Cat pee, and how to deal with it.
July 24, 2007 6:04 PM   Subscribe

How can I eliminate cat pee smell without damaging the fibers of a nylon rope? There's a bunch...

So, our two cats decided to use my caving/climbing gear as a restroom. Probably for weeks, given the scope and amount...I had the gear stored in a canvas army backpack, inside was two other packs, 250 feet of climbing rope, aluminum and steel carabiners, two figure eight descenders, a Petzl descender, two mini-maglite helmet,Petzl headlamp, and other random gear. It was all nearly completely soaked.

I've look around at other AskMeFi's on this sort of subject (get cat pee out of X), but the big question is: is the rope, especially, ever going to be safe to actually use again if I soak it in vinegar, or even one of the enzyme treatments?

Some of the carabiners are a lost cause...the urine ate the aluminum completely away. Can I expect the steel ones to be ok?

This is something upon which my life literally hangs....I'm concerned about getting rid of the smell (oh am I) but if it destroys the usefulness of the rope, I won't bother to clean it at all, and just toss it now. Same with the 'biners and descenders...any caving or climbing chemists out there want to take a guess at how to deal with this?
posted by griffey to Pets & Animals (4 answers total)
Best answer: If you can believe it, Black Diamond has actually tested a cat pee rope! It performed pretty close to a regular rope.
posted by exogenous at 6:15 PM on July 24, 2007 [1 favorite]

Soak it in sparkling water the CO2 eats the pee smell.
posted by hortense at 6:56 PM on July 24, 2007

Response by poster: The World Famous: when you put it that way, you're right. I will retire this one to "around the house" duty, and just buy another. Cheaper than dying.
posted by griffey at 7:04 PM on July 24, 2007

I have seen cat pee damage synthetic fibers, so I think you're making the right choice. For "around the house" (I'm assuming that means not bearing significant weight) I would start with an enzyme soak and then a number of days drying in the sun. If there's no major metal bits on the ropes, you could put them in mesh sweater/lingerie bags and put them through the washer before you do the enzyme cleaner soak.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:20 AM on July 25, 2007

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