How To

How to Clean the Sails on Your Boat? | Best For Consumer

Proper sails maintenance means keeping them clean and in good working order. For the sails to work correctly, they must be continuously checked for tears and other damage. The cleaning of the sails is also a necessary chore. If the sails become excessively dirty, not only does the sailing sailor’s attitude and the skipper’s attitude not be excellent, but a muddy and wet sail can lead to mold, especially if it is tidy. Our 20 tips to extend the life of your sails article will give you some secret tips for your sail.
To clean the sails, you have to be careful because they are fragile and do not stand up to the aggressive products.
There are machines designed to clean the sails, but they involve a somewhat brutal process that can weaken, stretch and even tear the sail after several cleanings. It is for this reason that it is advisable to clean your sails with water and a mild detergent. You can have a look at our outboard motor buying guide to choose the best motor for your boat. 

How to clean the sails on your boat?

To clean the sails of his boat, there are two schools: those who wash the sail by hand on a large flat surface and those who soak their veil in a mixture of water and cleaning products. To not be jealous, we will see how to do it in both cases.

Clean the sails by hand

What you will need:

  • Sails (oh well? :))
  • Bucket
  • a big sponge
  • A lege cleaner 
  • Some water
  • A large flat surface

Step 1: Find a large area to spread the sail

To clean the sails of the boat properly, you need to have an ample flat and clean space to lay them. If there is room on the dock where your boat is moored, it will work, provided that the sail does not hinder the passage and especially that there is no gravel on the ground. A well maintained grassy area will also work.

Step 2: Spread the sail

If the sail is stored, remove it from the bag. If it is rigged, lower it and bring it to the cleaning area and unfold it completely. Avoid wrinkling and again, make sure there is nothing abrasive on the floor.

Steps 3: Cleaning

Because machines are not recommended for cleaning sails, it is best to do it by hand. It may take a little longer, but it will increase the life of the sail. Have a bucket filled with clean water, a bottle of cleanser for soft sails and a giant sponge.

Dilute the product in the bucket of water. Just like washing a car, the mixture must be sparkling well.

Rub the sail lightly with the sponge; it is not necessary to rub vigorously clean, as cleaning should be a reasonably standard routine.

As a result, the sail should not be too dirty. To get rid of more difficult tasks, specific products are depending on the type of job.

The purpose of this cleaning is to keep the sail in good condition and giving it a pleasant appearance. After cleaning, rinse thoroughly with fresh water, flip it over and repeat for the other side.

Step 4: Drying the sail

The sail must be completely dry on both sides before folding and storing. This step is not necessary if you plan to sail up immediately, as you can dry it in the wind. If the sail is stowed while still partially wet, mold will appear inside the sail bag.

Clean the sails by soaking

What you will need:

  • The sails (always 🙂
  • A tank big enough to absorb the sail
  • A unique product cleaning of sail by soaking
  • A large flat surface

Step 1: Find a ferry to soak his sail

Depending on the size of the sails you have to clean, it can be more or less secure. A small bathtub can do the trick, but if you have large sails, it will be necessary to move to the superior. Some use an annex filled with water or large garbage containers as shown.

Step 2: Prepare the solution and sail

It is necessary to foresee the right amount of water compared to your sail and thus the correct quantity of product. A bottle of 50cl cleaner for up to 80 liters of water.
Pour the water into the boat first and then, in another container, dilute the powder in warm water. All that remains is to pour this mixture into the tank and wait for the effervescence to fade.

Step 3: Soak the sail

Once the sail is installed correctly, it is necessary to let it soak for at least 12 hours. This is the time needed for the product to dissolve mildew, dirt and dull film. It is the action of the powder with warm water that has become effervescent, which releases the active agents that will do all the work.


Step 4: Dry the sail

After leaving the product in your place, you will find the area to rinse the sail and let it dry on one side and the other.


The cleaning of the sails is part of the routine maintenance of the sailboats or Jon fishing boats. A responsible sailor looks after his boat and does not consider any job to be unimportant. A clean boat with well-maintained sails is the mark of a real sailor because it shows that he is proud of his ship and the maintenance rigorously.

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