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Old 11-08-2012, 17:53   #31
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Re: LAUNDRY

0.01 ppm ammonia will kill marine life. So please, cite your sources.

Until then, I will just use soap, thanks.
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Old 11-08-2012, 18:06   #32
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Re: LAUNDRY

Our cruising area is east coast USA.
We bought a large waterproof duffel to carry clothes in the dink and not get them wet. We find laundry facilities accessible by dingy and bike. So we load the folding bikes onto the bow of the dink & motor to the dingy dock. Offload the bikes & laundry duffel. Ride to the laundromat, get er done and ride back. That is worse case scenario. Often we can walk to the laundry or we can tie up to the town dock for a few hours and skip the dink ride. And sometimes we take a slip for the night making sure the marina has good laundry facilities. It's a mix of different efforts. Washing in the sink is also in there, but not often.
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Old 11-08-2012, 18:34   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tager
0.01 ppm ammonia will kill marine life. So please, cite your sources.

Until then, I will just use soap, thanks.

In short, it's a bit like bleach. Drink a gallon and you'll get sick or drop dead, but a couple table spoons in your water tank isn't going to be a problem. Very few things are good or bad. Nitrogen is harmless, put it at four atmospheres of pressure and it will have you stumbling around like an idiot. .05% BAC is fun, .50% puts you in a coma. The amounts and usage that would happen in a cruiser's laundry usage is negligible, at best.

And unless you're a chemical company, the highest concentrations you'll ever see are 5%-10%. So 90% of what you see in the bottle is water, allowing the now extremely diluted NH3 to not instantly gas off.

Comparing diluted NH3 in solution to industrial NH3 gas is like a kid's model rocket to a NASA model. There really is very little in common between the two.

---------

Un-ionized ammonia (NH3) is a colorless gas at standard temperature and pressure. A pungent odor is detectable at levels above 50 ppm (NRC, 1979). Ammonia is very soluble in water at low (acidic) pH.

Ammonia levels in zero-salinity surface water increase with increasing pH and temperature .... At low pH and temperature, ammonia combines with water to produce an ammonium ion (NH4+) and a hydroxide ion (OH-). The ammonium ion is non-toxic and not of concern to organisms. Above a pH of 9, un-ionized ammonia is the predominant species (Morgan et al., 1981). The un-ionized ammonia (NH3) can cross cell membranes more readily at higher pH values.

Ammonia remains in the atmosphere only 5 - 10 days before being deposited or chemically altered. The fate of atmospheric ammonia is largely a function of global location and weather conditions. If ammonia is introduced into a pristine water system (neutral pH or slightly less), it is readily converted to nitrate by nitrification and becomes harmless to aquatic life (NRC, 1979). (For more information, refer to nitrification in the nitrate-nitrite section.)

Ammonia often serves as the primary or secondary source of nitrogen for plant life. While some plants prefer ammonia to other forms of nitrogen, other plants prefer nitrate but can assimilate gaseous ammonia if necessary (NRC, 1979).
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Old 11-08-2012, 19:16   #34
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Re: LAUNDRY

Here is a rough calculation.

H20 55.5 mol/kilogram
Ammonia 58.7 mol/kilogram

0.01ppm NH3 in H20 is approximately 1 part NH3 for every 100 million parts H20...

I guess to truly understand the gravity of your actions, pouring ammonia-water into the saltchuck, we would need to do a calculation to determine how quickly the ammonia mixes with the surrounding water.

If the mixing was near-instantaneous, it may be safe for nearby fishes and whatnot.

Since I'm no chemist, I won't attempt a thorough calculation regarding how fast it disperses. But I will do something illustrative.

Let's say you have a huge fish tank, something that displaces as much as a Amel Supermaramu 16,000 kg. Or ~16000L.

Now how much ammonia do we need to pour into it to kill the fish? Let's go for a nuclear holocaust type concentration. If 0.01ppm kills fish, 1 ppm will kill them instantly, right?

So, how much household ammonia will it take to kill all the fish in your supermaramu-sized fish tank instantly?

0.000001*16000*(100/5)= 0.32 L

Honestly, I don't know how dangerous it is, which is reason enough for me not to use it. If I don't know full well that my act is responsible, that is reason enough not to act at all.
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Old 11-08-2012, 19:24   #35
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Re: LAUNDRY

How much ammonia would be left active after being sloshed about a week's load of cruiser's undies, shorts and hawaiian shirts?

Doesn't worry me, I'm too busy sucking the corner of my delicious coconut flavoured towel. Hmmmm, I wonder if there's a way to infuse rum and pineapple flavours in the soap....a new cruising business-idea opens up!
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:29   #36
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Re: Laundry

rebel heart--you do not need to use ammonia on a boat. laundry soap does just fine in sea water--btdt. also--while under way you are going to have your wife not only take care of kid, be pregnant, and deliver a baby--you also want her to WASH LAUNDRY???? with AMMONIA!?? i believe you will learn meanng of word mutiny as well as having a very sick wife on board. are you ready to handle the boat and a sick wife and kid midpassage???? the fumes of the ammonia will not be pleasant for wife nor anyone else on board.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:40   #37
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I don't expect my wife to sit around doing my laundry. It seriously takes maybe twenty minutes a day to stay up on it all and I really don't mind doing it.

It's the same as working around bleach, diesel, or gasoline. The few whiffs you pick up here and there are irrelevant despite the noxious smell. Carbon monoxide is substantially more deadly and results in way more fatalities every year than ammonia ever will, but you can't smell it so low level exposure really isn't given too much thought. But smell some ammonia and you'll think you've burned a hole in your lungs.

The actual risks associated with household ammonia used in a ventilated area irrelevant. I have a better chance of injuring myself with 220 sand paper.

Additionally, the smell is gone once the clothes dry. Ammonia and fresh water, if you want to be very frugal, doesn't even require a rinse cycle. Unlike soap which need to be rinsed from clothes, ammonia gasses off completely.

- No trace smell.
- Extremely effective.
- Harmless to the environment in household quantities and concentrations.
- Cheap as dirt.
- You can get away with no rinse, or very little rinse.
- No residue.

I don't use the stuff because there's something else more effective. If I have enough water I add in sal's suds as well, but if you're tight on fresh water ammonia is the way to go.
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Old 12-08-2012, 11:41   #38
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Re: Laundry

Stay in the tropics and change that T-shirt now and then ;-).

Seriously though, keep you gear simple. The very basic things can be washed in a bucket.

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Old 12-08-2012, 11:52   #39
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Re: Laundry

problem with ammonia is you have to stow it somewhere kids cannot reach it and have the stuff on the boat. laundry soap only causes diarrhea when kiddos get into it--ammonia causes more than that. kids are curious. good luck with that ammonia thing.
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Old 12-08-2012, 12:57   #40
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Laundry is another reason to only sail where it is warm. Sundresses & swimming suits only. I can shower off the salt water & wash my swimsuit at the same time. I hand wash some things if necessary and save full laundry time for when in a marina where I can use washing machines. Laundry when sailing or at anchor takes time away from more important things like snorkeling, exploring, making good snack things to share with friends during cocktail time, starring at the amazing scenery or judging sunsets 🌅 (I'll give that one a 9.5- it has the colors but needs more designs) or finding constellations...or any other activity. Life is too short to worry about laundry. I am all for going sans clothing but would hate to try explaining to the doctor why you need that cream for your bum-mine never sees the sun so would burn immediately!
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Old 12-08-2012, 13:13   #41
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Re: Laundry

Yet another twist on washing. In ther past I've used a bucket with a screw on lid (originally used for babies nappies/diapers) place the clothes in, top up with water,add detergent, tie a rope to the handle, suspend the bucket over the side and attach the line to a rail/cleat, the wave action overnight will agitate/clean the clothes.
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Old 12-08-2012, 13:15   #42
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Re: Laundry

Almost every day, my husband or I get out our two buckets (big plastic ones that used to hold cat litter!) and do a small load. We wash and rinse in fresh water, and use non-toxic detergent (Method from Target) so we don't hurt the fishies when we dump it overboard. If the clothes are dirty, it helps to add a teakettle of hot water (or sun heated water from the solar shower) and some borax.

The drill is to plunge a few times, let sit a while, and plunge again. We've drilled four 1/2 inch holes in our plunger -- agitates better and no splashing!

After rinsing, the clean, hand-wrung clothes (though I'd kill for an old fashioned laundry wringer) go in a canvas bag over my left shoulder, and the bag of pegs over the right, to keep my hands free so I can hold the laundry on the line in strong wind. I use the same bags to collect the clothes and pegs off the lines once it's dry.

This method works fantastically for me -- I do a couple small loads of my clothes and some of the household stuff a week, but my husband is totally a lazy git, so there's a massive pile of his share waiting to be washed at any given point. I found mold growing on one of his T-shirts recently. He'll learn the hard way.
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Old 12-08-2012, 13:15   #43
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Re: Laundry

sailor g--is why the flap n fold laundries are so good .. cheap and easy.. same day service....awesome!
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Old 12-08-2012, 14:41   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag
problem with ammonia is you have to stow it somewhere kids cannot reach it and have the stuff on the boat. laundry soap only causes diarrhea when kiddos get into it--ammonia causes more than that. kids are curious. good luck with that ammonia thing.
Like every boat doesn't have two dozen lethal chemicals on board. Epoxy resins, gasoline, bleach, polysulfide, etc. Hell a lot of boats lug around muriatic acid as well. Trying to make household ammonia out to be some evil industrial chemical is absurd.
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Old 12-08-2012, 15:12   #45
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Re: Laundry

Whilst underway:

1st thing is to start wearing seawater friendly clothing. (Think board shorts & rash guards)

2nd thing is to stop wearing underwear. (I still can't figure out the purpose of underwear. My mom dressed me in them as a kid, but after living in Hawaii as a young adult who was in the water everyday - I stopped wearing em and have never come up with a good reason to go back to wearing em.)

Drop yesterdays boardshorts, rash guard, & bikinis in a 5 gallon bucket with laundry detergent and let soak for an hour. Then rinse. When done daily, unless you've been working on the motor, you'll always be fresh & clean.

Ashore? Whatever you're use to doing.
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