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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #11  
Old 09-30-2006
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Using mild detergent or soap and fabric softener isn't usually a problem. However, the agitator action of the washing machine may damage the ropes. Heat is not good for the lines IMHO... and either is chlorine bleach. If you do have to use a washing machine to wash the lines...coil them, frap the coils and then put the coils in a pillow case or mesh bag.

BTW, cleaning lines is a good idea, as salt crystals and dirt can abrade the lines from the inside out...
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  #12  
Old 09-30-2006
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" However, the agitator action of the washing machine may damage the ropes." Which is why I mentioned using a FRONT LOADER, where there is no agitator. And coincidentally, front loaders do less damage to clothing for the same reason.
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  #13  
Old 10-01-2006
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Gentlemen, I think if my underwear can survive Gentlemen, I think if my underwear can survive the top loader and bleach. I am sure the ropes will be OK. After all, I only wash them may be twice a year at the most.
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Old 10-01-2006
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Chlorine bleach does attack some of the synthetics used in modern lines pretty aggressively...I'd definitely skip the bleach. Ropes aren't held together with stitching...so the cores can move around in a washing machine, and can actually exit the outer braid in some cases, causing irreparable damage to the rope in question. YMMV. Some people have good luck using a washing machine, some lose lines to damage...

Personally, I just use my nephews' wading pool and a garden hose.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 10-01-2006
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Rockdawg-
"I think if my underwear can survive" I would hope that your underwear are fairly low-tech old-tech compared to the sheets for your boat. Undies are usually cotton or cotton blend, rigging is never cotton or cotton blend. Not even if you're a real gentlemen, who uses pure woven silk lines instead of those harsh modern ones.

While accidentally reading the laundry tag on a new cotton polo shirt, I saw one of the icons translated as "DO NOT USE FABRIC SOFTENER". Now, why I shouldn't use water soluble wax on a cotton garment...I don't know. It just goes to show you--laundry ain't all the same. (And besides, a hundred feet of sheets is probably a whole lot more expensive than your underwear.)
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Old 11-06-2006
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I bought a boat that was very dirty after sitting unused for over ten years. The running rigging was filthy and some of it had small plants growing in the rope. I was anticipating a complete re-rig.

The solution I can now recommend is to soak the lines in a 5 gal bucket with a solution of laundry detergent and a generous amount of Oxi-Clean or equivalent.

Leave it overnight or longer. Agitate it well. Rinse thoroughly and let dry in the sun.

You will be pleasantly surprised. It saved me a lot of money.
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Old 11-06-2006
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rockDAWG, I think you should wash your underwear more than twice a year.... unless you have like... 200 pair.
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