Introduction: Washing a Climbing Rope & a Rope Log

Cleaning your climbing ropes is one of the best ways to get the full life out of them. Dirt acts like sandpaper inside your rope and deteriorates it much quicker (DUH!) Things like a rope tarp will definitely help, but you'll always get dirty when visiting the local crag. You will want to wash your rope every few times you go out, every 3-5 climbs on each end or if it comes into contact with anything you feel warrants a quick wet down is about right.

The Rope Log is another essential tool to responsible climbing. It is an effective way of making sure you are alternating ends to wear them evenly when using long (60m+) ropes, recording falls and their respective factors (ropes are only rated for an average of 7-9 falls with a factors of 1.5-2. Consult your ropes manufacturer website to see what yours is.), and to record if your rope was grinding on abrasive edges of rock or came into contact with any unknown liquids, and finally how old the rope is and when the last time you washed it. 

Rope Log is all on STEP 8.

If you are looking for the cheapest rope washer then this one wont really be for you. Although not expensive at all, this washer cost me about $15 to make because of the LocTite and rubber insert. 

Step 1: Preparation

What you will need:
  • 3/4" PVC Pipe that you can cut to make sleeves for connecting everything.
  • 1/2" PVC "T"
  • 1/2" PVC Valve
  • PVC hose external threading sleeve
  • 1/2" PVC internal threaded joint
  • Rubber welcome mat
  • Gloves (Disposable)
  • Hack Saw
  • Scissors
  • LOCTITE Spray Adhesive
  • Paint (Optional of course)

Step 2: Making the Inner Sleeves

Cut your 3/4" PVC pipe to make two pieces that measure roughly an inch each. This is the only step you'll use your saw or the long section of pipe, so you may choose to put it up now. I clean as I go, but to each their own.

Step 3: Making the Body

Insert one of your sleeves you just cut into the "T", and then slide one end of your valve on to connect the valve to the T.

NOTE: Do not use any LOCTITE or adhesive at this point. You want to put the puzzle together before you seal it.

Step 4: Connecting the Hose

This step will allow you to connect any garden hose to your awesome new rope washer!
  1. Grab that Male-Male PVC section
  2. Screw it into the Female section
  3. Connect your last sleeve to the available side.
  4. Connect this section to the available side of your valve.

Step 5: Most Important Component!

This is the bread and butter of the Rope Washer. I haven't seen any washers use rubber nipples, and I don't understand why. They done mold or mildew, don't hold a smell, and after the ropes are through just blast a little water through and they are clean as a whistle. AND they don't damage your rope what so ever! They act like a squeegee and push all the dirty water out.

So using your T section, measure out the length of "welcome mat" you need to cut. Make the width approximately 1/2 an inch.

I found this mat in the carpet and flooring section of Lowes by the welcome mats. It was originally $8 but the Lowes employee marked it down to $4 out of the goodness of his heart. I didn't know they could do that until today.

Step 6: Now Where Are Those Gloves?

We are almost finished! Now we get to put it all together. 
  1. Put on those gloves.
  2. Using the LOCTITE spray the back of the section of rubber mat you just cut.
  3. Make a Taco-Fold (see what I did there?) and slide it into the T.
  4. Use your fingers to make sure that its touching the sides and that the valve end isn't obstructed.
  5. Next spray one half of the sleeve and slide it into the valve side of the T.
  6. Use a rag to wipe off the excess LOCTITE
  7. Spray the other half of the sleeve and slide the valve section on, again, wiping off the excess LOCTITE with your rag.
  8. Repeat this process until you have rebuilt and sealed the water hose section, just as It was put together in step 4.
  9. If you dont care about paint or cosmetics then at this point you're done! Just put it somewhere to dry and in a few hours you can begin washing ropes!

Step 7: Scrub-A-Dub-Dub!

Time to clean!
  1. Feed one end through the T and turn the water on.
  2. Using a box (or anything) pull the rope through the washer and flake it into the box.
  3. Get another box (or anything) and pull the rope through again the opposite way.
  4. Daisy chain the rope.
  5. Hang it in shade or in the garage to dry. DO NOT USE SUN TO DRY YOUR ROPES.
  6. This is a good time to clean those rope bags/tarps.
  7. Hang them to dry.
  8. FIN
Dont forget to log today's rope washing in the Rope Logs you're about to make in step 8!

Step 8: Rope Logs

The Rope Log is another essential tool to responsible climbing. It is an effective way of making sure you are alternating ends to wear them evenly when using long (60m+) ropes, recording falls and their respective factors (ropes are only rated for an average of 7-9 falls with a factors of 1.5-2. Consult your ropes manufacturer website to see what yours is.), and to record if your rope was grinding on abrasive edges of rock or came into contact with any unknown liquids, and finally how old the rope is and when the last time you washed it.

Small green books will last the life of your rope and can easily be thrown in your rope bag. 

Step 9: Optional Painting Step.

Paint it however you like. Use stickers, glitter, beads, denim, teflon, meteor rock, whatever you want to make it look like anything you want. 

TIP: Use two pieces of tape to keep the valve handle from being painted. Now you have a gnarly two-tone Rope Washer and everyone will be jealous.

Unsolicited Plug: If this helped you, and I really hope it did, and you are getting into climbing; then check out my other Instructable. I show you how I made my backyard climbing wall for under $150! Here is the link: https://www.instructables.com/id/Backyard-Climbing-and-Training-Wall/

Lastly, leave a comment, especially if you see a way to make this more functional or more cost efficient (without losing functionality of course), or if you just want to say something nice. 

Comments

author
ar_caver (author)2014-08-31

This is great! I've thought about building something like this for years, but I never considered the rubber nubbins. Good tip on the Lowe's discount as well. I've often looked through a bin at both Lowe's and Home Depot until I found pieces that show damage or defect, but that I can still use. I then ask the manager if they can mark down that item due to the defect and I've yet to be turned down.

About This Instructable

5,192views

35favorites

License:

Bio: "I'm saving the world - I need a decent shirt. To hell with the raggedy. Time to put on a show!" - The 11th Doctor
More by Mave_Rick:Hammock StandTrue Rock Climbing Day PackWashing A Climbing Rope & A Rope Log
Add instructable to: