For today’s learning in green boating, I have chosen this BoatUS article about which cleaners combine the best cleaning and the best for the environment. It is an older article, so the brands may not always be available, but it does a good job of looking at priorities, such as why “biodegradable” may be even more important label than toxicity.

This article is purely about what we use to clean the outside of our boats, mostly topsides and deck. However, we need to put thought into what we use inside of our boats, as well. Given that your sinks drain overboard, are you using a biodegradable dish soap? What about your hand soap? One popular option is Castile Soap (most commonly known by the brand name Bonners) What are you using to clean out your bilges? How are you disposing of the dirty bilge water? HINT: If it is oily, adding soap and pumping it overboard is not the environmentally friendly option! The reason that spritzing oil spills with soap is illegal is because it causes the residue to settle to the bottom, rather than trying to clean it up and get it out of the ecosystem.

Keep safe, stay green,
Tanya Weimer