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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 05-27-2014
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Unhappy Deck stains

What do you use to remove stains on your deck from mold/algae? We tried boat soap/deck cleaner, scrubbed with a hard brush, but it just doesn't want to come clean. It is on a 'non skid' deck. Should I use bleach, or go with something like mildew stain remover, obviously I don't want to do anything to hurt the fiberglass deck. It is an old boat, '78'. ?????? Thanks.
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Old 05-27-2014
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Re: Deck stains

I'm interested in seeing other replies, but what I use based on seeing/asking what dock neighbors do is mix up a water/bleach mixture in a spray bottle. That works very well. We get normal bird droppings, but also in the middle of the summer we get these crazy spiders in the western lake erie area, and they have their own droppings, and if they get squished, they stain the deck green. Their abdomens get about the size of a grape. Nasty beasties.
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Old 05-27-2014
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Re: Deck stains

I just posted information on a new cleaner product that I found at Dollar General Store, Totally Awesome Cleaner. $1 for a 20 ounce spray bottle and it will clean just about everything. I was even able to clean the nasty bow mustache stain from my boat which was from the tanic acid of the ICW in NC. That stuff is almost impossible to remove, but this cleaner removed it in seconds.

Gary
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Old 05-27-2014
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Re: Deck stains

With your location being in So.Md, the probability is high that what you see is 'artillery fungus' - a tree bark fungus that grows on virtually 'everything' along the US East Coast. Thrives during cool wet weather.

Second probability is that your gelcoat has become porous and this fungus is now growing fairly deep into the porosity ... not a big deal.
Consider waxing your non-skid with such as non-slip 'Woody Wax' especially made to 'seal' non-skid.


Strong 'caustics' will easily dissolve such funguses. Sodium Silicate based high strength detergents (eg. "Roll-Off" available at WM) usually work best. Spritz on, then cover with plastic film so that you get sufficient 'soak time' without drying out. An hour soak is usually best. Then scrub and rinse thoroughly. Dont apply Roll-off, etc. to bare teak, unless you also want to extract the dead UV burned surface layers.
Then ...... to remove any 'shadows' left over from the caustic extraction: get oxalic acid (wood bleach) at a WM or Lowes, mix to full strength and wipe on. Oxalic will also remove tannin and iron staining from gelcoat.

;-)
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Old 05-28-2014
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Re: Deck stains

Why not try Soft Scrub with bleach cleanser first and see how that works. We have found that it cleans most every stain in our nonskid. Then seal with Aurora's Sure Step wax.

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Re: Deck stains

We use any bleach based bathroom tub and tile cleaner and a bristle scrub brush on a pole. It makes easy work of it.

However, it makes a mess of the wax on the topside as it runs off, so we do that last.
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Re: Deck stains

power washer will do it and you don't even have to use any cleaners. I did my boat a couple of weeks ago and was amazed at the results. My boat is the cleanest is has been since I bought it. I loaned the washer to 2 of my marina neighbors and they couldn't thank me enough.

I bought a cheapie $99 electric model and it is the best $99 I have ever spent. If you use a gas model, be extra careful as they may have too much power.

My wife is ecstatic at how our boat looks! I even cleaned our nasty looking lifeline pads (moldy - algae) and they almost look new.
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Old 05-28-2014
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Re: Deck stains

Quote:
Originally Posted by AirborneSF View Post
What do you use to remove stains on your deck from mold/algae? We tried boat soap/deck cleaner, scrubbed with a hard brush, but it just doesn't want to come clean. It is on a 'non skid' deck. Should I use bleach, or go with something like mildew stain remover, obviously I don't want to do anything to hurt the fiberglass deck. It is an old boat, '78'. ?????? Thanks.
If what you are seeing is mold, a wash-down and soak with household bleach should cure the problem. Lay Some old rags, T-shirts or what have you that you can discard over the affected areas and douse them with bleach and allow them to sit for several hours. If there is mold that will clear it up (BTDT) after which a wash down and a wax with none skid wax will limit the problem in the future. If the problem remains, however, given the age of your boat, what you might be seeing is areas where the gel-coat has worn away, exposing the underlying glass. An examination with a magnifying glass might confirm that. If so, re-coating with gel-coat or painting with an epoxy based paint may be your only fix.

Good luck....
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Re: Deck stains

Why use bleach or any kind of cleaner when a power washer will do even better.
Now if the gelcoat is worn away, that's a whole different problem that will only be corrected by paint or re-gelcoating as svHyLyte suggested.

A friend has a couple of white, plastic lawn chairs that had become dingy gray. She tried several heavy duty cleaners as well as bleach to clean & whiten them up. Nothing worked. They were clean, but still very gray looking. A couple of minutes with my washer and they were as white as the day she bought them.

Like I said, the best $99 I ever spent.
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Re: Deck stains

Back to the power washer....I don't advocate the regular use of one, just once or twice a year for the heavy duty cleaning. In between, just use any decent boat wash that won't wash away your hull wax.
After doing your deck with a power washer, I suggest using Woody wax, especially on the non skid. It will make regular cleaning easier. Just follow directions and go light. Too much is not a good thing and will make your deck very slippery.
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