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Old 03-02-2015
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Can bleach damage FRP

Hello,

I have recently found and fixed a very annoying drip of sea water into my bilge. (head seawater intake hose with a pin hole). That is the good news. Unfortunately, this seawater has been seeping into the void between my hull and liner for quite a while, ugh. The nastiness that must exist in that space is likely really bad. I was wondering about pouring bleach into the void to kill whatever might be growing in there.

Does bleach damage FRP?

Any other ideas if Bleach is bad, as I suspect? (I have been using vinegar)

(btw, it is not my intent to pump this bleach overboard, I can turn the bilge off and pump it into a bucket for disposal elsewhere)
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Old 03-02-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

Not terribly bad on FRP, but it will corrode metals (eg. keelbolts). You can dilute it out and it will still kill mold/fungus, but I'd limit the extent you expose anything metal to bleach solutions to as little time as possible.
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Old 03-02-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysails View Post
Hello,

I have recently found and fixed a very annoying drip of sea water into my bilge. (head seawater intake hose with a pin hole). That is the good news. Unfortunately, this seawater has been seeping into the void between my hull and liner for quite a while, ugh. The nastiness that must exist in that space is likely really bad. I was wondering about pouring bleach into the void to kill whatever might be growing in there.

Does bleach damage FRP?

Any other ideas if Bleach is bad, as I suspect? (I have been using vinegar)

(btw, it is not my intent to pump this bleach overboard, I can turn the bilge off and pump it into a bucket for disposal elsewhere)
Once you've eliminated the source of water, whatever's growing in there will die with or without bleach. That said, if you want to bleach it, it won't do any harm. Clorox or equivalent diluted 20:1 is the ticket. You can even let it run into your bilge and pump it overboard without ill effect to the environment, just make sure you run a bunch of freshwater into the bilge to flush it all out.
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Old 03-02-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

Apparently, since I started the resolution to this issue with Vinegar I may just kill everyone if I start using Bleach now! This would be my very own WMD inside my boat

I am glad I did a bit of Googling on the chemistry yikes!

Why You Shouldn't Mix Bleach and Vinegar
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Old 03-02-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

Vinegar will ultimately just provide more food for microbes, as it is organic in nature. I would just use bleach.
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Old 03-02-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

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Originally Posted by krisscross View Post
Vinegar will ultimately just provide more food for microbes, as it is organic in nature. I would just use bleach.
Thanks for the info. I will just let it dry out over the next few weeks and then try diluted bleach.
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Old 03-02-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

It's not advisable to leave any stainless steel in contact with bleach for extended times. It's OK to use bleach for cleaning SS, but it needs to be rinsed off.
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

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Originally Posted by k7el View Post
It's not advisable to leave any stainless steel in contact with bleach for extended times. It's OK to use bleach for cleaning SS, but it needs to be rinsed off.
Thanks! I am going to go the bleach route. I do have easy access to my keel bolts to rinse them off so it should not be a problem.
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Old 03-03-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

No problem. Use bleach and then simply replace the keelboats. Sheesh! Crevice crack corrosion in stainless steel is caused by the chloride ion. Seawater is bad. Bleach is worse. Muriatic acid is terrible.

Whoever above said vinegar was microbe food has got it wrong. Vinegar would be the best thing to use. Harmless to stainless as there are no chloride ions. Vinegar kills all the smell forming biology very effectively. Stronger the better.

Not sure if bleach affects FRP. Probably not as most FRP is polyester and quite immune to all household cleaners.
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Last edited by aloof; 03-03-2015 at 02:55 AM.
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Old 03-03-2015
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Re: Can bleach damage FRP

Long term and warm to hot Clorox (Sodium Hypochlorite) will begin to damage the polyester component of FRG; but, well beyond what a consumer with a bottle of laundry bleach can do.

Dilute Acetic Acid (vinegar) will kill/stun many microorganisms .... leaving the 'dead bodies' for successive species to use as their nutrient source. Go to any peat bog or rain forest and measure the acidic content of the soil, etc. where such microorganisms thrive - high acid content! Ditto, for many industrial fermentation processes where the acidity is kept high. Sodium HypoChlorite will begin to readily attack stainless steel or plain steels ... chloride ions.
However, there is an analogue form of Acetic Acid (perAcetic acid) when mixed with high potency Hydrogen Peroxide will kill 'everything' (including human tissue) leaving the surface almost completely sterile.

Strong caustics are preferred for cleaning microorganisms as such dissolves/liquifies the cells - TSP, Sodium Silicate based detergents, LYE soap, etc., etc. The reason caustics are better is that they dissolve 'down through' the sometimes thick bacterial colonies (calcyx slimes); acids, etc. only kill stun the surface and dont penetrate through the 'built-up' slime for a 'total kill' leaving viable organisms below the surface to reinfect.
When cleaning with caustics, after you scrub and rinse, if you reapply (wipe on or spray) the caustic and let it dry; any fungal (mildew, etc.) spores that then comes in contact with the surface will be inactivated - such would be the modern equivalent of 'white washing'.
Dont use caustics on non-epoxy paint, oil finishes nor varnish.
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Last edited by RichH; 03-03-2015 at 08:37 AM.
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