cleaning original sails


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Mice got into my sailbag and must have had babies. Is there anything stronger than water I can use to clean my sails? The mice also left me with 2 tiny 1/8" holes in the mainsail and a small three corner tear in the fabric tube that encloses the line in the luff side of the sail (don't know correct name for this). When I bought my boat (hull #2661) 12 years ago there was a tiny patch adhered over a tiny hole in the mainsail. It has held up fine - I'm a fairweather sailor. How bad is it for me to do this kind of repair to the new holes? if its really bad permanently, how about just to get through the rest of the season?


Sailing on Shelter Bay
Oxy Clean?

Mice huh? Now I have heard everything!
Someone recommended Oxi-Clean to me and I used it on sails. On old sails I have used a number of things including ordinary clothes washing detergent and a scrub brush and it didn't seem to hurt anything. After all, they are Dacron.

If you are not racing I should think patching the holes with any white tape would work. The reason for patching would be to keep the tear from running. Fabric glue and a small piece of nylon cloth would do the same thing.
Cleaning Sails

I used laundry detergent and Oxi-Clean on my sail and it worked wonders.
The toughest part was scrubbing every square inch (on both sides)with a
nylon-bristled, iron-shaped brush in the bathtub. (Not recommended.)
It took me about 1-1/2 hours leaning over the edge of the tub to do it.

Clean a large area on your smooth concrete driveway and scrub it there.
I mixed about 1/4 cup Tide and a 1/4 cup Oxi-Clean in a gallon of water.

That seemed to work really well. Rinse it well, check for stains, re-do as
needed. Makes the sails look 100% better than when you started, even
if a few spots are left behind.
My boat sat in the weeds for 10 years before I bought it and the main and roller furling jib were laying in the cockpit all that time. The main was bunched up and mice found it to be irresistable - ate lots of dacron.

The jib on the other hand was rolled tightly so no mice, but there was moss on the outside and stains throughout. I tried Ivory Snow, OxyClean and such and they sort of worked but the sail looked ratty.

Because I'd use them before with good results I sent it to SailCare,, for a quote. I had them do the work and was astounded with the results. The sail came back literally looking like new.

I paid $70 plus the shipping, ~$10, to SailCare. This was after their annual Fall discount deal, which is running now, so I could have saved 15% if I'd moved quicker.

One other note, the sail is a roller and you don't have to remove the forestay to have the work done. I wonder if it would be cheaper for a hank on sail?