Cleaning gear

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Postby Cheryl Jones » Jan 18, 2006 3:50 pm

Patricia Bingham wrote:I've read in a Martha Stewart magazine not to add fabric softener to polypro as this will inhibit the insulation capabilities. So I put up with the static electricity. Is Martha a caver?


I don't think that fabric softener or dryer sheets are supposed to be used with any of the synthetic fiber long underwear or fleece. I believe it interferes with the way the fabrics work, insulate, and "move moisture", and gums up the fleece fluff.

Just hang to dry!

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cleaning gear

Postby pebblepoint » Mar 19, 2006 12:15 am

I follow the same procedure but after I blast them with the water hose, they are hung up to dry then reused. No machine washing. Why would you want to?
The velcro closures may need brushed and the zippers may need some wax on them.
I have a friend who goes to a car wash before going home.
As for cleaning contacts, don't do much of that. It isn't necessary with a waterproof lamp usually.
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caving gear cleaning

Postby justinmiller » Nov 22, 2007 10:31 pm

how long does it take you to clean you caving gear after a trip, what works, wd-40 cams or silicon spray, and what should i not do in cleaning me gear?
I just spent about an hour washing my gear in the kitchen sink, which my wife didn't like, what about you?
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Postby barcelonacvr » Nov 22, 2007 10:47 pm

I use the local car wash power spray wand and I am done in about 5 minutes...I silicone grease o rings and use LPS to coat internal electrical connections that "may" encounter water.
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Postby MoonshineR DavE » Nov 22, 2007 10:47 pm

I just throw all my gear in the driveway and spray it off real good with the hose. I never have lubed my ascenders but I would think that silicone spray would be better that wd-40 just for the sake of the rope and harness but I may be wrong on that.
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Re: caving gear cleaning

Postby mgmills » Nov 22, 2007 10:52 pm

justinmiller wrote:how long does it take you to clean you caving gear after a trip, what works, wd-40 cams or silicon spray, and what should i not do in cleaning me gear?
I just spent about an hour washing my gear in the kitchen sink, which my wife didn't like, what about you?


With the recent water shortage I've been putting my gear in a washtub and soaking it then scrub with a brush and then but in the washtub to rinse again.

I have been known to hang it on a line and let the rain wash it.

For my vertical gear (cams) I just make sure it is dry before I put it away.
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Re: caving gear cleaning

Postby NZcaver » Nov 22, 2007 11:03 pm

justinmiller wrote:how long does it take you to clean you caving gear after a trip, what works, wd-40 cams or silicon spray, and what should i not do in cleaning me gear?
I just spent about an hour washing my gear in the kitchen sink, which my wife didn't like, what about you?

Hi Justin.

Please note I took the thread you just started and merged it into this existing one discussing the same subject. Take a browse through the previous posts for further info. Everyone please feel free to continue adding to the thread.
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Postby NZcaver » Nov 22, 2007 11:34 pm

Ponorplumber wrote:I use the local car wash power spray wand and I am done in about 5 minutes...

:exactly: I mostly do the same these days.

If I had a reasonably permanent abode, I would probably buy my own pressure washer. But for now, I throw coins in the machine at whichever DIY car wash is nearby. Assuming I don't exit the cave through a waterfall or deep water of course - that's pretty much a self-cleaning process!

Try using a small amount of silicone lubricant when necessary on those gritty carabiner gates and other moving parts, and then wipe off any excess. WD-40 is a little messier to use, but contrary to popular belief it should not harm nylon - especially when it's only minute trace amounts that might be transferred. Just separate your hardware from your rope, cowstails, harness, etc before lubricating your gear.
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Front Loading washing machines rule!

Postby bsaul2000 » Dec 3, 2007 2:42 pm

About 5 years ago I bought a front loader with the purpose of cleaning caving gear, rope and other outdoor gear. Of course I was single at that time and had nobody telling me what I could or couldn't do to the machine. It has worked great and I am convinced my gear has lasted longer because of it. Now that I am married, I would buy a different washing machine for gear and not dare use our main machine.

Another thought is going to use the front loaders at the laundromat. They work well and this activity always gets me interesting looks and occasionally interesting conversation.

Really, to each their own, but I sure would have a hard time going back to the time before I had my own gear washing machine.

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