In recent years, yacht sales have increased, but many of these new sales are large boats – large enough that cleaning will have to take place in the slip. Many popular cleaning products contain chlorine, phosphates, and ammonia – all of which can be problematic in the marine environment. Also, degreasers can remove natural oils from fish – which decreases the ability for their gills to extract oxygen from the water.
So how do we clean our boat while still in the slip?
– First, IF you can remove the vessel from the water – do so. Also, while cleaning in the yard, try to capture all rinsed products so that they do not enter local waterways.
– Use environmentally friendly cleaning products. Baking soda, vinegar, and lemon juice can all be used to clean. There are also commercial biodegradable cleaning products you can purchase.
Here are some suggestions for cleaning and protecting our waterways
– Replace detergents with old fashion elbow grease. If you clean frequently this is much easier.
– Replace bleach with hydrogen peroxide.
– Replace scouring powders with baking soda or salt.
– Replace floor cleaners with 1-cup vinegar in 2 gallons of water
– Replace window cleaners with 1-cup of vinegar in 1-quart of warm water, rinse and squeegee
– Replace varnish cleaner with 0.5-cup of vinegar and 0.5-cup of water.
– Replace head cleaner with baking soda and brush.
– Replace shower cleaner with baking soda and rub with a cloth.
– Replace aluminum cleaner with 2-tablespoons cream of tartar in 1-quart of hot water
– Replace chrome cleaners with apple cider vinegar to clean, and baby oil to polish
– Replace fiberglass stain removers with baking soda paste
– Replace mildew remover with a paste using equal parts of lemon juice and salt.
– Replace wood polish with 3 parts olive oil and 1 part white vinegar. Interior unvarnished wood choose almond or olive oil.
Making these simple changes can help keep our waterways and fisheries in a healthier state.
Information provided by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection.