Caring for Bondage Ropes

All BDSM rope (ie used for tying people up) requires some care and cleaning, especially the twisted jute rope I use. Here’s the process I use.

Breaking & Burning

Unconditioned jute rope is pretty rough and stiff, and some kinds can even cause tiny little splinters, so I treat new rope through a process of breaking and burning.

First, I loop the rope through a carabiner and twist it against itself 3 times. I then quickly pull the two rope ends back and forth, passing the rope through the twists and carabiner against itself. I pull each section 10 times like this and then pass the rope through to the next section. This creates enough friction to relax the rope and release any lose or short fibers.

Next, I quickly pass the rope back and forth through the open flame of a gas stove a few times. This burns off fuzzy jute fibers sticking out of the rope, making the rope much smoother. A quick wipe of a wet papertowel or rag removes whatever soot this creates.

Waxing and Oiling

When the new rope is still a bit damp from the wet paper towel cleaning, I apply a wax and oil combination. This helps the rope retain moisture, an absolute must to avoid incredible amounts of rope dust here in the desert. It also provides the rope some amount of water resistance and increases it’s weight, which can make it feel more “lively” when tying. 

Wax

I only apply wax once, along with oil when rope is new. I use a mixture of beeswax, which helps give the rope some additional stain and water resistance as well as strength and weight, and emulsifying oil, which helps add deliver a small amount water along with the wax and oil to keep the rope moisturized.

Oil

Any oil that can go rancid is no good for bondage rope. This includes coconut oil. Better choices for rope oil include tusbaki, jojoba and mineral oil. I apply both wax and oil once, to new rope, and then I regularly apply oil to ropes as they’re used and start to dry out. I mix my oil with a small amount of fragrance oil to make my rope smell like an Abercrombie store.

Tsubaki Oil

Tsubaki oil, also called camellia oil or tea seed oil, is made from the seeds of a shrub called the rose of winter found in the wild in China, Taiwan, Korea and Japan. It’s used in these places as a hair oil and it’s the oil I prefer to use on my ropes.

Mineral Oil

The oil used in baby oil, mineral oil is made from petroleum, and does not go rancid. It’s an acceptable and inexpensive choice for rope oil.