How to keep your 4×4 recovery equipment clean
We all have that moment when a friend gets stuck or we run into trouble and have to be recovered , it can get messy and your equipment could finish off covered in mud and sand. As such we have compiled a few tips for cleaning dirty webbing, be it straps, lanyards, bridles or even ropes. Webbing is a strong and durable woven fabric used to make a variety of equipment used for lifting, lashing and vehicle recovery as well as other products such as seat belts, safety harnesses and a variety of other applications. It is important to look after webbing products and to inspect them regularly. A damaged product could compromise safety.
- Mild soaps are suitable for cleaning nylon and polyester products, including slings, harnesses and ropes.
- Cleaning agents that must be avoided are those that contain chlorine (acidic) or ammonia (alkaline), including common bleach.
- Some cleaners contain abrasive agents, and these must be avoided also.
- Standard laundry detergent is compatible is compatible with Nylon and Polyester. For hard to clean stains one can use a carpet cleaner.
Washing by hand-Use a mild soap and warm water to wash slings, harnesses and ropes. A sponge or plastic dish brush can be used, but nothing more abrasive. Light scrubbing is acceptable but high-pressure washers should be avoided as they may disorientate the construction and weave of the webbing. It is best to avoid soaking the slings, harnesses and ropes completely because repeated swelling and contraction can stress the webbing fibres. A garden hose with a high-pressure nozzle is effective for removing loose dirt.
Washing by machine-You can machine-wash slings, harnesses and ropes (pack the ropes into a large mesh bag) at a Laundromat with a front-loading industrial machine. This has a spinning action, which will do the slings, harness and ropes no harm. Remove the slings after the rinse cycle.
A top-loading washing machine must not be used, because the agitator can abrade the webbing. Regardless of the washing method, dry slowly in a well-ventilated area away from direct heat and sunlight.Ropes can be hosed down or pulled through a rope washer. Care should be exercised if the colour of the webbing is of importance as washing may cause it to fade.