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Old 26-10-2011, 17:39   #1
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Best Way to Wash Lines

My jib sheets and roller furling lines are very dirty from laying on the deck in a dusty environment. Is there a recommended detergent to use to clean them?

I was just going to wash them in a large plastic tub with water and a bit of laundry soap.

Also my halyards could use a rinse... stiff and salted after a year on the hard. I was going to use just water for those.
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Old 26-10-2011, 17:43   #2
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Re: best way to wash lines

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Originally Posted by Aussie_Sequoia View Post
My jib sheets and roller furling lines are very dirty from laying on the deck in a dusty environment. Is there a recommended detergent to use to clean them?

I was just going to wash them in a large plastic tub with water and a bit of laundry soap.

Also my halyards could use a rinse... stiff and salted after a year on the hard. I was going to use just water for those.
What ever you do, do not use a pressure washer. It shreds them into a fuzzz!

I like Woolite. Makes them nice on the hands and smells nice in storage.
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Old 26-10-2011, 17:51   #3
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Re: best way to wash lines

Mine go into the washing machine on a cool wash, well when the wifey is out of the house anyway. Normal laundry washing powder or liquid.

Rope comes out clean and smelling very nice, is easy enough to untangle afterwards.

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Old 26-10-2011, 17:52   #4
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Re: best way to wash lines

I have always used a washing machine. Make sure you take off any shackles etc to protects the agitator from damage. Use a heavy wash in hot water if they have turned green in places.. Some fabric softener helps make them nicer on your hands too.

I used to do the halyards, sheets, vang, etc, basically every line on the boat. if you run some mousing through the mast as you remove each halyard and give them a good wash too.

If your better half doesnt like the idea of dirty ropes going into the machine, there is an alternative. Wait till she is out, then do it and remove the evidence before she gets home. No problem. <looks left and right and looks guilty>

The other way, which is a bit more labour intensive and not as simple, is to use a gerni in situ. The lines blow everywhere under the pressure and we have always missed a bit here and there. But it does take much of the ugly out of the lines.
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Old 26-10-2011, 18:18   #5
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PRactical Sailor did a big article on this a few months back.

Cover shackles with old socks.

Put the rope in something (pillow case or laundry bag). You might get lucky, but ropes have been know to twist the agitator right out of the machine. Explain that to the Mrs.

Regular detergent is fine. Safe on polyester clothes. Hot water is fine too, same reason. Woolite only matters if the rope is in it's first season (saves spinning lubes), but it should not be washed the first year for other reasons (read the article).

By the way, about 20% of the lines washed in the article were destroyed in the process. Presoak and go gentle.
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Old 26-10-2011, 18:28   #6
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Re: best way to wash lines

i sprayed mine with a garden hose and got great results--even my 3/4 in three-strand is soft... did nada mas--just spray em with hose. amazing.
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Old 26-10-2011, 18:44   #7
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Re: best way to wash lines

The following is from the New England Ropes web site:

Quote:
Dirt and Cleaning
Dirt and salt can cause premature wear. Frequently wash rope and running rigging with fresh water. For a more thorough cleaning, soak your rope in warm water mixed with a mild detergent. Add a small amount of fabric softener to soften the rope. When possible, use a front loading washing machine; wash your rope in a mesh bag or pillowcase to avoid tangling. Rinse thoroughly and hang to dry in indirect sunlight. Note: the washing of new / unused rope should be performed by hand wash only.
Note that "hot" water tends to harden and weaken polyester line. FOr further information see http://www.neropes.com/LineCare.aspx

FWIW....
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Old 26-10-2011, 19:01   #8
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Re: best way to wash lines

FWIW,

DO NOT put in the dryer with added heat!!! It is very likely to shrink Dacron double braid... some friends did this some years ago, and their jib sheets shrank so much that they didn't reach the winches any more! Beware!

Otherwise, the washing will smarten them up nicely.

Cheers,

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Old 26-10-2011, 20:58   #9
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Re: best way to wash lines

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FWIW,

DO NOT put in the dryer with added heat!!! It is very likely to shrink Dacron double braid... some friends did this some years ago, and their jib sheets shrank so much that they didn't reach the winches any more! Beware!

Otherwise, the washing will smarten them up nicely.

Cheers,

Jim
I have never suffered a shrinkage problem and have been machine washing years. But I never use the drier either. I Usually just untangle the spaghetti and lay them in the sun.

I guess spaghetti could be minimized by putting each line into its own netted bag. Someone else mentioned pillow cases, but my fear would be a collection of grit and mess staying inside the back and partially remaining on the lines upon removal.

Call me weird. I kinda like unraveling the spag tho. I kind of find it therapeutic. Ok Ok. time to go shopping for a life hehe..
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Old 26-10-2011, 21:05   #10
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Re: best way to wash lines

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T

Note that "hot" water tends to harden and weaken polyester line. FOr further information see New England Ropes - Line Care

FWIW....
Data? I've run these tests, including lab breaking and have not seen that effect at normal laundry temperatures (125F). Heated drying is a different matter and will distort the rope.

Daisy chain the ropes--no spaghetti. Coils that are loose enough to allow cleaning, come loose.
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Old 26-10-2011, 21:14   #11
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Re: Best Way to Wash Lines

Thanks all, but will be doing this on the hook - in my cockpit - on the water - in a tub. No machine. Regular laundry soap seams to be the go. Thorough rinse after.

I'd like to do it in a machine, but I think the nice Mexican girl who runs the lavandaria would notice me sneaking in armloads of sheets, lines and halyards!
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Old 26-10-2011, 21:19   #12
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Re: best way to wash lines

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Daisy chain the ropes--no spaghetti.
+1 on the daisy chain. Double daisies for halyards. Cold water wash followed by sun dry.
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Old 27-10-2011, 19:26   #13
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Re: Best Way to Wash Lines

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Originally Posted by Aussie_Sequoia View Post
Thanks all, but will be doing this on the hook - in my cockpit - on the water - in a tub. No machine. Regular laundry soap seams to be the go. Thorough rinse after.

I'd like to do it in a machine, but I think the nice Mexican girl who runs the lavandaria would notice me sneaking in armloads of sheets, lines and halyards!

Ask her anyway.. You never know. She might just say yes
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Old 29-10-2011, 20:01   #14
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Re: Best Way to Wash Lines

My wife has these mesh bags to wash her underthings in. They work really well for lines.
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Old 29-10-2011, 20:21   #15
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Re: Best Way to Wash Lines

Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussie_Sequoia View Post
Thanks all, but will be doing this on the hook - in my cockpit - on the water - in a tub. No machine. Regular laundry soap seams to be the go. Thorough rinse after.

I'd like to do it in a machine, but I think the nice Mexican girl who runs the lavandaria would notice me sneaking in armloads of sheets, lines and halyards!
Once in Melaque, we got our laundry back and it smelled like burning garbage.
That said, here's a pic of Janet, my wife washing our halyards, sheets etc. in Marina Vallarta after only two years in Mexico.
The water turned absolutely BLACK before we rinsed it.
I suspect it was mostly the exhaust of the electrical generation company in Guaymas only a mile upwind of us while we were on the hard for the summer.
Attached Images
File Type: bmp PVWASH.BMP (91.1 KB, 108 views)
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