Monday, October23, 2017 L-36.com

How to Clean Line






When it comes to maintaining lines, running rigging, ropes and sails, using the right cleaner takes a backseat to using the right cleaning method. Properly maintaining ropes and sails will extend their lives for years, but using the wrong cleaning procedure can weaken their fibers and cause irreparable damage, shortening their lifespan.

In search of definitive guidance on rope cleaning, we turned first to manufacturers for advice. Although the advice varied in some details, all agreed on the following points.

  • Wash only with a very mild detergent. For relatively new ropes, this means something like Woolite or a half-dose of a modern laundry detergent. For the first few years, ropes still contain thread coatings and lubricants from the factory that provide an easy hand, as well as offer some protection from UV radiation, abrasion, and water absorption. Washing a new rope in a cleaner touted as a degreaser will harm this protective coating. After several years, when these lubricants have clearly been washed away by rain and worn off by normal use, ordinary laundry detergents at ordinary doses are acceptable.
  • Wash on the gentlest cycle. The rope should be tightly coiled or tied in a daisy-chain, and then place inside a pillowcase. Without coiling or daisy-chaining, a rope can turn into an impressive tangle. The pillowcase further restricts the motion of the rope and prevents the rope from wrapping around the central agitator.
  • Avoid contact with acids, bases, and solvents. Both polyester and nylon (polyamide) are vulnerable to certain chemicals, so manufacturers broadly warn against using them.
  • Fabric softener at recommended doses is approved.
  • Power washing is not recommended. While it can be an effective method for cleaning marine growth from mooring pendants and dock lines, a power washer in the hands of an inexperienced operator can do significant damage.
  • Bleach is not recommended by any manufacturer in any quantity.
  • Hot water is not a problem. Nylon and polyester are undamaged at normal water-heater temperatures (120 to 135 degrees).
  • Don't dry with heat. The rope should be flaked loosely on the floor and left to dry.

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The information on this web site has not been checked for accuracy. It is for entertainment purposes only and should be independently verified before using for any other reason. There are five sources. 1) Documents and manuals from a variety of sources. These have not been checked for accuracy and in many cases have not even been read by anyone associated with L-36.com. I have no idea of they are useful or accurate, I leave that to the reader. 2) Articles others have written and submitted. If you have questions on these, please contact the author. 3) Articles that represent my personal opinions. These are intended to promote thought and for entertainment. These are not intended to be fact, they are my opinions. 4) Small programs that generate result presented on a web page. Like any computer program, these may and in some cases do have errors. Almost all of these also make simplifying assumptions so they are not totally accurate even if there are no errors. Please verify all results. 5) Weather information is from numerious of sources and is presented automatically. It is not checked for accuracy either by anyone at L-36.com or by the source which is typically the US Government. See the NOAA web site for their disclaimer. Finally, tide and current data on this site is from 2007 and 2008 data bases, which may contain even older data. Changes in harbors due to building or dredging change tides and currents and for that reason many of the locations presented are no longer supported by newer data bases. For example, there is very little tidal current data in newer data bases so current data is likely wrong to some extent. This data is NOT FOR NAVIGATION. See the XTide disclaimer for details. In addition, tide and current are influenced by storms, river flow, and other factors beyond the ability of any predictive program.