✓Wash your boat frequently with a sponge or nonabrasive pad and plain water. This approach is very effective at removing salt. Additional “elbow-grease” may be required to remove stains.
✓When detergents are necessary, use those that are phosphate-free, biodegradable, and non-toxic. Use soaps and detergents sparingly, because even non-toxic products can be harmful to wildlife. For example, detergents destroy the natural oils on fish gills, limiting their ability to extract dissolved oxygen from the water.
✓Wax your boat, if appropriate. A good coat of wax prevents surface dirt from becoming ingrained.
✓Clean teak with a mild soap and abrasive pads or bronze wool. This method is safe for the environment and better for the boat than the solvents found in standard teak cleaners, which tend to damage both wood
and seam compounds.
✓Avoid detergents that contain ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, chlorinated solvents, petroleum distillates, or lye.
✓Try some of the alternative cleaning products listed on the reverse side of this page.
✓Collect all paint chips, dust, and residue. Dispose of in trash.
✓Share leftover paint and varnish rather than storing it or throwing it out.
✓Leave empty paint cans open to dry out before disposing of them.
✓Use less toxic propylene glycol antifreeze instead of ethylene glycol.
✓Select a bottom paint developed for the mid-Atlantic region and apply the proper amount. Do not overapply.
✓Recycle used oil, oil filters, and antifreeze.
✓Bring used solvents and waste gasoline to collection points on local hazardous-waste collection days.
✓Ask your marina manager for locations of recycling centers and information about hazardous waste collection days.
Click here for the full US NPS Green Marina Guidebook