Metal, nylon, polyamide. Climbing equipment consists of materials that all have different areas of application and care requirements. Here you will find an overview of how to properly care for your climbing rope, harness, climbing shoes, carabiners, helmet and belay devices. So you have more fun with your equipment and can climb with it longer.

A contribution by Somara Frick - Transa Backpacking

The following applies to all of your personal protective equipment: you trust it with your life and it protects you from accidents. We recommend that you look carefully not only during washing and care, but also during storage. This is how you can maximize the life of your material.

Clean climbing finches and get rid of the unpleasant smell

Bare feet, exertion, sweat: A beloved pair of climbing shoes like to smell. This is due to bacteria that happily multiply in the warm, humid climate of your shoes. You can tackle them with cheap home remedies: Sprinkle a tablespoon of baking soda in each shoe and distribute it well.

You can use simple home remedies to attack the bacteria in your shoes.

Let the whole thing work for at least 24 hours and then vacuum your climbing finches with the vacuum cleaner. Baking soda absorbs liquids and neutralizes bad rumors, but airing your shoes is still a must. Best in the fresh air and out of direct sunlight.

You shouldn't wash your climbing finches in the washing machine, they can break in the process.

If small scraps or cracks come off the rock or wall on the rubber sole of your shoes, you can file them down with sandpaper. In this way you avoid that they tear deeper and deeper and you have to replace your climbing finches faster than expected.

Remove dirt from carabiners and belay devices

Metal devices wear out more slowly than textiles and can therefore last a long time if properly cared for. Rinse belay devices, carabiners, and descenders with clean water after using them at the seaside. If the salt from the sea air remains on the metal, it will corrode. Avoid using grease-dissolving cleaners when washing metal; they remove grease and damage seals.

Do not use degreasing cleaners when washing hardware.

Sharp edges on the body of your belay devices can be sanded off minimally in order to reduce abrasion on the climbing rope. Manufacturers such as Petzl recommend not grinding off more than a millimeter of metal in order not to reduce the breaking load of the devices. 

You know it: you climb with friends, borrow a few quickdraws and clamping wedges and at the end of the day you have the salad. Who owns what now? You can mark your carabiners and belay devices to avoid confusion.

You can mark carabiners and exes with colored tape or metal paint.

A colored tape does the job, as does a dash of metal paint. Only mark areas where there will be no friction and be careful not to cover any serial numbers. You can use them to identify the time of manufacture. Stay away from stamping and punching tools. The risk of reducing the breaking load is too great. 

The harness wash properly

Washing in salty sea air after use is a must. You can use mild soap to do this. During the drying process, the sun must not get in, because the UV radiation damages the nylon fabric. You should replace a climbing harness as soon as it shows signs of wear.

If your harness shows signs of wear and tear, replace it. Repairing is not a good idea for once.

For once, repair is not a safe idea here. Just like webbing slings and ropes, you should always store climbing harnesses separately from pointed, sharp material. Even in your backpack on the way to the climbing garden or the hall.

You can also wash a climbing rope

Whether twin, half or single rope: A climbing rope has high demands on care and storage. Loose storage in the rope sack protects the rope from sharp and angular objects such as ice tools or crampons and from direct sunlight and UV light. In addition, the climbing rope can return to its original shape and in the long run deforms less than it is lashed together. If you don't have a rope bag yet, you can put your climbing rope in a loop when not in use - this way it stays clean and protected. As with metal parts, the following applies: Do not step on them or leave them lying on the floor.

You can wash the climbing rope by hand or - taking into account a few rules - in the washing machine.

If a climbing rope is dirty, wash it very gently with lukewarm water in the bathtub. Or at 30 degrees gentle cycle in the washing machine with a rope detergent. Very important: do not spin. The climbing rope is best left loosely in a shady, clean place on the floor to dry. When hung in the sun, it is unnecessarily strained. In the case of heavy soiling, it is worth soaking the rope before washing.

Climbing helmet: Do not apply glue - wear a bandana

A climbing helmet does not feel comfortable under pressure: when stored, in the car or in a backpack. He can take damage without being seen directly. Manufacturers advise not to attach stickers directly to the climbing helmet, as the adhesives attack its surface. Do you sweat more than your fellow human beings? Then you are doing your helmet and yourself a favor by wearing a bandana when you put it on.

Clean clothing with membrane properly

You probably already know how to wash your socks and pants. Gore-Tex, the waterproof and simultaneously breathable membrane that is often found in rain jackets, has special requirements. Amazing, but true: the more often you wash your Gore-Tex clothing, the longer it will last. A gentle wash cycle with closed zippers and regular impregnation also helps.

The more often you wash your Gore-Tex clothing, the longer it will last

Tumbling is good for Gore-Tex: The water-repellent function is reactivated and water rolls off nicely again. We advise you to wear clothing with Gore-Tex this detergent.

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And now - Out. But right.

With well-maintained and intact safety equipment, you have your mind free to enjoy climbing to the fullest. Climbing equipment and adviceyou can find at sex, in our branches in Zurich, Bern, Lucerne, Basel, St. Gallen, Winterthur, in our two climbing shops in Root and  Winterthur.

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