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-Sep-2018 [by Bill] –––
Odor Control/ Removal
- PureAyre Marine Enzyme works great for eliminating odors including head, gasoline and diesel
- Medi-Aire Biological Odor Eliminator [Eliminates any odors of biological origin e.g., urine, vomit, smoke, etc.]
- Manufacturer's Info
- We prefer the unscented version.
- Pricing varies; Shop carefully.
- Borax or Calgon Water Softener for removing diesel fuel odors - works on clothes too
- White Vinegar [See Cleaning/Degreasing, below, for concentrate for diluting]
- Baking Soda
- 51 uses for baking soda [and there are many more...]
- The New Getting Rid of Boat Odors [By Peggy Hall. Highly recommended]
Cleaning/ Degreasing/ Stain Removal
- 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... ]
- Manufacturer's Info [There are many specific types of Krud Kutter]
- 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% Vinegar; add 1 part to 10 parts water for a 3% solution for general cleaning and cooking.]
- Read this discussion about concentrated vinegar
- Buy food grade and dilute to 3% if you plan to use in food
- The link above is for non-consumable garden grade vinegar
- 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:
- Baking Soda
- Additional Reading:
- Sanitizing potable water, tanks, and plumbing [Practical Sailor article]
- 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.]
- 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...
- 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...
- 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.]
- TUF-ENUF BILGE Natural Bilge Cleaner bacterial bilge cleaner [Eats oil, fuel, etc. Deodorizes. Pricing varies. ]
Mold and Mildew Control
- Best at removing stains and initial control: Starbrite mildew stain remover
- Heavy duty removal and control: Sporicidin [Removes mold, stains, and odors; bacteriostatic for 6 months. Used in hospitals. Available in concentrate.]
- Long term, economical, non-volatile and non-toxic control: Concrobium Mold Control
- Related Resources:
- Rust Prevention:
- Tools and spare parts:
- Rust removal: Ospho
- Also great for removing stubborn stains from fiberglass... [rinse immediately...]
- Loostening frozen fasteners: PB Blaster
- e.g., loostening stainless steel bolts stuck in aluminum; rusty engine bolts, etc.
- Corrosion and seizing prevention: