Chandlery March 2008 Issue

Meek Cleaner vs. Chemical Beast

Rydlyme proves eco-friendly but slow, while caustic MaryKate cleans fast.

In the November 2007 issue, we reviewed a big batch of waterline stain removers/hull cleaners. Spray Nineís gel got the nod over the 21 other products, but there were a number of Excellent resultsóand thatís because these acid-based cleaners donít mess around. One of the most aggressive cleaners out there is the MaryKate On&Off, which received an Excellent rating and was a Recommended product. Made by CRC Industries, it is a caustic stew of acids, mostly hydrochloric (20 to 25 percent by weight) and phosphoric (5 to 10 percent), with a bit of oxalic (1 to 5 percent). Weíve used it often, with good results, but it only would be considered pleasant if youíre nostalgic for World War I trench warfare. Even outside in a breeze, it stings the eyes, nose, and breathing passages. If you work without a respiratorónot recommended, but sometimes doneóyou need to hold your breath when in range of the fumes, and take new breaths upwind. (Itís best to wear a respirator, rubber gloves, and eye protection.)

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