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Bleach when cleaning boat

Old 07-16-2014, 08:47 AM
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Default Bleach when cleaning boat

Do you guys use bleach when cleaning your fiberglass boats? I've always used some dishwashing liquid and a 1/2 a cup to a cup of bleach mixed up in about a 3 gallon bucket. I bought a new to me 2008 hull about 3 months ago, and my smooth glass is smooth and shiny, but my non skid looks to be a hair dull. I've washed all my previous glass boats with the same soap/bleach mixture and have always had one of the cleanest but fished hard rigs around. Do any of you guys not recommend using bleach for any reason? I'm always careful not to get it on my vinyl. I tried a boat soap once, but it didn't get my boat nearly as white after a day of fishing. Thanks for any feedback.
Old 07-16-2014, 08:52 AM
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6 oz of simple green and 3 oz of bleach in 3 gallons of warm water = clean and great smelling boat from the bilge to the hardtop.
Old 07-16-2014, 09:14 AM
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I'm surprised that Clorox and Simple Green don't have a "marine" version...same products, just a different label, at 4x the price. Seems to be a common business model.
Old 07-16-2014, 09:20 AM
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I use Simple Green (Yellow Lemon Scent) and Clorox for the deck and start swabbing. I pour a little bit in the bilge on my way back to the dock which makes the bilge clean...
Old 07-16-2014, 09:30 AM
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soft scrub paste formula with bleach straight on the deck, makes cleaning up after a long dolphin day so easy you wouldn't believe it.. then follow that up with a quick scrub with a car wash that has a wax in it so you maintain your shine. I also go through once a month with a small bottle of on and off with an old spray nozzle and spot clean any rust or residue. My 2000 looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor!
Old 07-16-2014, 09:39 AM
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I use the Comet with Bleach liquid/gel just kinda squirt it on the deck, scrub good with a brush on a broomstick, then hit it with the washdown. Works pretty well but bleached the crap outta one of my favorite pairs of shorts...they're now my "boating shorts" and I wear 'em every day out.
Old 07-16-2014, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Liveactionfishing View Post
soft scrub paste formula with bleach straight on the deck, makes cleaning up after a long dolphin day so easy you wouldn't believe it.. then follow that up with a quick scrub with a car wash that has a wax in it so you maintain your shine. I also go through once a month with a small bottle of on and off with an old spray nozzle and spot clean any rust or residue. My 2000 looks like it just rolled off the showroom floor!
Soft scrub is an Abrisive, just like any compound, so your compounding you Fiberglas without waxing it, Ouch !

Any cleaner that cuts oil and grease, effects the gel coat.

Wash down as you fish and wash with Car / boat soap when back at the dock.
Old 07-16-2014, 09:42 AM
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dish detergent strips all your wax/protective coating off.

As said, soft scrub is an abrasive. It may even warn against using it on fiberglass. I wouldn't use that. Think of it as pumice in liquid.

Use non-skid deck surface cleaner for the same, and boat soap or car soap with wax for the hull!
Old 07-16-2014, 09:51 AM
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I use Starbrite non-skid deck cleaner with ptfe. It works well. Sometimes, I will use the soft scrub on localized tough stains,
Old 07-16-2014, 09:52 AM
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That's why it works so well, gets in all the crevaces of your not skid, and I always follow up with a car wash containing wax...
Old 07-16-2014, 10:08 AM
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never use bleach unless you are spot cleaning something. except you can use it in your freshwater tank.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:21 AM
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96 Parker. Started washing when new with Boat soap, various brands ,fair results , I was younger and in my prime and anal about washing my boat after every trip and would wash it with great detail,so much so I could have used my spit and a soft brush and good rinse with as good results.
After about eight or ten years I started adding bleach to my soap with great results, still was particular about washing after every trip but it became a must do CHORE that wasn't much fun. Your not supposed to mix bleach with detergents and I knew that but would do it anyway because it worked so well. The gas It created I think made me sick on several occasions looking back in hind site. Be CAREFULL what you mix it with, it didn't help that I used a couple cups in about four gallons water and soap, that's a lot.
Then I started using Bleach and Simple green, great results.
Then Dawn and Bleach,great results. With all the bleach mixes I think the bleach is diff what made it work.
I did start noticing that it seems the Bleach mixture removes all wax and will leave shiny gelcoat very dull after it removes the wax. Then it needs to be polished and waxed to bring back the shine, and kind of defeats the purpose of using bleach for an easy clean.
Not long ago I let my boat get in terrible shape,had mildue problem and interior left uncovered all winter while I had other things in the fry pan. I then did a good detail job with Bleach,got it absolutely spotless and then compounded and waxed it with Collinite paste wax , everything inside I could clean and wax I did. Woody waxed the deck.
I am going back to just Boat Soap, NO BLEACH after all that work waxing and will try to stay on top of it better.
Also I've heard that bleach is bad on metals and I've noticed that my SS Cleats and fasteners are getting a rust film in the crevices, I think it's from the bleach.
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Old 07-16-2014, 10:22 AM
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Timely post, recently I had a good opportunity to test out some cleaners. I had two good days of fishing without exercising the discipline to rinse the deck down before the blood and slime dried out. Here is what I tested:

First tried the West marine version of Starbrite with PTFE...It did very little to the blood stains and dried Menhaden slime.

Second tried bar keepers friend (non skid only) it did seem to lighten the general darkness a bit, but again far from clean.

Third I tried Dishwashing soap with bleach. It cleaned the deck much much better than the others I'd say 80% clean. But there were still some spots.

Fourth I went back to some of the spots with Barkeeper's friend in a more concentrated fashion...making a bit of a paste, letting it sit a bit then scrubbing....still did not remove some of the spots.

Fifth I declared it to be clean enough and went on wit my life.

I have used On/Off on those really tough blood stains in the past and I know it would have removed them, I really like to avoid using it though as it removes wax everywhere it touches including the exterior as it leaves the scuppers.

I seriously think there are two different groups of advice you get here. For the boaters who have newer boats I think the gel coat/wax is slick enough that the blood must not stick as well...for those boaters things like orpine soap work....for my 1996 Parker it takes some serious cleaner to get it looking clean.
Old 07-16-2014, 10:35 AM
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Jhendric, that's so funny we must have been typing at the same time about cleaning the same boat and both came out with the same results. You must be a really smart fella like me.
I think you absolutely right about the older boats gelcoat. Keeping a good coat of wax on it is imperative and crud doesn't stick so well and makes it come off fairly easy with just boat soap.
Old 07-16-2014, 10:55 AM
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Timely post as I'm heading down Monday and need to do a bunch of deep cleaning after 4-5 months of light use but heavy grime from tech's doing a fair amount of work in bilge and on helm - keep the advice coming.
Old 07-16-2014, 10:56 AM
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Ha..too funny...
Old 07-16-2014, 11:44 AM
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I've found FSR (fiberglass stain remover) works really well to restore color (kinda like on and off but I believe better for the boat...could be wrong). It comes in a blue gel and is at West Marine. Whenever I use it, I come behind with proper wax to restore the protective coating.
Old 07-16-2014, 11:57 AM
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Dish soap and bleach are a no-no around my boat, unless it is pre-season and I'm stripping wax. A good waxed hull will not require anything more than fresh water and a wash mitt on most cases after a fishing trip. Watch the Pro's in Ocean City, MD clean their huge battle wagons, and they'll only use water to avoid stripping wax. However, I've had good success this year using Smoove Boat soap. Great lasting suds without stripping my Collinte wax job. For blood or slime in the cockpit and on non-skid, Mary Kate Cleaning detail is the best cleaner around. I agree, Starbrite and Bar Keepers don't take out the tough stains. Avoid cleanser and Soft Scrub at all cost if possible, as it is very abrasive.
Old 07-16-2014, 01:31 PM
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That seems like a lot of work. I pull up to the dock wash is down the deck and console with dishsoap and water and have it pulled out of the water. The boatel washes the scum line off the boat and flushes the motor. The deck is always dirty from the grease that comes off the forklift so I stopped sweatting it a few years ago. It fishies the same either way. If I kept the boat at home I would spend more time cleaning the boat.
Old 07-16-2014, 01:36 PM
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Its Ammonia and Bleach you don't want to mix. They react with each other and produce Chlorine Gas... not so bad outdoors but can take your breath away and even kill you in a non ventilated area. So check those ingredients.

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