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Get Rid of Boat Odors


Your boat might look its best, but unless it smells just as fresh, those good looks may go to waste. Nothing ruins a quality boating experience quite like foul odors. Even worse, it can be difficult to diagnose the cause of the odor in the first place. Here is a quick guide to get rid of boat odors so your guests won’t have to pinch their noses!

Boat Odors 101: Prevention and Inspection

It starts with preventing boat odors in the first place. For example, using Mildew Remover as part of your cleaning routine will prevent the buildup of mildew in damp areas on your boat. A regular cleaning routine is an important step to preventing boat odors from building up.

When foul smells get past your routine, you’ll have begin by finding the source. Start with the most common areas on your boat—any waste removal system, bilges and bait wells in particular. Because these are most frequently in contact with organic material, they are the areas most susceptible to bacteria buildup—and the odor that comes with it.

Clean the Common Causes of Boat Odors

If you’re still not sure where the odor is coming from, now’s the time to invest in some serious cleaning products to flush out the most common culprits:

  • Live Well and Bait Well Cleaner. Your bait well is exposed to a lot of bacteria and even protozoa. Clean it out regularly to ensure that it’s safe to use and odor-free. This serves a second purpose: keeping your bait well clean for any fish or bait that go inside.
  • Bilge Cleaner. The boat bilge should be #1 on your list of odor suspects. Even if you don’t find that it’s the source of your current bad smells, it will do your boat a lot of good to keep it as clean and fresh as possible.

Keeping these two areas of your boat clean should often get rid of boat odors. But what do you do if the smell remains?

Additional Tips

If this still isn’t enough to clear out the odor, it’s time to try some more advanced techniques:

  • Check the upholstery. Upholstery that’s gone bad can be one of the most difficult hiding spots for odors. Even worse, few boat owners suspect that anything is happening inside a chair that could possibly cause odor.
  • Inspect all pump hoses. It’s possible you may need to replace them if they turn out to be the source of foul smells.
  • Take the boat out of the water and let it dry. You’d be surprised at how much easier it is to identify the source of a boat odor once your boat is removed from the elements.

Chances are, if you’ve gone through all of these steps, there won’t be a boat odor capable of escaping your notice. But it doesn’t hurt to keep your boat maintained with the proper cleaning
in the first place. Our cleaning products that are specifically designed for boats will leave a pleasant fragrance and react much better with the marine environment.

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