Getting Rid Of That Bad Fish Smell On Your Boat

Fish smells are some of the most common issues you’ll deal with as a fisherman and boat owner. More so if you fish and do cleaning and gutting on your boat. That good old fish smell may still remain over several weeks.

Fish stink becomes even more intense when not completely removed. Bacteria tend to grow and maintain the smell further. So it’s both a cleaning and disinfecting process in one to clean fish smells. And even then, some fish smells may still linger even if you don’t do gutting or onboard cleaning. Today, we will look into some of the most common cleaning techniques to remove fishy smells.

Common Cleaners to Remove Fish Smells

What are some of the most effective fish smell removers? Many over-the-counter and home remedies will be able to help you deal with a bad fish stink on your boats. You just need to dedicate some time to get rid of the smell. You’ll also have to do some periodic disinfecting to maintain zero fish smells. Many of these smells may hide in corners and storage so it is required to do dedicated cleaning on those parts at least weekly or every 2 weeks.

As a general rule in cleaning, use proper cleaning materials that won’t harm your boat. And always use direct exposure to the sun after disinfecting or cleaning. This last step helps kill off bacteria and gives the boat a fresh clean smell.

Hot water and soap cleaning:
A good basic wash down will usually do the trick, and it’s also a good maintenance step. Wash down the boat with hot water and a measure of water plus dishwashing liquid or boat-friendly liquid cleaners. This will help remove and degrease the boat and leave it with a lemony-fresh wash smell. Wash your boat offshore to avoid polluting local waters. Make sure to dry out the boat in the sun for a few hours. This should remove that fishy smell.

For natural disinfectants, you can use lemon or vinegar. You may also use isopropyl alcohol, but this will depend on the finish of your boat if it’s OK with alcohol. Lemon juice and its skin give off a fragrant aroma that absorbs fish stink effectively. Use several lemons to a pail of water that you can use for cleaning and rinsing. Remember to sun-dry the boat after to kill off the rest of the bacteria.

Use the recommended measure of concentrated home disinfectants to a small pail of water. Rinse and wipe all affected areas and leave the boat out to dry in the sun or the dock after. Rinse off with hot water if preferred.

White Vinegar:
You can use recommended mixes of vinegar to a pail of water for washing. Some many combine vinegar direct to water and use it for cleaning with towels soaked in this solution. Some also use vinegar by soaking affected areas and washing them later with warm water and soap. Either combination should work. Vinegar kills most bacteria and leaves a disinfecting scent that removes fishy smells effectively.

Baking Soda:
Baking soda is a valuable disinfectant and odor remover. You can use it directly on affected areas for cleaning. You can also mix baking soda with a pail of water for cleaning. You can also soak areas with baking soda for a few hours or overnight and later wash it off. Baking soda effectively absorbs all smells and also disinfects. You can also use a small amount of baking soda in small corners and it will absorb bad odors in your boat.

Activated Charcoal:
Put a small amount of activated charcoal onto a small bowl and position it in small corners to avoid bad fish smells. The activated charcoal will start absorbing any fish smells and get rid of the stink inside your boat.  

Preventative Maintenance

Boats that are active for fishing and minor fish processing will get the smell the most. Even if you concentrate on catching fish, there will still be some considerable fish smell to remove per week. In that case, add some maintenance steps to ensure cleaner and less stinky boats after you use them.

Use a pressurized hose and water facility when doing on-boat gutting and cleaning. Many fishing shows show that some gutting activities are equipped with pressurized water to spray off the dirty water off the boat. You can also use disposable rubber gloves for every gutting day. It will be easier to process fish and avoid fish smell on your hands as well.

You can use concentrated disinfectant solutions mixable with water to clean your fishing boat. You can use this cleaning solution to rinse and wash down your boat and fish storage. It’s the easiest clean and maintenance step to keep fish smells from building up. You can also wash down with water mixed with lemons or vinegar for every fishing trip.

The main idea of keeping away fish smells is through maintenance and avoiding bacteria build-up. If you keep your boat always clean and smelling fresh you will avoid fish smells effectively. You can also follow some maintenance steps every time you fish so you can keep it smelling more of a boat than of a fish after every fishing session.