Stuck zippers on side curtains and zip-out windows can be eased open with a spray of silicone or rubbed sparingly with Teflon grease.
Sticky snap fasteners will go on and off easier when coated with lip balm, a candle or crayon.
When snap fasteners are corroded, clean them with bronze wool or a 3M Nylon Scotch Pad. Use a small screw driver inside the spring to loosen grit.
Crud-encrusted can vas should be lightly scrubbed with warm, sudsy water. Rinse and hang to dry, then apply a waterproofing agent.
To remove bird droppings, place a rag dipped in cooking oil over the spot. Keep covered until it loosens enough to be wiped up. This also works for squished bugs and tar spots on the hull.
Bird droppings that are left for a long time can stain. On Weblon and Dacron, rub with Soft Scrub soap and rinse. Don't rub Sunbrella, which has a coating; just dab gently.
Cement cleaner gets rust stains out of most canvas. Test first in an inconspicuous area to be sure it doesn't damage the fabric.
To remove blood from canvas, apply a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the stain and let soak for half an hour.
When clear vinyl panels get stiff or hazy, coat them with Pledge.
If your clear vinyl panels are scratched, polish them with a paste of 2 tablespoons each of glycerin, jeweler's rouge and water. Put it on a clean rag, rub into scratches and rinse.
To remove stains from clear vinyl, try using a damp cloth dipped in water with baking soda. For a stubborn stain, rub a little toothpaste on it with your finger.×
A seized macerator pump can be freed by unhooking the discharge hose and raising it above the pump. Pour in a solution of dishwashing liquid and water. Let sit for at least an hour.
If the drain keeps clogging and smelling, toss a handful of baking soda in it, then a pot of boiling water.
To keep the rubber joker valve from drying out, pump some vegetable oil through the system each month.
Hair spray buildup on the mirror? Wipe it off with rubbing alcohol.
Before cleaning the toilet, drop 2 Alka Seltzer tablets in the bowl. After the fizz, scrub the bowl as usual
Before leaving the boat, pour Pine-Sol into the toilet bowl to keep it fresh.
Deodorize the toilet with a solution of 3 tablespoons of baking soda to 1 quart of warm water. Don't rinse it
Check to see if the source of a bad smell in the head is coming from a hose. How? Wrap the hose in a warm, damp rag, then let it cool. Unwrap the hose and smell the rag. If it stinks, replace the hose.
Need a temporary fix for a smelly waste hose? Wrap it in Saran Wrap.
Mildew in the bowl can be cleaned by generously spraying oven cleaner and letting it sit for five minutes. Wipe with damp paper towels.
If gunk is caking up your shower tracks, clean them out it a cotton swab soaked in a mild solution of bleach and water. Keep this away from caulking.
To clean tile, rub a little vegetable oil on the stain.×
Creaky hinges and sticky locks can be silenced using a vegetable spray.
Sticky portholes, hatches and windows take well to petroleum jelly. Dip a small brush in the jelly and wipe it around the inside rubber seal.
Sticky drawers will slide again if you rub candle wax or soap on the runners.
Get rid of moisture and mildew with kitty litter. Place several shallow boxes throughout the interior.
Keep moisture from stowed gear by tying a dozen pieces of chalk together and hanging them in lockers and cabinets. Or, fill a plastic container with charcoal briquettes. Punch holes in the cover and place the container at the bottom of the locker.
To help eliminate cabin odors, fill a small bowl with charcoal (available for potted plants) and place it on a shelf.
Reduce locker odors by putting a little vanilla extract on a piece of cotton and place it on a shelf.
Make your own all-purpose cleaner by mixing 1 quart warm water, 1 teaspoon liquid soap, 1 teaspoon Borax and 1 teaspoon vinegar.
To get the odor out of musty lockers, hang a nylon stocking and fill it with cedar chips.
To get rid of the smell of fresh paint, place a large cut onion into a big pan of cold water and leave it onboard.
Get rid of old tape on a bulkhead with oil-free nail polish remover. Another way to remove tape is by heating it with a hair dryer to soften the glue.
To remove the leftover glue from tape, spray it with WD-40, wait a few minutes and rub with a piece of nylon netting.
To clean tile, rub a little vegetable oil on the stain.×
Get dull stainless steel shining again by rubbing it with a mixture of alcohol and kerosene of a soft rag.
Wipe down stainless with the same lemon oil you use to clean wood cabin furniture. It leaves a high shine and creates a water-spot resistant surface.
For glittering chrome, use vinegar or window cleaner. Also, try a cloth dampened in ammonia.
Aluminum, like wood, has a grain. Always rub cleaners with the grain.
Ammonia will pit aluminum's surface. Keep it away.
To keep chrome from tarnishing, brush on a coat of clear lacquer.
To clean brass, use 1/2 cup of vinegar mixed with 1 tablespoon of salt.
For water spots or hard water buildup that has dulled stainless steel sinks and fixtures, wipe with vinegar then rinse with water. To thoroughly clean stainless steel sinks, use a mix of ammonia and water. To keep stainless shiny, rub it with a little mineral oil and buff with a dry cloth.
Rust stains on sinks and drains will lift right out with a cut lemon.
For a showroom shine on stainless, polish with a rag that's been dipped in club soda.×
Wipe sticky messes from vinyl with a cloth dipped in a warm dishwashing detergent solution (not soap) and polish with a soft cloth. Wax and cream polishes will leave the surface tacky.
To remove stains on leather, try rubbing castor oil into dark leather, or petroleum jelly on lighter surfaces, with your finger. Wipe with an absorbent cloth.
Clean deck carpets with 1/4 cup liquid Wisk laundry detergent and 1/4 cup white distilled vinegar in 1 quart of hot water. Use a damp sponge and rub in a circular motion. Blot dry.
To keep boat vinyl looking new, wash regularly with a mild dish detergent, then lightly coat with petroleum jelly.
Add 1/2 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle when washing musty fabrics to make the small disappear.
Spray deodorant or Hair spray to remove pen marks from vinyl, canvas, and upholstery.
Prevent leather from cracking by polishing regularly with a cream made of 1 part vinegar and 2 parts linseed oil. Never use mink oil, it attracts insects and smells.
For fresh grease and oil stains, sprinkle with talcum or cornstarch. Rub well and let stand until the stain in absorbed. Brush off and wipe with a damp cloth.
Plain old dirt on upholstery? Get it off with shaving cream.×
To remove ugly brown spots on glass, use full strength hydrogen peroxide.
Freshly dried plaint comes off glass with a hot vinegar solution or nail polish remover.
Use newspaper to clean windows. They leave less lint than paper towels.
Mixing 2 cups of dishwater soap into 5 gallons of water makes a fine window wash.
Use 1/2 water, 1/2 ammonia mix to remove cigarette smoke residue from the inside of cabin windows.×
Blood on unprotected wood should be washed immediately. Lightly wet-sand and swab with hydrogen peroxide.
Clean oak and mahogany by wiping with a cloth dipped in warm beer.
Cover minor scratches with a generous amount of petroleum jelly. Leave it on for 24 hours. Rub into the wood, remove the excess and polish as usual.
Have scratches marred your teak? Rub the meat of a pecan into them.
Control mold in teak with a mixture of 4 parts bleach to 1 part saltwater. Scrub with a brush across the grain, not with it, then rinse with saltwater.×
Unnecessary static on the VHF radio may be caused by buildup on the antenna connector. Clean with WD-40, CRC's QD Electronics Cleaner, or a pencil eraser.
Before you plug in your electronic equipment for the new boating season, protect their connections by giving them a shot of a non-solvent based anti-corrosive such as Corrosion-X or Corrosion Buster.×
If you think you have water in your lube oil, heat a few tablespoons in a frying pan; if it boils, there's water.
Clean wire-mesh engine filters by soaking in hot water and baking soda.
Warm a sponge in the microwave before wiping up oil spills. This thins the oil so the sponge can absorb more.
Before spraying engine cleaner, cover the distributor, coil and carburetor with Saran Wrap to avoid damage.×
Remove rust stains that have marred your fiberglass with cola. Rub on with cloth. For a stronger version, mix in some salt, which acts as an abrasive. Rinse thoroughly.
To remove black scuff marks from the deck or hull, dip a rag in concentrated lemon juice and buff well, then reapply wax.
Washing your boat using hard water can leave a mineral residue. To prevent this unsightly marking, simply add a water softener, such as Calgon, to the bucket.×