When in use, Samson rope has the potential to become dirty or contaminated, resulting in a need for cleaning. Situations where rope cleaning may be necessary include when the rope is coated with fuel oil or other substances that may attract abrasives or when COVID-19 precautions require cleaning (Samson COVID-19 FAQs). Cleaning can be performed on Samson ropes, but some guidelines should be followed to ensure the rope continues performing at its full potential.
It’s important first to understand how different fibers react when exposed to various contaminants and cleaning agents. Traditional fibers such as nylon, polyester, and olefin are generally resistant to alcohol, greases, and oils but have poor resistance to acids. High-performance fibers such as HMPE, Aramid, LCP, and PBO can withstand some acid exposure, alcohol, and alkali contact. Generally, greases and oils do not impact high-performance fibers. However, extended exposure, high concentration, and temperature of chemical interaction may cause degradation resulting in rope failure. Therefore, it’s crucial to consider which chemicals the rope encounters and what products the rope is cleaned with to ensure rope life isn’t cut short from exposure to chemicals and substances.
When deciding to clean a rope, Samson recommends using mild soap or liquid detergent in room-temperature water. Gentle agitation may be used to massage the fiber/strands to ensure the soap or solution is thoroughly worked in the braid structure. Avoid using excessive force, as this will lead to abrasion of the fiber. Clean room temperature water should be used to wash the soap or solution out of the rope by submerging the rope or pouring the water throughout the braid structure. The rope should dry at ambient temperatures in a location that supplies good airflow. Avoid direct sunlight, as UV exposure is harmful to the fiber. Certain circumstances may require disinfecting the rope. In this case, submerge the rope in 70% Ethyl or Isopropyl alcohol solution for a short duration (2-3 minutes) at room temperature. Alcohol solutions can reduce the fiber tenacity for some ropes, so the number of times an alcohol solution is applied throughout the lifetime of a rope should be limited.
Following proper cleaning procedures, the rope’s performance should not be impacted (elongation, strength, weight, or diameter). After cleaning, continue to use the rope following Samson’s recommended use and inspection procedures.