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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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Old 09-03-2008
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Cleaning Old Dirty Sails

Trying to get my boat back in the water as cheap as possible and wondering if there is a way to clean old dirty sails by yourself? I was thinking oxyclean may work to brighten them up or any other suggestions would be great.
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Oxyclean will do a pretty good job of cleaning up the sails without harming the material.
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any method that works best in cleaning with it? Wondering if soaking them in a large barrel and oxiclean would remove some of the dingyness? or should i work on section at a time? sponge or srubing brush? thanks
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Originally Posted by SailingFlorida View Post
any method that works best in cleaning with it? Wondering if soaking them in a large barrel and oxiclean would remove some of the dingyness? or should i work on section at a time? sponge or srubing brush? thanks

A scrubbing brush will work best - you really do not want to soak per se, just enough to scrub and rinse and get them clean. Soaking is bad IMHO - as you can never really get the suds back out and even Oxyclean likes to attract dirt as it is more like a base... so you really just want to get the job done and rinse and rinse some more.. as if detergent is left on the sail it will deteriorate..
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Old 09-04-2008
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Thanks for the replies, ill get a new scrub brush work my way around the sails then hang them from my second story balcony and spray off many times. Thank you for the help!
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Make sure there's nothing that the sail can chafe on or snag on from the balcony. And mind the wind, sail have a tendancy to catch a of that stuff.
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Old 09-04-2008
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Oxyclean and a "magic sponge" works great. I lay the sail out on a tarp, and work on a section at a time. When done, I stretch it out, above the ground to be rinsed off and dried. It doesn't take too much agressive scrubbing, and doesn't seem to damage the sail or stitching.

I recently got a filthy auction sail to look clean and white, except for a few rust spots, that the oxyclean won't take out.
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