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 Per
chlorate. 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.