Caring for Your Rock Climbing Carabiners

Climbing carabiners are the protection which keeps climbers roped in and holds them if something goes wrong. This protection is not something to take lightly and they should be carefully inspected and cared for for safety.

Checking for Burrs or Abrasions

Though general use, carabiners can develop abrasions and burrs from the rocks. These should be sanded out with fine grit sand paper (220 to 400 grit). If this does not remove the burr or abrasion, retire the carabiner. Never file a carabiner as this weakens the metal.


Gates should be inspected to be sure they are not bent or askew and springs aren't stretched or clogged.

Lubricating and Cleaning

Always blow out the gates of carabiners to remove dust and debris which could hinder the ability of the gate to spring shut. Check the spring on the carabiner before each climb. Clean carabiners in warm soapy water, rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry. Only dry lubricate with dry graphite or WD-40. Wipe off excess lubricant. Never use paraffin based or waxy lubricants as build up can hinder workability.


Carabiners need to be stored away from humid or salty air. They should have as little contact as possible with damp clothes or gear and corrosive chemicals.