OIL & FUEL
Keep a bag of rags on board to clean up any oil and fuel spills that occur because small amounts of oil or fuel can contaminate large amounts of water. If you are doing an oil and filter change, ensure that the used filter and oil is disposed of at a dedicated disposal site. Never pour used oil down the drain as it will contaminate underground water.
WAX & WASH
A good wax coating on your fibreglass boat will ensure that there is a reduced buildup of dirt and this will reduce the need for washing with stronger detergents. Try and limit dockside cleaning if the boat is trailered to limit the amount of chemicals getting into the water. Use non-toxic cleaners that don’t contain phosphates and other chemicals that are harmful to the aquatic environment.
To get rid of those irritating fibreglass stains, mix baking soda and water into a paste and rub gently into the stain. For a final wipe, use lemon juice for a great shine and a fresh finish.
Use a mix of lemon juice, vinegar and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray onto the windows and mirrors and wipe down with newspaper.
Apple cider vinegar on a soft cloth does wonders for cleaning chrome. Once clean, a fresh cloth with a dab of baby oil will restore its bright shine. To clean brass, a solution of vinegar, salt and Worcestershire sauce can be used and to clean copper, make a mixture of lemon and salt to bring out the shine. Use undiluted white vinegar to clean stainless steel and a solution of cream of tartar and water to clean aluminium.
Interior woods can be revitalized with good quality olive oil or even almond oil.
NON-TOXIC CLEANING ALTERNATIVES
• Borax replaces bleach.
• Baking soda, lemon and borax replaces scouring powders and general cleaners.
• Vinegar in water replaces chemical floor cleaners and window cleaners.
• Vinegar and warm water replaces chemical based window cleaners.
• A paste of equal amounts of lemon juice or vinegar and salt replaces chemical based mildew remover.
• Baking soda and a brush replaces chemicals usually used to clean the head and shower.
• Dry corn starch sprinkled on carpets and upholstery and vacuumed replaces chemical upholstery cleaners.
5 TOP CLEANING TIPS
• Choose the right cleaning equipment such as a power washer over a hose. You’ll save a lot of time and effort, but always be water wise!
• Always use fresh water from the tap and not sea water when cleaning the boat. Sea water will leave a residue and begin oxidation on the surface.
• Concentrate on cleaning small portions of the boat at a time to get them thoroughly clean rather than large portions partially clean.
• Once or twice a year, get a professional boat cleaning service to deep clean your boat.
• Clean your boat regularly with the least chemicals and hazardous materials to help preserve the boat and the environment.