How To Clean Your Climbing Rope (Without Ruining It) Blog Feature

By: Krista Nickerson

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How To Clean Your Climbing Rope (Without Ruining It)

Climbing Tips | Climbing Gear | outdoor climbing

If you’ve ever walked away from a crag with black, dirty hands, it might be time to wash your climbing rope.  

A Clean Rope Is a Happy Rope 

Dirt and grit don’t just muck up your hands—it mucks up and ultimately shortens the life for your climbing rope. YUCK! 

Since your climbing rope is one of the pieces of gear that keeps you off the ground, I’d say it’s worth taking the time to give it the loving care it needs.  

How to Wash a Dirty Climbing Rope

What you need: 

  • Dirty rope(s) 
  • Rubber gloves 
  • Bathtub (or a large plastic tub)
  • Gentle liquid soap 


  1. Put on a pair rubber gloves to protect your hands from grime and grab the rope(s) you’re planning to wash. 
  2. Fill your bathtub with warm water and add some gentle liquid soap. You could also skip the soap and just use warm water. 
  3. Swish the rope around to suds up the water.  
  4. Let rope soak for 10-20 minutes. 
  5. Drain the bathtub and rinse the rope well with clean water. Let the rope sit in the clean water for 10 minutes. Repeat 2-3 times to ensure all of the soap is removed. 
  6. If your rope is very dirty, you may need to go through steps 2-5 again.  
  7. Let your rope dry completely, BUT avoid putting the rope in direct sunlight!