Ask the Building Maintenance Experts
Solutions for Your Toughest Problems

ICAN  Q & A  Home

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Question

I am not sure if you had a question like mine asked before, but what would be the best product to use to clean a deck on a battle ship that is usually at sea different times during the year?


Answer

I can confirm your suspicion that this question is unique. Most of our writers do not even clean the decks on kayaks while they are “at sea”.
However, my limited experience (I saw “Victory at Sea”) indicates that most deck washing will simply be a fresh water rinse to clear away salt build up from the superstructure.
Assuming that there is more that needs attention, such as oil or grease, you will need an eco-friendly degreaser. That is one defined as not a pollutant when rinsed off the deck and into the sea.
One advanced solution the Navy has come up with for cleaning aircraft carrier decks is described in a 2009 press release in this way:
“The Mobile Cleaning Reclaim and Recovery System (MCRRS) vehicle uses hydrocyclone technology, which requires no soaps, uses only pressurized water, and reclaims and recycles the spent cleaning water. Everything from oil, fuel and loose bolts on deck can be vacuumed up into the MCRRS. Oil and other hazardous materials are separated out into waste concentrates so they can be properly disposed of, while the water can be recycled for cleaning. The MCRSS can be used while underway and in port.”
http://www.onr.navy.mil/Media-Center/Press-Releases/2009/Flight-Deck-Cleaning-Zamboni.asp
This is the highest form of “Green” cleaning, in that nothing is flushed overboard and the water is available for reuse.
This technology won’t be inexpensive, but then again, neither are battleships.

Lynn E. Krafft, ICAN/ATEX Editor
lekrafft@juno.com