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Old 05-12-2015, 11:47   #1
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Dirty sail cleaning/washing

Please advise how to clean/wash very dirty sails (hydranet). Just brushing and water doesn't work at all. Can I use a bleacher? Can I use karcher? Also there are some rust stains. How to clean these? I have Wichard Wichinox, paste for rusts removal and metal protection. Can I use it?

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Old 05-12-2015, 12:37   #2
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Re: Dirty sail cleaning/washing

Aye, I lay the sails on grass and scrub with soap and water, then rinse and repeat.
Not sure about rust remover, usually that is acid and could hurt the fabric.
Try mild stuff, but not the Must For Rust available at Home Depot. (I use it for SS on the boat, but not on no sails)
If the sails have been stored for years onboard and full of mildew, try a mixture of vinegar and citric acid. (Squeeze lime and lemon in the vinegar/water mix)
Would check with the manufacturer first, but should be ok..,Maybe.
There is companies specializing in cleaning sails, here in Florida, Second Wind Sails, but they charge a few hundred $$..

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Old 05-12-2015, 13:12   #3
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Re: Dirty sail cleaning/washing

We've had great results on the rust stains with a solution of oxalic acid and water. The rust stain disappears before your very eyes, in about a minute. I posted some photos of us doing it in a blog post, if you want to see photos but you don't need em. Just mix up a container of oxalic acid ( wood bleach) and another of sodium bicarbonate. I used a toothbrush with good results. Dip brush in acid, scrub rust stain. Repeat if needed. When stain is gone, douse acid area with sodium bicarbonate, which will fizz. When it stops fizzing, the acid is neutralized. Rinse it all off with fresh water.

for some photos go to this post and just scroll down to about the half way mark. Look for the sail photos.
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Old 05-12-2015, 13:43   #4
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Re: Dirty sail cleaning/washing

I tried Oxyclean laundry detergent and let it soak for a day. It lightened them up but not worth the effort. They sell a few dry peroxide based cleaners online but I think I can live with a little grunge.
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Old 05-12-2015, 14:59   #5
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Re: Dirty sail cleaning/washing

I had good results with strong oxyclean water mix and a soft scrub brush in the driveway. Let sit about 20 mins and rinse well. I dipped them in pool as well and evidently didn't rinse well enough, messed up the pool chemistry.
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Old 06-12-2015, 04:03   #6
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Re: Dirty sail cleaning/washing

From DIMENSION-POLYANT, makers of “Hydra Net”:

“... Care washing and cleaning:

Has the sail been used frequently, or in heavy weather, it should as soon as possible be hosed off and washed carefully to remove salt and dirt with fresh water. Try not to soak completely, scrub or launder the sail.

• Blood and mildew can be removed by brushing the stained area with a dry stiff brush, removing as much as possible.

• Soak only the stained area in a mild bleach solution of fresh water for two hours and scrub lightly. Rinse with plenty of fresh water.

• Rust can be cleaned by using so called rust removers available under many commercial names in about any hardware store. Be sure to read the instruction thoroughly.

Oil, Grease and Tar can be removed by dabbing the stained area with acetone or lighter fluid and then rubbed with a clean rag. Once the stain is lightened, scrub the area with detergent and a fresh water solution. Rinse to get all the acetone out of the material ...”

Tips & Glossary - Sailcloth Technology by DIMENSION-POLYANT - Sailcloth and laminates for high performance sailing and polyestersailcloth for surf

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