This month in our yacht stewardess training article, you’re going to learn various yacht stew tips about detail cleaning the cabins and bathrooms on the yacht. Some of these tips, also found in the Yacht Service Bible, will also apply to furnishings in other living areas of the boat, so feel free to apply them where appropriate.
Yacht Stewardess Housekeeping Tips
- Dusting: When you detail-clean a room on a yacht, start with dusting all furnishings, including tabletops, counters, bookshelves, artwork, etc. Run a dust cloth over upholstered furniture, headboards, and lampshades in the main salon and other guest areas. Check window treatments and draperies. Vacuum if necessary. A dry-cleaning sponge can be used to gently clean upholstered furniture. Don’t forget to check overhead panels and the tops of doors and doorjambs. Also, when cleaning lamp bases, always stay on the safe side and use only a soap-and-water solution to clean them.
- Electronics: Next move on to the electronics. Disinfectant wipes are great for killing germs and bacteria on yacht telephones and remote controls. Squeeze out any excess liquid and then wipe the entire surface of the remote including the front, back, sides and buttons. To dissolve sticky patches and grime, use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Pinch off the excess moisture and run the tip around the tops of the buttons. Try not to use too much liquid on any electronic items and always dry carefully while you are doing the yacht housekeeping.
- Liquids should not be used on iPads, since they can seep through the cracks and damage the machinery. To clean, unplug and wipe down the unit with a cloth lightly dampened with water and a mild soap solution. Dry carefully.
- DVD players, VCRs, stereos and televisions should be wiped down with an electrostatic dust cloth, used either dry or lightly moistened with a mild dishwashing liquid and water solution. Abrasives and solvents such as rubbing alcohol and spray cleaners can damage the metal finish on electronics.
- A can of compressed air can be used to clean CD and DVD trays and to clean the vents on electronics. Holding the can at a 45-degree angle blows out the greatest amount of dust. Always read the instructions for proper use of this product.
- Television and computer screens should be wiped horizontally from top to bottom using an electrostatic cloth. To remove stubborn dirt, purchase a specialty screen wipe at an appliance or office-supply store and follow the package instructions. It is usually safe to use a little spray cleaner applied to a cloth to shine the metal parts of the casing of the set.
- Artwork: Great care should be taken when cleaning artwork and frames. Dust paintings and sculptures with a clean, dry piece of muslin. Muslin is gentle and is not treated with chemicals or fabric softeners, so it won’t damage artwork. Purchase it at craft stores.
- Frames can be dusted with a dry cloth or one lightly dampened with soap and water. Always dry carefully to avoid saturating wood.
- If glass or Plexiglas protects a painting, use only ammonia-free cleaners or a mild soap-and-water solution to clean. Never spray anything directly onto the glass as it could drip, leak into crevices and damage the art. Wipe in horizontal strokes from top to bottom.
- Bathroom: As with the galley tips from last month’s column, clean vanity tops and sinks with high-gloss finishes (such as Avonite and Corian) with a vinegar-and-water solution. Matte and satin finishes are better off with a mild soap-and-water solution.
- Ceramic and stone, including granite, limestone and marble, benefit from a soap-and-water solution followed with the proper polish or sealant. Avoid using abrasive cleansers (which can scratch the surface), ammonia or bleach (which can dull it), and vinegar- or lemon-based cleaners (which can eat through it).
- Glazed ceramic tile: Make a solution by mixing one capful of rubbing alcohol with 1 gallon of water. Dip a scrub brush into the solution and work in a circular motion over the entire span of tile. Avoid using oil-based soaps or ammonia, which can yellow the grout. Avoid vinegar, too, since the acidity can damage grout.
- Unglazed ceramic tile: Use a mild soap-and-water solution instead of the alcohol solution. Dry carefully to prevent mineral deposits and lime-scale build-up.
- Faucets and fixtures: The key for all fixtures is to avoid ammonia, steel wool and abrasive cleaners or pads, which can strip or scratch the fixtures. Use a mild soap-and-water solution to clean. Work around wall mounting with a soft toothbrush or cotton buds if necessary. Dry carefully to prevent water scale deposits from forming, and then apply the appropriate polish according to package directions. If no polish will be used, use a dry, soft cloth to buff to a high shine.
- Medicine cabinet: Wipe the walls and the shelves (top and undersides) of the cabinet with a mild soap-and-water solution. Dry with a clean cloth. If the door is glass, spray glass cleaner or use a vinegar-and-water solution on a cloth and wipe in a circular motion.
- Mirrors: Refrain from spraying cleaner directly onto mirrors because excess liquid can seep behind the edges, causing black spots to form or surfaces to delaminate. Dry carefully with clean cloth to prevent streaks.
- Showers and tubs: Beware of abrasive pads, cleaners and/or bleach overdose, which can damage the surface. Vinegar- and lemon-based cleansers and bleach can eat through stone, and vinegar can actually dissolve the non-skid surface of some tubs. Soap and water and copious amounts of elbow grease are always the safest solution. Always dry showers and tubs to prevent mineral deposits and lime-scale build-up.
That about covers this segment on tips for detail cleaning the bathrooms and cabins of the boat. Next month we will cover tips for the care of various types of furniture, upholstery, and carpets on yachts.