Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Gear Guy

How to Wash a Rope

First you tell us to wash our ropes in Ivory Flakes. Now, in the last issue, you said Ivory Flakes are good for washing down as well. Dude! Ivory Flakes were discontinued over 10 years ago! Any alternative suggestions for suitable soaps?

Lock Icon

Become a member to unlock this story and receive other great perks.

Already have an Outside Account? Sign in

Outside+ Logo

All-Access
Intro Offer
$3.99 / month*

  • A $500 value with 25+ benefits including:
  • Access to all member-only content on all 17 publications in the Outside network like Rock and Ice, Climbing, Outside, Backpacker, Trail Runner and more
  • Annual subscription to Climbing magazine.
  • Annual gear guides for climbing, camping, skiing, cycling, and more
  • Gaia GPS Premium with hundreds of maps and global trail recommendations, a $39.99 value
  • Outside Learn, our new online education hub loaded with more than 2,000 videos across 450 lessons including 6 Weeks to Stronger Fingers and Strength Training for Injury Prevention
  • Premium access to Outside TV and 1,000+ hours of exclusive shows
  • Annual subscription to Outside magazine
Join Outside+

*Outside memberships are billed annually. Print subscriptions available to U.S. residents only. You may cancel your membership at anytime, but no refunds will be issued for payments already made. Upon cancellation, you will have access to your membership through the end of your paid year. More Details

First you tell us to wash our ropes in Ivory Flakes. Now, in the last issue, you said Ivory Flakes are good for washing down as well. Dude! Ivory Flakes were discontinued over 10 years ago! Any alternative suggestions for suitable soaps?

Balls! Next you’re going to try to tell me the Doobie Brothers broke up.

I had assumed that Ivory Flakes, like oxygen, were in never-ending supply. But, as you have hinted, getting your hands on some now causes as much consternation as trying to relieve yourself in the corner of a round room.

Technically, you are correct. Ivory did discontinue its Flakes right about the time Clinton took hold of the Oval Office, which means nothing by itself, but in context of events that would transpire a few years later, I suspect he would have paid a princely sum for a box of the gentle soap and a go at hand-washing a certain blue dress.

We can ponder endlessly about how the world might have turned out had he known that Ivory Flakes were nothing more than a chopped up bar of Ivory soap. Or, we can make our own Flakes by getting said soap and shredding it on a cheese grater. Toss a handful of the shredded soap into the wash and you are back in business. If handling soap is anathema to you, try Nikwax Down Wash for feather duds, and PMI Rope Soap for your cords. Now scram!