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Mine Exploration Forum

Author New rope, to wash or not?
danswift

Joined: 31/03/2016

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 01/10/2016 15:34:48
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Just a quickie, is it best to wash a new rope before use or not?

If so, why?

Thanks
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Wormster

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Joined: 15/08/2006
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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 01/10/2016 15:57:57
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Yup, new srt rope needs to be washed because:

A- it shrinks the rope by about 10% to get accurate rope length.

B- it washes out all of the "gunk" used in rope construction.

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royfellows

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Joined: 13/06/2007
Location: Great Wyrley near Walsall

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 01/10/2016 17:12:41
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Yes, every time

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"How people get on with these things as a mobile device I cannot begin to imagine, but it certainly explains a lot about peoples behaviour."
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Tamarmole

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Location: Tamar Valley

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 01/10/2016 17:47:52
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yes.

I would also run it through a descender before you use it in anger.
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Pete K

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Joined: 08/02/2009
Location: The Peak District or Snowdonia

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 01/10/2016 19:30:33
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Yes. It will contain a white fluid which is an anti static lubricant used in the manufacturing process. The white stuff will make the rope very fast on descent!
Soak the rope in a bucket or bath for 24 hours in cold water. Agitate every few hours and change the water when it gets cloudy.
Once washed, allow the rope to drip dry, don't force it. As said, ideally run it through a descender a few times but not essential. Hang rope loosely to drip dry, somewhere the drips won't wreak your floor!
This allows the rope to shrink to its working length and should give it a good smooth handle for its working life.

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The Fresh Prince of Portreath

Joined: 05/08/2015

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 01/10/2016 19:41:02
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It's like fabric conditioner. Just use it as is, then wash it with more fabric conditioner afterwards.

No problemo.
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dtyson

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Joined: 17/11/2008
Location: wirral

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 02/10/2016 10:09:51
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Although most rope shrinks about 10% on the first wash you will find it continues to shrink over the next few by about another 5-10%. This is certainly the case for Marlow 10.5mm which we routinely use. So when I buy rope I get it 20% longer to allow for shrinkage Angry

Dave
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danswift

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 03/10/2016 13:21:43
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When new rope shrinks the diameter must reduce aswell? So if I wanted 10mm I should buy 10.5mm? IP: 82.132.219.222
dtyson

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 03/10/2016 15:36:26
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No, the diameter stays pretty much the same. As the rope gets older and more worn it gets a bit 'fluffy' so the diameter can get fractionally bigger. It also gets stiffer, I personally haven't used fabric softener on ropes, but I have heard of others doing it.

The main thing to preserve ropes is to wash off any grit under a tap or with a hose. A little mud left on is probably not too bad, but the less the better. Some clubs have home-made rope washes, but I just use a bristle brush and a hosepipe. If the ropes have been exposed to an acidic environment (e.g. some mines with pyrites etc.) then after an initial wash to remove surface muck, a soak in a few gallons of water with a tablespoon of sodium bicarbonate for an hour will neutralise any acid and after rinsing the rope can be further cleaned if necessary. Some people shove the rope in a pillow case and stick it in the washing machine on a cool cycle - I would be dead it I did that!

Ropes should be labelled at one end (or both) with the date acquired, length, owner and make. That way you can keep track of their age and they are less likely to disappear by accident on exchange trips which may leave you stranded...

Dave
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Roy Morton

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 03/10/2016 18:49:33
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I wait till the missus goes out and then use the washing machine Wink

Marking ropes with top and bottom tags is worth doing too and then alternating which end you use up top. Swapping about is supposed to equalise wear and internal stresses etc..blah blah.

I tend to use that method on new ropes for the first 6 / 8 outings and then after that however it comes out the bag Laugh

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Tamarmole

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 03/10/2016 21:18:44
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Roy Morton wrote:

I wait till the missus goes out and then use the washing machine Wink

Marking ropes with top and bottom tags is worth doing too and then alternating which end you use up top. Swapping about is supposed to equalise wear and internal stresses etc..blah blah.

I tend to use that method on new ropes for the first 6 / 8 outings and then after that however it comes out the bag Laugh


It is very, very important not to let your better half know that you understand how the washing machine works.
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The Fresh Prince of Portreath

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 03/10/2016 22:23:21
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My mum bought a washing machine advertised as having a capacity for a 7kg load.

I managed to get 140m of 11mm in it. Had to tip it on it's back though!

I prewash with water. No detergent, normal lot temp washing cycle with no detergent and then a bloody great glug of double strength morrison's fabric conditioner. Makes the ropes like new always. Makes them a pleasure to use.

The caving club do things properly and their ropes are like sticks. My 2007 140m is still going strong and apart from a bit of fluffiness, it's as supple as it was when it was new.
IP: 81.140.40.222 Edited: 03/10/2016 22:23:43 by The Fresh Prince of Portreath
Margot

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 04/10/2016 09:54:45
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Tamarmole wrote:


It is very, very important not to let your better half know that you understand how the washing machine works.


Oh dear Rick.


But on topic: I need to wash my rope, this thread helps reminding me...Blush
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NouveauRiche

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 04/10/2016 10:39:26
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Tamarmole wrote:

Roy Morton wrote:


It is very, very important not to let your better half know that you understand how the washing machine works.


LaughLaughLaughLaughLaughLaugh Unfortunately that doesn't work in my case being single... but decent advice! Thumbs UpThumbs Up

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Roy Morton

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Location: Redruth Cornwall

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 04/10/2016 11:54:12
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Knowing the workings of the washing machine.....Yes....Agreed!

It wasn't until I was married that I learned there was a right and a wrong way to put the milk back in the fridge. Blink Laugh

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"If whippets int' bath, where's t' coal!?"
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Roy Morton

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 04/10/2016 11:57:46
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On the washing / treatment front, I'm with FPOP on that one, plenty of conditioner after a good rinse and spin.

My machine is on the fritz at the moment waiting for parts Sad
nothing to do with muddy ropes btw

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"If whippets int' bath, where's t' coal!?"
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gNick

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 04/10/2016 12:25:20
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I find that a good run over with a rope cleaner (in my case either the overpriced Beal thing or a wonderful home made one made from astroturf rolled up inside a plastic drain pipe) after a soak in the bath followed by a quick run through the washer.
Never thought to use conditioner but putting the spring freshness back in your ropes seems a jolly good idea. Smile

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Tamarmole

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Location: Tamar Valley

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New rope, to wash or not?
Posted: 04/10/2016 16:50:01
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I'd certainly agree with the fabric softener thing. IP: 109.150.29.36
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