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Old 25-08-2012, 13:01   #1
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Cleaning Sails

I have an old set of Hood sails and can't tell what material they are made of other than they are very crinkley when I flaked them up if that is a hint. I want to give them a good cleaning so I am looking for some good advise. My thought is to cut off the top of a 55 gal drum and stuff the sail in with a 5% oxalic acid water mix and let it sit over night. Then rinse in my swimming pool and then rinse with fresh water.

What have others done to get good results?
Thanks
Bruce
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Old 25-08-2012, 13:10   #2
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Re: Cleaning Sails

I have used a good sized lawn for cleaning sails. Use a mild sail cleaning soap so you minimize the amount of resin you wash out of the sail.
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Old 25-08-2012, 13:53   #3
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Your risk is that "crinkley" might well be nylon instead of Dacron. Oxalic acid (or bleach) and nylon don't do at all well together.

Before you go to the acids, try a detergent to get most stains out. I use Tuf-Enuf which seems to do an especially good job on fabrics. I believe it has Sodium Silicate in it. Soak in your barrel (or a kids pool) for several hours. They don't have to be submerged - just kept wet with the solution. Rinse well.

Next try a 1% bleach solution or an oxalic acid solution - but only for 1-2 hours. These hurt sail cloth so don't go overnight. Get it rinsed out. And don't use at all if the sails could be nylon.

Finally, acetone can work on stains where nothing else done. Wear gloves and eye protection. Dab and scrub with brush then rinse.

Carl
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Old 25-08-2012, 15:57   #4
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Thanks Carl
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Old 25-08-2012, 16:10   #5
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Be careful of the chlorine in the swimming pool, a couple of rinses in freshwater would be kinder to the sails.

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Old 25-08-2012, 20:01   #6
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Hi Bruce, don't put them in your swimming pool, unless you want your sails yellow. An excellent option is to get them professionally cleaned, google vacuwash, which is a safe and proven process that effectively cleans your sails. Once cleaned they should then be sailkoted, google that too and see what Bob Bitchen has to say. What part of the world are you in Bruce? Rgds.
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Old 25-08-2012, 20:20   #7
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Re: Cleaning Sails

By kids pool I meant one of those $10 kids plastic wading pools as a container. Don't use a real pool that's got a lot of chemicals in the water. The problem with the 55 gallon drum is that any rust might get on the sails.

And after you've done the detergent, ask yourself if it's good enough. The bleach or oxalic acid step will takes some life out of the cloth.

Carl
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Old 26-08-2012, 05:18   #8
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Not sure where in Florida you are, but Second Wind Sails in Ft Laud offers sail cleaning. I have not used them for that, but they supplied the recut 150 that was included with my boat. They also have done some small sail repairs for me.

Bill
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Old 26-08-2012, 05:28   #9
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Snore
I will give them a call tomorrow
thanks
Bruce
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Old 27-08-2012, 23:47   #10
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Mild soap is all I'd recommend. Rinse well. Live with the stains. I've seen people damage sails removing stains. I've never seen a sail fail on account of stains.
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Old 28-08-2012, 00:44   #11
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There is an actual detergent called "sail wash" that I've had good luck with. Used my dingy as a tub for soaking and rinsing. Good luck!
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Old 28-08-2012, 05:59   #12
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Swift Drift View Post
There is an actual detergent called "sail wash" that I've had good luck with. Used my dingy as a tub for soaking and rinsing. Good luck!
That dingy as a tub is a great idea
Thanks
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Old 28-08-2012, 07:20   #13
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Is a pressure washer set to fan spray a bad idea?
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Old 28-08-2012, 15:12   #14
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Re: Cleaning Sails

Friend used oxyclean....Came out great, but not sure if any damage would be done. Sure did a good job.......
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Old 28-08-2012, 15:23   #15
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Re: Cleaning Sails

We used Sail Wash and our hot tub with the pump on low speed.
We left it overnight and took the sail out to the driveway to rinse it.
You should have seen the tub water ! Ewww!!!
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