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Old 30-07-2015, 11:32   #1
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Cleaning oil

The other day I was anchored directly downwind of a yacht and then I saw floating past me was what I thought was the contents of the toilet. Then it was more and more and I thought, did they empty their holding tank

Eventually I realised it was actually oil and I'm guessing it was not from the other boat (a small tri)

Now it's all along my water line and on my bridle ropes. I tried a quick clean using a brush on the stern, but it did nothing. I'm sure something along the lines of an engine degreaser might work, but maybe that is better used on the hard. Any suggestions to what I can do out on the water?

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Old 30-07-2015, 11:44   #2
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Re: Cleaning oil

Detergent usually works well on oil. Joy dishsoap etc.
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Old 30-07-2015, 11:55   #3
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Re: Cleaning oil

The common culprit is ships washing out their bunker oil tanks. The slicks can frequently be seen from space. It's illegal, of course.
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Old 30-07-2015, 12:02   #4
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Re: Cleaning oil

As we were sailing nearing one of the French Caribe islands on a cloudy morning, a grey military looking ship was circling around in a large circle. The whole area was covered with oil on the surface, it wasn't just a sheen it was quite a thick layer. Obviously he was dumping something trying to be stealth in the choppy seas. Our boat was a mess afterwards when anchored... had this oily stuff probably 18" or more around the whole hull. WTF?
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Old 30-07-2015, 13:16   #5
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Re: Cleaning oil

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Originally Posted by Cheechako View Post
Detergent usually works well on oil. Joy dishsoap etc.
I'll give the dish soap a try to start with.
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Old 30-07-2015, 13:53   #6
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Re: Cleaning oil

Yup I would use Dish soap or simple green.

If it was a small area, the I resort to Brake Clean. I wouldn't use it on ropes though, I think it might damage them.
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Old 30-07-2015, 15:48   #7
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Re: Cleaning oil

If the simple detergents don't work, I'd try TSP mixed according to the instructions, on the lines. There may be some residual stain, no matter what you use. You can try laundry detergent with brighteners, too. On the hull, I'd try turpentine on a paper towel; it may come right off. Next try, acetone. (Never have tried TSP on the hull, might dull the gloss on the paint.) Recommend using gloves.

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Old 30-07-2015, 23:12   #8
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Re: Cleaning oil

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Originally Posted by Ann T. Cate View Post
If the simple detergents don't work, I'd try TSP mixed according to the instructions, on the lines. There may be some residual stain, no matter what you use. You can try laundry detergent with brighteners, too. On the hull, I'd try turpentine on a paper towel; it may come right off. Next try, acetone. (Never have tried TSP on the hull, might dull the gloss on the paint.) Recommend using gloves.

Ann
What is TSP

I'm getting
Thrift Savings Plan
teaspoon
Trisodium phosphate - perhaps?
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Old 31-07-2015, 00:33   #9
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Re: Cleaning oil

hoppy,

Yes, tri-sodium phosphate, what used to be used to wash [and required rinsing off] walls prior to painting. In Australia, it is called "sugar soap", after its granular form. Iirc, it is extremely alkaline. Harsh, anyway. Here in Oz, it is sold in a liquid form. In the States, it could be found in hardware stores, and sometimes in grocery stores, under the trade name "Spic and Span", again, iirc. (Haven't had a household there for years!)

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Old 31-07-2015, 00:54   #10
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Re: Cleaning oil

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hoppy,

Yes, tri-sodium phosphate, what used to be used to wash [and required rinsing off] walls prior to painting. In Australia, it is called "sugar soap", after its granular form. Iirc, it is extremely alkaline. Harsh, anyway. Here in Oz, it is sold in a liquid form. In the States, it could be found in hardware stores, and sometimes in grocery stores, under the trade name "Spic and Span", again, iirc. (Haven't had a household there for years!)

Ann
Heard of "sugar soap", just a shame I'm in Greece. I put TSP into google translate which gave me τρι-φωσφορικό νάτριο and then searched in pictures in the hope it will bring up recognisable bottles. Google started with chemistry stuff then mostly show pictures of preprocessed meats. I wonder if I can buy the sliced meats and try to clean with the slices

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Old 31-07-2015, 02:15   #11
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Re: Cleaning oil

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..........
(Never have tried TSP on the hull, might dull the gloss on the paint.) Recommend using gloves.

Ann
TSP will certainly take the gloss of single pack paints. I would be very cautious about using it on any gloss paint but maybe OK on some two packs.
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Old 31-07-2015, 02:22   #12
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Re: Cleaning oil

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Yup I would use Dish soap or simple green.

If it was a small area, the I resort to Brake Clean. I wouldn't use it on ropes though, I think it might damage them.
FWIW to the OP, Brake Clean is 100% hydrocarbons; think refined petrol, white spirit, shellite, X55 etc.

My apologies if you already know this stuff
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Old 31-07-2015, 02:30   #13
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Re: Cleaning oil

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FWIW to the OP, Brake Clean is 100% hydrocarbons; think refined petrol, white spirit, shellite, X55 etc.

My apologies if you already know this stuff
If I had some kerosene on board I'd probably give that a go as it was always great for cleaning my motorbike chain and the oil and tar that would end up on the rims
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Old 31-07-2015, 02:36   #14
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Re: Cleaning oil

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If I had some kerosene on board I'd probably give that a go as it was always great for cleaning my motorbike chain and the oil and tar that would end up on the rims
Then try diesel followed with detergent. Diesel is nothing more than oily kero
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Old 31-07-2015, 03:24   #15
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Re: Cleaning oil

Excellent point, Wottie.

Note to hoppy, it may help with advice if you state where you are in the first post. Actually, that meat product was hilarious. If it's cheap, might try it. Little harm done.

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