Shock the Monkey
by Cheryl Lezovich, Happy Times, #14, November 2013
After 2.5 years and hundreds of miles of cruising through the Caribbean, the carpeted walls of Happy Times looked pretty sad. The material, known as monkey fur, looked as dull and matted as a simian’s coat. Over time the carpeting had developed pills similar to those one sees on sweaters.
Even worse were the rust spots caused by straight pins. I couldn’t bear the bare walls when we moved on board, and I used supposedly stainless steel pins to hold up small sculptures, molas and images from our travels. What a mistake!
I followed Bentley’s advice (Salty Paws) and purchased a Bissell Spot Clean Pet Upholstery Cleaner (Model #5207) for about $100 from Walmart. It’s been worth every penny. I’ve cleaned the walls in the owner’s cabin and VIP berth once and cannot wait until the weather clears so I can tackle the mattresses.
To begin the process, I first sprayed a mixture of lemon juice and water on the rust stains and let them sit overnight. I didn’t have any success with this technique, so then I applied Ospho liquid rust remover. I rubbed it on with a terrycloth rag and the spots disappeared.
I used the recommended Spot & Stain remover and the Oxy booster that comes with the appliance. I didn’t replace it when it ran out. I think it’s probably worth adding the booster to every tank of water.
Using the Spot Clean cleaner resembles using a vacuum cleaner. The trick is to move the stain tool or brush slowly down the length of the wall. (The small Tough Stain brush works best.) The appliance sprays hot tap water at the same time that it’s suctioning dirt. Warning: The first tank of chocolate colored water may gross you out.
Be sure to empty the dirty tank when it’s full. The machine lets you know with an audible change in pitch, and it stops suctioning.
Avoid saturating the walls. Too much soapy water will be hard to suction away and any soap left on the walls could attract dirt. The walls dried overnight in breezy 70-degree weather.
Before cleaning, my daughter and I used a sweater shaver from Bed, Bath and Beyond to remove the pills. The battery-operated appliance wasn’t strong enough to remove the fur that had grown on the walls. Then we used a Wahl electric razor and it provided a great shave.
When my husband Mike returned from an out-of-town trip, he was pretty shocked at how good our monkey fur appeared.