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Old 08-15-2017, 01:38 PM   #1
Poor Richard
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Default Cleaning the bilge

Popped an engine earlier this year, oil pan was perforated in the process and some milk was dumped into the bilge. I'm preparing to clean everything up before I drop the new engine in and am looking for thoughts and suggestions on the best method of doing this while minimizing the environmental impact.

A few things I'm considering are to absorb what's leftover with paper towels then blast it with degreaser, a stiff brush and absorb again with paper towels. Another consideration was to find a spray bay, degrease and let it all drain out since that water is closed-loop and does not enter the public sewer system.

Please save the criticisms on the two ideas mentioned above and offer suggestions on how best to do this if either of those methods are not desirable.
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Old 08-15-2017, 01:57 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Poor Richard View Post
Popped an engine earlier this year, oil pan was perforated in the process and some milk was dumped into the bilge. I'm preparing to clean everything up before I drop the new engine in and am looking for thoughts and suggestions on the best method of doing this while minimizing the environmental impact.

A few things I'm considering are to absorb what's leftover with paper towels then blast it with degreaser, a stiff brush and absorb again with paper towels. Another consideration was to find a spray bay, degrease and let it all drain out since that water is closed-loop and does not enter the public sewer system.

Please save the criticisms on the two ideas mentioned above and offer suggestions on how best to do this if either of those methods are not desirable.
thank you for posting this, I was looking for the best way to clean up engine compartment in a jetski. I had the oil tank crack and leaked and made a mess in there (oily residue touch to everything)
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:00 PM   #3
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How much it in there with water and oil, appx gallons?

Cat litter , it's cheap and soaks up everything.
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:23 PM   #4
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What's in there now couldn't be measured in gallons. Maybe a couple pints total, if that. I drained whatever would come out into a pan and dumped that into my used oil.... probably 2gal.

I like the cat litter idea!
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Old 08-15-2017, 02:32 PM   #5
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Good idea, soak up with kitty liter. Then use Super Clean to finish cleaning
the soiled area. You only need to use a small amount and scrub with a sponge or nail brush.

I am a retired workaholic and continuing aquaholic.
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Old 08-15-2017, 03:58 PM   #6
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FYI, they make pads that are designed to absorb oil and do a better job than other things.

Google it and you'll find many. They tend to absorb oil, but not water.

Here's just one:
https://www.westmarine.com/buy/west-...06_186_007_506

Most marine mechanics use them a lot.

I keep a couple on my boat "just in case".

Good luck!
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Old 08-15-2017, 07:13 PM   #7
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Thanks, Rich. Pig mats are what comes to mind after clicking the link and I know a guy who has a few.

Thinking I'm on the right track here.

Thank you for the suggestions.


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Old 08-15-2017, 07:34 PM   #8
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Simple Green is a great way to finish up as well, very good at removing the oil residue once the majority of it is cleaned up. Best "non chemical" stuff to clean up any oil or greasy mess I've used and best of all not terribly expensive.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:04 PM   #9
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I think "Speedi-dry" or similar name,used in garages to soak up oil is the same as Kitty litter, but much less expensive at the auto parts store. Cheapest, of course, will be something unheard of from FLL's favorite store.
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Old 08-15-2017, 10:15 PM   #10
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I think "Speedi-dry" or similar name,used in garages to soak up oil is the same as Kitty litter, but much less expensive at the auto parts store. Cheapest, of course, will be something unheard of from FLL's favorite store.
You can bet that half a cup of Speedi Dry will do far more than a truckload of store branded paper towels

Wal Mart = "Kwalaty"
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Old 08-16-2017, 07:14 AM   #11
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I'm a Bounty guy. My paper towels absorb.






Grabbing some Pig mats similar to what Rich posted. Pretty sure I'm in good shape for cleanup while keeping Mother Nature happy.
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Old 08-20-2017, 08:59 PM   #12
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Bilge cleaned!

Went to AutoZone for spark plugs and mats. They were out of mats. On my way home I stopped by Tractor Supply. Also no mats.



Didn't care to spend the morning chasing these elusive mats so I ended up purchasing a 3-pack of blue shop towels at TSC. I used almost 2 rolls while dousing with Simple Green. Probably over did the cleaning but I'm very pleased with the results.

Finished the cleaning off with several paper towels once the heavier coating of oil was removed from the surfaces.
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Old 08-20-2017, 09:04 PM   #13
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Good to hear the dreadful chore is finished. In the future you may find that Super Clean is more powerful than Simple Green and "a little dab will do ya".


I am a retired workaholic and continuing aquaholic.
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Old 08-21-2017, 09:44 AM   #14
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any scrubbing involved or just something on the super clean or simple green can just spray on and hose off?
outside of the lake of course
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Old 08-21-2017, 06:45 PM   #15
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No scrubbing, just wiping down with the shop towels followed by paper towels.

Wasn't quite a degreaser and spray down job but, as mentioned, I went thru the extra effort of cleaning the entire engine compartment while I was in there. Had it all draining into a 2gal oil pan.

With all the equipment I own, I'm looking forward to checking out what Super Clean can do.
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Old 08-22-2017, 08:11 AM   #16
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Default Simple Green

Great biodegradable degreaser! Smells nice too!

Every spring my mechanic will replace the mat he place in my bilge. Not only is it the right thing to do, it also tells him the condition of the engine!
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