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Old 24-04-2009, 09:56   #1
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Good Bilge Cleaner

I know that between all the users on this site, there are hundreds of years of experience with bilge cleaners. I would like to tap into that experience. We have a 20yr old Motoryacht that apparently no one has ever attempted to clean, really clean the bilge. We as the 4th owners are trying to do that. We have tried multiple brands of bilge cleaners, do not mind paying top dollar for something, if it will work! Can you all give us what brand you have used, if it worked! Thanks so much, John and Valerie aboard Whatever!
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Old 24-04-2009, 12:00   #2
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Lets see some pictures of the boat!
As for bilge cleaning...........thinner, acetone, some of those magic cloths.....
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Old 24-04-2009, 12:16   #3
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Joy and brush for general slightly oily cleanup, Amway laundry detergent powder (are they still around?) and a brush for dirtier jobs. sprinkle the powder onto the wet surface and scrub (I believe this has tsp in it but not sure), TSP is a great cleaner but wear gloves as it will burn your skin if exposed too long.
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Old 24-04-2009, 13:30   #4
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Purple Stuff found at WalMart is a great degreaser. BUT - do NOT use it on aluminum!

Stuff is water-soluble so it can go overboard if necessary.
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Old 24-04-2009, 16:39   #5
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I hate bilge cleaners...

I hate bilge cleaners because they look like they will deliver the world, but the ones I tried just made a bad mess much, much worse.

In an environmentally insensitive way.

If you have a very messy bilge, and you don't want to do it the hard way with pressure blaster, wet/dry vacuum cleaner and oil absorbing pads, find one of those who do it professionally and pay whatever they ask.

It might be cheaper in the long run.
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Old 25-04-2009, 03:31   #6
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I don’t recall where I acquired the following, so cannot offer credit:

Vessel Cleaning: Alternatives to Toxic Products

Product ➛ Alternative
Bleach ➛ Borax
Detergent & SoapElbow grease
Scouring Powders ➛ Baking soda, or rub area with one-half lemon dipped in borax, then rinse
General Cleaner ➛ Baking soda and vinegar, or lemon juice combined with borax paste
Floor Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water
Window Cleaner ➛ One cup vinegar + 1 qt. warm water. Rinse and squeegee
Aluminum Cleaner ➛ 2 Tbsp. cream of tartar + 1 qt. of hot water
Brass Cleaner ➛ Worcestershire sauce, or paste made of equal amounts of salt, vinegar and water
Copper Cleaner ➛ Lemon juice and water, or paste of lemon juice, salt, and flour
Chrome Cleaner/Polish ➛ Apple cider vinegar to clean; baby oil to polish
Stainless Steel Cleaner ➛ Baking soda or mineral oil for polishing, vinegar to remove spots
Fiberglass Stain Remover ➛ Baking soda paste
Mildew Remover ➛ Paste with equal amounts of lemon juice and salt, or white vinegar and salt
Drain Opener ➛ Dissemble or use plumber’s snake, or flush with boiling water + one-quarter cup baking soda + one-quarter cup vinegar
Wood Polish ➛ Olive or almond oil (interior walls only)
Hand Cleaner ➛ Baby oil or margarine
Head & Shower ➛ Baking soda; brush thoroughly
Rug/Upholstery Cleaner ➛ Dry corn starch sprinkled on; vacuum

See also, the informative “Cleaning up the Confusion around Eco-Labels for ‘Green’ Cleaning Products”, at:
http://www.capitalpaper.ca/static/cl...-confusion.pdf
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Old 25-04-2009, 04:04   #7
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I like soft scrub and elbo grease and another fav is 409.
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Old 25-04-2009, 09:16   #8
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Just what we thought, old home remedies work best instead of "products" manufactured for boat specific use. Thanks all for the info! GordMay I am going to print a copy of all your alternatives! Thanks...James S I will try to post a pic of our girl here...sorry not computer literate enough!!!couldn't do it
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Old 25-04-2009, 09:23   #9
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good bilge cleaners

James S, I managed to change from an avatar fish to our Boat pic on my profile...so there you go!
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Old 25-04-2009, 09:37   #10
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A few months back Sandy Daugherty recommended Orange TKO for cleaning water tanks. Made with orange peel (and some other stuff they don't describe but the labels says it has no petroleum, non caustic, no solvents, and is biodegradable. The manufacturer claims it's great for bilges, salt buildup, bird droppings, rust remover - even "recycling oil filters" (I doubt Yanmar agrees with that last item ).

I got a bottle. You mix it at different strengths with water from 1:8 to 1:60. So far I've only used it for general cleaning and it seems to work at least as well as the environmentally nasty stuff I generally use - it really knocks out odors - or at least replaces it with a nice orange smell. We'll see how it does on the tougher stuff. Thanks Sandy!

If you really want to do a "4th owner" deep cleaning, rent a steam cleaner (not a rug one but one meant for industrial and engine cleaning). First spray with some sort of cleaner/degreaser like the Orange TKO. Wait an hour and then hit it with the steam cleaner. Protect wire connections so that water doesn't get inside and keep the wand moving so that fiberglass and rubber doesn't get too hot.

Carl
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Old 25-04-2009, 09:55   #11
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Carl, Where do you get the Orange TKO? Valerie
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Old 25-04-2009, 11:04   #12
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Thanks Whatever....shes lovely
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Old 25-04-2009, 11:28   #13
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You can google "Orange TKO" and get quite a few places. I actually got it through this Ebay guy.

eBay Motors: Orange TKO Sportsman Auto/RV/Marine - 8 oz. (item 120266295792 end time May-21-09 17:53:41 PDT)

This is the "marine" package but I would guess they are all the same.

Carl
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Old 08-08-2009, 09:46   #14
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So how do you get rid of the "gel" that the stuff creates? Thats one of the problems with a 4 yrs old bilge, sludge and "stuff" from yrs of non cleaning. We bought some of that Purple Power Degreaser from Walmart, suggested earlier , we just found it, but haven't gotten around to trying it yet. It is biodegradeable, so that sounds like a good thing if it will work.
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Old 08-08-2009, 10:44   #15
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I have used a 3000 PSI gasoline powered pressure washer a few times. I know it sounds extreme and would be for most cases but its an aluminum boat where the crud gets between the gaps in the aluminum plates. I sometimes have mud (from core samples) covering the entire afterdeck which gets down through the deckhatches and into the after bilge area.

I don't think there is any cleaner that works better than a pressure washer.
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