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Old 02-07-2006, 11:08   #1
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Genoa black mold

Hello: Just took my spare genny out of a locker and noticed it had lots of black mold on it. How does one get rid of this beasty and in general washing up a sail?
Thanks... Gary

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Old 02-07-2006, 13:26   #2
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Ah yes, google does it better:

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Old 02-07-2006, 13:29   #3
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Any detergent that has a Sodium Hypoclorite (Chlorine) additive in it. Just ensure it is a weak dilution. Spray it on and leave for awhile and then hose off. This will kill the black mould but may not remove the black stain from the fabric. You will then have to srcub the material to remove as much of the stain as possible. Sometimes you can, sometimes you can't.

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Old 02-07-2006, 14:12   #4
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No, no, scruba da stain...
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Old 03-07-2006, 16:37   #5
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There are commercial products to remove mold and mildew from bathtubs and showers. One product Tilex comes to mind. Spray it on and it should make the mold disappear. You might try it on a small area first to make sure it is compatible with your sail. This stuff works great on tile and grout.
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Old 04-07-2006, 05:06   #6
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Genoa Black Mold

I have never used it on sails, but continuing with Wukong's comments, I use a lot of Scrub Free Mildew (it has to say "Mildew" and has to be "Scrubfree") White bottle, green label with a little yellow on it. You can usually buy it at Wal-Mart. There are lots of Scrub Free Products, but sometimes it is difficult to find the Mildew one. Spray it on and the mildew goes away. Better than any brand I have ever tried.

I have used this on lots of stuff to remove mold and mildew, but I repeat, never on sails. A sail expert would most certainly advise against it for this purpose.

Lynn Stateham - Sailing Catamaran Sunspot Baby
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but carries my heart as a stowaway."
-Roselle Mercier Montgomery"
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Old 04-07-2006, 12:32   #7
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All of the commercial “Mildew” cleaning products are likely to be based upon Chlorine Bleach (Sodium Hyperchlorite - NaOCl)

General Sail Cleaning:
Use a soft scrub brush and a mild detergent. Detergents with a neutral ph factor don’t generally “set” certain types of stain. Always scrub in line with seams. After scrubbing, rinse sail with plenty of warm water to remove all soap before laying flat to dry.

Mildew Removal & Treatment:
- Take the sails ashore and brush off the mildew. Then apply a detergent to the stain and launder.
- Soak the sail in a solution* of 0.15 to 0.20% bleach and cold water, for about two to 4 days.
- A 1% solution of sodium thiosolphate (photographer’s hypo) should remove all chlorine traces.
- Rinse and then air dry in direct sunlight.

* “Clorox”, and other household bleach products are usually 5.25% NaOCl, so have to be mixed at about 30 to 1 with water (1 part Clorox + 30 parts water). A higher ratio may work a little faster, a lower ratio a little slower.

1. Never mix liquid chlorine bleach and ammonia, which will produce toxic fumes
2. Clorox should NEVER be used on:
- Aramids (Kevlar, Twaron). If you aren’t sure, these are of generally yellow or brown color and will always be used in a laminated construction.
- Nylon. This is the lightweight, often colored material used in many spinnakers.
3. Clorox can generally be safely used on:
- polyester (Dacron), Spectra/Dyneema, Pentex, carbon, and Vectran.

Lysol is a fungicide that when sprayed on the sail will kill existing spores and inhibit any additional growth. After the organism is killed, most of the stain can be removed by soaking (not scrubbing) in a fungicide for 12 or more hours. Always rinse thoroughly to ensure there is no bleach residue left on the sail.

The original “Oxygen Bleach” is a mixture of Non-chlorine Bleach (or Baking Soda) and Hydrogen Peroxide solution.

Other Alternates: Instead of bleach or Lysol; you can use salt and lemon juice, detergent, ammonia, white vinegar, washing soda (or some combination of these ingredients) and let the fabric dry in direct sunlight.

Always finish any stain treatment by washing and rinsing the sail with fresh water.

Gord May
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