How to clean a Karabiner
Within the industry we all have an opinion on how Karabiners should be cleaned but who’s right and who’s wrong?
Well the answer is as diverse as the brands of hardware. In short, each manufacturer has their own guide’s regarding cleaning and to conform to user instructions you should follow the guidelines. The issue is that even within any one brand a manufacturer may use different alloys and even plastic components that will be affected according to the cleaning and lubrication used. A quick, and I mean quick scour of the internet using Google helped me find inspection and maintenance guides form DMM and ISC. I will let you decide the better one.
DMM recommend Duck oil and not to use Graphite Powder whilst in these instruction’s ISC appear to recommend WD40 or a dry PTFE lubricant.
On this climbing arborist video, they are bob on with the inspection and cleaning although I’d be tempted to buy a cheap sonic cleaner from eBay myself to really get the dirt out. Regarding Graphite Powder I remember being given exactly the same conflicting advice for years but things change I guess we just have to keep up with the times.
Following instances of inadvertent opening of three way karabiners the HSE commissioned HSL to research Karabiner use within tree climbing and the resulting paper can be read here: http://www.hse.gov.uk/research/hsl_pdf/2003/hsl03-18.pdf
On page 15 the study covers maintenance and lubrication issues that appear to be as bigger problem today as they were in 2003.