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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-05-2008
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Cleaning Sails, soaking in a pool????

I have a sail that needs cleaning (a little mold), it was suggested to soak the sail in a pool. Has anyone tried this.....? The Chlorine would help clean the sail but would it hurt the material?

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Todd H
Thibodaux, Louisiana
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Todd Hubbell
Thibodaux, LA 70301

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To quote Mark Twain:
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  #2  
Old 05-05-2008
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Todd,

After a quick google search with your subject and found a sailnet arctle on it (19829-sail-care-cleaning).

Unfortently I need a few more posts before I can link urls.

From the article:
"It is possible to soak and clean a sail in a swimming pool, but this should only be done to polyester sails when you are sure that the chlorine or other chemical level of the water is within the tolerance level of the coating. Never place a Kevlar or nylon sail in the pool."

Hope that helps!
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Old 05-05-2008
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Old 05-05-2008
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Hi Todd,

I had a few sails (a lot of mold!) that needed cleaning and I brought them to a quarter car wash, laid them out and used the high pressure wand and the brush. It did a pretty good job. I would not want to dip the sails into chlorine, though I don't know definitively that that's bad for them.
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Old 05-05-2008
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Has anyone tried Oxi-clean?

Todd H
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Todd Hubbell
Thibodaux, LA 70301

how can i get lost? i don't know where i'm going!
-------------------------
To quote Mark Twain:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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Old 05-05-2008
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Jason,

The pressure washer is a pretty good Idea.... I might try that.
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Todd Hubbell
Thibodaux, LA 70301

how can i get lost? i don't know where i'm going!
-------------------------
To quote Mark Twain:
"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you did not do than by the things you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2008
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Send them to SailCare. Only way to go. Your sails will come back clean and in better shape than when they left. It's not that expensive, and you won't be taking the chance of ruining them.
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Old 05-05-2008
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clean sails

I have used 1 gallon of bleach, 1 container of oxy-clean with 1 small box of mild detergent used for hand washing delicates, in a 55 gallon plastic barrel. Let soak for 2 hours with some agitating then reversed the sail in the barrel, because it wants to float, then repeated the process. Then 3 good rinses and the 135% looked like new. The sail is dacron and this is common practice with many sailors I have talked to in my area. Worked for me.
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Old 05-05-2008
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OK; I don't know about using 1 gallon of bleach in a 55g barrel; but IF you use bleach you don't want to use more than 2% solution.

I have used both 2% bleach and oxy-clean (separately) and I have to say that the oxy-clean is much better and more gentle on the sail. Chlorine bleach should be a last resort; the oxy-clean is much safer for the sailcloth.

It's easy to DIY this; a soft brush and a big clean lawn are all you need. It takes an afternoon to wash both head and mainsail from my 41' boat.

In terms of replacement VS sending to sailcare; I'm sure sailcare is somewhat inexpensive. But that's 1k that I don't need to spend each year so I just go the DIY route.

I don't think I would use a pressure washer; since they can strip wood I don't think it does any good to sailcloth. Also; you are trying to preserve the fabric and protective coating that is on the fabric that keeps the sail crisp. If the sail gets water forced through it it might start to stretch and lose the foil shape when put under a load. Sunlight "pinholes" through the sailcloth when hoisted is an indication that the cloth has stretched and if you force the water through it I'm pretty sure you will accelerate the aging.

Last edited by KeelHaulin; 05-05-2008 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 11-05-2009
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dacron sails

What chemicals should be avoided with dacron sails?
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