Tag Archives: Cleaning

Cleaning Medina without hurting my friends

One of the challenges of moving on to the boat from a house was the change in cleaning products. I can still use many of the household cleaning products but it is not possible to use others because they are not applicable to some of the equipment or the marine environment.

Kin Kin eco dishwashing liquid

Kin Kin eco dishwashing liquid

Since living on the boat, I have become more aware of the environmental impact of cleaning products. This is because everything that comes on to the boat must come off the boat, at some time. Cleaning products come onto Medina in neat colourful bottles or boxes, the contents end up being pumped out one of her ‘through hull’ openings as grey water and the bottle or box goes in the rubbish bin then up to the marina industrial bin or recycling bin.

I am aware of the age old mixture of vinegar and water as a disinfectant and I do use this in certain situations as it has a low toxicity and is biodegradable. However, I was after some cleaning products that I could buy off the shelf and know that they weren’t going to contribute to killing the bream, mullet, dolphins, toad fish, turtles, cuttlefish, crabs and other marine life we have living in the water around our boat or the birds that eat them.

It has amazed me how much marine life there is living in our marina, sometimes I see more in a day in the marina then a week at an anchorage. One of our favourite outings in the marina is watching the sea life at night when one of the large and fancy powerboats leave their underwater lights on. Its like having your own person aquarium and is better than watching tv.

So given my growing friendship with our marine friends, I have changed my thinking on the cleaning products I use on the boat. I know I don’t use a lot, however Manly Boat Harbour, with four marinas is the largest boat harbour facility in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 3,000 dry standings and wet berths, plus two public boat ramps, plus being the end of the storm water drainage system for a large urban area, the cumulative effect is pretty big. By getting used to using these products in the marina, I am hoping they do not contribute the cumulative impact from other boats and landlubbers and we won’t negatively impact the marine life when we are cruising, in a marina or at anchor.

Resparkle organic cleaning products

Resparkle organic cleaning products

I have started to use organic cleaning products on the belief that they won’t hurt the marine life as much as artificial or chemical based products. I have also tried to source locally made products where possible.

My favourite products to date include the Resparkle range and Kin Kin Naturals.

The Resparkle range of products is organic, plant based, anti-bacterial and the packaging is reusable. The refill pods are much smaller and cheaper than the store bought alternatives – so fantastic for stocking up when we are not going to be seeing the shops for a while.

I have tried the kitchen and multi surface cleaner, nursery and toy everyday cleaner and bathroom and glass cleaner. Each has done exactly what is promised on the label and I am about to order some refill pods.

Another not so joyful part of cleaning Medina’s interior was getting the smell of cleaning products out of the boat. I used to wait until Orbit went to swimming lessons so he wasn’t affected. But I endured a headache after cleaning.  So far I haven’t had a headache using the Resparkle products.

Kin Kin eco laundry liquid

Kin Kin eco laundry liquid

The Kin Kin Natural products I use are the eco laundry and eco dishwashing liquid. Given the eco laundry and dish wash liquids are both grey water safe and septic safe I feel comfortable that it isn’t going to hurt my friends when I empty the dirty laundry or washing up water. Both are ultra concentrated, which took me a while to get used to as our washing machine is so small and only needs about one third of the recommended dose. This is great from a storage perspective because it means its less to store when on an extended cruise.

I buy these and other organic products from www.theorganicstore.com.au The online store is based on Queensland’s sunshine coast and they ship all around Australia. I have their service is fantastic, the website contains helpful informative information, the shipping time is quick and would recommend them to everyone.

Laundry 1, Laundry 1 are you there?

I think we have been living in the marina for too long … Medina has a nickname – “Laundry 1”. I only found out our nickname the other day when a fellow live aboard called out “Laundry 1, Laundry 1, are you there?”

Medina on wash day, every day is wash day

Medina on wash day, every day is wash day

Why are we called Laundry 1? Because I always seem to have laundry drying. One of our neighbours, who isn’t a live aboard but is regularly on his boat made the comment that I am always doing the laundry when he sees me. Other live aboards have said “are you doing to washing again?” when they come over for coffee and a chat. It never really sunk in how much laundry I did, until we were called Laundry 1.

I am not sure if I do anymore laundry than anyone else (I am a wash the sheets and towels once a week kind of girl), it is just that our laundry is more obvious (I do keep our ‘smalls’ out of the public eye though).

So why all the laundry? There are a few reasons …

Firstly, having an 18 month baby helps to generate the amount of laundry – particularly now he has decided that he wants to feed himself and loves to play in sand and dirt.

Our little washing machine

Our little washing machine

The secondly, and probably the most valid reason is our washing machine. It’s a small version of the old school twin tub that our mum’s may have had or our grandmothers definitely had prior to the automatic machines. It only holds 20 litres of water on the washing side, which in practical terms means two large towels or one queen size sheet. This is about one quarter of the size of an average size washing machine.

It’s extremely water efficient (great when we are reliant on our tank water, i.e. not in a marina) and the spinner is something of a miracle worker – everything comes out nearly dry. The washing machine sits quite nicely in the cockpit (when we are in the marina) and offers Orbit many opportunities for entertainment, from ‘helping me’ load the machine, turning the dials and emptying the spinner. This does mean I need to check the machine prior to popping a load on, I have found many wonderful things in the machine that he has decided to ‘wash’, everything from pegs to food and winch handles.

The Skipper was so proud the day he presented me with the washing machine. To his credit he did alleviate my requirement to lug our washing to the marina laundry – which was a timing challenge between Orbit’s sleeps and machine availability. Other’s using the marina laundry were extremely generous knowing my predicament and would often pop our laundry in the machine, transfer it to the dryer or even fold it for me – god bless them!

My internal clothes line

My internal clothes line

These days, to stay on top of the laundry, I do at least one load a day – which is why there is always washing ‘on the line’. I would rather do this than a week’s worth of washing – which can take a full day.

I’ve had a few people ask how are we going to do our washing when we are not in a marina. The first challenge is going to be limiting the amount of washing we create. The second challenge is finding the opportunity to wash. It will only be when Medina is flat and we can plug the washing machine into the inverter (basically when we are at anchor), we have enough water and we have the best drying conditions. In the interim, it will be a case of hand washing. Oh the joys!

I know I am going to have to relax my usual laundry routine of washing at least once a day and I am looking forward to it. As much as there is a sense of achievement with having the washing basket empty and everything put away, I would rather be out and about exploring the world than doing the laundry any day!