Are you someone who enjoys kite flying and also feels strongly about kite cleaning? Then this article is for you. By the end of this article, you’ll know how to clean your kite in three easy steps.
To clean a kite, gently rinse or use tissue paper damp with cold or warm water without using solvents. Cleaning with freshwater is ideal if the kite is taken to the beach or is wet with saltwater. Use compressed air to dust sand or dirt off the kite.
Cleaning your kite is an essential factor in kite care and maintenance. How you clean your kite will make a difference in your kite’s performance and your kite flying experience. Keep on reading to learn more about how to clean a kite.
3 Steps To Clean Your Kite
1. Check For Sand, Dirt, Or Debris Stuck In Your Kite
When flying your kite at the beach or in a location where there is a lot of loose dirt, check to see whether any sand or dirt got trapped in the kite’s fittings or bridles, and brush any particles out afterward.
Cleaning your kite of sand or debris is an excellent method to keep the harnesses and fittings from wearing out. Compressed air, if available, is also great for safely removing any sand or debris caught in the kite’s fittings. (source)
2. Rinse Gently Or Wipe With Damp Cloth
Gently rinsing with water using a hose or wiping with damp tissue paper are suitable methods for cleaning your kite, especially if there is visible dirt. You can also use warm water to clean off light surface dirt on your kite, primarily if the kite manufacture comprises ripstop nylon.
However, do remember that ripstop holds suds for a long time, so you may notice that it’s hard to get a clean rinse if you’re using soap. It will not damage the kite, though, so long as it is dried off completely before storing. (source)
Two essential things to note on how to clean your kite are (a) avoiding using solvents and (b) don’t use a wet cloth or steam. Solvents can damage the kite’s fabric, dissolve the seam’s adhesive, and remove the kite’s protective coating.
So it’s best to avoid them and instead stick to using gentle soap or mild fabric detergent to clean your kite. Wiping your kite with a wet cloth or cleaning it using steam will stretch out the fabric and cause long-term damage, so it’s best to avoid those methods as well. (source) (source)
Rinsing your kite with freshwater or cold water after a beach session also helps prevent rubber fittings from wearing out, which can impair the kite’s overall performance if they face repeated exposure to saltwater.
Even if your kite did not swim in the ocean, some beaches have more intense salt sprays, and if salt crystals find their way to your kite, it will rub and “sand” your kite like sandpaper as the water evaporates.
So, always clean your kite with cold or freshwater after flying near or on the beach and let it dry thoroughly before storing it. (source)
Aside from the kite’s sail, also remember to clean the spars, bridles, lines, and other loose parts. Wash and rinse them with water; you may use a soft-bristle brush to remove sand or dirt off the kite’s spars, bridles, and any other part where sand or dirt might have found their way in or become trapped.
Soaking the lines in clean water for a few hours is also an excellent method to clean your kite as sand and dirt settle at the bottom of the container. (source)
3. Let The Kite Fully Dry
Drying your kite thoroughly after washing or cleaning it is a must. Ripstop nylon, the material used to make most kites, is prone to rot and mold, especially when stored in a closed space like a bag or closet.
Moisture damages the quality of the kite’s fabric in the long run and also makes the kite stink. After washing your kite, allow it to dry off entirely by either laying it flat or hanging it on the clothesline or a wall. (source)
When letting the kite lay flat on the floor to dry, make sure that people won’t step on it and won’t trip people passing by. That being said, try to avoid laying your kite to dry on the living room floor if there is not enough space and place it on a table or in the garage instead. When drying the kite outdoors, it’s also good to avoid laying it on grass because the kite can absorb dew or moisture, which might damage the kite’s fabric and decrease its overall quality and performance. (source)
So, those are all the steps to clean your kite. Seems easy as 1-2-3, no? Kite cleaning is not rocket science, and you don’t need to do special procedures or techniques to keep your kites clean. All you need to remember is how to clean your kite are the basics, and you’re good to go.
However, the key to maintaining your kite’s cleanliness, and therefore its performance, is knowing when to clean your kite and what method you should use to clean it.
Overcleaning your kite might do more bad than good, so when exactly should you clean your kites, and how should you go about it? Should you rinse your kite or wipe it off? Which one is better? Keep on reading to discover more information on how to clean your kite.
Should You Rinse Your Kite?
There has been much debate on whether kites should be rinsed, hosed, or wiped when cleaning, and the short answer is it depends. Rinsing your kite per se doesn’t damage the kite, and in fact, it is the standard way to clean most kites, but the way you rinse the kite matters.
When talking about regular kite maintenance, a quick wipe down with tissue paper or rinsing with warm water should suffice, especially if the kite only has some visible surface dirt. (source)
However, it’s a different story when it comes to stains and deep soil. Simply cleaning off deep dirt with a gentle trickle of water might not do much, so for cases like this, use a hose fitted with a low-intensity spray nozzle or the bathroom shower if you don’t have access to a hose, would provide better results. (source)
Stains are a little more challenging to deal with and remove. We recommend steering clear of using solvents or household fabric detergent on the kite’s sails as it may damage the material’s coating. So to remove stains, you can try using warm water and mild soap. However, if the stain is from paint, it would be best to start embracing it as part of the kite’s design instead. (source)
Gently rinsing your kite with water now and then, especially after a session at the beach where it got drenched in saltwater or visibly dirty, is an excellent method to keep your kite clean and preserve its quality.
But it’s essential to note that overcleaning your kite is not recommended, so rinse your kite with water only when necessary.
Kite Cleaning Summary
At this point, we’ve covered most, if not all; there is to know about how to clean a kite. To summarize, always remember to rinse your kite with freshwater or clean water only when necessary.
For example, after a beach session where the kite got wet with salt water or sand got into your kite’s sail and other parts, or if there is visible dirt on the kite.
If your kite did not find itself in any of those situations, then there is no need to rinse your kite. A quick wipe down using tissue paper to remove some loose dirt or dust is enough.
After washing your kite, never forget to let it dry off completely. Keeping your kite clean and dry when storing prevents the risk of rotting, molding, or stinking and preserves its quality, especially the fabric’s colors.
These are all the key takeaways you need to keep in mind when cleaning your kite. And remember, your kite’s cleanliness also affects its long-term performance, so keep your kites clean to have good kite flying experiences.