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Mould on Boats & Yachts


Mould quickly grows in damp and wet conditions making it a constant feature of owning a boat or yacht. Mould begins as a white or pink fuzzy growth and may initially go unnoticed, it then becomes green or black and if not removed or treated can end up staining the surface and spreading to other areas of the boat.

boat

Many of the following strategies to tackle mould are inexpensive or cost-free and provide the most benefit when carried out on a regular basis. Apply these prevention and removal tips to your daily routine on your boat and you will be able to very quickly and simply reduce or remove the opportunities for mould growth without too much effort.

10 Mould Prevention and Removal Tips

  1. Leaks – Identify and any repair leaks. Check areas that are vulnerable to water build-up such as low points or areas that can become clogged with debris. 

  2. Remove moisture - Whilst using your boat make it part of your daily routine to wipe down surfaces with a dry towel including windows to reduce moisture and condensation sitting on the interior surfaces. Also, wipe down all bathroom surfaces after a shower.

  3. Ventilation – open vents and turn on fans to circulate the air. An additional step is to install an electric ventilation system to create a stronger movement of air and circulation throughout the boat. 

  4. De-humidify – when a boat is left closed and unattended mould can begin to grow. Use the de-humidifying setting on the boats air conditioning system. Alternatively, you can purchase a stand-alone dehumidifier and keep it running whilst the boat is vacant. Stand-alone dehumidifiers are available at electrical and department stores. Ensure any water running off the de-humidifier flows out of the boat and does not build up inside.

  5. Clean – Dust and dirt sitting on surfaces provide a perfect foothold for mould spores to latch on to. Whilst it is easy to remember to clean benches, also wipe or dust cupboards, walls, light fittings, curtains, blinds, and ceilings.

  6. De-clutter – Having a lot of items on bench tops or in cupboards and wardrobes encourages an environment of dust, dirt, and dampness which will promote mould growth. You may not think that you have a lot of items but just keeping and storing the absolute essentials will help you to reduce the number of items.

  7. Sunshine – wherever possible, open curtains and blinds and allow the sun to shine into the boat as this will help to reduce mould. Having fewer items will also mean that the sun’s light will touch more surfaces, dry any dampness and kill mould sitting there. 

  8. Freshwater – use fresh water to wash away salt water or salt residue sitting on surfaces as salt will encourage dampness. Once washed, go over the surface with a towel to dry. 

  9. Wet or damp items – Promptly remove any washed or laundered items from inside the boat and leave to dry in the open air. Any wet towels or clothes should be left outside to dry completely before being taken inside and stored.

  1. Remove mouldy items - Any loose items, clothes, towels, linens, curtains, etc that cannot be effectively treated for mould should be removed completely so as to avoid the mould spreading to other areas of the boat through the release of spores. Dispose of cloths used to clean mould.

4 Mould Treatment Strategies

Given the damp and wet environmental conditions on a boat or yacht, even with a great mould prevention routine, you may still experience mould and it is best to treat it as soon as possible.

  1. All-purpose mould treatment

    Whilst there are many commercial mould cleaners and natural alternative remedies for mould, our favourite is Oil of Cloves for Mould. Simply, because the active ingredient, Eugenol in Oil of Cloves kills mould and mildew. It is very economical and has a relatively pleasant smell compared with other mould cleaners. Note: Oil of Cloves Platinum Pro is a higher strength product having a higher Eugenol content.

    Oil of Cloves for Mould can be diluted ½ teaspoon per 1 Litre of water and sprayed on to all hard surfaces requiring mould treatment.

  2. Preventative mould treatment

    Recommended: Use the Oil of Cloves for Mould solution every 3 months as a preventative to reduce mould recurrence. 

  3. Circulating mould

    Mould can circulate through the air and into vents and air conditioning systems. Use 3-4 drops of Oil of Cloves for Mould in a vaporiser or air purifier to circulate through the air. Remember to wipe any moisture from surfaces with a dry towel.

  4. Mould stains on upholstery

    To treat mould stains on soft surfaces such as upholstery, curtains, or canvas use a cleaning product that treats the stain as well as killing the mould. The Oil of Cloves Upholstery Cleaner is especially suited to this purpose. With any cleaner, always test on an inconspicuous area first. The longer mould sits on a surface the more severe the stain and harder to treat so always treat stains as soon as you notice any discolouration from mould.

We have many customers who use Oil of Cloves for Mould to prevent and treat mould outbreaks on their boats. If you have a story that you would like to share, and that may be helpful to our other readers, please leave your story in the comment box below.


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