How-To: Get a Spotless Bilge in Your Boat

Clean the bilge compartment of your boat

It's not glamorous, but one of the questions we're constantly asked by our customers is, "the bilge compartment of my boat is filthy, how do I clean it so it looks like it did when new"?

Unfortunately it takes a bit of work to really get things cleaned up, but it's definitely possible with a little elbow grease and the right products. Here's what we've found works the best:

Step 1: You need to remove as much of the oily film from the engine and surrounding surfaces as possible. Otherwise, every time the engine gets up to operating temperature, the viscosity of the left over film decreases enough that it ends up all over everything again. My favorite product for this step is [url=]Marine Greze-Off[/url]. You'll need some clean towels (don't use your nice microfibers, as they'll most likely be ruined by this process and you'll want to throw them out).

Apply Greze-Off liberally everywhere; on the engine, side panels, bottom of bilge, basically anywhere you can reach, and let it penetrate for a few minutes. Then wipe it off, turning your towel regularly to make sure you're not just spreading it around.

Step 2: Once you've removed as much of the surface contamination as possible, the next step is to clean out the entire bilge compartment, even the places you can't reach. My favorite product for that is [url=]Star brite Bilge Cleaner[/url]. The best option is to dilute it 50:50 with hot water, disconnect the negative terminal of the battery (so your bilge pump won't run), and pour the solution into the bilge compartment. Let it sit for a bit, and ideally, pull the boat around on the trailer for 10-15 minutes to agitate the cleaner in the bilge. This will get up around the fuel tank, and everywhere else you can't reach.

Then reconnect the negative terminal of the battery and let the bilge pump empty the solution, which will also clean the inside of the bilge pump and discharge hose.

You may need to repeat Step 2 a couple of times throughout the season to get great results, but this process should get your bilge compartment back to like new condition.

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