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Old 08-08-2010, 16:05   #1
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Stains on Old Sails

Any advice on cleaning old sails? White sail, which looks like leaf (tea like) on the main. So many products out there, but we don't want to damage the integrity of the sail. They are white dacron, "vintage" but still strong.

We were told to use only Dawn with a super soft brush.

Thanks for any tips!

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Old 08-08-2010, 17:31   #2
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I have never had much success removing stains from sails. But I never worried much about discolorations and stains anyway. After sailing up the Red Sea, the desert dust stained the running rigging a reddish color with the dust. Fortunately, all the dust came out of the sail in the Med.

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Old 08-08-2010, 18:44   #3
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Not sure where you are, but you could try these guys if it's not something you want to do yourself:

AquaClean Sail Cleaning and Rejuvenation, div of MCL Products and Services

If you do want to do the work yourself, I'm not really sure. You don't want to use a cleaner so harsh it causes damage, but you also don't want to use something too mild & then scrub the sail too much, causing damage. Hmmm...
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Old 08-08-2010, 18:59   #4
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Thumbs up Sail care

I haven't needed to use these guys myself but I've heard nothing but good reviews about these guys.

Sail Care for sail cleaning, sail repair, new sails, roller furlings and sailing equipment
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Old 08-08-2010, 20:26   #5
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We used something called Sail Wash, purchased from
(It's a mylar layered jib)
We put it in our hot tub and ran the jets on high for 12 hours.
The sail came out a lot cleaner and the water was bright green when we got done.
We laid out the sail on the driveway and rinsed it really good.
It's a lot better, but still has some mildew between the layers.
If I had it to do again, I'd probably use some laundry soap and Oxalic acid.
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but not greed to want to take somebody else's money"

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Old 11-08-2010, 04:52   #6
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I've had good results with Oxiclean and Woolite laundry detergent. I used our kids old wading pool to wash gently and hung the sails between two trees to rinse and dry. I rubbed a salt/lemon juice paste on what appeared to be rust stain with satisfactory results. Remember to rinse, rinse, rinse.

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