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Old 29-02-2008, 02:18   #1
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Hi from Auckland New Zealand.

Great to discover this site, Interesting discussions,
and plenty of good tips.
Question. What are some methods for cleaning
& softening synthetic sheets ropes etc.
To large for home washing machine.
Any special chemicals available.
Cheers Ian.
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Old 29-02-2008, 04:19   #2
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Ropes should be washed by hand, in cold water with a mild soap (avoid detergents), rinsed free of the soap, and then spread out or hung up to dry in the air.
Avoid direct sunlight, do not use a dryer, and do not place the rope above a heat source.
Alternatively, you can put the rope in a pillow case or mesh washing bag, and use a commercial front loading machine with cold water only.
Make sure to rinse thoroughly.
Small amounts of fabric softener may be used to give better flexibility and a softer hand as a rope stiffens with use.
Although it’s recommended that rope be air dried away from direct sunlight, it will not harm a rope to store it wet.
DO NOT USE BLEACH OR BLEACH SUBSTITUTES, nor any compounds containing acids, alkalies, detergents, nor oxidizing agents.
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Old 01-03-2008, 10:39   #3
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Hi Quiet One,
Most people forget some hardness in older lines comes from accumulated salt crystals. So before you go and follow Gords good advice on washing and drying them - try trailing them behind the boat whilst underway for 30 minutes or so.
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Old 01-03-2008, 11:34   #4
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Aloha Ian,
Welcome aboard!
Gord's advice is always good. The do not use bleach caution is very important. I had a bunch of line stored in a shed for years and rats moved in. I didn't even want to touch the line when I dragged it out of the shed. I threw it in a large container of water with some bleach for just a few minutes. It was a big mistake. Even with lots of rinsing and drying in the sun for a few days the line had deteriorated to the point where it broke in sections from just a small bit of strain. Once line has touched bleach it shouldn't be trusted.
Kind Regards,
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Old 01-03-2008, 15:39   #5
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There are sport wash "liquid soaps" that don't leave sulphates and other residues behind, I have used them for years on Motorcycle jackets that have Gore-tex or Thinsulate linings that stop working if washed with normal detergents.
The current one I have is Sport-Wash made by Sno-Seal, I bought it from Motormail in Auckland. I imagine it would be good on stiff sheets and ropes.
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Old 01-03-2008, 18:11   #6
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We use these PVC rope scrubbers hooked upto a hose to clean our caving ropes. I wouldn't use any chemicals or detergents.

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These are pretty cheap and easy to make on your own.
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Old 01-03-2008, 23:44   #7
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Hi Steve,
Will try your suggested product thanks. Am trying a synthetic carpet
cleaner on half of an old halyard, soaking for 24hrs and rinsing.Will test
both halves for comparative strengths.
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