When you own a boat, you need to make sure that everything inside of your boat is clean.
A lot of things can affect a boat’s stability when it has an unclean bilge. It could lead to dangerous accidents when sailing your boat.
When your boat’s bilge compartment is dirty, the water inside of the hull might accumulate algae, rust, and other particles that can make it hard for the boat to float. The more time and effort you put into keeping your boat clean, the easier it is to maintain.
The area of a boat where water collects is called the bilge. The bilge area is one of the most important parts of a boat. Boat owners have a lot of responsibilities, one of which is keeping the bilge area clean. If you want to learn how to clean a boat’s bilge, you can read this article.
The dirtiest place on the boat is the bilge area. Most boats have a bilge pump under the deck that can be used to pump water from the bilge to the sea. It is a good idea to keep an eye on the pump because it is a good way to keep the boat clean. You should turn the pump off if you see that it isn’t working right.
How to Clean Your Boat Bilge Compartment?
Cleaning out the bilge compartment and cleaning your boat is not hard at all. There are a few tips and tricks that you need to know for this purpose. If you want to be a real professional then you should know these tips, tricks, and techniques properly.
Always start cleaning out your boat from your stern. To clean out your bow is too complicated. In the beginning, it is easy to do that way.
You must always start with the bilge and bilge pump first and finish it off with the bilge water in the water tank. Then start the next part.
After that, work from the stern to the bow and clean it all up. When you are done with the bilge, then you can also clean your cabin.
You will love to be able to remove mud and dirt that stick to your boat bilge compartment. How? It is the task that you will have to perform when you want to clean your boat. You will love to perform this task because this will allow you to maintain your boat in spotless condition.
In most cases, cleaning your boat bilge compartment is a simple process. A good tip that will help you to achieve that task is by using the proper cleaner. Detergent can do the trick. Use an adequate amount of the cleaner and let it work overnight. You should give your boat bilge compartment a full wash with fresh water first.
You will then have to take the necessary step and put your boat bilge compartment in a gentle rocking motion.
How to Clean Your Boat Bilge Compartment? (Proper ways)
If you want to clean a boat’s bilge:
- You need to drain the dirty water and sludge from it.
- Use a marine bilge cleaner.
- Before scrubbing, allow the cleaner to sit in the bilge area for a while.
- Use warm water, a sponge, and a cleaning product to scrub the bilge.
- Dry the area with a towel or cloth.
- Know what the rules are.
STEP – 1: You need to drain the dirty water and sludge from the bilge.
It’s a good idea to drain the dirty water and sludge from the bilge before you clean it. There is a drain hole in the bilge area. You need a bucket to get the dirty water and sludge out of the bilge. Continue draining until the bilge is empty and then discard the water. This should take about 20 minutes to complete. However, It depends on the amount of dirt that needs to be removed and the size of the bilge. Make sure you close the drain hole once you’ve finished.
STEP – 2: Use a marine bilge cleaner.
It is a good idea to have a bilge cleaner. There are lots of different types of bilge cleaners. But, the best way to clean the bilge area is to buy a cleaner that is specifically designed for this purpose.
The best bilge cleaners are usually biodegradable, which means that they don’t harm the water that surrounds the vessel. These cleaners are designed to get rid of all sorts of nasty materials, including oil, grease, and grime.
In order to serve more than one purpose, most bilge cleaners work well to clean other parts of the boat, as well as carpet and furniture inside the cabin.
Summary: The marine cleaner will help loosen the dirt that’s harder to remove. Marine-grade fiberglass bilge cleaners do not damage hoses, wiring, or plastic. The foul odor will be removed by it.
STEP – 3: Before scrubbing, allow the cleaner to sit in the bilge area for a while.
The next step is to read the instructions on the bilge cleaner. It is recommended to let the cleaner sit in the bilge area for a while before scrubbing to make sure it is clean the whole way through. In most cases, it will take between 2 and 3 hours for the cleaner to do its job.
If you have any tough stains or spots that are hard to reach, the longer the cleaner sits, the easier it will be to get it out.
Tips: You can mix it with warm water and let it sit for a few minutes.
STEP – 4: Use warm water, a sponge, and a cleaning product to scrub the bilge.
It is time to start cleaning the area once the cleaner has been sitting for a while. It’s best to use a rough cloth or sponge for this task. If you want to get rid of any other dirt or debris, rinse it off with clean water after scrubbing.
Remember, before moving on to this step, It’s a good idea to park the boat at the top of the hill so that the dirty water can easily drain out into the street.
Summary: As the bilge area is scrubbed thoroughly and the dirt has been dislodged. It’s a good idea to rinse it off with warm water. This will soften the stains and make them easier to remove. Put the dirty cleaning water in a bucket and drain it out again. This step should take a few minutes.
STEP – 5: Dry the area with a towel or cloth.
Use a towel or cloth to dry the area. This removes the cleaning fluids, stains, and dirt. Once this step is done, the bilge will be clean.
STEP – 6: Know what the rules are.
There are a lot of points that need to be remembered. Most jurisdictions have laws prohibiting anyone from dumping oil from the bilge into the water. Knowing that there is oil in the water is the first step to cleaning up an oil spill. If it’s possible, try to suspend the oil so it’s easier to remove it. You will need to transfer the oily water into a bucket using a small hand pump at that point.
It is stated in the regulations that all vessels must have a type-approved bilge water treatment system. The system needs to be able to treat oily water in a way that complies with the requirements of oil-in-water content of less than 15 parts per million.
Boat owners should take care of their boats. If you know how to clean a boat’s bilge, it’s time to buy the right bilge cleaner degreaser.
Alternative Boat Bilge Compartment Cleaning Options
The other ways to clean the bilge are listed below:
- Hire a bilge cleaning company and they will do the cleaning. $150 is the average for this.
- If you want to hire a professional individual to do the cleaning, you can do that on the internet or from a local marina. This is the best option for those who would like to have their cleaning work done by someone else.
Summary: It’s a good idea to hire a commercial bilge cleaning service so you don’t have to do it yourself. Cleaning should run smoothly if you hire a commercial cleaning service.
FAQs about Cleaning The Boat Bilge Compartment
Why is your bilge oily?
There is a possibility that the oil is residual oil from a previous leak or spill.
Why do the bilges need to be kept clean?
There is a chance of a fire in a bilge. Also, to reduce the risk of pollution, bilges have to be cleaned and free of oil drips. Even small amounts of oil, fuel and other pollutants can cause problems in the marine environment.
How often should you clean your bilge?
The bilge needs to be cleaned frequently because a lot of dirt can accumulate there. It is recommended that the area is cleaned monthly. The dirt and rotten odors will not be allowed by this.
You Should Avoid the Below Products When Bilge Cleaning
If you use a pressure washer, it can damage the material and spray toxic oils and grease all over the place. So you should avoid using a pressure washer.
Household cleaners that are not marine grade tend to be bad for the environment. These products should not be used.
If bleach is used regularly, it can cause harm to the bilge material and cause pollution of the water.
If you are cleaning your boat’s bilge, you can first know what the rule and regulations are. It is not always a good idea to do something that you are not allowed to do.
For example, don’t forget to drain the dirty water and sludge from the bilge before you clean it.
When you are cleaning, make sure that you put some cleaning products or detergents on the bilge so you can ensure that your work is thorough.
Finally, dry the area with a towel or cloth. You should also be aware that when you clean a boat’s bilge, some things will be left behind in the boat. This means that the cleaning process will make some changes to the look of the boat. However, you should know that you don’t have to throw away the leftover stuff. Just clean the area again with some more cleaning products.
An inline bilge filter is an alternative to dealing with the dirty bilge. The device is designed to remove petroleum products from your bilge water without affecting the performance of your pump. However, if you need to replace filters, you need to periodically check the products for oil saturation.