Tips for Your Boat
- Stuck zippers on side curtains and zip-out windows can be eased
open with a spray of silicone or rubbed sparingly with Teflon grease.
- Sticky snap fasteners will go on and off easier when coated with
lip balm, a candle or crayon.
- When snap fasteners are corroded, clean them with bronze wool or
a 3M Nylon Scotch Pad. Use a small screw driver inside the spring
to loosen grit.
- Crud-encrusted can vas should be lightly scrubbed with warm, sudsy
water. Rinse and hang to dry, then apply a waterproofing agent.
- To remove bird droppings, place a rag dipped in cooking oil over
the spot. Keep covered until it loosens enough to be wiped up. This
also works for squished bugs and tar spots on the hull.
- Bird droppings that are left for a long time can stain. On Weblon
and Dacron, rub with Soft Scrub soap and rinse. Don't rub Sunbrella,
which has a coating; just dab gently.
- Cement cleaner gets rust stains out of most canvas. Test first
in an inconspicuous area to be sure it doesn't damage the fabric.
- To remove blood from canvas, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide
to the stain and let soak for half an hour.
- When clear vinyl panels get stiff or hazy, coat them with Pledge.
- If your clear vinyl panels are scratched, polish them with a paste
of 2 tablespoons each of glycerin, jeweler's rouge and water. Put
it on a clean rag, rub into scratches and rinse.
- To remove stains from clear vinyl, try using a damp cloth dipped
in water with baking soda. For a stubborn stain, rub a little toothpaste
on it with your finger.
- A seized macerator pump can be freed by unhooking the discharge
hose and raising it above the pump. Pour in a solution of dishwashing
liquid and water. Let sit for at least an hour.
- If the drain keeps clogging and smelling, toss a handful of baking
soda in it, then a pot of boiling water.
- To keep the rubber joker valve from drying out, pump some vegetable
oil through the system each month.
- Hair spray buildup on the mirror? Wipe it off with rubbing alcohol.
- Before cleaning the toilet, drop 2 Alka Seltzer tablets in the
bowl. After the fizz, scrub the bowl as usual
- Before leaving the boat, pour Pine-Sol into the toilet bowl to
keep it fresh.
- Deodorize the toilet with a solution of 3 tablespoons of baking
soda to 1 quart of warm water. Don't rinse it
- Check to see if the source of a bad smell in the head is coming
from a hose. How? Wrap the hose in a warm, damp rag, then let it
cool. Unwrap the hose and smell the rag. If it stinks, replace the
- Need a temporary fix for a smelly waste hose? Wrap it in Saran
- Mildew in the bowl can be cleaned by generously spraying oven
cleaner and letting it sit for five minutes. Wipe with damp paper
- If gunk is caking up your shower tracks, clean them out it a cotton
swab soaked in a mild solution of bleach and water. Keep this away
- To clean tile, rub a little vegetable oil on the stain.
- Creaky hinges and sticky locks can be silenced using a vegetable
- Sticky portholes, hatches and windows take well to petroleum jelly.
Dip a small brush in the jelly and wipe it around the inside rubber
- Sticky drawers will slide again if you rub candle wax or soap on
- Get rid of moisture and mildew with kitty litter. Place several
shallow boxes throughout the interior.
- Keep moisture from stowed gear by tying a dozen pieces of chalk
together and hanging them in lockers and cabinets. Or, fill a plastic
container with charcoal briquettes. Punch holes in the cover and
place the container at the bottom of the locker.
- To help eliminate cabin odors, fill a small bowl with charcoal
(available for potted plants) and place it on a shelf.
- Reduce locker odors by putting a little vanilla extract on a piece
of cotton and place it on a shelf.
- Make your own all-purpose cleaner by mixing 1 quart warm water,
1 teaspoon liquid soap, 1 teaspoon Borax and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
- To get the odor out of musty lockers, hang a nylon stocking and
fill it with cedar chips.
- To get rid of the smell of fresh paint, place a large cut onion
into a big pan of cold water and leave it onboard.
- Get rid of old tape on a bulkhead with oil-free nail polish remover.
Another way to remove tape is by heating it with a hair dryer to
soften the glue.
- To remove the leftover glue from tape, spray it with WD-40, wait
a few minutes and rub with a piece of nylon netting.
- Get dull stainless steel shining again by rubbing it with a mixture
of alcohol and kerosene of a soft rag.
- Wipe down stainless with the same lemon oil you use to clean wood
cabin furniture. It leaves a high shine and creates a water-spot
- For glittering chrome, use vinegar or window cleaner. Also, try
a cloth dampened in ammonia.
- Aluminum, like wood, has a grain. Always rub cleaners with the
- Ammonia will pit aluminum's surface. Keep it away.
- To keep chrome from tarnishing, brush on a coat of clear lacquer.
- To clean brass, use 1/2 cup of vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon
- For water spots or hard water buildup that has dulled stainless
steel sinks and fixtures, wipe with vinegar then rinse with water.
To thoroughly clean stainless steel sinks, use a mix of ammonia and
water. To keep stainless shiny, rub it with a little mineral oil
and buff with a dry cloth.
- Rust stains on sinks and drains will lift right out with a cut
- For a showroom shine on stainless, polish with a rag that's been
dipped in club soda.
- Wipe sticky messes from vinyl with a cloth dipped in a warm dishwashing
detergent solution (not soap) and polish with a soft cloth. Wax and
cream polishes will leave the surface tacky.
- To remove stains on leather, try rubbing castor oil into dark leather,
or petroleum jelly on lighter surfaces, with your finger. Wipe with
an absorbent cloth.
- Clean deck carpets with 1/4 cup liquid Wisk laundry detergent and
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar in 1 quart of hot water. Use a damp
sponge and rub in a circular motion. Blot dry.
- To keep boat vinyl looking new, wash regularly with a mild dish
detergent, then lightly coat with petroleum jelly.
- Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle when washing musty fabrics
to make the small disappear.
- Spray deodorant or Hair spray to remove pen marks from vinyl, canvas,
- Prevent leather from cracking by polishing regularly with a cream
made of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts linseed oil. Never use mink oil,
it attracts insects and smells.
- For fresh grease and oil stains, sprinkle with talcum or cornstarch.
Rub well and let stand until the stain in absorbed. Brush off and
wipe with a damp cloth.
- Plain old dirt on upholstery? Get it off with shaving cream.
- To remove ugly brown spots on glass, use full strength hydrogen
- Freshly dried plaint comes off glass with a hot vinegar solution
or nail polish remover.
- Use newspaper to clean windows. They leave less lint than paper
- Mixing 2 cups of dishwater soap into 5 gallons of water makes a
fine window wash.
- Use 1/2 water, 1/2 ammonia mix to remove cigarette smoke residue
from the inside of cabin windows.
- Blood on unprotected wood should be washed immediately. Lightly
wet-sand and swab with hydrogen peroxide.
- Clean oak and mahogany by wiping with a cloth dipped in warm beer.
- Cover minor scratches with a generous amount of petroleum jelly.
Leave it on for 24 hours. Rub into the wood, remove the excess and
polish as usual.
- Have scratches marred your teak? Rub the meat of a pecan into them.
- Control mold in teak with a mixture of 4 parts bleach to 1 part
saltwater. Scrub with a brush across the grain, not with it, then
rinse with saltwater.
- Unnecessary static on the VHF radio may be caused by buildup on
the antenna connector. Clean with WD-40, CRC's QD Electronics Cleaner,
or a pencil eraser.
- Before you plug in your electronic equipment for the new boating
season, protect their connections by giving them a shot of a non-solvent
based anti-corrosive such as Corrosion-X or Corrosion Buster.
- If you think you have water in your lube oil, heat a few tablespoons
in a frying pan; if it boils, there's water.
- Clean wire-mesh engine filters by soaking in hot water and baking
- Warm a sponge in the microwave before wiping up oil spills. This
thins the oil so the sponge can absorb more.
- Before spraying engine cleaner, cover the distributor, coil and
carburetor with Saran Wrap to avoid damage.
- Remove rust stains that have marred your fiberglass with cola.
Rub on with cloth. For a stronger version, mix in some salt, which
acts as an abrasive. Rinse thoroughly.
- To remove black scuff marks from the deck or hull, dip a rag in
concentrated lemon juice and buff well, then reapply wax.
- Washing your boat using hard water can leave a mineral residue.
To prevent this unsightly marking, simply add a water softener, such
as Calgon, to the bucket.