Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 21-04-2018, 07:01   #1
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: N0. East , NC
Boat: Block Island 40
Posts: 21
I need to clean my sails

This topic has probably been covered in the past but I can't locate it. Any help would be appreciated. In the meantime, I was wondering if any of the typical household cleaners might do or are they too harsh. I was thinking of using dish liquid - they say their product is "gentle on your hands". Gentle on sails also??
__________________

paulie4203 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 07:25   #2
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 4,805
Re: I need to clean my sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by paulie4203 View Post
This topic has probably been covered in the past but I can't locate it. Any help would be appreciated. In the meantime, I was wondering if any of the typical household cleaners might do or are they too harsh. I was thinking of using dish liquid - they say their product is "gentle on your hands". Gentle on sails also??
What are you trying to remove? Stain removal depends on the chemistry. What removes mildew won't touch rust and vice versa.

What sail material? I could assume polyester, but you did not say.

Dish washing liquid is probably a waste of time.

As a starting point, consider that polyester sails are made of the same stuff as clothing. You don't want to flex them too much (resin) and you don't use bleach.
__________________

__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
Writing full-time since 2014
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 07:35   #3
Registered User
 
Franziska's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Harlingen, The Netherlands
Boat: Woods Mira 35 Catamaran
Posts: 812
Re: I need to clean my sails

How would you remove mildew? Would it be acceptable to use mildew remover with chlorine for lets say 20min and then wash/soak the sail over a several hours in a pool full of unchlorinated freshwater?
Better options?
Franziska is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 07:49   #4
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2016
Location: N0. East , NC
Boat: Block Island 40
Posts: 21
Re: I need to clean my sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by thinwater View Post
What are you trying to remove? Stain removal depends on the chemistry. What removes mildew won't touch rust and vice versa.

What sail material? I could assume polyester, but you did not say.

Dish washing liquid is probably a waste of time.

As a starting point, consider that polyester sails are made of the same stuff as clothing. You don't want to flex them too much (resin) and you don't use bleach.
I have dirt from mud-wasps and black spots from spider droppings. The sail is dacron. Thanks
paulie4203 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 08:10   #5
Writing Full-Time Since 2014
 
thinwater's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Deale, MD
Boat: PDQ Altair, 32/34
Posts: 4,805
Re: I need to clean my sails

Fransisca: Never bleach. Oxiclean is what the pros use, often re-packaged as sail cleaners. Follow the instructions; the soak time is very long. Pre-cleaning the loose stuff helps.

Paulie: Pre-scrub with laundry detergent. If that is not enough, Oxiclean.

---

Do NOT exceed the recommended concentrations, but do soak as long as needed. The sun will finish the job over a few weeks of sailing (the Oxiclean "weakens" the remaining stain, in a sense).

Don't try for perfect if that means abusing the sail. It's not worth it.

Oxiclean (percarbonate) is safe for all sail materials, including laminates. I tore samples apart in testing for an article--that's what I do.

You can also by one of many non-bleach sail cleaners. Wash Safe, Iosso, and CS-530 are very good.
__________________
Gear Testing--Engineering--Sailing
Writing full-time since 2014
http://sail-delmarva.blogspot.com/
thinwater is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 08:31   #6
Senior Cruiser
 
senormechanico's Avatar

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Aug 2003
Boat: Dragonfly 1000 trimaran
Posts: 6,098
Re: I need to clean my sails

FWIW, we washed a sail in our home's spa after starting with a fresh fill.
We used sail wash and soaked it for a few hours, then dumped the spa and hosed it off on the yard to rinse.
__________________
Memento,homo, quia pulvis es, et in pulverem reverteris.
senormechanico is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 08:47   #7
cruiser

Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Lake Ontario
Boat: Douglas 32 Mk II
Posts: 2,098
Re: I need to clean my sails

To remove general soil (and hide mold and mildew).

For white polyester (Dacron) if you own a pool (or have a very good friend that does), when the chlorine levels are normal (won't rot a spandex bathing suit), immerse and tie off the sails in the pool near the water jet, so they are gently agitated.

Let em soak a couple hours, take them out, hang them in the shade, rinse all surfaces with fresh water (garden hose sprayer) and let them dry in a gentle warm breeze.

If there are any rust stains remove with oxalic acid (brand Iron Out available at most hardware stores for removing rust stains from general laundry).

For Nylon and bright colours, you have to be more cautious about chlorine levels.

Many pro sail cleaners have used highly diluted sodium hypochlorite (primary ingredient in regular laundry bleach) for years.
ramblinrod is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 08:50   #8
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: Cruising, now in USVIs
Boat: Taswell 43
Posts: 313
Re: I need to clean my sails

Following
sailcrazy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 09:09   #9
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Marina Adelaide
Boat: Pearson 365 'ZAYA'
Posts: 499
Re: I need to clean my sails

I used detergent and spot cleaned with one of those window alcohol base cleaner agents like Windex or Spray and Wipe. Use a soft brush, even a soft broom to scrub and rinse of well. I just laid them out on the lawn, where the water is useful after.

The one thing that became an issue was having somewhere to dry them not in direct sun, and watered for a final rinse. Fortunately it was late in the day when the sun was low, but I didnt plan it that way. I strung the sails out between some trees.

My sails are 40 years old but were well made and relatively heavy. Despite a few ocean crossings they have been well looked after. The sailmaker commented that the mizzen 'looked' like it might be 5 yrs old, but to our surprise it had a Pearson part tag on it when inspected. The main was retabled at that time, it carries the Pearson logo and the hull number.

We put the sails up the first calm day after they got back from the sailmakers and they looked bright white and clean, its worth doing.
__________________
'give what you get, then get gone'
ZULU40 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 10:12   #10
Registered User
 
grantmc's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Wellington, New Zealand 41 degrees south
Boat: Raven 26
Posts: 310
Send a message via Skype™ to grantmc
Re: I need to clean my sails

I wash dacron sails in the bath with a little detergent and some shampoo. Leave the sail to soak for an hour or so and it comes out pearly white.
__________________
Grant Mc
The cure for everything is salt water: sweat, tears or the sea.
grantmc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 11:14   #11
Registered User
 
rajsach's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 148
Re: I need to clean my sails

Diluted oxyclean and soft scrub brush . Brush on and rinse with fresh water. Repeat if needed after sail dries and you see the net result ( wet sail can be misleading). Worked well for us
rajsach is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 12:13   #12
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: PNW
Boat: Bruce Roberts Ketch 40
Posts: 293
Re: I need to clean my sails

Excellent thread
Maka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 12:35   #13
Registered User

Join Date: Dec 2016
Posts: 89
Re: I need to clean my sails

Following
Navi2016 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 19:12   #14
Registered User

Join Date: Jul 2017
Posts: 14
Re: I need to clean my sails

I sent mine to Sail Care in Pennsylvania, they came looking and feeling brand new, for a resultable price.
Bill Conlyn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 21-04-2018, 19:33   #15
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2017
Posts: 162
Re: I need to clean my sails

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franziska View Post
How would you remove mildew? Would it be acceptable to use mildew remover with chlorine for lets say 20min and then wash/soak the sail over a several hours in a pool full of unchlorinated freshwater?
Better options?


There are many products that will kill mildew. Chlorine is the most obviously effective but it's can wreck fabric.
Tea tree oil vinegar are two more natural products that don't damage cloth and sails.
Clean them first with detergent. You will get different results with different forms of detergents some are alkaline others acid. Most petroleum based are acids citrus based are alkaline and biodegradable. Then attack the Mildred and rust spots different chemicals for each problem. Re-wash after using aggressive chemicals. A soft broom on a lawn.
Secret is rinsing them after washing and drying them before packing them.
__________________

james247 is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
sail, sails

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
TS 52 crew clean sails? catty Multihull Sailboats 8 09-08-2012 07:03
What cleaning products do you use to clean your boat (wood, gel, vinyl and sails) impi Construction, Maintenance & Refit 0 19-06-2012 21:42
For Sale: Sails, Sails and More Sails Slainte40 Classifieds Archive 4 23-04-2011 11:59
For Sale: Sails, Sails, Sails - Sydney, Australia ribbony Classifieds Archive 6 22-02-2010 19:28
Sails, Sails, Sails... for sale? Jack Long General Sailing Forum 5 13-08-2008 23:41



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 16:40.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.