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Old 05-24-2013
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Re: Mildew

I like to think that as a tester and a chemist I'm open minded. In fact, I have some side-by-side tests running now for Practical Sailor.

* Vingar. Yes, I have a spray bottle on-board and it's usful stuff. You can read lots on-line. On a personal note I hate the smell of vingar and all perfumy products as well. I prefer no odor. But that said, vingar is an excelent weak acid cleaner that folks are comfortable with.
* Other traditional remidies include washing soda, baking soda, TSP, and borax; use these diluted in formulations I have listed in the attached link. Like vingar, they are rely on leaving a residue that prevents future growth in part by modifying the pH of the surface. There are other mechanisims too. Some of these apear to be very long lasting, as there is nothing to evaporate (acetic acid will dry in time).
Sail Delmarva: Borax: Stopping Mildew and Rot on the Cheap... and How the EPA Can Make Everything Complicated
The trick with vingar and these formulation is to dilute properly (more is NOT better) and leave a residue.
* There are many quatrenary amine products on the market. Most work, are relativly non-toxic, but don't seem to prevent return very well.
* We're testing some water-proof formulations for use on-deck. Gold Shied is one that I would love to hear feedback on.
* Surprisingly, most have learned that bleach is not too useful. It kills (if enough is used to bleach and damage fabrics) but doesn't prevent return (active ingredient quickly disipates). More irritating than actually "toxic" in the long-term sense, I still have little use for it inside. May help remove stains after the other cleaners have done their work. May not.
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