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Old 14-10-2008, 12:22   #1
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sail washing

in the past i have had my sails sent away for a cleen and repair
but now we have our own sewing machin i can do most repairs my self
so that only leaves the washing
can anyone tell me how the sail lofts go about this what method products etc are used
and secondly does any one do there own and could they describe the process
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Old 14-10-2008, 12:56   #2
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So you wanna clean your sail yourself

Here's a link to an article by Greg Allen on how to clean your sails.
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Old 14-10-2008, 12:59   #3
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Hi Phil,
Hot water, detergent and a brush!
We lay ours out on a jetty, hose to get sail wet. Use Flash or any other proprietry detergent in a bucket and use a soft broom to scrub a section at a time.
Our mainsail has a 23 metre luff so we flake it into approx 1 metre panels, scrub each flaking as we go - turn it all over and do the other side - then hose off with clean water.
If individual spots need more attention - it's down on your knees with a hand scrubbing brush and a stronger stain remover.
Easy, eh?
Enjoy
JOHN

PS Do not use a Karcher type power washer - even if lots of sail lofts do. It blasts the collandering out of the cloth weave - something to avoid if you can.
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Old 14-10-2008, 14:11   #4
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thanks chaps
very helpfull stuff
so i am off to get some detergent and a tub of elbow grease
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Old 14-10-2008, 15:05   #5
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North Sails has good authorative recommendations at North Sails One Design - you need to scroll down the page a bit.

While it refers to removing mildew it applies for general cleaning. Take notice of the warnings against using bleach on nylon and some other cloths.

I have followed the advice myself with no problems. I am unsure of the resistance of foam in the luffs of furling genoas to bleach and the North advice does not mention it, but in our own case it seems to survive.
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Old 14-10-2008, 17:17   #6
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I had a sail washed @ $0.79 / lb. If it can't be done by hand then you need to do it this way. Being kindly to the sail during washing is the key. The removal of the resins in the cloth do not help. You really want the least abusive method. Most sail makers can tell based on looking at the sail. No serious sail maker wants to trash a sail. They don't make that much money washing sails.
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Old 14-10-2008, 23:45   #7
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I carried out some research into sail cleaning a few weeks back. I was shocked at how much algae had grown in my headsail due to a very wet period. I firstly asked my sailmaker if I just spray on a chlorine bleach. @!%% NO!!!!! was his first reply. He said the cloth would be OK, but in about 18mths the stitching would fail all over the sail. He had a product he called Sailbrite and sent me off home with the product. My instructions were to wet the sail, sprinle it all over, give it a brush and then roll the wet sail up and store it rolled up for 24hrs. Unroll and wash off with a hose. I did so and the results were OK, I wouldn't say startling, but OK. But theat was one sail and I had two more to do and needed more Sailbrite. So I thought to myself what the heck is this stuff. Well after doing a little digging, it turns out it is Sodium Perchlorate. SP is a chemical powder that has Hydrogen Peroxide in it and it bleaces by the activation of oxygen. Interestingly many cleaning products are available and are recently being sold as "Oxyaction" type bleaches/cleaners. But in fact, this chemical has been arond for many years. In fact, Percil derives it's name from Perchlorate. So I sent my wife off to the supermarket and she arrived home with a container of Napisan and another product that said the same. I did exactly the same as the Sailbrite and the same result was to be had. The only difference was that the household products had a little more suds and a nice frangrence afterwards.
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Old 15-10-2008, 00:54   #8
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does any one know if napisan and the like afect the colour in the uv strips on head sails mine are dark blue!!
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Old 15-10-2008, 07:12   #9
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Are you certain you meant Sodium Perchlorate, and not (perhaps) Sodium Percarbonate or Sodium Perborate, which are more common ingredients of consumer oxygen-type bleaches?
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Old 15-10-2008, 12:41   #10
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How did I do that. Yes you are right Gord. Perchlorate is used in rocket propellants and fireworks.
It is percarbonate and perborate. They are all very similar and made from the same components. The main difference between the two detergence is that percabonate readily dissolves in cold water a perborate requires very hot water.
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Old 15-10-2008, 14:46   #11
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Deisel stain

Have a spinnaker that got drenched by leaking fuel tank any ideas would be welcome as to how to remove streaky stain from bright orange dacron sail without damaging.Thanks Geoff
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Old 15-10-2008, 15:11   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by philip van praag View Post
does any one know if napisan and the like afect the colour in the uv strips on head sails mine are dark blue!!
Unless the UV strips are known to be polyester I would recommend first determining that the fabric itself is resistant. If it is polyester the colour will likely be fast (try the link I gave above to North Sails as I think they comment on colour fastness).
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Old 16-10-2008, 12:31   #13
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Oh I forgot to add to my post above. The reason I went to a percarbonate type product instead of sailbrite was due to what Sailbrite has in it. In my research I found Sailbrite had two nasties and one of them is a really big nasty and I believe it is now banned in the US. But all four components or active ingredients used in the product related to doing the same thing as the percarbonate was achieving. So hence my try with the Napysan product.
Sailbrite ingredients:
Sodium Carbonate...hazzardous
Sodium Chloride
Sodium Metasilicate....hazzardous
Sodium Tripolyphosphate ...is this the banned chemical????I may have it confused with something similar
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