SailNet Community - View Single Post - Cleaning / Washing Sails - Washing Machine ? Bleach ?
View Single Post
Old 05-24-2010
GeorgeB's Avatar
GeorgeB GeorgeB is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Alameda, San Francisco Bay
Posts: 1,745
Thanks: 1
Thanked 48 Times in 47 Posts
Rep Power: 11
GeorgeB is on a distinguished road
Prevention is better than the cure… Never, ever, pack a wet chute. Dry it out by hoisting it at the dock or take it home. Bleach will kill the mold but will also bleed the colors and weaken the resin (what makes the sail “crinkly” and air tight). You can try using Woolite and your bathtub. There is no stretch in spinnaker cloth and the washing machine agitator will pull and weaken the fibers, if not actually tearing the sail. You could try a weak, colorfast bleach, but do so at your own peril.

Dacron is a lot more forgiving, you can use bleach in your soap bucket as well as CLR. Note that your sails will never become totally white and clean again, but they will look a lot less worse. Again, no machine washing. I tend to get a lot of salt spray on my sails so I wash them at least once a year on the driveway with a scrub brush on a long broom handle. I and will also hose them off on the boat several more times a season. New sails are way too expensive to replace so I am aggressive in my maintenance.

Reply With Quote Share with Facebook