Your Marine Heads Analysts Know That This Can Sometimes Seem Difficult
Raritan Engineering Company your marine heads distributor would like to share with you this week some valuable points regarding how to clean your ropes easily .
If you didn’t remove your running rigging last winter, then there is a good chance you’ll be coming back to sheets and halyards coated in dirt, mold, and mildew. So with those cautions placed in mind for us, what are some pointers and reminders that we need to have before trying to clean our boat ropes? Let us continue reading on and see how we can clean our ropes just like the professionals do.
• 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 degreaser will harm this protective coating.
Your Marine Heads Experts Warn That You Should Never Use Bleach
• Your marine heads specialists know that you should wash on the gentlest cycle. The rope should be tightly coiled or tied in a daisy-chain, and then placed inside a pillowcase. Front-loading washing machines are recommended; an up-and-down motion is preferable to the rotary motion of most common household machines.
• Avoid contact with acids, bases, and solvents. Both polyester and nylon (polyamide) are vulnerable to certain chemicals, so manufacturers broadly warn against using them.
Nylon is particularly vulnerable to acid. Strong acids such as battery acid or muriatic acid can literally melt right through a nylon rope in a matter of minutes.
• 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. Every manufacturer has faced claims of rope failure or splice failure caused by a bleach overdose. Extended soaking in bleach solutions must be avoided.
• Hot water is not a problem. Nylon and polyester are undamaged at normal water-heater temperatures (120 to 135 degrees).
The following additional experience was volunteered by professional riggers:
• Washing won’t make splicing easier. Old double-braid is difficult to splice, and washing doesn’t change that. Polyester remains too stiff even if treated with fabric softener.
• Washing machines don’t like nylon double-braid. Nylon double-braid is subject to herniation and destruction during the machine-washing process.
So don’t forget these helpful pointers when cleaning your ropes. 1) Always wash your ropes on the gentlest cycles; 2) avoid contact with acids, bases, and solvants; 3) no amount of bleach is ever recommended in any amount; 4) hot water is not a problem when cleaning your ropes; 5) washing will not make splicing easier; and 6) washing machines do not like nylon double-braid.
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