Taking care of rope is essential on boats, if you want them to work according to your expectations then you must treat them properly, here you will find a lot of information about how to take care ropes and also recommendations to extend their lifetime.
All the ropes you use are eventually going to get dirty, nevertheless it is not an excuse to let them get dirty and wash them whenever you want, remember that the ropes you use are important or extremely important for your boat, so use them and wash them properly.
The first thing you should do to keep them clean, is try keep them away from oils, acids, fumes, mud or any substance that can damage the rope fibers. If you want to wash your ropes, you should do it by hand, using soft soap and also cold water, avoid using washing machines and detergents. To dry, just hang them outside avoiding direct sunlight, also avoid driers and do not place the rope on hot surfaces. Keep in mind that taking care of rope is essential for your own security and others.
Avoid having the ends of the ropes fraying, if some ending has any imperfection, it is better to cut it a bit, that way you will have a new end and you will be able to reinforce it properly. There are several things to do in order to avoid fraying, for example, you can use another rope to make a stopper knot, or you can use a lighter to burn the end of the rope, nevertheless, take into account that fire will be useful only with synthetic ropes, it will not seal the ends of natural fibers.
One of the biggest problems of using lighters is that it will not work on very large ropes, and the end may become into a dangerous torch for a while, other people prefer using colored adhesive tape, that way they can recognize their ropes and also write on them to label their ropes.
Store your ropes properly is very important to keep them on optimal conditions, one of the easiest ways is store the rope as a coil on the floor, this is called Flemish Flake and besides being a good storage form, is also beautiful, nevertheless, is not the only one, you can also use the Chain Sinnet way, or probably one of the most popular, the Gasket Coil.
If there is too much humidity on the place where your ropes are stored, you can use waterproof cases, this are cheap and also great to store your ropes, just be careful to not store wet ropes, because it will be disastrous.
Ropes, as everything else, have a life expectancy, but it does not depends only on time, but on the way it has been used, let's take a look at some of the situations that will make us change the ropes.