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Old 13-04-2017, 10:10   #16
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

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Originally Posted by Whitebread117 View Post
We had a similar issue, old and leaky Nissan diesel and prior owner wasn't careful about spilling diesel or oil during maintenance.

Tuf Enuf bilge cleaner sprayed liberally throughout affected areas followed by freshwater rinses did wonders. It's not cheap but works better than the simple Green, zero purple power, and others we tried. It has a very nice natural orange/citrus scent so you don't get the harsh chemical smell while cleaning either.


Thanks!
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Old 13-04-2017, 10:12   #17
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

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Ah... I don't think the Vanilla Bean trick will do it for you. Just create a sicky sweet diesel stench.

Wash down the bilge with hot water and Roll Off or another of the strong surfectants such as Greased Lightening. Rinse with plenty of warm/hot water if you have it available. Pump that over the side and use a shop vac to suction the bilge as dry as possible. Then, dump a few gallons of Lemon Juice Concentrate, available at whole-sale food distributors such as "Smart'n Final" very inexpensively, and a few gallons of fresh water into the bilge. Allow that to soak for 24 hours and then pump it over the side and, again, shop-vac the bilge as dry as you can get it. You should be good to go.

BTDT...Got the T-Shirt when a yard worker screwed up and allowed 40 gallons of diesel to drain into our bilge 10-12 years ago! The foregoing, suggested by an "old salt", did the trick!


Thanks whew!
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Old 13-04-2017, 10:20   #18
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

After you use a good degreaser that will emulsify the fuel, go in there with water and pine-Sol.
It is a an effective degreaser, but it also does a great job of eliminating smells, I grew up smelling it as it was often used as a cleaner, and to me psychologically it just smells "clean"
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Old 13-04-2017, 10:28   #19
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

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After you use a good degreaser that will emulsify the fuel, go in there with water and pine-Sol.
It is a an effective degreaser, but it also does a great job of eliminating smells, I grew up smelling it as it was often used as a cleaner, and to me psychologically it just smells "clean"


Thanks
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Old 13-04-2017, 10:28   #20
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

You may not this one, but it worked for us....50/50 mix of vinegar and Listerine.
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Old 13-04-2017, 10:43   #21
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

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Originally Posted by Stu Jackson View Post
Peggie Hall recommends it highly.
Thanks Stu.

We use a product called Smells Be Gone which is also an enzyme.

Does anyone have any experience with the enzyme type odor eliminators? (Smells Be Gone seems to work well enough for us.)
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Old 13-04-2017, 11:02   #22
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

So you know there are no shortcuts for this. First thing you need to do is clean out all the free fuel from your bilge. The best/least effort way to do this is with sorbent pads. Get some sorbent pads, the square ones and cut them in half. Roll up the halves and zip tie them so they become mini sorbent booms.


Drop those into your bilge and let them sit there fore a few days. That will pick up and free floating fuel, and any fuel that can go free floating once there is something to pick it up. Let you bilge cycle with water over those days, let it get almost full, then pump it down, let it fill almost up again, then pump it out.


Now after that's down, take fresh sorbent pads and start wiping them all around the bilge picking up any black gunk, red or yellow fuel, whatever it looks like. Keep wiping it down with fresh pads until you can't get them dirty any more.


At this point is when you want to start using your bilge cleaners, and not before. If you use bilge cleaners when you have all that fuel gunk down there, all you are accomplishing is pushing it around and potentially making it worse by increase the surface area of fuel exposed. By wiping it all up with sorbent pads first, you are minimize the amount of fuel that needs to be broken down by a cleanser into a thin film. Keep cleaning with your cleanser, until you can't tell there is any fuel left...I like the ones that are made from orange peels, because it's biodegradable and it's ok to pump out with your bilge pump.


Once you are done, now you are going drop some more mini sorbent booms in the bilge, and then fill your bilge up with fresh clean water, and you are going to dump that cleanser into the bilge....let it sit there, let it rock and roll because the water and the cleanser is going to reach those places you can't get with a towel, pad nor brush...let it sit there for a few days...go sailing go boating with it in there to roll it around.


Pump it out, pick up those sorbents and wipe up any residual gunk that might have surfaced as a result of the bilge getting filled again.


It should smell nice now, it should look clean now.


Then, pump it out. Tie up a few more sorbent pads into those mini booms, and toss them into the bilge and leave them there so they can absorb any new fuel or oil that may accidentals find it's way into your bilge. I also leave a few pads underneath my engine block to catch any stray fuel or oil. Keep the bilge dry, and the sorbents will stop any stray fuel from spreading around if your bilge does get some water in there. The mini booms give you an object to pick up and throw away to remove the oil and fuel. When you do, toss a few more in there again to replace them. That will keep your bilge as clean as it can be and free of fuel and fuel odor.
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Old 13-04-2017, 11:42   #23
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

Big box of cheap diapers will absorb what the bilge cannot get.
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Old 13-04-2017, 16:18   #24
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

A few years ago we had a outboard fuel tank rupture in the cockpit locker of our sailboat flooding the bilge. We cleaned the bilge with soapy water but the smell of gasoline was still very strong. The only thing that worked ( and very quickly ) was natural lump charcoal. Not briquettes. You should find it at your local hardware or Home Depot/Lowe's. You'll need to put the charcoal in a couple of locations on the boat in the bilge and it has to be in a container that the air can circulate through. We used milk crates and colanders. Within a 24 to 48 hours the smell was completely gone.

Good Luck...
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Old 13-04-2017, 16:52   #25
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

Dawn works for me.
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Old 13-04-2017, 17:06   #26
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

After having to remove 20 gallons of diesel from the bilge we washed with bilge cleaners then flushed with a couple gallons of white vinegar. No more smell
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Old 13-04-2017, 19:01   #27
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

Cheapo Depot or Sam's club get the purple industrial de-greaser! Restuarants use it to clean up the grease in the kitchens. I used it to clean my bilge, with a pressure washer, which had not been cleaned since the install of the new engine in 94! Pour it in if you have access slosh it around. Let sit for a day or 2, then pump it out! The only smell after is the smell of the soap residue, which dissipates after a few days!
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Old 13-04-2017, 19:25   #28
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

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Originally Posted by Sailmonkey View Post
If it's only yourself you're concerned about, I would suggest a good hot shower with a pleasant soap.

Otherwise, the only way to rid the boat of the odor is to remove all of the fuel from the bilge, then get in there with soap, water, and a brush and clean clean clean. Wood that has absorbed diesel will smell for some time though.
Use a good bilge cleaner like West Marine citrus bilge cleaner. Then use a spritzer bottle with white vinager, rinse with fresh water. You can use the vinager on everything that smells, light misting, then shop towel will remove odors.
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Old 13-04-2017, 21:41   #29
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

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Originally Posted by Jason Flare View Post
Thanks Stu.

We use a product called Smells Be Gone which is also an enzyme.

Does anyone have any experience with the enzyme type odor eliminators? (Smells Be Gone seems to work well enough for us.)
===

We use Pure Ayre (an enzyme cleaner) all of the time on the boat. It is very effective.
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Old 14-04-2017, 06:30   #30
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Re: Diesel Fuel Odor in the Cabin

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Originally Posted by wayne.b View Post
===

We use Pure Ayre (an enzyme cleaner) all of the time on the boat. It is very effective.
Anyone know where to buy this besides the internet?
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