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Old 03-12-2012, 07:55   #1
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Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

More likely accumulated in ICW, rivers and gunkholing, the brown tannin stains can be easily removed with the proper chemical wash. These stains often form a "moustache" on the bow. There are several very expensive hull cleaners sold for this purpose at near $20 a quart, but if you compare the active ingredients, you can find the same effective cleaners sold as common toilet bowl cleaners for about $2. I was looking over a recently revived post about using toilet bowl cleaners in the marine head and I was looking for this application, but it was not mentioned. I do not use the acid wash toilet bowl cleaners in my head, but I've found them very effective for cleaning my freeboard tannin stains. I usually apply the cleaner with a sponge and let it sit for about ten minutes before a thorough rinse. My original 1973 white gel coat still looks good and I've found no negative effects from this type of cleaning. Do many others use this plan or have alternate techniques.---opinions?
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:17   #2
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

I use an acid wash I got at ACE hardware that comes in a dry form and is mixed with water. With quantity given and coverage looks like it will cost $1 a time I treat the hull. I get as much rust stain coming down as tannin coming up.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:24   #3
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

Anything with oxalic acid, used as wood bleach and I think concrete preparation.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:28   #4
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

The cheapest bottle of lemon juice, spray it on - let it sit - hose it off. Easy, cheap and no environmental issues.
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:29   #5
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

Hear ye! ZEP Shower Tub & Tile Our topside cleaner of choice for many years!
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:31   #6
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

When I worked in the maintenance department of a local sailing school, we always used oxalic acid. Don't get any on your clothes!
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Old 03-12-2012, 08:58   #7
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

Oxalic acid is the best. That blue gel WM sells is oxalic acid. Your best bang for the buck is Barkeepers Friend sold in Walmart and Publix.
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Old 03-12-2012, 17:04   #8
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

'glad to here all these confirmations for the cheap acid wash.
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Old 03-12-2012, 18:26   #9
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptForce View Post
There are several very expensive hull cleaners sold for this purpose at near $20 a quart, but if you compare the active ingredients, you can find the same effective cleaners sold as common toilet bowl cleaners for about $2.
One of the biggest rip-offs in all of boating. FSR, which stands for Fiberglass Stain Remover, is made by Davis and retails for $29.99 for a two-liter bottle. Active ingredient = oxalic acid.

Go down to any hardware store and you can buy oxalic acid for a fraction of that.

BTW, oxalic acid is a naturally occurring chemical extracted from the wood sorrel wildflower, whose scientific name is Oxalis sp. Grows wild.
Oxalis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 03-12-2012, 19:01   #10
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

I've also heard that plain 'ol lime or lemon juice is effective. If your hull is painted with awlgrip, however, be advised only to use their awlwash, etc. products. Anything else could void your warranty, if applicable, and potentially compromise the finish. (Not sure if this applies to lemon/lime juice).
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Old 03-12-2012, 20:26   #11
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

+1 for reconstituted lemon juice
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Old 03-12-2012, 22:03   #12
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

I can guarantee you that in Australia at least, lemon and lime juice if more expensive than oxalic.
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Old 04-12-2012, 02:30   #13
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Re: Removing Brown Tannin Freeboard Stains

All the ideas are valid and they are truely all the same thing,- some disassociated protons. I'm staying with my choice of the conveniently packaged and cheap toilet bowl cleaner, but it's still nice to see all the sources.
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