Mom was right!

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Mom was right!

Postby George Dasher » Aug 5, 2008 11:36 am

I've always been a big proponent of washing caving equipment in my washing machine.

Mom has always told me that I will damage my machine, but I never have...

Until Sunday night. The thing totally plum broke in the spin cycle.

I guess the wetsuits were a little too much for my machine...

It is so sad..... :violin:
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby InTucky » Aug 5, 2008 11:43 am

My wife would kick my @$$ for putting my caving clothes in the washer.........thank god for the laundry mat :bat sticker:
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Mike Hood » Aug 5, 2008 12:12 pm

Luckily, I have a laundromat just down the street from my house. My wife would probably shoot me too if I broke her washing machine. :yikes:

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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Carl Amundson » Aug 5, 2008 1:04 pm

My cave coveralls (Wonderwear) never go in a washing machine, they get hosed off and air dried.
Rope gets cleaned with the BOKAT Rope Scrubber (the green one with the magic fingers).
Stuff like duofold, socks and the like get hosed off before it goes into the washing machine.

I do have some stiff rope that I'm tempted to take to the laundromat and wash in a front loader.
I hear that putting in a little fabric softener might get it a little less stiff (its in good shape, just very stiff...).
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby NZcaver » Aug 5, 2008 3:28 pm

I like using the wand at the car wash myself. If I want a more thorough clean, I'll throw most of it in the machine after that. I've never broken a machine yet with caving gear. Of course they're not my machines, anyway. :wink:

George - could the problem be just a broken drive belt or linkage, or is the motor completely fried?
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Ralph E. Powers » Aug 5, 2008 8:52 pm

I would hose off my stuff before putting it into the machine... but one must make sure that the machine is a "heavy duty" washer... some aren't... even those that say "large capacity" aren't always heavy duty.
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Evan G » Aug 5, 2008 9:30 pm

I guess the wetsuits were a little too much for my machine...

It is so sad.....


Let me guess ... a top loader ....... that is like ice in a Margarita blender [clunk, clunk].....if it is made for it GREAT most are not. WHY ... it is a playing a game of engineering and physics. Have you look at the transmission of a washer the gears are soooooo small and having to push all that crap around, wow. I had a new Kenmore top loader and it took me about a week to destroy it. Ironically it was sheets that rapped around the center agitator. So I took the warranty an added a little green to it and received a frontwasher. They rock (well, ...actually they are pretty silent) and have had no problem with anything I have into it. I was told by the salesperson that if I was to put anything greasy put one can of Coke-a-cola into it while washing. The front loader is a belt drive compared to a gear drive. I love it.

Caving gear in a front loader does wonderful but .....

The Wetsuit and even the drysuit...

Once they are out, put cornstarch on the inside of the suit!!!!!!!!
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Jep » Aug 6, 2008 10:27 am

George, that's what we have car washes for here in WV. Jep.
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby George Dasher » Aug 6, 2008 12:20 pm

Mineis a Kenmore top loader. The safety latch that the door activates broke. It was caused by the drum wildly spinning.

I've taken a vow to be more careful washing wetsuits.

But I'm sure it'll have no trouble handling "dry caving gear" and vertical gear and cave packs, etc.
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby ek » Aug 12, 2008 12:43 pm

George Dasher wrote:I've always been a big proponent of washing caving equipment in my washing machine.

Mom has always told me that I will damage my machine, but I never have...

Until Sunday night. The thing totally plum broke in the spin cycle.

I guess the wetsuits were a little too much for my machine...

It is so sad..... :violin:

How do you know that it was due to your caving gear specifically, and that your machine didn't just...break?
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Mike Hood » Aug 12, 2008 1:14 pm

I suspect the weight of the wetsuit caused his machine to spin out of balance and cause it to break. A wet wetsuit is pretty heavy and would be hard to balance with other clothing.
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby cave rat » Aug 12, 2008 9:45 pm

I don't like the aspect of using a Car Wash to wash any of my gear. I know a lot of caver's use a Car Wash to wash off their ropes and other gear. Reason being that I don't like washing my gear at one is that all the soap and car wax that goes through that sprayer there. As much as you run water through there before using it, I don't think you can ever get out all the stuff that runs through there on a daily bases out.

I don't have a rope washer, so I also have a Laundry Mat near by, for my ropes. They have a big one that will wash my 300' rope. I generally like to use Wol-lite or Ivory Snow on my ropes. There is no junk in those cleaners that will damage Nylon. I use my dads hose pipe to wash off my real muddy ropes before using the washing machine there. But, I do need to get a rope washer when ever I can.

Now, I don't have washing machine here, so I use my parents. My dad runs the Laundry at their house. He will let me wash some of my caving clothes in the machine(except my Cave Suit, I spray that off with the hose), only if I spray them off really good with the hose first.
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Mark620 » Aug 15, 2008 10:00 pm

NZcaver wrote:I like using the wand at the car wash myself.


Cecile (B&C Wunderwear) recommends against using a high pressure hose when cleaning your cave suit. The pressure pushes the dirt/grit into the fibers and causes premature wear. She does recommend occasional cleaning...not every time you cave.
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby Wayne Harrison » Aug 16, 2008 1:56 pm

That makes sense. But then you could turn your cave suit inside-out and spray it -- pushing the dirt OUT of the fabric. I turn mine inside out anyway after taking it off, to keep from getting other stuff dirty.
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Re: Mom was right!

Postby paoconnell » Aug 17, 2008 9:30 am

George Dasher wrote:Mine is a Kenmore top loader. The safety latch that the door activates broke. It was caused by the drum wildly spinning.

I've taken a vow to be more careful washing wetsuits.



When I had a wetsuit, I just put it on a convenient fence and hosed it down, then dried them out of the sun.

Coveralls also get hosed down, inside and outside, until the water is no longer muddy. Then they get washed, usually at a laundromat.
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