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Old 18-12-2015, 16:51   #1
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Cleaning supplies onboard

What are the must have cleaning products for living aboard? What do you think works best on fiberglass/gelcoat decks, canvas, freeboard, stainless steel, windows, etc. Also any hints on cleaning tools appreciated.
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Old 19-12-2015, 06:00   #2
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

A few things I wouldn't be without:

Simple Green. Fairly friendly for the environment, but works great. May remove wax if over-used topside.

Bleach. Many uses on board. Obviously never use it around rubber components, and not really much use topside. But good for potable water treatment, washing clothes and towels and a hundred other uses around the galley and head.

Boat soap. The brightly colored stuff they sell in marine stores. Unlike detergent, it won't strip off the wax, and it works fairly well as a basic deck cleaner.

Liquid Cleaner wax. Look for it in the automotive wax section at the big-box stores. Works great for a quick touch-up on dull spots, fender marks or black streaks.

Acetone. Effortlessly eliminates any stain on gelcoat that the above products won't take out without a lot of work. Makes black streaks disappear instantly. You have to re-wax the area afterward. Handle with care. And don't let ANY, even a drop, get on plastic port light or hatch coamings. Don't ask me how I know.

You'll probably get 1,000 more suggestions, but these are a good start.
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Old 19-12-2015, 06:08   #3
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Add to Cpt Toms list plain vinegar. It is inexpensive and will clean and sanitize a lot of obvious areas in/out , the Galley Girl has a good write up in her blog somewhere.
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Old 19-12-2015, 06:26   #4
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

http://www.amazon.com/LAS-PURPOSE-CO.../dp/B0017KT3IM

Amazon.com: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser Extra Power Home Pro, 8 Count Box: Health & Personal Care

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Old 19-12-2015, 06:53   #5
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

In addition to all the above, Barkeepers Friend, Spotless Stainless, paint thinner and laundry detergent are a few items that come to mind immediately.
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Old 19-12-2015, 06:58   #6
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

If you put CaptTom's and Vasco's list together except for the "boat soap", it my total supply. 'nothing against the "boat soap",- I'm just not familiar with it.
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Old 19-12-2015, 07:19   #7
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
If you put CaptTom's and Vasco's list together except for the "boat soap", it my total supply. 'nothing against the "boat soap",- I'm just not familiar with it.
+1

Vasco has awesome required additions to Tom's...

It's like Butt Soap Hud... Except for the hull... Spar soap recommendations will have to be in a PM...
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Old 19-12-2015, 07:49   #8
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by HappyMdRSailor View Post
+1

Vasco has awesome required additions to Tom's...

It's like Butt Soap Hud... Except for the hull... Spar soap recommendations will have to be in a PM...
Is this like choosing the door,- "The Lady or the Tiger"? You can save face or kiss your ass goodbye?
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Old 19-12-2015, 08:02   #9
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Add Vinegar to the list, good for lots of cleaning and will even help prevent mold as it changes the PH so drastically, things don't like to grow in that PH.
I think it's not a bad environmental thing either, Simple Green will tarnish polished aluminum and I believe will emulsify oil, good stuff just be aware it's not kind to everything, but then you have to be very careful where you spill the Bleach too.
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Old 19-12-2015, 08:08   #10
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hudson Force View Post
Is this like choosing the door,- "The Lady or the Tiger"? You can save face or kiss your ass goodbye?

HA! yes!

Quote:
Originally Posted by a64pilot View Post
Add Vinegar to the list, good for lots of cleaning and will even help prevent mold as it changes the PH so drastically, things don't like to grow in that PH.
I think it's not a bad environmental thing either, Simple Green will tarnish polished aluminum and I believe will emulsify oil, good stuff just be aware it's not kind to everything, but then you have to be very careful where you spill the Bleach too.
Simple green for bilges, but we like our purple power better for such eh?... Veeeenigar is a no brainer... Costco mang...
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Old 19-12-2015, 08:30   #11
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Wow shocked no one has mentioned Borax or Boric Acid.

Can be used to get rid of critters, and I haven't found a better way to kill mold.
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Old 19-12-2015, 08:47   #12
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Bleach (yes, I do use it on the rubber parts of the head. Works fine)
Detergent - normal supermarket stuff. Everything from dishes to decks.
Spray and Wipe the cheapest in the supermarket.
Polish and wax - whatever is for cars and is low priced.

I.e. what you would normally buy for a house. No need to spend extra for the photo of a boat on the label.
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Old 19-12-2015, 09:05   #13
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

FSR, Collinite Fleetwax, NeverDull, Prism
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Old 19-12-2015, 09:31   #14
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

Sure, we keep vinegar and boric acid too. I guess it's hard to inventory all the chemicals we have aboard. I often use the degreaser WD-40 as a cleaner to remove some stubborn waxy or oily mars or unidentified "goop", but then I need the Simple Green to get rid of the WD-40 smear.
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Old 20-12-2015, 10:06   #15
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Re: Cleaning supplies onboard

So far, almost everything suggested above I have on board and use regularly.

Borax is an interesting exception. I need to go get me some!

I'll add Plexus or 210 cleaner to the list of essentials, if you have a lot of vinyl. I've also used pledge as a cheaper alternative, but prefer Plexus or 210 if I can get it. Likewise, some 303 fabric protectant for bimini tops.

I use orange hand cleaner in the industrial-size container. Not only does it get your hands clean after working on something greasy, but it can be used on other stubborn stains. Just understand that it's abrasive.

Boat soap (aka deck soap, not to be confused with butt soap) is an over-priced, concentrated non-detergent soap that's really handy to have around the decks. A few drops, a deck brush and some water does wonders, and you don't have to worry about it removing all your wax. You can sometimes find it at Wal Mart in season, if you want to avoid the chandlery mark-up.

Two final entries: (1) CLR (Calcium, Lime, Rust remover), a moderate-strength acid that's great on bronze fittings or for soaking props to get barnacle residue off, and (2) MEK (Methyl ethyl ketone), which is to fenders and plastic what Acetone is to fiberglass. Nasty stuff, but it will remove any stain and not destroy soft plastics or leave stains on hatch coamings like Acetone will.
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