Cleaning your sails
 
To clean your sails ready for the season you need to know a few tips.  Main tip is to make sure you do not use too high a temperature of water to clean the sail.  Keep the water temperature below 25C. Any higher and you will damage the fabric of the sail. 
 
Get yourself some of the following equipment. Basin or large container, for the sail to be put in while you work on it. It needs to be large enough to allow the sail to be emersed. Before putting any water on your sail, identify where the stains are, and use one of the following directly onto the stain. Either liquid dishwater cleaner; d-limonene; a very mild oxalic acid solution; a product like Borax II or a product that has oxygenated bleach. Do not use ordinary household breach. It has chlorine in it and will damage the sail.
 
Once you have applied any of these recommended products to the stain, using a cloth to rub the cleaner into the stain. Leave the cleaner to do its work, do not expect instant results. Leave for no more than 30 minutes. If it has not removed the stain by then , well your probably stuck with it! Pour luke warm water over the sail and thoroughly wash the cleaner off the stain areas. You should then empty the basin.
 
Put the sail back in and this time you are going to use luke warm water and laundry soap to wash the sail. You may use a soft brush to go over the sail, but do not rub too much. Again leave for 30 minutes in the soapy water. 
 
Empty the basin. Rinse the sail completely in fresh cold water. Open the sail up fully and hang it somewhere clear of the ground, to dry in the sunlight.
 
To summarise.
Have a good sized basin for the sail. Plenty of warm water, laundry soap and a soft brush. The stains can be treated with the products described. Wear gloves when handling the cleaning products. Leave the cleaning products to do their job for 30 minutes. Empty the basin. Pour in luke warm water and use laundry soap to lightly wash the sail maybe using the soft brush to remove any stains. Do not rub aggressively. Rinse the sail after cleaning. Hang the sail up to dry.

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