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Are there company's out there that will come and thoroughly clean out ones bilge? On this new boat the bilge is very dirty with oil in it. I have vacuumed it out several times and used some of that oil eater spray stuff but I think that all the lines and hoses that are in there are caked and as soon as some water gets in there it is coated with oil. I am sure nothing is leaking. Its a pretty dry boat so I did not have to use the bilge pump this year. I just vacuum it out when it gets a tad full. I just want to get this thing clean once and for all but short of replacing all the hose or somehow cleaning them I dont see a way to get it completely clean.
 

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Master Mariner
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8,767 Posts
Rent a steam cleaner for a day. That should do it.
 

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I wonder if one of those late-nite-TV steamers would work for a 'one-off' trial? Cheap. small ad 'disposable' if it doesn;t work out/fouls.
????
 

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I would use some soap in addition to rinsing it out, get your hands dirty and work the soap into all the cracks and crevices and around the hoses. A few repeat applications should help eradicate the oil.....
 

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Sea Sprite 23 #110 (20)
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could be worse.. the bilges in my boat have been untouched in 50 years.. the gunk down there is busy forming granite
 

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Senior Smart Aleck
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Simple Green and paper towels worked well for mine. Take a water hose down there after you have removed all petroleum residue and fill the bilge with water and dish detergent. Rinse with fresh water.

After you clean it, you can confirm that there are no current oil leaks.
 

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I'm not too particular about getting my bilge spotless, so it is not. On one occasion I used some rags and a de-greaser type cleaner to spiff it up a bit, and that's been good enough for me. I don't think you need a spotless bilge to determine if new oil is leaking in. You will be able to tell.
 

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Old as Dirt!
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3,487 Posts
A product by the name of Greased Lightening is very effective at removing accumulated grease and oil. If you have difficulty disbursing the material, mix it with some hot water in a small hand pressurized garden sprayer which works well. Allow the material to sit for awhile and rinse with hot fresh water similarly applied. Several applications may be necessary. A shop vac with an oil absorbent pad in the cannister will allow you to suction out the water/oil and dispose of the oil residue. Once you've got things reasonably cleaned up, pick up a couple of gallons of lemon juice concentrate at a wholesale food outlet (say Smart'n Final) and mix that 50/50 with warm water and disburse through the bilge with your garden sprayer. It will clean up any residue remaining and eliminate any smells. Lastly, periodically add a little enzyme based bilge cleaner to your bilge sump. You, and your bilge pump(s) will be glad you did.
 
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