How an old toothbrush saved my sanity; a.k.a. headliner cleaning.

Good evening my fellow humans.  I’ve been in Florida for 5 days now and in between my pay the bills work and boat work Mamma is a wee bit tired.  However, I’m sitting in the cockpit now, eating some chips, sipping a rum and coke, and it’s about 75 degrees with a light breeze.  Life is crazy good.

Awright, here’s the tale of the headliner…  Serenity’s Previous Owners, one of them was a smoker.  How someone can smoke in such a small space is beyond me, but that’s not the point of this blog. Well, it kind of is….  So there I was, minding my own business sitting in the port side settee and I look up.  Huh.  I’m pretty sure the headliner’s not supposed to be that color.  I grab a flashlight and do the ole Batsignal; minus the Bat.  Yuck!  What. The. Hell.  It quickly became apparent Smoky The Bear’s preferred spot to sit; holding her burning cancer stick.  This will NOT do.

I grab the Simply Green, full strength because that shit’s gotta go.  This is where the old toothbrush saved my mental bacon.  See, the headliner has a diamond pattern with horizontal lines contained within each diamond.  A sponge is not going to get into the crevices and unfortunately a fingernail brush didn’t do squat.  Grab the ole toothbrush.  A few determined back and forth’s and it worked like a charm.  The downside?  You guessed it.  Toothbrushes are tiny.  This is going to be a long afternoon.  Time to turn on the tunes and get to it.

#1 – Get the initial layer of grime removed.  FYI – buckets are my BFF’s on the boat, for a myriad of reasons.  I start with a liberal spritzing of Simple Green.  Pro tip: exhale when spritzing or you will get gassed.  Yikes.  Scrub with sponge, rinse sponge(in said bucket), repeat.  Each spot, on average, got 2 sponge baths.  It was critical to keep changing the rinse water or I would just swirl around dirty water = counter productive.

Headliner grossness

Headliner grossness

#2 – After the spongy goodness I hit it with the toothbrush.  A squirt of Simple Green on the toothbrush, give it vigorous back and forth, wipe, rinse toothbrush, do a touch up scrub, wipe.  Get up every 10 minutes to replace the Love Canal water with fresh.  Repeat until headliner grossness is vanquished.

After and before

After and before

I was lucky and just worked on the small areas above the settees and galley.  Tim did the headliner in the vee berth which he spent hours on.  He is my hero.  Check out his handy work.

Vee berth headliner before and after

Vee berth headliner before and after

The headliners may not be perfect but it’s a vast improvement from them resembling the inside of a chimney.

Next up: fun with portlights.

Thanks for reading!

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