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  #1  
Old 09-07-2010
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Anchor Line Mildew - How To Clean?

Hi all,

I just finally added length markers to my main anchor rode and found it to be pretty mildewed. The rope itself appears to be fine, just mildewed in places. So what is a safe way to clean it? Can I soak it in a mild bleach solution, or will that damage the nylon line?

Any suggestions are welcome.

Thanks, Bill
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Old 09-07-2010
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No bleach at all. Ever. It will damage the line.

Try soaking it in white vinegar. Rinse well. I don't think it'll hurt the line, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
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Old 09-07-2010
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I cleaned some old line w/the solution you considered, and immediatly relegated it to 'menial duty' ie.... sail ties etc, especially after talking with a buddy who has a lawn/tree service biz. i dont mind using it for non/minimal load bearing tasks but would not trust my anchor to something that had possibly/probably been weakened. the other thing was to actually get the yuck off after a mild bleach soak, there was a lot of scrubbing involved--probably not good for integrity either. thinking about how long it took, and what i think to be the value of my time, i would have been better off chunking it (which i did with later stuff)
ive never tried the vinegar, but it is good on my coffee maker!!
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Old 09-07-2010
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Stick it in a washing machine hot cycle and NO BLEACH. but some ordinary laundry detergent.

She'll be right.
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Old 09-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zz4gta View Post
No bleach at all. Ever. It will damage the line.

Try soaking it in white vinegar. Rinse well. I don't think it'll hurt the line, but I'm sure someone will correct me if I'm wrong.
I don't see why not. I often clean for my sheets and ropes in washing machine with bleach and then air dry. Nylon and synthetic materials are so inert I don't think it will react with Na hypochlorite. Even when UV can change the color of the synthetic line, their strength remains the same.
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Old 09-07-2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rockDAWG View Post
I don't see why not. I often clean for my sheets and ropes in washing machine with bleach and then air dry. Nylon and synthetic materials are so inert I don't think it will react with Na hypochlorite. Even when UV can change the color of the synthetic line, their strength remains the same.
Bleach is very harsh and should never be used on ropes that you depend on. It can weaken nylon ropes. Washing machine and mild detergent followed by air drying is the best cleaning.
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Old 09-07-2010
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Don't use detergent on lines... use soap, like Dreft or Ivory Snow instead.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TQA View Post
Stick it in a washing machine hot cycle and NO BLEACH. but some ordinary laundry detergent.

She'll be right.
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Soak the lines in a bucket of fresh water, changing the water a couple times. Then add liquid fabric softener to the bucket, agitate regularly, then rinse the line. Works for me and softens the line as well.

Or you could simply dump the offending line in the shallow end of the pool, wait a couple hours, and you'll get the same results.
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Old 09-07-2010
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From New England Rope:

Dirt and Cleaning
Dirt and salt can cause premature wear. Frequently wash rope and running rigging with fresh water. For a more thorough cleaning, soak your rope in warm water mixed with a mild detergent. Add a small amount of fabric softener to soften the rope. When possible, use a front loading washing machine; otherwise, wash your rope in a mesh bag or pillowcase to avoid tangling. Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry in indirect sunlight.

New England Ropes - Line Care

I would add a question...why is there mildew, maybe you wanna let the line dry a bit on deck before stowing it and possibly add some more ventilation like a solar vent?

Last edited by T37Chef; 09-07-2010 at 09:05 PM.
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A contrary position is that a very mild bleach solution will not harm line if used for a short period. I suspect that most manufacturers do not recommend bleaches because the concentration can not be controlled. So they only recommend the most mild cleaners. All of what I can find against bleach is anecdotal. With that said, each fall, we pull all our running rigging, fill a tub with warm water and laundry soap followed by 2 fresh water rinses. We flake the lines (100's of feet) in the garage and leave them there to dry for about 2 weeks. We do not use bleach because there has never been a reason to.

The PMI web site (PMI gear for rescue in fire, high angle, industry, rope access and SAR) recommends the following:
http://www.pmirope.com/sites/374/pic...tamination.pdf

"Specifically, PMI has found that a mixture of 1 part household bleach (with active ingredient of Sodium hypochlorite at 5.25% concentration) with 9 parts room temperature tap water and a 10min or less exposure time, immediately followed by a thorough rinse of room temperature water will not cause any appreciable harm to nylon or polyester ropes.*"

From the LA County Firefighters site (http://www.lacountyfirefighters.org/...line_specs.pdf)

"Rope that has come into contact with blood or other body fluids can be cleaned using a chlorine bleach per your department’s protocols for decontaminating equipment. Cordage Manufacturers state that the small amount of bleach specified in most deconta- mination protocols will have minimal effect on the rope’s fibers."

Adventure rope gear (Rope – All about Rope « Adventure Rope Gear) has similar wording.
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