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Cleaning of sails

Michael Bradshaw

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Use a broom or a mop to swab your sails with a bucket of water and laundry detergent. Rinse off and let dry. Use a sponge on ingrained dirt or grease. If your sails are mouldy wash with napisan or a household bleach to whiten before rinsing off. There is a weak acid (acetic??) you can buy to bleach rust stains.

In Queensland there is a large noisy blowfly like insaect that makes black, sticky tar like egg honeycombs which makes a hell of a mess in rolled up sails. You need lots of elbow grease with kero and turps to clean the tar off. The tar smells like pine and is probably collected tree sap or resin.

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My experience is that I do not wash my sails. THe salt stops the mildew. I sail in rain enough to rinse them.

If I buy a sail with any mildew or marks I use a mold cleaner for showers. Spray it on. leave it and then wash it off.

Nappy cleaner is good for hard to remove...in the bath or similar over night.

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