Synthetic rope needs to be washed at least once, preferably twice prior to use, in order to remove starch and other preservatives added to it. Wash in the washing-machine at 60 degrees Celsius using regular detergent and preferably fabric softener as well. It’s best to dry the rope in the tumble dryer, its rotations will enhance the suppleness, but drying it on a drying-rack is okay as well. Never dry your rope close/next to a radiator/heating. After drying it, soak the rope in (a bucket with) water with a lot of fabric softener for one night and then wash it again as described above. The more you wash the rope, the more supple it will be, and therefore easier in use. It is best to wash the rope every two months, to prevent bodily fluids, transpiration and dirt to accumulate in its core. The rope will not suffer from washing that frequently, on the contrary, it will become softer and better in use.
Like synthetic rope, hemp rope needs to be washed prior to use in order to remove added preservatives and starch. Please note: hemp rope shrinks after initial washing! It is advisable to buy 10% extra rope and cut it to the right size after washing.
Hemp rope needs to be washed at 60 degrees Celsius with regular detergent and preferably fabric softener. Preferably dry in the tumble dryer, otherwise dry hanging loosely on a drying-rack, but never next to a radiator/heating. After washing and drying hemp rope needs to be treated with oil as washing causes it to fray. It is best to use cooked linseed oil (available at quality paint supply shops), baby oil is a good alternative. Use a piece of cloth to rub in the oil, this way the rope will be protected against fluids and its suppleness will be enhanced. It is important to wash your rope regularly to prevent bodily fluids, transpiration and dirt to accumulate in its core, and to repeat the oil treatment of the rope after every washing. Hemp rope will last 2 to 3 years with regular use, after 3 years tops it needs to be replaced.
CAUTION: Knots (e.g. a ‘flat knot’) are very hard to untie in hemp rope. Never use knots, stick to wrappings and hitches.
To enhance and secure the lifespan of your rope (either synthetic or hemp) it is best to put it away in loose loops (avoid coiling or folding) in a dark and dry place out of direct sunlight or moisture.