While working on board yachts, crew can occasionally find themselves in a bind, balancing multiple duties and tasks. When it came to cleaning products, former crewmember Leah Tennant found that the ones that got the job done were toxic, but the only other choice was to use plant-based products that didn’t work.
After five years in the industry with her last position as a deckhand on M/Y Here Comes The Sun, she knew she had to find a solution to protect herself, the people she cared about, and the planet. A year ago, she began working on the idea of Washdown, researching how different industries cleaned. After talking to experts in the commercial sector, she found a formula that she developed into a biotech formula fit for use on yachts. Then following six months of fine-tuning packaging and branding, Washdown officially launched its main product range in May 2022.
Designed with all crew departments in mind so ordering can be done from one place, Washdown products are made from a probiotic bio-tech formula that is pollutant free, harmless to aquatic life, volatile organic compound (VOC)-free, and vegan. The solution is made up of millions of enzymes that are activated when cold water is added to the concentrated formula. The green surfactants and enzymes take care of the initial clean, and the good bacteria then creates a biofilm that keeps cleaning after you’ve stepped away.
“These little helpers are hard on grime and dirt and the hard-to-reach places but kind on the surfaces as the concentrates contain no nasty chemicals,” she says. “Many of our products are also pH neutral, which means they are perfect for use on all paint types and non-damaging to other delicate surfaces in the interior, such as marble.”
Tennant notes that water makes up 90 percent of standard ready-to-use cleaning agents’ volume, creating the illusion of value at the expense of waste as all that water has to be packaged, distributed, merchandised, and transported.
“As the sea has been my much-loved home for many years, and still is my favorite place to go and escape to, protecting it is also important to me, which is why all of our products come in a concentrated formula,” she says. This makes it more cost effective as it reduces the amount of waste and plastic use.
The one-liter BioFlasks have a built-in anti-spill system, eradicating waste and protecting the planet and your budget at the same time. The products are self-measuring too — turn them upside down and any excess concentrate that doesn’t go in the built-in measuring cup goes back into the container.
Washdown currently offers seven products: a multi-surface Detailing Spray for hard surfaces, Spotless Spray descaler for limescale and water marks, A Decks Hand floor cleaner, food-safe degreaser Grease Lightning, natural disinfectant Purified, PH-neutral boat soap Body Wash, and Bad Buoy for tough stains and black marks.
“Our aim is to change the way we all washdown,” Tennant says. “This whole process for me has been hugely educational, to [see] how easy it is to make simple small decisions every day to better our wellbeing, our environment, and to protect our much-loved ocean, which many of us call home.”
They’re going one step further in making the cleaning process more eco-friendly. Starting in mid-June, Washdown is selling spray bottles made from 100 percent Prevented Ocean Plastic, the largest program of its kind preventing tons of ocean plastic pollution each month.