Thursday, November 5, 2009
Waging War (Or How Allie Vanquished the Thousands... of Spores)...
When I first decided to move onto Misty Rose, I took a trip down to Pasadena, Md., (where we kept her until I moved her to Washington). Misty hadn't been used all winter, and upon entering it was crystal clear to me that work would need to be done. Intense, hard, back-breaking work.
The largest problem, aside from an incredible amount of collected junk, was mold. And a gross mold smell. But mostly mold. I figured the smell would go away once the mold was dealt with. Ha. Sure it would.
Once I got the collected junk dispatched to Daddy dearest (whose junk -- excuse me, very important stuff -- it was) and to the marina Dumpster (where it belonged) I set in to researching the mold problem.
The first thing I did was take a shop vac and give everything a seriously good vacuuming, clearing the way for cleaning. I then removed the cushions from the v-berth and laid them in the sun for the day. The covers went home with me, where I washed them three times. Yes, you read that correctly, three times. After the first time the covers still smelled musty. The second time I went out and bought bleach substitute (I was worried bleach would ruin the color -- next time I will use regular bleach. The cushions are stained anyway). Slightly better. The third time with bleach substitute got them almost scent free. Then I laid them in the sun to dry and, hopefully, continue to air out.
The skipper whose charter boat I work on had an ozone generator. Upon hearing tales of hard-fought battles against the spores, he suggested that this would kill mold and eliminate stench. More deadly to mold than bleach, he promised. Great! I turned it to "high" and let it run in the boat, completely closed in, for the five hours it took me to scrub the outside of the boat. For this, I enlisted my ever-helpful boyfriend Jon, who was just delighted to help me. Ahem.
The ozone generator, as far as I could tell didn't help so much -- that or the mold decided to mount a counterstrike. I returned it to its owner and researched. Not so deadly as he thought, apparently, and possibly bad for the environment and my health. Great.
Onward and upward to bleach! Ahh the sweet smell of bleach. Yum.
Bleach cleaner mostly eradicated the mold on the pleather ceiling and wall surfaces and the head floor. On the rest of the floor I used Murphy's Oil Soap after the bleach and a stiff brush. And Clorox wipes (well, Wal Mart brand Clorox wipes) and swiffers and much pumping of the bilge. By hand. (We'll talk about the lack of electric bilge pump later.)
Finally, I covered all plush surfaces, cushions, etc. with baking soda vacuum powder, let it sit and absorb (or whatever it does) and vacuumed it up and made sure everything was bone dry.
The scent of mold lingers still, but the spores have been vanquished unto death!
Until I find places like this hidden away in the boat's recesses. Where's my bleach? This war will be won!