How to Look After Your Rope: Tips for Maintenance & Longevity

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Everything you need to know to keep your rope working as hard as you.


In order to ensure the proper functioning of the rope, hazards that may affect the performance of the rope and corresponding safety precautions have to be observed.

It is imperative that the rope does not come into contact with chemical reagents. Particular care needs to be taken when working in the presence of acids, oxidizing agents, oils, and/or petrol. Though the rope is generally resistant to most solvents, a pre-use tensile strength test should be carried out if they come in contact with any chemical reagent. Proper rope care can prolong the life of your rope and keep you safe when it matters.

The following precautions are to be taken into account when dealing with specific hazards:

Avoid contact with sharp objects where rope fibres could potentially be caught.

Avoid contact with dust/grit by not placing rope on ground and storing rope in suitable rope bag.

Avoid prolonged sunlight exposure by only exposing rope to UV radiation during use and storing rope out of direct sunlight.

If rope is in vicinity of chemicals (whilst not in use), rope should be stored in suitable, sealed rope bag.

Avoid contact with all forms of moisture (especially saltwater). Do not leave rope to lie in water and store in dry area.


The rope is to be stored in a clean, dry place at room temperature, away from direct sunlight, chemicals, petroleum-based products and other liquids. Rope should be exposed to air; not sealed in containers.

Product Life:

The average lifetime of the rope depends on the frequency of use:

  • Intensive: 3 months – 1 year
  • Weekly: 2 – 3 years
  • Occasional: 5 years

Apart from the visible effects on lifetime (such as cuts, scratches, abrasion and extreme heat exposure, amongst others), there are various invisible effects. These effects include:

  • Tensional Fatigue
  • Bending Fatigue
  • Compressional Fatigue
  • Creep
  • UV Exposure
  • Water Exposure

The lighter the load, the longer rope will remain fit for use.

This is load related, but can still occur at low tensions. It is important to take this into consideration when working with rollers or sheaves. It causes kink bands in individual fibers, greatly reducing the strength of the Rope. In order to avoid this, a small amount of tension must be maintained.

Avoid prolonged sunlight exposure by only exposing rope to UV radiation during use and storing rope out of direct sunlight.

UV radiation breaks down intra-polymer bonds, weakening Rope. Rope fibres shrink and can lose up to 15% of their strength, increasing elongation.

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