Should I retire my harness after spilling Tincture of Benzoin on it?

As a trad climber I have tried nearly everything to protect the backs of my hands from the inevitable shred. Recently I picked up some Tincture of Benzoin to help hold minimal tape gloves to my hands. It spilled in my bag and got on my harness, creating stiff spots. Is it time to replace my harness? —Noah Gostout

Unfortunately this is a pretty easy answer from my perspective. I know some climbing companies have done limited testing on the effects of certain material and substance interaction; results can be found on their website. I can say without any scientific testing or experience with Tincture of Benzoin and how affects nylon that I would replace my harness with no questions asked. With a piece of gear that is relatively inexpensive, why not just replace it? Maybe not the answer you were looking for, but it's what I fully recommend.

—Dale Remsberg is an IFMGA/AMGA licensed mountain guide and the AMGA Technical Director.

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