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Old 03-24-2016, 11:30 AM   #1
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Diesel clean-up products?

Ummm...

The fuel filter assembly on our genset failed during our Spring start-up, so I'm dealing with a diesel clean-up. The only good thing about this so far is that the levels didn't raise the floats far enough to activate the bilge pumps. Barely, probably.

Bulk capture and recycle -- so far about 30 gallons -- is almost done. Next I'll be faced with residue from the initial spray and where the primary puddles (ponds?) landed: three accessible and two mostly hidden bilge areas.

I'm starting some of the de-oiling -- on vertical surfaces -- with a simply spray of Dawn dish detergent... and some of that is slowly making it's way into pools where I can collect it easier.

I think I can lift some of the residue from the lowest areas in the bilge by flooding; diesel should float to the surface and I should be able to capture most of that in absorbent pads. And I'm planning to use steam on pretty much everything -- horizontal, vertical, whatever -- to get closer and closer to bare surface.

Anyway... can anyone recommend some nifty purpose-made products out there that might break down/emulsify/whatever diesel so I can finally get it all up, get odors gone, etc.?

-Chris
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:04 PM   #2
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To get most...after bulk removal....if you can get decent pressure on them...absorbent pads will get all but a trace.

I am sure there are numerous ways to do it...this is how I always have.


Very hot water and strong detergent will work out of a lawn sprayer or equivalent with some rubbing. A hot rinse will work but I would bet so would a LOT of cold flushing.

If smell remains another go around of spray hot water and detergent may do it.

The resultant mix contains VERY little oil at this point...dispose of accordingly...

If the smell remains after a good round two...it has either soaked into something or there is just enough residue that you are having difficulty in getting to. You can give it a couple days to see if it lingers or the last of it dries up and stops smelling. Run fans and or blowers to assist if necessary.
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Old 03-24-2016, 12:52 PM   #3
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For final cleaning, spray with K2R. Works great takes it right out of wood. Special products are available at oil burner supply houses to deal with the odor. K2R is available in hardware and grocery stores.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:45 PM   #4
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Anyway... can anyone recommend some nifty purpose-made products out there that might break down/emulsify/whatever diesel so I can finally get it all up, get odors gone, etc.?

Stop using detergent untill you've collected all the oil that it's possible to collect with pads and/or pumps and buckets. Detergent emulsifies oil, separating molecules so they sink to the bottom instead of floating as a slick on the surface.

Once you've collected as much as possible, THEN scrub--better yet use a power washer--with a strong solution of detergent and water, followed by a THOROUGH rinse to get rid of ALL the dirty oily water. Mop up, dry out as much as possible, then spray every nook and cranny with PureAyre PureAyre then just let it dry. It totally eliminates ALL odors, even diesel....however all the SOURCE of any odor must be removed first because as long as the source remains, it'll keep making more odor. So if you still have any odor, you missed cleaning up a spot. It's available from Amazon.
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Old 03-24-2016, 03:57 PM   #5
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Hot works better than pressure..and you don't blast it all over the place.

Steam would be the ticket...but not easily done unless you can rent one.

I work(ed) for an environmental cleanup business that cleaned fuel tanks on ships and bilges of commercial vessels. Often after a partial sinking where the entire engine room needed cleaning.

They used huge diesel powered steam pressure cleaners and a truckload of Dawn detergent.

Just like washing oil off your hands...lots of pressure doesn't help, hot water does.
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Old 03-24-2016, 04:50 PM   #6
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Thanks all. I think I've got all the bulk captured.

Of 7 bilge sections, I had standing diesel in 5. Two of those are only slightly accessible: combination of wet-vac hose with extensions through a limber hole from one direction, then that same hose/extension through a small gap in the engine room. Got another 2-ish gallons out of those areas today.

I've got a steamer, but doubt I can get it into those two areas. Have to experiment with that... Have to experiment with a way to best deliver HOT water to various areas, too...

Good to hear about products. Keep those cards and letters coming! I'm thinking "floor" like surfaces will be relatively easy -- except for those two enclosed areas, and I can maybe do a work-around for those -- but the vertical surfaces, bulkheads, sound insulation, wiring, etc. will likely be the most difficult to deal with.

I mis-spoke on my first note; there was another "good" (?) thing. We weren't underway at the time, just doing Spring start-up while here in the marina, and then running it under load for about a half-hour or so...


-Chris
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:12 PM   #7
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With a cheap garden sprayer, you can bend the tip to some pretty severe angles...you may be able to gain access to those dead spots above the bilge and spray away....

The hot soapy solution will drain down the sides of the vessel to the bilge....no guarantees but when all else fails...even if you have to disconnect or pull out something for access.

But that can always be done if the odor isn't eliminated with the first and easy steps.
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Old 03-24-2016, 05:20 PM   #8
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Take the bilge pump fuses out, and get a garden hose in there with plenty of detergent. scrub like the dickens with a hard bristle brush. Let settle for 30-60 minutes, then lift the top scum off with bilge dypers/rags (diesel floats). Repeat as necessary.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:31 PM   #9
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Greetings,
Mr. M. "(diesel floats)". NOT when it is emulsified by detergent as noted by Ms. HM in post #4! I concur with the "woman of smells and flushes" that detergent should ONLY be used in the final stages but disagree with her suggestion of a pressure washer. As stated by Mr. ps. a pressure washer will blast crap thither and yon and compound the clean up.
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Old 03-24-2016, 07:57 PM   #10
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Good points. I'm not inclined to use the pressure washer.

Can't get much of an implement into my #4 and #5 bilge compartments. I snaked a vacuum hose (with extensions) into #4 and further into #5 through a limber hole from #3 and then another between #4 and #5. That didn't get all the liquid out, due to angle.

I got that same hose/extension down into #5 from the opposite direction (#6) through a 2" by 4" gap... got the rest of the fuel, but don't think I can get a mop head down in there.

I can spray stuff into #5. Not sure about #4, but probably can. Might be able to get steam in there, but not sure I can aim it optimally. Don't know of a way to "scrub" in there yet, though.

I guess I can lightly flood those two compartments, suck out the liquid, repeat ad infinitum...


Cleaning #2, #3, and the "floor space" in #6 will be relatively easy. Cleaning all the vertical surfaces, bulkheads, wiring, etc. in #6 (engine room) will be more time-consuming... Ideally, steam and "products" to the rescue...

-Chris
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:23 PM   #11
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Clean up product

Found this in a Google search.

May be helpful.

Oil Solutions Liquid - Oil Solutions International

Good luck

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Old 03-24-2016, 08:37 PM   #12
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Check the vidieo

Check out the video, especially the middle one.
This stuff works and it's pretty cheap.

Demo and Tutorial Oil Spill Clean Up Videos| Oil Solutions

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Old 03-24-2016, 08:47 PM   #13
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Chris,

I really am sorry about the mess you are having to deal with. It happened to me in my 1983 Catalina 36 years ago and it was a mess.

I agree with the others who have advised to first try and float the diesel and soak up with oil absorbant pads.

You mentioned two spaces that you couldn't access. I know nothing of your boat, but is there any way to remove the sole from the deck to gain access? Another option is to simply cut a hole sized to an access panel that you can then later use to fill the hole.
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Old 03-24-2016, 08:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BinkleyBoat View Post
Check out the video, especially the middle one.
This stuff works and it's pretty cheap.

Demo and Tutorial Oil Spill Clean Up Videos| Oil Solutions

BB
Wow. That is pretty impressive. I wonder how well it would work on used engine oil? Being the brilliant guy that I am, I once emptied my engine oil into the pan under the engine (thank goodness for a large, built in, fiberglass pan that Catalina put in under the engine). It was a real pain to clean up. If this product works as well on used oil as it appears to on fuel, it would be great to keep on the boat for those types of accidents.

The oil spill kit they sell would store easily in an ER, handy to use for spills.
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Old 03-24-2016, 09:00 PM   #15
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Just went through this myself. All the same issues; small puddles of diesel in inaccessible areas.

Here is what worked: floated the diesel on water and skimmed it out with a shop vac. (I used an inexpensive 2.5 gallon unit that I could throw away when done.) I flooded and vacuumed areas repeatedly - until there was no diesel - None - showing up in the vacuumed water.

I used Formula 409 in a sprayer to deodorize. This also took repeated applications. 409 will kill the odor - but it has an unpleasant residual odor, so the repeated 409'ing was followed by repeated dawn applications with the sprayer and vacuuming up as much of the liquid as possible. There may well be better products than 409 - all I can tell you is the 409 killed the diesel fuel smell on contact. Boat is fresh as a daisy now. Good luck with your efforts.
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Old 03-24-2016, 10:40 PM   #16
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I concur with the "woman of smells and flushes" that detergent should ONLY be used in the final stages but disagree with her suggestion of a pressure washer. As stated by Mr. ps. a pressure washer will blast crap thither and yon and compound the clean up.

I think you're confusing pressure washer with an air compressor. Unless it's in the hands of someone who really shouldn't be allowed to use tools without adult supervision, a POWER washer won't "blast it thither and yon," it'll make cleanup a lot easier by knocking loose all the crud in places you can't reach, then flush all the dirty water out. I've used one for years without any damage and nothing has ever been blasted "thither and yon" by any of 'em. Am now on my third one. I bought the first one in 1996 to clean the bilges in the 'project' Trojan F-32 I bought and restored. Raised the hatches, took a look and inhaled just once and said, "No way am I gonna do this by hand"...then headed for the local BOAT/US store where I found a Kaercher 1000 psi that cost me nearly $300, and I considered that a bargain when it left me with a bilge so clean a doctor could have performed surgery in it. The current one is 1800psi for half that price and I love it.
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Old 03-25-2016, 05:57 AM   #17
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Greetings,
Ms. HM. Ummm...Nope. I'm quite aware of the difference between an air compressor and a power/pressure washer. One is not going to clean much other than dust with an air compressor unless one uses one of these: New Air Power Siphon Engine Cleaner Gun Cleaning Degreaser Pneumatic Tool | eBay
which is a GREAT tool and one I should have suggested earlier for the degreasing job.

I happen to have 4 power/pressure washers. One on board which needs no hose connection, if so desired (draws water from an integral water reservoir) and the same one at home as well as a Karcher (probably similar to yours) and a gas powered unit I use for wet sand blasting. https://www.amazon.ca/Karcher-2-638-...=1&*entries*=0

I will admit though Ms. HM. I DO need adult supervision from time to time...
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Old 03-25-2016, 06:19 AM   #18
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I have found that disconnecting the discharge hose from the bilge pump and extending it so it will discharge thru the sink , which has multiple oil zorb pads will cut down on the oil pumped overboard.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:12 AM   #19
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For all of us confused types.......


https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pressure_washer

A*pressure washer*or*power washer*is a high-pressure mechanical*sprayerused to remove loose paint, mold, grime, dust, mud, and dirt from surfaces and objects such as buildings, vehicles and concrete surfaces. The volume of a pressure washer is expressed in gallons or litres per minute, often designed into the pump and not variable. The pressure, expressed in pounds per square inch,*pascals, or*bar*(deprecated but in common usage), is designed into the pump but can be varied by adjusting the unloader valve. Machines that produce pressures from 750 to 30,000*psi*(5 to 200 MPa) or more are available.

The basic pressure washer consists of a motor (either*electric,*internal combustion,*pneumatic*or*hydraulic) that drives a high-pressure*water pump, a high-pressure*hose*and a*trigger gun-style*switch. Just as a garden hosenozzle*is used to increase the velocity of water, a pressure washer creates high pressure and velocity. The pump cannot draw more water from the pipe to which the washer is connected than that source can provide: the water supply must be adequate for the machine connected to it, as water starvation leads to*cavitation*damage of the pump elements.

Different types of nozzle are available for different application. Some nozzles create a water jet that is in a triangular plane (fan pattern), others emit a thin jet of water that spirals around rapidly (cone pattern). Nozzles that deliver a higher flow rate lower the output pressure. Most nozzles attach directly to the trigger gun.

Some washers, with an appropriate nozzle, allow*detergent*to be introduced into the water stream, assisting in the cleaning process. Two types of chemical injectors are available* a high-pressure injector that introduces the chemical after the water leaves the pump (a downstream injector) and a low-pressure injector that introduces the chemical before water enters the pump (an upstream injector). The type of injector used is related to the type of detergent used, as there are many chemicals that will damage a pump if an upstream injector is used.

Washers are dangerous tools and should be operated with due regard to safety instructions. The water pressure near the nozzle is powerful enough to strip flesh from bone. Particles in the water supply are ejected from the nozzle at great velocities. The cleaning process can propel objects dislodged from the surface being cleaned, also at great velocities. Pressure washers have a tendency to break up*tarmac*if aimed directly at it, due to high-pressure water entering cracks and voids in the surface.
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Old 03-25-2016, 07:24 AM   #20
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