Cleaning, Treating, Sanitizing, Corrosion, Mold & Odor Control [Updated Apr-2019]

  ➛ ➛ From our list of Stuff we have and use [and do...] in the right sidebar ➛ ➛   

Following are the products we keep onboard. The selection comes from years of reading hints from others as well as buying just about everything available at one time or another. 

We have reduced our inventory to the following few products that seem to work the best for us [and are economic, low toxicity and volatility (where possible), and readily available...]

We carry concentrates when available and cost-effective. [e.g., 1 Gallon of bleach concentrate makes up to 100 gallons of household bleach when diluted with water, but is very caustic if spilled... Likewise for vinegar and others as noted, below.]

A wise precaution is to read and download [you may not have internet access when you need the information...] all the Safety Data Sheets [SDS] about each product you keep onboard. It is useful when questions about the product arise, and in case there is an accident. 

What are your favorite products? Please also leave a comment if you have used what we list below and have found something better, or have suggested additions.

––– Last Updated 17-Apr-2019 [by Bill] –––

Odor Control/ Removal

Cleaning/ Degreasing/ Stain Removal

  • Super Clean [The best we have found so far for easily removing diesel exhaust stains (soot) from the hull... A great degreaser (think BBQ...) and nonskid cleaner; avoid breathing overspray... (consequently we mainly use outdoors)]
  • Krud Kutter is the best water based cleaner/degreaser we have found [no volatile fumes from solvents- but is still smells a little funky to us... ] 
  • Oil Eater [The absolute best stuff for cleaning up oil spills on the boat, and cheap!]
  • Dawn liquid dish detergent [We wish they had an unscented version...]
  • White Vinegar [Grocery store vinegar is 3% acetic acid. You can buy concentrated versions...] to reduce storage requirements by making your own batches of 3% by adding water. e.g., 30% Vinegaradd 1 part to 10 parts water for a 3% solution for general cleaning and cooking.]
  • Concentrated bleach [Not the grocery store variety... 1 gallon can dilute to make 100 gallons of grocery store bleach.... good for cleaning stubborn deck stains, mold and mildew on non-fabrics, etc. Very caustic!]
  • Stains on fiberglass:
    • SoftScrub
    • Ospho [also in Corrosion Prevention/Removal section, below]
  • Baking Soda
  • Starbrite Rust and Stain Remover [Safely and easily removes rust stains from our AwlGrip painted hull and deck]

  • White vinegar [See concentrated vinegar info under Cleaning/Degreasing, above]
  • Neutra Sul HP41N Professional Grade Oxidizer [shelf stable 7% hydrogen peroxide] 
    • For treating previously treated potable water for hydrogen sulfide odors and iron contamination.
    • Also removes vestiges of bleach after sanitizing with bleach. 
    • Manufacturer information
  • Bleach [We carry a concentrate that makes 50-100+ gallons from 1 gallon...]
    • 1 tsp of 5.25% sodium hypochlorite [unscented household bleach] in 50 gallons of water yields ~ 2ppm [the minimum concentration for sanitizing...]
    • We use up to 6ppm in potable water for sanitizing water ,tanks, and plumbing.
    • Practical Sailor article with detailed instructions for sanitizing water systems.
  • Sporicidin [Removes mold, stains, and odors; bacteriostatic for 6 months. Used in hospitals. Available in concentrate. Look for unscented.]


  • Oxyclean [unscented; with your detergent of choice- also add borax or Calgon [above] for strong odor removal] 
    • Also good for other cleaning chores- including sails...
    • Add 1/2 tsp to composting toilet urine jug to eliminate odors and scale
  • Detergent of choice [we use HE non-scented detergent with our front-loading washer]
  • White Vinegar [see info above about concentrate; dilute to use against certain odors]
  • Ammonia [Great in super greasy loads...]
  • Pre-stain treatment: Shout and/or Resolve Stick [Oxyclean also makes a pre-stain treatment, but we cannot stand the perfume odor- which doesn't go away after washing...]

Toilets, Shower Sumps and Sink Drains 
  • Raritan CP [Bio-enzymatic cleaner; shop around as pricing varies]
    • Keeps the shower sump and sink drains crud free too...

Holding Tanks
  • Marine Digest It  Enzyme [Excellent for dissolving scum, clogs, liquifying contents, and eliminating odors. Use regularly per instructions. 1 bottle lasts us 6+ months. Safe for pets.]


Mold and Mildew Control

Corrosion Prevention/Removal
  • Rust Prevention:
  • Rust removal: 
  • Loostening frozen fasteners:  PB Blaster
    • e.g., loostening stainless steel bolts stuck in aluminum; rusty engine bolts, etc.
  • Corrosion and seizing prevention: 
    • Lanocote
      • e.g., electrical connections; rigging turnbuckle threads; SS fastener threads, etc.
    • Tef-Gel
      • e.g., SS Fasteners- especially SS used with aluminum


  1. Just cruising around on your site and found this post. My Galapagos wish list on Amazon is now several items longer! Thanks for this!

    1. Re-reading through the list, I see that Tea Tree Oil is not on it yet. We used the Kanberra wipes, and jars, it works great, but kind of expensive. I'm going to experiment with a bottle of oil, and mix it with with vinegar in a spray bottle, or maybe make my own wipes. Stay tuned.


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