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Old 16-03-2008, 14:43   #1
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Question How to bring stiff lines back to life?

I have a couple of very small size, double braided lines that can't be more than 2 years old running through blocks to haul my dinghy up the davits.

The problem is, due to lack of use, the lines have become terribly stiff. They are so stiff they aren't working properly in the blocks and have literally ripped a gouge into one of the pulleys in one of the blocks because they are not supple enough to go around the pulley nicely - they go at some funny angle, jumping the track and wearing out the plastic.

Aside from the damage being caused to the block, the stiffness of the line and the way it jumps off the pulley in the block makes for a very hard lift up of the dinghy. You have to put your back into it, even though it's a 4:1 purchase.

So...

Does anyone know any tricks for getting a line soft and supple again, aside from taking it off and throwing it in a washing machine? I'd like to leave it in place and apply some "stuff" to it to soften it up.

I was thinking cooking oil or something?? Any ideas?
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Old 16-03-2008, 14:51   #2
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Washing then is the answer, but if you don't want to remove them, you could try rinsing them well with fresh water.
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Old 16-03-2008, 14:53   #3
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Put them in the washing machine with a healthy dose of Softener. I forget the brands, but any of the common ones should do.
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Old 16-03-2008, 15:12   #4
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I soak mine in a laundry tub with hot water, a little dishwashing soap and a bunch of bleach.
After a day, I rinse several times and they're like new.

Steve B.
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Old 16-03-2008, 16:08   #5
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Originally Posted by senormechanico View Post
I soak mine in a laundry tub with hot water, a little dishwashing soap and a bunch of bleach.
After a day, I rinse several times and they're like new.
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NEVER bleach rope!
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Old 16-03-2008, 18:16   #6
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I am for putting them in a washing machine. You must ensure that the lines are bound so as to not tangle. Hundreds of feet of tangled line is a major problem, at least until it is untangled.

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Old 16-03-2008, 20:02   #7
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Thumbs up

A bucket of warm fresh water and a small bottle of "Woollite" will make them like new!
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Old 16-03-2008, 20:50   #8
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Downy is a good fabric softener, works on ropes too.
Steve
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Old 06-04-2008, 00:36   #9
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i have heard of putting them in the washing machine but they recommend putting them in an old pillow case so they don't mess up your washer
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:17   #10
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Washing machine often = spiderweb/tangle...

Just get a bucket of diluted fabric softener & water and soak them overnight...
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Old 06-04-2008, 05:45   #11
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It warms my heart to hear a bunch of grown men discussing their favorite fabric softener...
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Old 06-04-2008, 06:21   #12
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I put them in a (black) bucket with a heavy dose of fabric softener for a day in the sunshine. That treatment also stops my docklines from creaking.
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:11   #13
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a large bucket of ice, fill with beer, sit back drink your beer, then cut the line into small pieces. replace the line with new tomorrow. works for me!
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Old 06-04-2008, 09:27   #14
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Since you do not want to remove them, I would suggest saturating them with fresh water, then take some liquid detergent (Woolite or similar preferred), and pour it in your hand. Then run the lines through your hands a few times, covering the whole line. Once you get the line totally saturated, have someone hold the hose over the line, and run it through your hands again, wringing the soap from it. Make sure you get no foam when you are done. This should do the trick.
If not, follow Island Trader's advise
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Old 07-04-2008, 09:43   #15
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Don't use bleach on lines or sails! Warm water, laundry detergent and fabric softener will make lines like new.
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