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Old 07-31-2010, 02:48 PM   #1
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OH the ODOR!

We need to get rid of the funky bilge odors as they are wafting up into the boat. *I also need to kill the odor on the cabin/staterooms! *What is the best way to accomplish this? *Previous owner would dump oil into section of bilge under the engine block and suck it up but there is still crud there. *A unaddressed diesel leak at the injectors pumps diesel into the bilge when running. I will correct that this week. *The good thing is that the seller has swapped out the old packing gland for dripless shaft seal so bilge will basically be bone dry. *What is best method to kill the bilge funk odor and same for the salon? *I am afraid right now that if i hung clothes in a storage locker for a day and then put them on that they would stink to high heaven. * I did plug in some of those scented air fresheners you can buy @ walmart the other day- it has made big difference in the salon but obviously that doesn't get to the source of the smell. *
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Old 07-31-2010, 03:45 PM   #2
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OH the ODOR!

Check out the book** Get Rid of Boat Odors* *by Peggie Hall** available on Amazon
there are also Ozone generators "Bilge Buster" expensive and I don't believe very effective.
Steve W.

-- Edited by Steve on Saturday 31st of July 2010 03:47:27 PM
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Old 07-31-2010, 04:00 PM   #3
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OH the ODOR!

Hi Woodsong

Removal of bilge odours can be difficult however the best method I have used in the past is place some degreaser in the engine room bilge and let it slop around ina bit of a seaway. You may have to do the same to other bilge* areas also.
After a good agitation pump it out (keep pollution laws in mind) you might have to pump into a drum.
You can then use some disinfectant to get rid of the odour.


Allan

-- Edited by AllanY on Saturday 31st of July 2010 04:01:22 PM
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Old 07-31-2010, 09:48 PM   #4
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RE: OH the ODOR!

One of the remedy's I have done at times is to rent a high capacity ozone generator from a rental store and run the unit for a few days with all the drawers, lockers, hatches open inside the boat, ozone has a remarkable ability to get rid of a lot of smells. Do pay attention to the warnings as ozone isnt great for our health though!. It just takes a short time to air the boat after treatment and your good to go. Zap it... pun intended...
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:02 PM   #5
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RE: OH the ODOR!

The only way to get rid of odor is to get rid of the source. Masking it only works for awhile, as does the ozone trick (which can be bad for things made out of rubber, so be careful if you go that route). But the only way to truly get rid of odor and keep it away is to track down the cause and stop it there.

So things like permeated sanitation hoses, a slow fuel leak, rainwater leaks that result in standing water somewhere, these can all be sources of odor. So you need to find and fix them. If smelly water has permeated components of the boat then once the source has been found and fixed the permeated components will need to be cleaned and "sterilized."
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Old 07-31-2010, 10:06 PM   #6
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OH the ODOR!

Woodsong use a degreaser like Allen said.And do it exactly like he stated.

I would use red lightning.It is made by auto brite industries.It is biodegradable.After it sloshes around.Suck it all up.Then make sure the bilge is completely dry.making sure the bilge*is completely dry.Is the most important part of the process.

After it is dry throw some drier sheets.In the bilge.That should take care of any foul odors.After 3 or 4 days you can take the dryer sheets out.

You can probably find red lightening at any auto detail shop.If not.You can use what they have on hand..Most good degreasers are biodegradable now.


-- Edited by Maxx on Saturday 31st of July 2010 10:08:19 PM
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Old 08-01-2010, 06:03 AM   #7
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RE: OH the ODOR!

Scrubbing will get rid of the really bad stuff , but when you pump the bilge and there in no oil on the water, you have reached the limits of what scrubbing can do.

Next step is the oil eating bio goodies that actually thrive on eating the old oil.

Keeping the bilge fuller than usual is needed as the oil has slopped higher than the usual bilge pump "On" level.

A month in warm water , and refreshing the little workers will get most grease pits nice.

Then you can install the Ozone generator.

On many boats it is needed 24/7 to get rid of ALL the odors , rotting wood , food behind the stove , poor aim in the head , mold in the closets.

While there is a chance that rubber in the Niagra Falls generation room might have a shorter life , on a boat it is a non problem. Like "Pollyester Mites".
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Old 08-01-2010, 09:48 AM   #8
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RE: OH the ODOR!

Marin is dead on. Get rid of the sources.

Also, if you have an air conditioner on board, realize that it usually drains the condensate into the bilge. There are obviously ways to prevent this(shower sump,etc.). But before you get all starry eyed about a dry bilge, you must consider this if you have air conditioning.
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Old 08-01-2010, 12:58 PM   #9
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RE: OH the ODOR!

Alan and Maxx are leaving out the most important steps:

1. You cannot eliminate any odor unless you first eliminate the SOURCE of the odor. So first you need to find and fix any oil leaks, replace any permeated hoses

2. BEFORE using ANY degreaser, detergent or other cleaning product, put down bilge pillows or pads to sop up all the oil and/or diesel possible. They don't work once detergent or degreasers are mixed with oil. Replace pads/pillows as necessary...dispose of 'em in approved sites.

3. Scrub the bilges. IMO, a power washer is the best way to clean a bilge, 'cuz it gets into places you can't reach.

4. The most important step: Flush ALL the dirty water out!!! A wet dirty bilge IS a primordial soup of molds, fungi, bacteria, sea water microorganisms and oil that, especially in hot weather, can make a whole boat smell like a swamp or even a sewer! You're not gonna get it clean by just dumping something into it, letting it slosh around a while and then letting the bilge pump dispose of the dirty water...any more than you'd end up with a clean kitchen sink if did nothing more than pour some Dawn into greasy dirty dishwater, swished it around a bit and then just pulled the plug.

5. Use a shop vac, or dinghy bailer, bucket and sponge to mop up the remaining water...then leave hatches open so it can completely dry out for 12-24 hours. Turning fans on if possible helps to accomplish that.

NOW you finally have a clean bilge and are ready to eliminate the residual odor.

There is a product that I tripped over at a boat show in Seattle several years ago and brought samples home to test. It's called PureAyre http://www.pureayre.com/ and is the ONLY thing I've found that will not only eliminate "organic" (sewage, mold etc) odors, but also diesel, oil and even smoke odors. This stuff WORKS! Put a gallon undiluted in a pump garden spray jug and "hose down" every surface, nook and cranny in your bilges, bait/fish boxes, lockers, and any place else that's smelly (including the inside of your boat shoes!)...even the inside of the fridge...it's approved for use around food. Does a great job on cushions and also on musty foulies and PFDs.

Do NOT rinse!!! Just leave lockers, hatches etc open for 24 hours...put soft goods and anythng else that isn't bolted down out in the sun all day.

Clean your sumps too...and you'll be amazed at how clean and fresh your boat will finally smell! About once a year should be enough to keep it that way.

As for the ozone generators sold for use on boats...a waste of money IMO. Yes, people who've bought them do rave about how well they work. And, yes, the manufacturers do assure you that the ozone concentration is well below that which can present any health hazard. But if that's true, they can't deliver enough ozone to destroy the sources of any odors. If they did deliver enough ozone to destroy the sources of odors, it should only be necessary to run one occasionally. But among all the people you know who've bought ozone generators, have you ever met anyone who has one who's ever been able to turn if off without having odors return? That should be enough to tell you that ozone generators are only very expensive air fresheners, because they don't deliver enough ozone to be anything else. Save your money and get rid of the SOURCES of your odors. Eliminating the source is the only thing that really works.
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:40 PM   #10
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RE: OH the ODOR!

Thanks all,
I agree- getting to the source is the only way to fix it. Eradicate the sources, then sanitize/clean and air fresheners and the odor should go away. I've got some investigating and cleaning to do!
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Old 08-01-2010, 07:54 PM   #11
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OH the ODOR!

Clean, yes...but sanitize and air fresheners, nooooo! Sanitizing kills germs--which is hardly necessary in a bilge unless you actually DO plan to eat off the floor--but it doesn't eliminate residual odors. If you eliminate the source, and then eliminate those, you won't NEED air fresheners! If you do, you've haven't gotten rid of the source yet.






-- Edited by HeadMistress on Sunday 1st of August 2010 07:55:48 PM
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Old 08-02-2010, 04:22 AM   #12
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RE: OH the ODOR!

In the used car industry it is common to put an Ozone generator in the car , if the car was owned by a smoker , esp a Cigar smoker.

After a couple of days the car is put on the sales lot , and even weeks later the cigar stench has not returned.

A car is smaller , and a boat is designed to naturally ventilate, so some sealing will be needed.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:23 AM   #13
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RE: OH the ODOR!

Those plug in air freshners are actually the worst source of air pollution in homes. They smell nice, but your clothes will get an entirely different funky smell from the air freshners. Clean, clean, clean. If you still have some localized funk, go down to the pet store and get some enzyme type pet odor eliminator. That will really do the trick.
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Old 08-02-2010, 09:24 AM   #14
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RE: OH the ODOR!

Don't forget the chain locker.
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Old 08-03-2010, 04:29 AM   #15
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RE: OH the ODOR!

Don't forget the chain locker.

The usual poor design of a chain locker ( should be able to flush all the chain & mud daily) is my main reason for using nylon for anchoring .
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