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The Cleaning Bucket

Every stew’s best friend: the cleaning bucket!

What does my typical bucket look like? (Like the one below haha, as I obviously took the photo on board) It’s generally got the following items:

 

  • Bin Liners: the tiny ones for the bathroom bins. I tried “green” ones, but the problem with biodegradable bins is that when they get wet, they disintegrate or smell, like the ones I tried in Italy last year… If you have found an good alternative, please hit me up!
  • Downy Spray: what would we ever do without it? Spray on your bed linen, tuck it in tight and goodbye iron! In the Caribbean Ace shops I’ve also found a thing called Grandma’s Wrinkle Releaser, tiny spray bottle, but potent! If you can’t find it, you can try making your own with your preferred softener (1 tea spoon) diluted in a spray bottle of distilled water (1 cup). Test it on a crew bed first though!
  • Cotton Buds & Toothpicks: to get into all those hard to clean spots, ie sink drain holes, shower flooring cracks, toilet-floor joints, … any corners really! Throw in a toothbrush for good measure too!
  • H20-Vinegar Spray: ah, the golden liquid that cleans a grant majority of surfaces, including wooden surfaces, glass, mirror, plastic… BUT NOT STONE, ESPECIALLY NOT DELICATE STONE! If you have any delicate, precious stones such as marble and granite, stay away with the vinegar as the acid in it will etch the stone and possible damage it irreversibly.
  • Room Perfume: all yachts have their scent: a line of perfumed products they use around the yacht. I’m personally a big fan of Acqua dell’Elba. They have the regular diffusers, candles and room sprays. I used to use their Mare range but realised the blue liquid stained the reed diffuser sticks and as the perfectionists we all are, decided that was unacceptable and changed to Fiori instead. Greenie Point: They’ve got big refill bottles for the diffusers! Whoop whoop!
  • Swiffer: They were on the yacht when I joined and as much as I tried, they never really convinced me (and consequently disappeared from the bucket) but what did convince me are the:
  • Tack Rags: these wonderful sticky rags are often used on deck when prepping a sanded area before applying paint as it picks up all the fine dust (whereas swiffer IMO just moves the dust around) – hallelujah! Top tips: handle with gloves and don’t use on materials such as suede, use it on wood and glass rather. When using on glass don’t press to hard as the sticky stuff will simply transfer onto your surface, use it as you would gently caress your loved one.
  • Squeegee: to quick-dry showers and floors 
  • Magic Eraser: to be used sparingly! This baby should only come out in emergency cases. A magic eraser is basically ultra-fine sanding paper so whatever material you are going to use it on, you will be sanding the top layer off, keep that in mind. I’ve used it on crew mess corridors and on guest glass shower doors but will try other methods first. 
  • Gamazyme BTC: as per Wilhelmsen’s website: “a unique biological active liquid formulation containing specialised bacterial strains, biodegradable low foaming chemical cleaners and anti-foam agents” BTC = biological toilet cleaner
  • Gamazyme MSC: as per Wilhelmsen’s website: “a unique biologically active liquid formulation containing specialised bacterial strains and biodegradable chemical cleaners” MSC = multi-surface cleaner Ooh, and this one also works really well as a stain remover on clothes, bed and table linen.
Gamazyme Products
 
Okay, okay… These last two might seem like odd birds and I look forward to enlightening you about them… Gamazyme products are based on bacterial strains, I refer to them as my little creatures. So these active bacteria kinda like munch away at things like grease and anything organic really. When using these products on a daily basis you keep adding to your little creature zoo down in the drains and tanks which will help the tanks’ health (your engineer will thank you) and also help diminishing odours in general. Extra Greenie Points!

Read more on green products and labels here!

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