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PPE Disinfection Best Practices


Firstly I would like to acknowledge the extreme circumstances we find ourselves in this sudden and difficult time. I understand that many in our industry would love for things to go back to normal. Unfortunately, as more time goes by we realise that our operations need to make more long term adjustments in order to de-risk our industry and that a new normal will be set.

There are a few articles out there that I will mention shortly that cover the disinfection of PPE. Unfortunately, none cover the high use environment that the adventure space works in. We rely on being able to ‘dress’ the new customer with their kit and get them going on their activity of choice quickly. The quick turn around is important and we cannot afford to keep a huge amount of kit sitting in the store to dry for 24 hours only after a single-use.

I will make a list here of different manufacturers recommendations. Please remember that this is an ongoing discussion in the adventure space and that more research is being done. This means that this information can change and we will keep you updated on those changes as they become available.

Some important information here: WE CANNOT JUST USE ANY OLD DISINFECTION PRODUCT, some chemicals can cause severe damage to the webbing of harnesses, slings and ropes, and even mild exposure will mean the harness needs to be condemned.

Do not use other types of alcohol as it can damage your equipment

HEAD RUSH Technologies:


(Link to PDF here)


Spray and wipe down the hardware with 70% Isopropyl Alcohol spray
or wipe (Do not dilute)


Spray the disinfectant on a rag and wipe down the product.

Allow all gear to air dry


Note: Caution: Do not soak products, do not spray near
flammable area. Do not use other types of alcohol as it can damage the gear.




 (Link to website article here)

Option 1:

Respect the 72 hour quarantine period between use

Option 2:

Hand wash the product with soap* and water (Maximum temp 65 C)




 (Link to PDF here)


Option 1:

Leave in quarantine for 72 hours

Option 2:

Wash – In 30⁰ C clean domestic grade water with liquid soap in
the pH range 5.5 to 8.5 for 15 minutes (Our usual instructions state maximum
25⁰ C, but we are implementing a temporary raise to 30⁰ C).

Note: Rinse thoroughly. Dry naturally – away from direct heat.




(Link to PDF here)


Use 70 – 100% Isopropanol to disinfect products.

Note: They tested this on polyamide (PA6), Polyester (PET) and
Dyneema slings plus climbing rope (PA6)




 (Link to website article on textiles here)

Option 1:

72 hour quarantine

Option 2:

Wash Beal Rope Cleaner at 60 C for 30min in a bag and let air dry in
ambient temperature (Away from direct sunlight) This method cannot be used
more than 10 times. Safe for all BEAL PPE made from Polymide, Polyester and

Note: Some products will shrink 1 and 5% and Polaymide low
stretch rope will shrink around 10%

Please read the full article for all more information on the
consequences of this method.

Option 3:

Sink the product in Isopropyl for 30 to 60 seconds. Let the product
dry by suspending them in a well ventilated room at ambient temperature away
from direct sunlight for 24 hours.


Note: This should be limited to a maximum of 10 cycles.


Black Diamond:

(Link to PDF here)

Option 1:

Quarantine PPE for 5 Days

Option 2:

Warm Water and non-detergent soap, the water must be below 70 C.
Thoroughly rinse and dry in well ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

Note: Most soaps marked as gentle or skin friendly, and soaps
made from natural ingredients are non detergent.

Option 3:

Isopropyl Alcohol is only recommended for metallic products.

Singing Rock: 


(Link to website article here)

Option 1:

Ethanol: Immerse textile PPE in liquid and air dry.

 Note 1: the following formula was tested (83% ethanol (95%)
11.3% distilled water, 4.2% of 3% hydrogen peroxide and 1.5% glycerol.

Note 2: Isopropyl can be used.

Note 3: Limit to 3 cycles

Option 2:

Soak textile in 55 C water for 30min and allow to air dry.

Note: Not applicable to geare made of HMPE (Dyneema, Spectra,

Option 3:

Use soap with pH range of 5.5 to 8.5 and wash gear in 30 C water for
15 min.

Option 4:

Quarantine equipment for 1 week.

*Nikwax is currently doing research on how effective their product is at neutralizing COVID-19 and we will keep you updated on this as this develops

 Note that this is recommendations from various manufacturers and not the advice of Vertical Safety Systems.

This article was updated to include data from Black Diamond and Singing Rock.

Written and compiled by Darren Erasmus

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