The weather conditions during the Tree Climbing & Aerial Rescue courses we’ve run in January have been challenging and in addition to the wet it’s been muddy, especially in the pole climbing area!
This all takes it toll on kit and whilst it can be washed and dried it’s much easier for example to keep ropes in bags and the karabiners off the floor……..
However careful you are there will be always be some level of kit cleaning and with karabiners the industry standard advice is to clean with warm soapy water. Two trainees brought back non functioning DMM karabiners following this advice and it turns out they used very hot water to clean - this had softened the small internal plastic gate spring positioner, which had then been pushed out of the gate base by the spring pressure. The plastic either came right out or got jammed preventing the gate from closing.
So, keep on checking karabiners, before, during and after use and when cleaning is required be careful to use only warm water, then dry out throroughly before adding a light oil or graphite powder, whatever is recommended by the manufacturer.