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Old 09-09-2016, 09:36 AM   #1
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Bilge freshener?

Here I go again!! . Cleaned out the bildge area with a wet/dry vac. There is a smell associated with it. Is there something I can keep in that area to keep it smelling better?
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:18 AM   #2
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First step - determine the type / source of the odor...
Is it head / holding tank - diesel - musty or other???

Do a search for Headmistress bilge odor and you will get several suggestions depending on the problem

Peggy is the odor expert and contributes here frequently
You may want to get copy of her book as well

https://www.amazon.com/New-Get-Rid-B.../dp/1892399784

Good Luck
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:19 AM   #3
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I've used the fabaocco( so) cleaner at the dollar store. It smells great and lasts for some time . Outcome in the bilge wash with brush and remove. Then pour some more in there to keep the smells down. Also the awesome clearer at the dollar tree are great cleaners.
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Old 09-09-2016, 10:44 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donna View Post
Here I go again!! . Cleaned out the bildge area with a wet/dry vac. There is a smell associated with it. Is there something I can keep in that area to keep it smelling better?

Just clean the snot out of it. "Detail" clean. Actually scrub or at least wipe down all the nooks and crannies. Engine, genset, storage areas, everything.

Wet/dry vac is useful, but it helps to use various cleaning products to get whatever residue might be remaining on all surfaces.

There are bilge cleaning products, but many household products can be pretty effective too: Dawn, Simple Green, Kaboom, whatever. Helps to use concentrations that cause fewer suds (for the wet/dry vac part of it).

Mop heads on extension handles can help get under engines or prop shafts or whatever.

Steam can help, too, on about anything you can steam.

Once you clean all that enough so you can't smell anything, it's much easier to maintain control.

Slightly easier with dripless shaft seals; with traditional packing you'll have to repeat more often, just 'cause you'll be getting a slight amount of sea water in there from time to time.

Once cleaned to that degree, you'll also find it much easier to spot any future problems as they emerge.

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Old 09-09-2016, 11:07 AM   #5
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Just clean the snot out of it. "Detail" clean. Actually scrub or at least wipe down all the nooks and crannies. Engine, genset, storage areas, everything.

-Chris
AGREE - I keep a couple of old toilet brushes in the bilge as I've found them useful to get into those hard to reach spots and do a little scrubbing
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:18 AM   #6
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Greetings,
Ms. D. Good suggestions thus far and I would suggest if you're going to leave any "deodorizer" in the bilge itself that it be non sudsing. Last thing you want is your bilge pump to go off and be surrounded by a sea of bubbles...
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:31 AM   #7
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I'm exhausted. I guess Rome wasn't built in a day, LOL! Thank you for all the info! It's going on my long list.
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Old 09-09-2016, 11:57 AM   #8
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Don ("bacchus") and Chris ("ranger42c") gave the you best advice when they told you to first identify the source of the odor (dirty bilge, permeated hoses, oil or diesel....) and eliminate it, 'cuz you cannot get rid of any odor unless you first eliminate the SOURCE of that odor. As long as the source remains, it will continue to generate new odor. Until you do that, any product you use is just an air freshener. Then clean---really CLEAN, scrub and thoroughly rinse ALL the dirty water out. I've found a power washer to be the best and easiest way to do that because it gets into places you can't reach.

I can't argue with Don's advice to get my book either.... Available from Amazon in both kindle and hard copy.

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Old 09-09-2016, 12:33 PM   #9
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My experience with 3 liveaboards and running commercial boats....

I care less how the bilge smells, unless it permeates the whole boat.

The simplest was sometimes is just figure how to keep fresh air circulating through both the bilge and the cabin.

Sure if you can identify the source, eliminate it either physically or by cleaning.

In the mean time, keep the air flowing.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:43 PM   #10
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Every boat we've owned has had her characteristic smell.

The rotting mahogany in the Flying Dutchman; smell disappeared when the rot was replaced with real wood and epoxy.

The Morgan 27 smelled of rotting fir plywood, engine oil, head, mildew; smell disappeared when the sole was replaced, the engine rebuilt, the engine beds replaced, the holding tank re-plumbed, the holding tank (bladder) and water tank (bladder) placed on Enka-drain so that they stayed dry, and the boat scrubbed every spring.

The NE 38 had a very particular smell which eventually disappeared with cleaning the deep bilge, getting rid of the rotting wood battery box (which was supported by foam under the box and over the fuel tank(!)), sealing the water tank, re-setting the forward bilge pump, and simply hosing out the rest of the shallow bilge.

Revel has a very particular smell which is still with us. The forward bilge is suspect. It does not drain back to the bilge pump sump. The ACs drop their condensate into the bilge; the shaft seals weep a bit; the bolts for the swim platform weep a bit, the drains and gutters for the lazarette hatch pour (when it rains). Vast improvement has been noted after raising and/or eliminating PO's stored junque so that water flows freely to the bilge pump, and more importantly, squeezing a bit of dish detergent into the forward bilge. The boat's motion has been making a good start on that cleanup.

In other words...chip away at the obvious problems, get the bilge dry, and wash everything you can reach.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:47 PM   #11
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Clean with Pinesol.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:55 PM   #12
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Revel has a very particular smell which is still with us. The forward bilge is suspect. It does not drain back to the bilge pump sump. The ACs drop their condensate into the bilge; the shaft seals weep a bit; the bolts for the swim platform weep a bit, the drains and gutters for the lazarette hatch pour (when it rains).

One thing that will help a lot would be to re-route the AC condensate drain line to an above waterline thru-hull (which I did on my own boat) or into a shower sump. Can you install a sump with pump in the forward bilge to catch the rest?
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:11 PM   #13
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I hate the smell of Pine cleaner but it does disinfect and kill the bugs that produce the smells and it will cover up diesel and gas smell.

There are a lot of Quat cleaners that will do the same with better smell.
Even a little benzalkonium chloride in the bilge

Never use bleach or anything that is corrosive in a bilge
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:11 PM   #14
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For the smell ( ours was a diesel/oil smell) that has permeated the soft goods and other areas ( like head liner etc). After a deep clean we first used Pure Ayre, that worked well but you had to spray every surface and of course we missed spots. Then we found Fresh Wave https://www.freshwaveworks.com/store...sh-pod-c27.htm
it comes in stick-ups. I think it is very close to the same formula as Pure Ayre...it has an odd smell at first ( not unpleasant, a little herbal). But it worked wonderfully.
Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:29 PM   #15
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A small quantity of white vinegar in a open container allowed to breath into the space will soon dissipate any odors. Works well placed in the toilet for embedded odors in the hose.

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Old 09-09-2016, 02:49 PM   #16
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I have these!

Doing my best to help close the hole in the sky!
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Old 09-09-2016, 02:59 PM   #17
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Peggie, routing the condensate overboard is newly 'on the list'; I had thought it was led overboard. The forward AC unit is under the berth and some observation will have to be made as to its pan's elevation. What with some of the dust in the air being trapped in the condensate (not to mention Legionnaires Disease), it's nasty stuff to live with. Bilge access in the forward part of the boat is restricted to a single small hatch in the sole or by lifting the berth panels. Even so, mounting a pump which discharged into the main sump would not be difficult. Of course, simply driving the boat at some reasonable speed lifts the bow enough to drain the water back to the sump.
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Old 09-09-2016, 05:57 PM   #18
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Then we found Fresh Wave https://www.freshwaveworks.com/store...sh-pod-c27.htm
it comes in stick-ups. I think it is very close to the same formula as Pure Ayre...it has an odd smell at first ( not unpleasant, a little herbal). But it worked wonderfully.

So you traded in a true odor eliminator for air fresheners that are nothing like PureAyre...That's all any stick up is. You can prove that to yourself: remove all the stickups for a week.

Al said, A small quantity of white vinegar in a open container allowed to breath into the space will soon dissipate any odors.
Just another air freshener.

Works well placed in the toilet for embedded odors in the hose.
Sorry, Al, but vinegar will not reverse permeated hoses or prevent permeation but leaving vinegar in the bowl will destroy the joker valve...when soft rubber is left to sit and soak in vinegar, it swells and distorts. You can accomplish just as much by flushing clean water down the toilet to rinse out the hose. Vinegar--and btw, it should be distilled white vinegar, not cider--does do an excellent job of preventing mineral and urine crystal buildup in hoses, though.

Bilge Buster and other "ozone" generators are also nothing but air fresheners. Ozone in any concentration strong enough to do any good is not only a health hazard, it's also HIGHLY corrosive and destructive rubber, neoprene and flexible PVC—in other words, every seal, valve and hose on a boat.

According to the EPA, “Available scientific evidence shows that, at concentrations that do not exceed public health standards, ozone is generally ineffective in controlling indoor air pollution. The concentration of ozone would have to greatly exceed health standards to be effective in removing most indoor air contaminants. In the process of reacting with chemicals indoors, ozone can produce other chemicals that can be irritating and corrosive.”

As for how well the portable ozone generators work when it comes to getting rid of odors… yes, people who’ve bought them rave do 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 to destroy a new odor source. 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.
As for PineSol, or any other cleaning product... The operative word is CLEANING...which includes both scrubbing and then rinsing all the dirty water out. You wouldn't dump some PineSol in a dirty bathtub or kitchen sink, then just pull the plug and expect the tub or sink to be clean...you'd have to rinse all the dirty water and scum out. So WHY would any intelligent person expect to have a clean bilge without actually cleaning it and rinsing it out?

I've always been fascinated by the lengths, creativity and EXPENSE that people will go to just to avoid doing the little bit of manual labor once or twice a year that's needed to actually eliminate the source(s) of odors. It's the reason I own stock in P&G (Febreze) and would own S.C. Johnson (Glade) if it weren't a privately held company.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:38 PM   #19
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There you go, don't buy a ozone Bilge Buster, buy Peggy's book instead! Stick it in the bilge and all will be well.
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Old 09-09-2016, 06:46 PM   #20
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I have Peggy's book on my iPhone Kindle. I use it while roaming the aisles of West Marine or web shopping.
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