How to Clean Your Climbing Wall & Safety Mats

How to Clean Your Climbing Wall & Safety Mats

One of the most-frequently-asked questions we get is how often should climbing walls be cleaned. The answer depends on how often your climbing wall is used. If your hand holds are starting to get smooth, or look dirty to the eye, then it’s time to wash them. If your climbing wall panels are also looking visibly dirty, it’s time to clean them too. Safety mats tend to require the most frequent cleaning and are the easiest component to clean, so that is something to consider doing on a regular basis. Additionally, keeping your mats clean will also help to keep your hand holds and climbing panels clean.

Here are step-by-step instructions for cleaning hand holds, climbing panels and mats:

Cleaning Hand Holds

  • Remove hand holds from climbing wall.
  • Choose one of the below methods to remove dirt and chalk from holds:
    • Dishwasher- Place holds in a dishwasher with or without detergent. Choose “air dry” and not “heat dry.”
    • Hand Wash- Using a soft bristle scrub brush and mild dish soap, scrub the hand holds in warm water. Rinse well. Note: Do not use a metal bristle brush.
    • Car Wash- Take holds to a self-service car wash and lay them out on the floor. Spray down holds with the soap mixture and then rinse well with plain water. Note: If you have access to large bakery bread trays, they are a great way to transport and clean holds. Since the trays have openings, holds can be left in them for the cleaning and drying steps.
  • Allow hand holds to completely dry for at least 24 hours prior to re-installing on the climbing wall.

Climbing Wall Panels

  • Place towels on mats at the base of panels to absorb any soap/water that may drip down on them.
  • Starting at the top and working your way down, wipe each panel with a mild soap and water solution.
  • Rinse by wiping down with plain water, again working from the top down.
  • Allow panels to thoroughly dry before re-installing hand holds, accessories or Mat Locking® System. 
  • Notes:
    • It’s easier to clean the panels with the hand holds removed, so we suggest you complete this step while your holds are drying.
    • Leave the Red-Relief® Line installed on the wall and clean/rinse it along with each panel. 

Safety Mats/Mat-Locking System

  • Place mats in the down position on the floor.
  • If needed, vacuum mats.
  • Wipe mats clean using a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge and warm water or mild soap.
  • A soft bristle brush can be used for stubborn dirt. Note: Avoid steel wool and metal bristle brushes.
  • 303 Brand Product Cleaners, Spot Removers and Protectants can be used following their instructions.
  • Avoid harsh cleaning products, solvents and acid-based chemicals including household cleaners, concentrated detergents, concentrated bleaches, dry cleaning fluids, industrial cleaners, waxes, petroleum distillates and silicone oils.
  • Allow safety mats to thoroughly dry before closing them up against the climbing wall (which must also be dry).
  • Next, clean the outside “closed” side of the mats using the same instructions.

Pro Tips

  • Have climbers wash their hands before using the climbing wall to help keep hand holds clean.
  • Place doormats on each side of your Traverse Wall® safety mats, or in front of the mats of your Top Rope Wall. Have climbers wipe their feet before climbing to keep mats and foot holds clean.


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