Should I try to clean my own sails - SailNet Community
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post #1 of 16 Old 10-05-2012 Thread Starter
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Should I try to clean my own sails

I got my sails for free so I cant complain about the shape they were in. The sails were professionally cleaned, packed up in boxes, and put in a garage attic for at least 10 years, probably closer to 20. When I put them up for the first time I was embarrassed. They looked like tie dyed stains. As the summer went on the stains faded and so did my embarrassment. Now the season is rapidly coming to a close and I still havent decided to clean them myself or to pay a place that knows what their doing. My dilemma is I dont mind putting in a hard days work and I need to save money as much as possible but I also cant afford to purchase new sails if I were to screw them up. A little advise would be helpful.
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post #2 of 16 Old 10-05-2012
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

What size is your boat? I cleaned my sails on a 26' that I had, they were dirty and had rust marks on them. I filled up my tub with water and some clorox and let the sails soak one at a time for a few hours. I then layed the sails out over my fence. They came out looking like new. No need to scrub. I hope you have it as easy. I wouldn't have done this to new sails though as the clorox might be tough on them.
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post #3 of 16 Old 10-05-2012
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

I'm a big fan of the commercial companies that clean sail in a vacuum tub. It draws the cleaning fluid into the seams, where you can not get by hand. They can also apply a coating to help your sails last longer, but the coating is expensive.

I think you can get the sails cleaned for a couple of dollars per pound and they reapply all tell tales too.


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post #4 of 16 Old 10-05-2012
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

I never had much luck with cleaning them myself. There are plenty of websites that give pointers though. One thing that seems to be a constant . . . no bleach! Our Canadian brother recommends it, and I'm sure it cleaned like crazy, but they say that the chlorine will degrade the fabric. I don't know, but I'd look into it before I put a $1500 sail into a tub of chlorox.
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post #5 of 16 Old 10-05-2012
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

Someone at my dock told me simple green and a brush.... So I took down my sail and scrubbed away. It still looks dirty. Time and effort were wasted. I will pay someone to do that next time.

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post #6 of 16 Old 10-05-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

The boat is a 26footer and the sails are made of darcon. a suggestion for someone in the Buffalo, NY area would be helpful. In the Canadianseamonkey's defense there are many web sites that say to use bleach or acid. All items that I dont plan to use because again I absolutely cant afford to buy new sails for next season.
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post #7 of 16 Old 10-05-2012 Thread Starter
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

anyone think its a good idea to put my Darcon sails into my front loader Bosch washing machine on delicate with some woolite?
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post #8 of 16 Old 10-05-2012
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

The Sky will Not Fall on you if you DIY...





Just Saying....

"Might as well take 'er out...If anything is gonna happen...It's gonna happen out there..."
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

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anyone think its a good idea to put my Darcon sails into my front loader Bosch washing machine on delicate with some woolite?
That's a real good way to make sure you buy a new set for next year.
If a standard scrub with a brush and dish soap won't do then soak them in a tub for several day, agitating and turning.

Dish soap, non-corrosive cleans only.

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post #10 of 16 Old 10-05-2012
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Re: Should I try to clean my own sails

Fill the tub with hot water and add some Tide. Add sail, let sit for a few hours. Agitate by hand every half hour. Rinse well. Enjoy your clean sail. Bleach doesn't clean at all, but it does work well on mold. If the sail isn't moldy, just use the Tide. If it is, add just a little bleach to the Tide water mix.
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