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Old 23-11-2011, 01:11   #1
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Cleaning Down Below

So I have got enough wood below to refurbish a stately home but during the winter I want to give a thorough clean. The wood is cherry and factory varnished 15 years ago.


We live aboard our boat so it is in constant use and believe a boat should be used and not just look nice.


What is the best way to clean and look after the wood down below? Is it best to just wipe it down or use a polish?


Any tips or advice is welcome
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Old 23-11-2011, 02:40   #2
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Re: Cleaning down below

thats a beautiful looking home Nos. No idea how to clean it but just wanted to say that and if you are still in La Rochelle, enjoy ! Its a beautiful place, I'm planning on stopping for a while in May after I pick up my new cat in les Sables. I was there for the Grand Pavoir in September. Good luck with the cleaning/maintenance..
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Old 23-11-2011, 05:23   #3
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

Our interior is teak with a hand-rubbed oil finish, so not quite the same, but we use a little baking soda in warm water to clean it. That's cheap, user friendly, and does a good job of removing grime without removing the finish. I think it would work well on a varnished interior. We dust with lemon oil furniture polish, and give it a fresh coat of tung oil every few years.

We've owned the boat 20 plus years and have cruised her full time for 11 years, so agree with your views about using it. Keeping the interior looking good is important to our morale, especially if we're stuck aboard on a rainy day.
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Old 23-11-2011, 05:45   #4
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

I use Murphy's Oil Soap. Does not hurt oiled or varnished wood and works great.
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Old 23-11-2011, 06:04   #5
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pirate Re: Cleaning Down Below

Was told by an ex-cabinet maker/restorer that the best thing for cleaning wood was to wipe it down with vinegar.... breaks down the old polish and removes the ingrained dirt... wipe over after with clean damp cloth and wax/repolish when dry...
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Old 27-11-2011, 13:54   #6
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

The diluted vinegar wipedown is good, as is any gentle soap. I would not use Murphy's or any other oil-based cleaner or wax. This is because it will present a serious problem if/when you refinish the interior. You will have to remove all the wax/oil buildup with solvents and a thousand rags before sanding, or you will have fisheye problems when coating, and potentially adhesion problems as well.
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Old 28-11-2011, 03:12   #7
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Was told by an ex-cabinet maker/restorer that the best thing for cleaning wood was to wipe it down with vinegar.... breaks down the old polish and removes the ingrained dirt... wipe over after with clean damp cloth and wax/repolish when dry...
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Old 28-11-2011, 03:36   #8
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

At the beginning of each season, we always wiped down the wood with a cloth soaked in white vinegar and wrung out to get rid of any mildew or mold (seen or unseen), then rubbed it down with Daly's Seafin teak oil--great stuff! Mid-season, we'd rub the area around the companionway with teak oil, as it got more wear.
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Old 28-11-2011, 21:44   #9
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
I would not use Murphy's or any other oil-based cleaner or wax. This is because it will present a serious problem if/when you refinish the interior. You will have to remove all the wax/oil buildup with solvents and a thousand rags before sanding, or you will have fisheye problems when coating, and potentially adhesion problems as well.
Despite its name, Murphy's Oil Soap does not contain any oil or wax:

Murphy Oil Soap Ingredients, Formula, Content & Purpose | Wood Cleaning Formula

I have used it on oiled teak and on varnish. There's no detectable residue left and I have never had any problems with refinishing.
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Old 28-11-2011, 22:27   #10
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

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Despite its name, Murphy's Oil Soap does not contain any oil or wax:

Murphy Oil Soap Ingredients, Formula, Content & Purpose | Wood Cleaning Formula

I have used it on oiled teak and on varnish. There's no detectable residue left and I have never had any problems with refinishing.

Ingredient 3 on the list=citronella oil. My wife is a pro brightworker who spent many years doing all sorts of boats, but particularly high end mega yachts. They spent a lot of effort dealing with the effects of Murphy's oil soap. I doubt the occasional cleaning is too much of a problem, but on a pro crewed yacht the whole interior is being constantly cleaned, often with MO unfortunately. There is a buildup which will cause fisheyes if not removed. Personally, given the amount of interior teak I have and the effort that goes into coating it, I wont touch my interior with anything soapy or oily. Look at the link to pics of my boat under my name....
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Old 29-11-2011, 19:09   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret
The diluted vinegar wipedown is good, as is any gentle soap. I would not use Murphy's or any other oil-based cleaner or wax. This is because it will present a serious problem if/when you refinish the interior. You will have to remove all the wax/oil buildup with solvents and a thousand rags before sanding, or you will have fisheye problems when coating, and potentially adhesion problems as well.
Can I use this mixture to clean my teak on a regular basis? Two or three times a month? Also, can a use vinegar for all my cleaning on the boat? Somebody advised that I should put some in my toilet. I have not because my tanks are aluminum.
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Old 29-11-2011, 21:08   #12
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

Quote:
Originally Posted by minaret View Post
Ingredient 3 on the list=citronella oil. My wife is a pro brightworker who spent many years doing all sorts of boats, but particularly high end mega yachts. They spent a lot of effort dealing with the effects of Murphy's oil soap. I doubt the occasional cleaning is too much of a problem, but on a pro crewed yacht the whole interior is being constantly cleaned, often with MO unfortunately. There is a buildup which will cause fisheyes if not removed. Personally, given the amount of interior teak I have and the effort that goes into coating it, I wont touch my interior with anything soapy or oily. Look at the link to pics of my boat under my name....
I stand corrected. Of course--my boat is anything but "constantly cleaned"!
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Old 30-11-2011, 05:51   #13
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

Whatever you do, DON'T use Murphy's Oil Soap on the companionway steps!
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Old 30-11-2011, 06:39   #14
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

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Whatever you do, DON'T use Murphy's Oil Soap on the companionway steps!

Is that the voice of experience Hud??

We use mild soap, followed by a spray on wax.
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Old 30-11-2011, 06:50   #15
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Re: Cleaning Down Below

I had my wood floors refinished in my old house. I had exclusively cleaned with Murphys Oil Soap. The refinisher *hated* Murphys since it gummed up his sanding pads. He went through much more sandpaper when doing floors cleaned with Murphys. So I'd say it leaves a residue....

Just my experience, not an expert or anything.

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