Cleaning sails?

FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,625
So I have a couple old Pirate ships and the sails have some stains. What's the best way to wash them without damaging them?


  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,799
    Don't use a machine wash! They will probably fray.

    It does really depend on what the stain is.

    I'd start with just water with light brushing and see if that helps, then a little highly diluted detergent/soap, then a stain remover. Stop when you get the desired result. You can iron them between clean cloths, or just press them under a heavy book or similar.

  • FizyxFizyx ColoradoMember Posts: 781
    Maybe look at something like the Tide to Go pen?  I've had really good luck with that for furniture/clothes, and you can keep the area you're working on pretty well contained.  Only concern might be that you have to press it too hard, but I've found that if you push the tip down to let out some of the detergent, let it soak for 5 minutes, and then removed the stain with the pen then it tends to work pretty well without a huge amount of force.
  • LuLegoLuLego UKMember Posts: 930
    I hand washed mine and scrubbed a stain out by sprinkling hand wash detergent straight on the stain. I left them to dry on a radiator,
    I then ironed them (with a cloth covering) and they came out looking really clean.

    Just be careful with the edges of the sail as they fray ridiculously easily.
  • CCCCCC UKMember Posts: 17,799
    One problem with spot cleaning is that you might end up with that spot being too clean compared to the rest of the fabric.
  • FowlerBricksFowlerBricks USAMember Posts: 1,625
    @CCC That's my concern. :/
  • dmcc0dmcc0 Nae far fae AberdeenMember Posts: 737
    CCC said:
    Don't use a machine wash! They will probably fray.

    I did use a machine to wash some old sails and they came out fine, no fraying at all.  I may have just been lucky though.  I put them in a laundry bag and used hand-wash setting with no spin. 
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