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sparhawk


Apr 13, 2002, 10:46 AM
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Hi,
I have try looking through forums but I couldn't find any information on this (maybe I have missed it), well, I am just going spill my situation...
I just took on the job of taking care of the bouldering wall facility at my University. Last month A group of climbers and myself clean up all the holds on one ceiling. Since thoes holds have never been cleaned before (for quite some time), the grease and dirt that are stuck on them are quite stubborn. The way we clean them is just basically dump them into hot water, REALLY brush them with cut short brushes and rinsed them in clean hot water again... boy it was a tough job... now my question is for those who runs indoor climbing gym, is there any chemical we can use to make the job easier without damaging the holds? we weren't allow to use chemical last time because the management board feels chemical can put damage onto the holds... any sort of direction would be greatly appreciated...

sparhawk


Partner pianomahnn


Apr 13, 2002, 11:07 AM
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Muratic (sp) acid is used my most gyms to clean the holds.



crackaddict


Apr 13, 2002, 12:14 PM
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Try putting them in a dish washer. I am pretty sure that is what some hold companies recomend. Saw it on a climbing video too. One of those first moving over stone videos.

Rockitup!


crux_clipper


Apr 14, 2002, 3:56 AM
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I think you can also soak them in either a really strong detergent, are mild bleech overnight, and hit them with the hose turned on full bore. they local gym does that, only they have a compressor and a high pressure hose.


treyr


Apr 16, 2002, 8:58 AM
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I get some dawn and a rag and water and scrub them and then use a denture brush!

Trob


redzit


Apr 16, 2002, 9:46 AM
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hey, dip them in tar, then when you climb just stick you hand in and it will hold on for you, no worries about slipping off
hahahahaha


sparhawk


Apr 17, 2002, 4:46 PM
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Hey all,
Just a follow up on what I found out on this topic. I emailed a few hand hold manufacturers on this for advise, most of them suggested the use of mild detergent or "Simple Green". The most extensive answer I got back is from Teknik, they suggested me to use Muratic Acid (which is exactly what pianomahnn suggested) which can be found at local hardware store. And the concenrtation, quote "I'll usually pour the acid in until I can see some smoky vapors coming off the water, then I'll stop. But just check the label (of the chemical) for specific details". Soak them in for a few minutes, then rinse them in plain water again. Slight scrubing might be needed for stubborn dirt, however, the job should be much easier than just using plain water, and there should be "practically" no damage done to the hold. The only thing that needs to be remembered is to wear rubber gloves and wear eye protection when dealing with the chemical, and DO NOT use bleach or extremely hot water... hope this helps (especially for those with a climbing wall at home)...

and many thanks to all of you who answered my post...

happy climbing,
sparhawk


cheapholds


May 16, 2002, 10:43 PM
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if using muratic acid, be sure to wear full arm length chemical resistant gloves and eye/face protection. the stuff is pretty strong, mix around 100 to 1 with water (one part acid, 100 parts water). do not put your face over the buckets. only keep holds in for a couple minutes then soak in a rinse water bucket. the stuff works great, but its pretty nasty so be careful!


fiend


May 16, 2002, 11:03 PM
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Used to work at a gym, scrubbing holds sucks.. although I did get my pic in R&I once as a model for a Gym Rat article

Rock & Ice #102 pg.81 if anyone cares to look


pushfurther


May 16, 2002, 11:25 PM
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fiendspam!


puppypusher


Feb 17, 2006, 5:15 AM
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the gym i used to work at had a dishwasher in the back we'd throw them in! worked great!


isildur


Feb 17, 2006, 6:09 AM
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I work at a gym. We fill a large tupperwareish bucket with warm/hot water then put a quarter to a half of a gallon of muriatic acid in. Then just place the holds in the bucket for about 4-6 minutes (sometimes certain companies holds take a little longer). After that, we put them into a rinse bucket and let them sit in that (we leave the hose in that so fresh water is constantly being put in as we drop acid soaked holds in). Thats about it, a few of the holds will have to be dipped plus a quick scrub then re-dipped to get totally clean.

-Jeffrey


lambone


Feb 17, 2006, 12:51 PM
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Sparhawk,

At our gym we use a combination of soaking holds in a hot soapy bath in a big mop sink, with some scrubbing, then we load them in the dishwasher with a minimal amount of soap. They come out nice and clean.

I think hot water makes a big difference by cutting that greasy chalk. For soap I just bought a big bucket of cheap "Kirkland" dish detergent from Costco.

It is important not to use too much soap and besure the holds are rinsed well, otherwise they will get a slimy soapy film on them.

Works for us, harsh on the electric bill though running that dishwasher alot with hot water.

I prefer to stay away from the acids nd other chemicals, it's a saftey hazard for employees and hard to dispose of properly.


aarong


Feb 17, 2006, 1:57 PM
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In reply to:
...We fill a large tupperwareish bucket with warm/hot water then put a quarter to a half of a gallon of muriatic acid in.

A quarter to a half gallon?? I don't know how big that tupperware container is but I hope it's huge - the ratio of H2O to muriatic acid is 10 to 1. Just seems like you are using a lot of acid. Be careful.


curtis_g


Feb 17, 2006, 2:24 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:
...We fill a large tupperwareish bucket with warm/hot water then put a quarter to a half of a gallon of muriatic acid in.

A quarter to a half gallon?? I don't know how big that tupperware container is but I hope it's huge - the ratio of H2O to muriatic acid is 10 to 1. Just seems like you are using a lot of acid. Be careful.

to both of you...

I'm sure whatever you buy at the hardware store will come
in different starting molarities so maybe you should specify
one part .5 molar muratic acid to ten parts water
or just suggest a final molarity to soak the holds in.

I just don't think the hardware store sells pure Muratic acid...
or wait, that would be a solid, i think, so you should define
a starting molarity or just give a final molarity and joe_user
and figure out how much water to add by M1V1 = M2V2

just set your M1 starting molarity of what you buy
then set M2 as what someone suggests
then your starting volume, and subtract your starting volume
from your end volume V2 and you gte how much water to add.

go for it.


lancebrock


Feb 17, 2006, 6:09 PM
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we use a dishwasher with no soaking or acid and everything is perfectly clean. it is all in how you load them. dirty side facing the jets. saves money and time on labor.

lance


roshiaitareya


Feb 17, 2006, 6:38 PM
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My experiences with muriatic acid would say to avoid it. There are plenty of detergents that will work just as well. And if you still can't get stubborn stains out, try citric acid. It's a lot less caustic and generally works just as well. And the gym will smell citrusy fresh. It's a win win.


wearyourtruth


Feb 17, 2006, 10:52 PM
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i got two words for you... POWER WASHER

my gym has scrubbed holds by hand for years, using a variety of different chemicals, and while we got the chalk off, there was always trouble getting into little pockets, and especially getting shoe rubber off...

before our recent annual comp we decided to try powerwashing them, and DANG, the holds came out looking BRAND NEW. no soap, no chemicals, just hot water and pressure. i will never scrub a hold again.


lancebrock


Feb 18, 2006, 6:29 AM
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why is there even a discussion about this? who wants to stand around and scrub or wash holds. get a dishwasher for crying out loud. i guarantee our holds get washed more than almost any gym (every 2 months or so) and it takes a few minutes per day. put them in. take them out. only the monster holds get the power washer.

you guys are killing me.


lambone


Feb 18, 2006, 5:17 PM
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In reply to:
i guarantee our holds get washed more than almost any gym (every 2 months or so)

hahaha :lol:

uuuuuuhhhhhhhhBULLSHIT.

whatever.

my holds are cleaner then yours chump :twisted:


lancebrock


Feb 18, 2006, 5:43 PM
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are you calling BS on us washing things that often or BS that everyone else does it more? how often do you wash them? most gyms i know dont strip the routes and bouldering much at all.

i can see it now...a full time staff of 10 armed with powerwashers and muratic acid keeping everything spotless. as soon as a person comes down, the gym monkey runs up with a brush and acid...


lambone


Feb 20, 2006, 10:11 AM
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Hi Lance, I was just joking, don't be offended.

I call BS on your claim that you wash your holds more then ANY other gym. How the heck would you know that? Really...

I totally agree with you that keeping holds clean and routes fresh is one of the most important things that makes a good climbing gym. For gyms that depend on a solid membership base it is crucial.

I also agree with you that a dishwasher is the best way to clean holds. Although running the dishwasher 24/7 adds alot to the utilities bill as well. We had a bouldering comp in November and washed about 1000 holds, I definately took it in the shorts on the power bill, a hidden cost that I didn't factor into the comp budget.

I think 3 months is the perfect amount of time to leave a route up. This gives most anyone a chance to really work the route, and is just about the time when the holds get gross and tape startes to fall off.

have fun!


namoclimber


Feb 20, 2006, 11:18 AM
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I know of gyms that change their bouldering walls every two weeks, this how ever is crazy! But it gives their customers lots of veriation.
All i have to say is presure wash your hand holds, but watch it on your foot holds, it seems to weaken them a bit.


aznrockclimber82


Feb 20, 2006, 11:24 AM
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Dishwasher. Hands-down....makes em come out lookin New, plus you don't have top worry about damaging small holds and such with pressure. The plastic can hold up to Hot water and detergent.

Monk.


lancebrock


Feb 20, 2006, 8:07 PM
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no worries. i was just curious. but notice i said, "most any gym". i am sure there are some that i cannot keep up with but i know of others who dont change things out much or ask customers to do it. we shoot for 2-3 months for most of the gym.

this discussion is like deciding whether to hand drill a route or use a power drill.

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