Cleaning Dacron or Nylon sails this spring? We’ve got some simple tips to get them nice and clean without harming the fabric.

Cleaning Dacron sails:

  • Make sure you clean the sail on a flat, clean surface.  Watch out for gravel or other debris that will act as sandpaper on the other side as you clean!
  • Fresh water with mild soap and a soft bristle brush is all you need for light dirt and salt
  • Lighter fluid works well for getting out oil stains
  • Mildew can be removed using household bleach – you want a 3-5% Sodium Hypochlorite solution. Never use bleach on nylon or laminated sails though as you can cause damage

Cleaning nylon sails:

  • Spinnakers and other lightair sails are usually made of Nylon which CANNOT be cleaned with solvents or bleach
  • Simply rinse your Nylon sails with fresh water to take of the salt and grit
  • There are commercial products, such as SailKote, that can be used to ward of mildew growth but use it sparingly and keep in mind that anything coated will be very slippery!

After cleaning:

  • Don’t flog your sails to dry them, simply hang them in a well ventilated area to dry
  • When they are completely dry, fold and put back in the sail bag
  • Store your sails in well ventilated, dry areas away from the sun

If you take good care of your sails, they will last years but don’t put off this essential cleaning. Not only will your clean sails last longer, but they will look great in the summer sun!

Make sure to read our other stories on cleaning canvas to complete your spring cleaning…


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