Tips for sustainable superyacht cleaning
Last updated: 08/09/2016
With superyacht owners, charter guests, captains and crew sharing a mutual love of the ocean, with ample respect and appreciation of the water and its sea life, sustainable cleaning has never been more important within the boating and yachting sectors.
Regular cleaning and a know-how of sustainable cleaning methods makes the daunting task of maintaining a superyacht much more manageable, often ensuring that the job requires fewer cleaning products to provide the same result, and allowing the crew more time for work (and, when time allows, play).
Yachting Pages details some top tips and inside information for a smarter, more sustainable approach to superyacht cleaning, detailing and routine maintenance tasks aboard.
Smart and sustainable cleaning aboard a superyacht
Enjoying time on the ocean, with views out across some of the world’s most stunning landscapes, today’s yachties are looking to smarter and more sustainable cleaning products and methods to keep the yacht clean and the ocean happy.
Sarah Crawford, president of Bio Green Clean, a business supplying eco-friendly cleaning products to the superyacht industry explained, “I am a huge supporter of the use of ocean-friendly products when cleaning and maintaining a superyacht, as well as products that are safe for crew and passengers. However, the cleanliness of one’s yacht does not have to be sacrificed in order to protect the ocean. It is possible, as I like to say, to have a clean boat and a clean conscience.
“I suggest that captains and their crew look for products that can tackle tough cleaning challenges, but that will do no harm to sea life. It’s therefore important to avoid products with phosphates, which upset the natural balance of the sea and cause unhealthy algae blooms. It’s also important to find products that are PH neutral, or close to that, as excess acidity causes many problems, including prohibiting coral from forming proper skeletons.
“Alkaline products, such as bleach and ammonia, are simply toxic to humans and animals alike. Furthermore, it is important to avoid products with chemicals, as the residue and fumes are unsafe for humans and ocean-organisms when they are washed into the ocean.”
Multi-purpose cleaning products and eco-friendly ideas at sea
Multi-purpose cleaners and eco-friendly marine cleaning concentrates can help to free up space aboard, with fewer products, tools and chemicals needed for the many jobs the vessel demands. Where water just won’t do, cleaning concentrates allow less product to be used, while multi-purpose cleaners mean less chemical combinations are ultimately produced.
Sarah Crawford suggested that cleaning concentrates are never more useful than aboard a boat or yacht. She said, “It is ideal to find a product that comes in a concentrate that can be diluted, both to save space and money, as well as all those plastic bottles and unnecessary chemical mixes.
“Keeping a yacht clean is no small task; it requires a cleaner that is tough and versatile, but thanks to some revolutionary new cleaners on the market, now captains, crews and passengers alike can rest assured that they can have a sparkling yacht, while their ocean-playground is protected.”
Sarah refers us to The American Boating Association, which suggests that, “For marine use, you’ll want to select a soap that will be tough on dirt, grime and salt, yet easy on the environment. Don’t use the same soap that you would use for cleaning the dishes at home. Instead, select an effective, biodegradable cleaning agent with a neutral PH factor. It’s especially important to use soap and fresh water to completely remove the corrosive salt-built up that can eat away at your boat.”
Sarah shared that the Professional Yachting Association also asserts that teak brighteners require the use of rubber boots, thick rubber gloves and a mask to protect against the highly toxic effects of such Acid-based products. These are therefore to be avoided to avoid the same harmful damage to our oceans.