Tips and tricks for the maintenance of carabiners
Not every defect on carabiners is a clear criteria for their discarding. Many minor defects can be repaired to reduce progressive wear or to maintain the safety of the product. As in all cases of PPE assessment, the same applies here - repair only if the facts are clear. In case of doubt, the product should be discarded!
Carabiners and metal components with joints must be clean and dust-free, carabiner gates and locking mechanisms must lock completely automatically, and mechanical joints must be easy to operate. If this is not the case, joints that are difficult to operate can often be loosened again by cleaning and lubrication.
Cleaning is initially possible with water, soft brushes and cloths. If this is not sufficient, compressed air, soft wire brushes and cleaning sprays can be used. CAUTION: when using cleaning sprays, ensure (e.g. by removing or, if this is not possible, covering) that textile components do not come into contact with the cleaning spray.
Afterwards, all joints must be lubricated again with acid-free lubricants (e.g. Teflon-based). Joints that run dry will cause permanent damage to the axles. If flash rust or corrosion is present that cannot be removed, the product should be discarded.
In the following we show which steps are important when cleaning and/or maintaining carabiners and metal components: