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Minnewaska 04-09-2013 07:10 AM

Go-To boat cleaner
What's everyone's go-to boat cleaner?

Why do you use it? Most effective? Environmentally sensitive? All-purpose?

I've been using Tuf-Enuf for cleaning the gelcoat and canvas. It also works incredibly well on teak too, if you spray it on full strength and scrub lightly with a scotch pad.

I hate the bucket and brush approach to cleaning. I just put it in an industrial spray bottle and walk around with the hose and brush. I rinse, spray a bit, brush and rinse off. Easy.

I've slowly been ditching all other products, like dedicated teak cleaners, de-greasers, etc.

It leaves a slightly waxy feel, which I've always wondered about. No idea if that is good or bad. It is not good on Eisenglass, as it leaves a film. This is what the MSDS says is in it. Anyone know what this stuff does?

Alkycylarysulfonates, alcohol, and inorganic acid neutralizing and chelating agents: 2- Butoxyethanol, CAS # 111-76-2- TLV Units 25ppm

There is a downside. If I don't keep the topsides well rinsed, which is nearly impossible to do, it will take the wax/sealer off.

What do you use?

Beersmith 04-09-2013 08:32 AM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
I've been using Simple Green and have liked it so far

zz4gta 04-09-2013 10:52 AM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
I've been using bleach clean-up. Easy to find but would like something a bit safer to use around running rigging.

We used to use industrial strength Simple Green at an old job I had, that stuff worked great but you can't find the same strength in stores. It's watered down. The concentrated stuff would burn your nose when you smelled it.

kwaltersmi 04-09-2013 10:57 AM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
For all-around, cheap cleaner we've been using L.A's Totally Awesome successfully for about 3 years now. The stuff works great and is available at the dollar store for...wait for it...$1!

kellysails 04-09-2013 11:51 AM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
I use Simple Green generally, works great. If I have a tough nasty spot I use 409. I only use 409 sparingly. Spray 409 on the nasty then let sit for 10-15 minutes, then wash off. Both of these strip boat wax so if you are a boat wax fanatic (not me, I'd rather sail) then you need to find something much lower on the PH spectrum. There are a bunch of car wash solutions that are wax friendly.

I am beginning to think that the Simple Green smell helps keep Otters away. Anecdotal evidence at best. SG does have an interesting oder that you must get used to.

bljones 04-09-2013 12:02 PM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
Mr Clean orange is absolutely great at getting spider crap , soot, and general dirt off the deck. Nothing else is as effective. It's also a great galley cleaner.

kellysails 04-09-2013 12:07 PM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
BTW, this seems a bit silly but I really like the below product. I just fill up the dispenser with Simple Green, set the nozzle position (there is only one useful setting) and spray away. It is cheap, not sure how long it will last, I've used it ~10 times. Obviously, it is not a power washer:)

Tim R. 04-09-2013 12:15 PM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
For exterior gelcoat I use Imar boat soap and a microfiber cloth. It will not strip off the wax.

For canvas I use Woolite. You need to be gentle on Sunbrella. Soft toothbrush on stubborn bird poop. And then re-coat with 303.

For the non-skid I use a green Scotchbrite, Mr. Clean magic erasers and water. I only use Clorox clean-up here if absolutely necessary.

Tempered glass portlights I use Windex and paper towels or newspaper.

Hatches we use microfibers and warm water only.

kellysails 04-09-2013 12:16 PM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
OK, last hint, I can't help myself:) I always coil up my sheets after sailing and wrap them on the rail on the bow. I don't do this to provide the image that I am a "ship shape" type person but I find if the sheets are off the deck far less gunk collects on the deck. Sheets on the deck create little dams that trap dirt and crap.

jrd22 04-09-2013 12:27 PM

Re: Go-To boat cleaner
I second the Imar (per Mainesails rec). Doesn't remove the wax (+) but also doesn't remove the black streaks (-). Since I wax once a year anyway I might switch to one of the recommendations above for the spring cleaning, then wax and use Imar thereafter.

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