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A winch will not only last longer but also work better when kept clean. Use a clean rag or towel to remove surface dirt and debris from the winch motor and housing, winch cable, electric cable connections, and switch control. It’s also a good idea to unwind the cable (leaving at least five wraps on the drum), wipe it clean, and re-spool it properly. You can also lightly oil the winch cable and hook to prevent rust and corrosion.