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Old 29-04-2013, 05:59   #1
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Best General Topside Cleaner?

Anyone have any tips on the best deck cleaners - black streaks, gas leak stains, rust stains, and general dirt/grime?

I tried some Starbrite Black Streak Cleaner on some black streaks with mixed results - it worked with a Scotchbrite pad but not so much on older streaks or with a rag. Dawn in water was fine for general dirt/grime but did nothig for black streaks or rust stains.

I know Starbrite has a rust stain remover, but what about more general cleaners - rather than purchasing every specific cleaner for each specific cosmetic issue - bleach? Fine grit wet sandpaper?
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:20   #2
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

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Originally Posted by MrAntigone View Post
Anyone have any tips on the best deck cleaners - black streaks, gas leak stains, rust stains, and general dirt/grime?

I tried some Starbrite Black Streak Cleaner on some black streaks with mixed results - it worked with a Scotchbrite pad but not so much on older streaks or with a rag. Dawn in water was fine for general dirt/grime but did nothig for black streaks or rust stains.

I know Starbrite has a rust stain remover, but what about more general cleaners - rather than purchasing every specific cleaner for each specific cosmetic issue - bleach? Fine grit wet sandpaper?

By far the best all-around cleaner I have found is called "Barkeeper's Friend." It's right in with the other powdered cleaners in Publix, in a gold and white cardboard canister. (It also comes in liquid form in a squeeze bottle, but I have found the powder much more effective.)

Barkeeper's friend gets out rust stains from fiberglass, polishes stainless steel, gets up stains from bird poop even when they've eaten dark berries, gets fruit juice stains out of the cockpit and generally makes everything sparkle. Sometimes you have to use it several times. On stubborn spots, like rust, make a paste with the powder (don't bother with the liquid) and let it sit about five minutes.

It costs only about $2.00 a can, and a little goes a long way. Sprinkle just a little on your deck, scrub lightly with a brush broom, and rinse off. It gets out dirt that has caked in little grooves for months. I haven't found anything on the boat yet it won't clean well. It even does a great job in the head if you get a calcium crust in there, although it will take several applications and a little elbow grease (that is the one place where I use the liquid form). Remarkably, my mechanical parts had started squeaking. I cleaned the bowl with Barkeeper's Friend, and the mechanical parts stopped squeaking as well.
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:23   #3
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

Practical Sailor did a test some time ago and said Spray Nine was the best. They also said marine spray nine and regular spray nine are the same so save money and buy it at a hardware store. It is not eh best cleaner for specific jobs but the best all round.
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:44   #4
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

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Practical Sailor did a test some time ago and said Spray Nine was the best. They also said marine spray nine and regular spray nine are the same so save money and buy it at a hardware store. It is not eh best cleaner for specific jobs but the best all round.

I've never noticed it on the shelves. Where do you get it?
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:51   #5
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

Spray Nine | Spray Nine 946 ML 2-Pack | Home Depot Canada
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Old 29-04-2013, 06:55   #6
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

Anything containing Oxalic Acid will work... The thing is be patient!

Apply the solution to the stain or rust and let it sit... Apply more if the solution dries.

You can either mix your own solution using Oxalic Acid and water or purchase premixed stuff like Starbite Rust Stain Remover, which we have use with great success with on our boat.

We use Starbite Rust Stain Remover to remove diesel stains from the exhuast, black marks on the topsides from the toe rail drippings and of course rust. It also cleans the hypalon dinghy reall well.
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Old 29-04-2013, 07:08   #7
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

Try the household "magic-miracle-whatever sponge" things.... The work extremely well on FG without having to always break out a cleaner too for some annoying spot.....

Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Original
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Old 29-04-2013, 07:30   #8
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

If you know its going to rain then dhoby dust (clothes washing powder) sprinkled on the deck and left alone does a remarkably good job for no effort and its cheap.

This side of the pond ww have something called Traffic Flim Remover (TFR) which is used by trucks normally in presure washers to clean the grime off. Works well by hand on boats too. You should be alright but the wifey might want to wear gloves because it is strong and strips the oils out of bare skin.

It is available in auto shops either concentrated or normal at a fraction of the cost of stuff from chandlers.

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Old 29-04-2013, 07:35   #9
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

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Originally Posted by jeremiason View Post
Anything containing Oxalic Acid will work... The thing is be patient!

Apply the solution to the stain or rust and let it sit... Apply more if the solution dries.

You can either mix your own solution using Oxalic Acid and water or purchase premixed stuff like Starbite Rust Stain Remover, which we have use with great success with on our boat.

We use Starbite Rust Stain Remover to remove diesel stains from the exhuast, black marks on the topsides from the toe rail drippings and of course rust. It also cleans the hypalon dinghy reall well.

Just a note (the poster above probably knew it) -- the active ingredient in Barkeeper's friend is -- oxalic acid.
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Old 29-04-2013, 07:41   #10
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Re: Best General Topside Cleaner?

The best general cleaner for decks (non-teak of-course) is a small pressure washer with just water. Also the best for the environment as it uses no chemicals, very little water (25% of what you would otherwise use) and limited electric power. It's also easiest on the wallet.

Besides that, we use regular car shampoo, CIF before waxing and On&Off when CIF isn't enough. Stainless steel is only touched with soapy water, metal polish and RejeX polymer coating. The RejeX goes on everything except anti-slip.
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