of relatively few components and is powered by a garden hose. More on that later, but the whole thing costs under about ten bucks and can be assembled in under half an hour.
Note: I actually built three different versions of the same apparatus over the course of the project. Their only real difference is in the diameter of the PVC pipe used to make them. I used a 1" diameter tee, a 1 1/4" one, and a 1 1/2" one. I had the best success with the 1" model, though you could even go down to a 3/4" diameter one for better pressure at the cost of slightly more friction against the rope, though that might also be mitigated by aforementioned higher water pressure
Step 1: Materials!
So the first step is to gather your materials and tools(what few there are)
The materials can be had for around $10 bucks at your local Home Depot. I already had a glue gun, PVC cement, and a boxcutter handy. I didn't care to look up the average cost of those three, but chances are you can find them or borrow them.
1. (1) Watts 3/4" FH x 3/4" MIP x Tapped 1/2" FIP (also known as Model A-679 Hose Adapter)
-This attaches the hose to the PVC Tee. Costs less than $4.00 normally, depending on what kind of metal you get
2. (1)1" Diameter threaded PVC Tee(or also called a DWV Hub I think) (I lost the receipt, so I apologize for not having a more detailed name as I did for the hose adapter. See the photos for a better idea of what it is.) This is the main component of the scrubber. It costs less that $3.00 normally
3. (1) 4" x 4" Astroturf sample. This serves as the abrasive/scrubbing component in the system. This can be found in the flooring section, normally for free. Otherwise the smallest section you can buy from them (at least at my Home Depot) is a 12' x 1' section, which is rather impractical though pretty cheap at about $8. I chose astroturf because (A) It is what was used in the original design, and (B) it is a fairly simple, cheap material than say cheap carpet, which is likely to contain a smorgasborg of chemicals that would damage your rope, as well as being more likely to get rocks and junk stuck in it (the carpet I mean)
Hot Glue Gun
Not pictured: Long Screwdriver
Note: The project can be completed without the use of the Hot Glue gun or PVC Cement, and I actually suggest not using them, as it ended up complicating things (like getting the astroturf in just right)