What Does Chalk Do in Rock Climbing

Hello, today we are going to talk about what chalk does in rock climbing. Basically it( like any other magnesium carbonate chalk) has a special property to absorb liquids. This when it is on your hands is especially useful, because it keeps your hands dry and grippy. Just in case you were wondering, no climbing chalk, nor does any other  magnesium carbonate chalk have an expiration date. Though the consistency may change a very tiny bit, depending on the humidity.


Regular Powdered Chalk

Next up, I am going to discuss the chalk ball and just regular powdered chalk. First the chalk ball. Basicly this is a small kind of porous,cloth bag. This cloth bag contains loose chalk. When you roll or squeeze the ball in your hand chalk comes out. Some people prefer this to regular powdered chalk, because it is a lot less messy. Now let’s make a pros and cons list.


  • Less messy
  • Can be more portable


  • Can be more expensive
  • Some gyms have banned loose chalk, this includes chalk balls


Loose Chalk

Next up loose chalk. Loose chalk is the bare minimum you can get for magnesium carbonate chalk. The good thing about it is, it that it can be very cheap. You most likely know how to apply regular loose chalk, but if you don’t know how. Here is a brief guide. Basicly you just have to coat your palms and finger with chalk, you can use as much or as little as you want. Now for the Pros and cons list.


  • You can buy bulk amounts
  • Cheaper


  • Some gyms have banned regular loose chalk


Liquid Chalk

Now there is one other kind of chalk, Liquid chalk. Liquid chalk is basically a magnesium carbonate chalk that has been mixed with isopropyl alcohol(or also known as rubbing alcohol) This turns the chalk into a paste that starts to evaporate when in open air. When it has finished evaporating the only thing that remains is the chalk. Anyway thanks for reading, I hope you learned at least something.