Sails need cleaning periodically to remove salt deposits and dirt build up over the season. This is important to keep sails clean and in good condition and maximize their useful lifespan. Salt is hygroscopic and will absorb moisture from the air. If it is not removed from sails the surface will remain damp and mildew will form.
Sails can be cleaned using a mild detergent and warm water. Do not use cleaning products that contain caustic as it may damage the material. Avoid standard, household bleach as this can damage stitching. Use sail cleaning products that are environmentally responsible to avoid pollution such as Boat Buddy Sail and Cover Cleaner www.boatbuddy.net
1. Lay out the sail on a large flat clean surface, even a well-groomed grassy area will do.
2. Mix some warm water with a mild detergent such as Boat Buddy Sail and Cover Cleaner. Apply the solution to the fabric with a sponge.
3. Allow the solution some time on the fabric to soak in and dissolve the salt and dirt.
4. For stubborn spots use a soft brush or floor broom taking care not to damage any stitching by scrubbing too hard
5. Rinse with lots of fresh water and turn the sail over and repeat cleaning on the other side.
6. Treat any mildew with a very light bleach solution such a Milton baby sterilizing fluid. As soon as you have removed the mildew rinse the area with fresh water thoroughly.
7. Inspect all stitching for damage. If you spot any damage have this repaired immediately by your sailmaker. This will avoid larger repairs in the future. “A stitch in time saves nine”.
8. For any rust staining of sails treat the area with a stain remover such as Boat Buddy Gelcoat Stain Remover. Always check on a small area first as sails are made from many different fabrics. When the stain has disappeared rinse thoroughly with fresh water.
Why Boat Buddy Sail and Cover Cleaner?
Boat Buddy Sail and Cover Cleaner does not contain any caustics, acids or bleaches which may harm your sails. It is an environmentally responsible cleaner. All Boat Buddy run-off products comply with MARPOL Annex 5 1.7.5
The last thing to do is to make sure your clean sails are fully dried before storing away for the winter season. Try to find two trees or similar points to hang the sails and covers from to dry effectively.
“Boat Buddy is not just another cleaning product, it is the BEST cleaning product”
Roger Betts. Director Union Chandlery. Cork. Ireland
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