Join Date: Jul 2000
Thanked 131 Times in 121 Posts
Rep Power: 15
Get yourself several "Bilge Oilsorbers" or 3M Oil-sorbant (West Marine Cat p.321). These are oleophillic (oil will absorb into the polypropylene fiber structure) .... place in bilge for a few days then remove. When most fo the visible oil has been absorbed into the oilsorbers, then take a strong caustic based detergent (- sodium phosphate based, etc.) and pour several quarts into the bilge and let sit, the more the better. Spray the same detergent onto the sides of the bilge at the ''scum-oil'' line - let sit. Wait a few days and respray the sides of the bilge with the same detergent - if you can use a long handled scrub brush to loosen the ''goop'' - all the better. Take a hose and wash everything into the bilge..... there will be enough caustic detergent solution to put all the remaining oil into an emulsion/solution. Continue to blast everything with water. Add more detergent if necessary to prevent "emitting a sheen on the water" when you pump the bilge.... will cost you a heavy fine if you emit ANY oil sheen to the water - VERY IMPORTANT.
If available and cheap to rent etc. ... get a recirculation fuel pump/filter set, fill the filter housing with shredded 3M oil-sorbant sheets (using a full sheet over the exit and before the exit nozzle), **slowly** pump the bilge water overboard, any remaining oil emulsion will be trapped by the polypropylene fiber in the filter housing. Pump slowly so that there is enough contact time of any remaining oil to absorb onto the absorbant material; if there is ANY ''sheen'' from oil on the water .... STOP immediately - but this usually works if and only if you pump real SLOW through the Polypropylene fiber.
Next time ..... use the 3M Oil-sorbant sheets under your engine to catch any drippiing oil.
Hope this helps.