How Do You Maintain A Synthetic Winch Rope?


In Brief: How Do You Maintain A Synthetic Winch Rope?

To maintain a synthetic winch rope, ensure that you practice safe use and avoid abrasive surfaces. If you cannot, then use an abrasion sleeve to protect the rope. Inspect for wear and damage after every use, then respool it neatly to avoid further wear. Every 90 days, wash the rope in dish soap and water.

Keeping your synthetic winch rope at full capacity and strong as ever will require some maintenance. Follow these steps to ensure your synthetic winch rope lasts as long as possible.

How Do You Maintain A Synthetic Winch Rope?

1. Practice Safe Use

When using the winch, ensure that the rope will not sit on any sharp edges or overly abrasive surfaces when it becomes taut.

A synthetic winch rope can go from perfect condition to uselessly broken in just a few uses unless you ensure that you protect it during use.

2. Use An Abrasion Sleeve

If you cannot set up the rope to avoid abrasion, then you should invest in an abrasion sleeve.

Many synthetic winch ropes come with an abrasion sleeve, often attached but sometimes separate.

Some ropes do not, but as they are relatively cheap and can save you the cost of a new rope, they offer excellent value for money.

3. Inspect After Use

After you have used your winch, you must inspect the rope for damage.

Do not worry too much if the rope appears “fuzzy”, as it is perfectly normal for a few fibers to fray during normal use.

However, if an entire strand has severed or appears weakened due to fraying or heat damage, you may need a new rope.

4. Respool Neatly

Always respool the rope neatly to avoid unnecessary wear and reduce the risk of tangling.

If you are using the winch for the first time, then you will need to pre-tension it. Check out this video to see how it’s done:

5. Cleaning Synthetic Rope

Every 90 days, ensure you clean your synthetic winch rope.

To clean your synthetic winch rope, you will first need to entirely unspool it and lay it out in a clean area.

Hose it down with low-pressure water to get rid of any loose dust, dirt, and debris. Then, fill a bucket with water and some dish soap.

Run sections of the rope through the bucket, pulling each section apart and squeezing together multiple times to work the dirt loose.

Never put it in a washing machine. The strands can catch and unravel, which will mean you will have to buy a new winch rope.

Check out this video to see the cleaning action in practice: 


We hope this guide to synthetic winch rope maintenance has equipped you with the knowledge you need to extend your winch rope’s life.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them in the section below.

About Ryan Henderson

Ryan has more than ten years of experience writing about power tools. He is an expert in the field, and is able to provide unique insights into the reviews, use, and maintenance of various products. He enjoys cooking when he's not working on his articles, as well as spending time with his dog.