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TerryS

Cleaning the Bilge

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The Beta Marine diesel in my launch is 2 years old, and shows no signs of any leaks whatsoever, but it's amazing what a few ounces of diesel fuel will do to mess up a tidy bilge.

In the old days, we poured some Automatic Bilge cleaner into the bilge, and after a while, the boat's motion,coupled with the detergent, did a pretty good job. All we had to do was pump the bilge.

Is there an environmentally friendly product now available, and if so, how do you use it, then get it out of the bilge?

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Starbrite Sea Safe Bilge Cleaner is a Biodegradable Starbrite Sea Safe Bilge Cleaner dissolves oil, grease, sludge, and fuel, leaving bilges smelling fresh and clean. Simply pour it in the bilge, add water if necessary, run the boat for an hour, and drain. Also helps to eliminate the build-up of explosive fumes.

Starbrite's new line of Sea Safe cleaners are powerful, economical, completely biodegradable, and Earth-friendly cleaners. These green products also feature biodegradable (when properly disposed of) bottles.
 
I would not recommend pumping this over the side, use StarBrite Bilge Pads are an easy and effective way to absorb oil and fuel from a boat's bilge to remove what's left.

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There are an array of so-called “bilge cleaners†available at your local marine hardware store, all of which guarantee to turn your bilge into a clean and fresh-smelling flower garden. Since oil and grease don’t mix with water, most of these bilge cleaners are designed to emulsify oil and water into one homogeneous liquid that can be pumped out. They include a detergent to loosen grime and dirt from the bilge surfaces at the same time, and usually an aromatic to make you think you’re in the mountains.

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The most important reasons to keep your bilge clean are:

To prevent growth of bacteria

Eliminate foul odors

Prevent rust and corrosion of equipment that lies in the bilge

 

You can get bilge cleaner in most marine hardware stores, however, it can be expensive. Liquid Tide is less expensive and does as good a job. Containing no phosphorus, being biodegradable, cutting grease and dirt and having a clean smell make it a good choice. However, if you are going to be using a large amount of cleanser.

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I have used Simpke Green before. Our boat is in our driveway and not the water.

I spray the bilge with water, pour in some SG and let time pass before I start scrubing with a no scratch dish pad.

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