Friday, May 17, 2024

How To Clean Fiberglass Boat Hull

How To: Descale And Descum A Boat

How to Clean Boat Hull Fiberglass Stains

Reflections Detailing of Utah gets to deal with a fair number of boats here in Utah, and boat detailing is not glamorous to many detailers. I really like detailing boats because the turn around in appearance can be drastic. Boating in Utah is a family affair and after a long day on the water many boats just get put in storage till the next week, this weekly trend continues until the problems not addressed build. The major problems are hard water spots, dirt, grime on the seats, carpets with all matter of spills, and boats that stay in the water all season. This later situation presents the topic of this blog How to remove hard water scale and algae scum build ups on a boats hull.

Cleaning Your Boats Fiberglass Deck Or Hull Without Bleach

The majority of boat owners will tell you that the only way to clean a fiberglass boat and deck is with constant scrubbing and bleach. I never use bleach.

I have found that it is far easier and safer to tackle stains with a non-stick deck cleaner followed by any touch-up scrubbing that your boat needs.

There are a number of tools that can help you with the cleaning process, many of which boat owners will swear by.

To make your life easier, I recommend that you invest in the following products:

What you will need

  • Bucket of water

Apply The Hull Polish

Once your hull is buffed to your satisfaction, you may now proceed to apply the polish. Application of the hull polish is similar to that of the buffing compound.

As always, for best results, please follow the instructions for your particular product. Once finished, give your boat a final hosing with fresh water, to remove any loose dust or dirt. This is an important step before you begin to apply the wax.

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Marykate On And Off Gel Hull Cleaner

The MaryKate On and Off Gel Hull Cleaner is a fast-acting gel-type hull cleaner that immediately breaks down tough dirt and stains that are found in the hull of your boat.

What I loved about this hull cleaner from MaryKate is that its formulation is capable of breaking down tough dirt and stains like rust, scum, oil, and grease. Despite that, its gentle enough that it can be used on delicate surfaces like fiberglass without harming its gel coat.

I also loved how easy it was to use, with the gel clinging onto the surface after application, making it easier to spread onto the hull. Its brush-on, rinse-off formulation is perfect if you want to cut down on your cleaning time while still cleaning your boat effectively.

I liked how it has a bright and bold blue color since it makes it easier to see where you have already applied the gel. Also, it comes with a fresh scent compared to other cleaners whose strong odor can be tough on the senses.

Moreover, I also liked how this cleaner was formulated with biodegradable ingredients. This makes it quite safe to use for cleaning even while on or near the water. This biodegradable formula makes it more environment-friendly than other cleaners.

  • Easy to apply and use
  • Works instantly to remove stains
  • Safe for use on delicate surfaces
  • Prolonged contact with painted surfaces can strip off the paint

But Dont Just Take Our Word For It

How To Clean A Boat Hull

Heres an unsolicited testimonial on BKF as a hull cleaner. I dont know who mentioned Bar Keepers Friend as a good cleaner for boats a while ago on THT but thank you, thank you, thank you. I have been using soft scrub and a few other cleaners for cleaning the scum line on my boat for years, and they all worked okay, but when I took the boat out last week for power washing the bottom, I tried Bar Keepers on the scum line.

WOW worked like a charm without any hard rubbing. Real cheap too and can be bought at my local grocery store. The Boating Forum

Okay, so one positive review on a boat forum. Thats nice. However, this was only the first of more than a dozen reviews on this forum about how fantastic BKF is for cleaning your boats hull. And thats only one forum!

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Enjoy Your Time On The Water

No matter how you choose to clean your boat hull, the most important thing is to choose products that are safe for the surfaces of your boat. Follow the manufacturers instructions for the best results, and always spot test before applying any product to large areas of your boat.

Owning a boat is a dream-come-true for many people. Keeping your vessel in the best condition will only maximize your fun during your time on the water.

How To Clean Your Boat Hull So It Looks New Again

Over time every fiberglass boat hull will become stained. The staining process will happen quicker if you ever use your boat in brackish water, around ocean inlets, or in stained waters found in many inland lakes and rivers. The tanic or tea colored water in all of these areas will cause your boats hull to eventually become discolored.

A cleaning of your boats hull will eventually have to happen on boats that do not have bottom paint. But even if you have bottom paint on your boat the area just above the bottom paint will eventually become discolored and stained as well. Those areas will take longer to discolor but eventually a cleaning may be needed to get it looking like new again.

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Simple Green Marine All

This is another brilliant choice for those looking for a solution to clean their watercrafts exterior and interior surfaces. It is dependable to use on all types of dirt and grime, leaving any hulls looking good as new.

Surprisingly, this all-purpose cleaner lives up to its name as it cleans counters, fabrics, cars, floors, RVs, and more. This can be your go-to cleaning agent whenever you spill your orange juice on your upholstery. With its maximized cleaning value, it comes with a light, airy scent that doesnt leave you complaining.

Apart from its ability to dissolve different kinds of grime and dirt, it is also easy to use. All you need to do is apply it unto those unwanted stains on either hulls, decks, vinyl, and fiberglass. Finally, you scrub it lightly. Its concentrated formula efficiently removes oil, grime, gas, grease, waterline, fish blood, and more.

Although this is a cleaning agent, its uses include maintaining the shine of your watercraft and keeping it clean. It is a specially formulated, concentrated cleaning solution that removes grease, oil, gas, diesel fuel, and more, from all washable surfaces in or near marine environments.

Another reason why this product is a great purchase is it is free from toxic chemicals. It is non-abrasive, non-flammable, and is only made from biodegradable elements.

  • Washing more stubborn stains may be a challenge

Now You Know How To Clean Your Boats Hull So It Looks Like New Again

How To Clean Your Fiberglass Boat Hull and Remove Water Stains

This information will also work on any other fiberglass part of your boat. So it is not limited to just the hull and bottom of your boat. Ive used this with great success removing rust stains, cleaning stains out of deck lockers, and more. Just remember to protect any metal surface near where you are using this product especially if the metal is not painted.

Below is a picture of the back of the On and Off bottle showing the directions, safety information, and more for On and Off Hull and bottom cleaner bottle. Written text of what is found on the label is below the picture as well.

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Use The Deck Brush To Coat The Hull With The On And Off Hull Cleaner Solution

I use a 10 Shurhold Polystyrene medium bristle deck brush and brush pole to rub the ON and OFF hull cleaner solution from the bucket onto the hull of the boat. Again this allows me to be far away from the cleaning solution, unlike using the recommended way from manufacturing company of using a short handled paint brush. You do not need to touch every area with the deck brush but try to anyway. With this product gravity is your friend as it will pull the cleaning solution down the hull to those hard to reach areas. As long as the hull is wet with the solution it will work.

Cover the entire hull with the cleaning solution by basically scrubbing the hull with the deck brush. Once you have covered the entire area at least a foot above the water line all the way down to the keel do it again while still wet from the first coat. Starting from the top down to double coat it. As you do it a second time you will see areas that the cleaner didnt get or didnt get enough on. So go back over these areas extra well if you see them.

Having the ON and OFF mixed with water allows you to cover the boats hull several times before having to add more water and ON and OFF from the bottle.

About Cleaning A Boat Hull

Boat hulls are constantly exposed to the elements. Consequently, they sustain heavy abuse. This is especially true if you travel in polluted water, though regular trips in salt or fresh water can also lead to hull corrosion and barnacle growth. By maintaining a clean boat hull you will help preserve the integrity of your entire vessel. In addition, keeping your hull shiny and smooth will help you move through water at a faster rate.

Experts recommend cleaning your hull several times a year depending on how often you use your boat. One option is to hire a professional boat hull cleaner. Pros use special scuba gear to dive under the water and thoroughly clean parts of the hull that are difficult to reach. Professional hull cleaners can get your boat looking shipshape again, but they don’t come cheap.

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Factors To Consider When Choosing Cleaners For Fiberglass Boat

A fiberglass boat with excessive growth or rigid stains can be challenging to clean. Whats more challenging is to find the most suitable cleaner that will help you finish the job. Hence, I would like to share the factors you can consider when choosing the best cleaners for fiberglass boats.

  • Eliminates Tough Marine Stains

Eliminating tough stains from waterline, algae, rust, fish blood, and other marine elements is the primary factor you should consider before purchasing a cleaner. It would be beneficial to ensure that the brand or product youre choosing has an exceptional reputation for removing light and stubborn stains on a fiberglass boat.

  • Ease of Usage and Application

Among the most sought-after factors when choosing cleaners for fiberglass boats is its easy usage and application. Many boat owners prefer cleaners that dont require extensive labor when cleaning their boats. Fortunately, most ready-made cleaners are easy to use and apply.

  • Ingredients or Chemical Composition

Another factor that you should consider is the cleaners ingredients or chemical composition. Fiberglass cleaners are primarily formulated with harsh chemicals like hydrochloric acid and phosphate, which may damage your body, boat, and water as well. Thus, as much as possible, choose cleaners with non-toxic or mild compounds to avoid such damages.

  • Versatility
  • Fast-acting Formula
  • Offers Additional Protection
  • Price

The Different Types of Cleaners for Fiberglass Boat

  • Commercial Cleaners
  • Gel
  • Liquid

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On &  Off Fiberglass boat hull stain cleaning

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Marykate Mk2032 On Off Cleaner

Lets face it, cleaning fiberglass boat is not an easy task at all and you need the best boat cleaner with you to successfully do the task. This is where the MaryKate Bottom Cleaner for Fiberglass will be beneficial to you in terms of cleaning the boats fiberglass hull and the other parts as well.

I am impressed with the effect of this product in terms of removing dirt in the bottom of the boat. Aside from removing stains in the fiberglass, it can also clean and remove dirt on the boats fiberglass hulls.

Truly, this product was formulated to protect different types of surfaces from the effects of the marine environment.

Furthermore, this product also leaves a long-lasting effect to the surface as it leaves without any greasy residue to the surface. It will also make the surface shines, brightens, and look rejuvenated and brand new.

I also like that this product can also be applied to effectively clean the boats fiberglass gel coat hulls. Using a paintbrush, all you have to do is apply to the targeted area and watch all organic matter and other dirt being removed instantly. Indeed, the cleaning process is easy to do in this part of the boat.

Finally, this product is proudly made in the USA. In my own opinion, all the products made in America always comes with the highest quality and this product is no exception as shown on its effectiveness in cleaning different type of surface.

  • Need to wear gloves and goggles during the application

Best Ways To Clean A Fiberglass Boat Hull

Boats might be in the water a good deal of the time, but they still accumulate dirt, grime, algae and more. If you have a boat, you probably want it to look great, but more importantly, you want to avoid any further issues that could cause damage later on down the road. Boat hull cleaning in Vancouver, BC is important, and when you call the team at Hydro Tech Power Washing, you can get that taken care of in a snap, thanks to experts who know just what your boat needs.

Heres how to clean your boat with a pressure washer:

Pressure washers can take a lot of the dirty work out of washing your boat, as long as you use them safely and effectively. Be sure to contact your local power washing professionals if you have any issues getting your boat clean.

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Do You Need An Electric Buffer

You can wax, polish, and compound by hand, but on anything but the smallest boat, your arm is going to get very tired. An electric buffer takes much of the work out of keeping a boat shining and is less expensive and less painful than elbow replacement.

Electric buffers operate at relatively slow speeds, so don’t try to “make do” with a polishing bonnet fitted to a disk sander or a sanding pad chucked into a drill. You will either ruin the surface or ruin the tool. A buffer with an orbital motion will leave fewer swirl marks.

Weiman Tub Tile & Fiberglass Cleaner

Cleaning Fiberglass Boat Hulls

Removing grimes, water spots, scums is a pain. Although many cleaners promise efficient washing, they leave behind nasty residues. This formula comes to our rescue, making it a smart investment for any boat owners.

It comes with a heavy-duty formula that instantly eliminates the toughest stains, rust, limescale, and soap scums without the need for scrubbing. This is the most recommended choice among boat owners as it does a thorough cleaning, and leaves no residues on the surfaces.

It is good to know that this is made with a non-abrasive formula that works like a charm. I love how it restores my boat like new without leaving traces, unlike other cleaners that scrape off stains, yet still leave marks and scratches. Plus, it doesnt have this unpleasant chemical smell that makes cleaning even tougher.

Besides, the product works well on tiles, bathtubs, shower stalls, porcelain, ceramics, pools, and RVs.

  • Not ideal for solving discoloration

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Best Hull Cleaner And Polish For Fiberglass Boats

  • Posts: 374May 9, 2013 at 7:14 pm#1282141

    Just purchased my first fiberglass boat and looking for some input on what its the best product to clean and polish it up. Also the best place to purchase it.

    Posts: 8,968May 9, 2013 at 7:28 pm#1169689

    I use McGuires marine products and have been very satisfied. In the summer, Fleet Farm carries some of the products, but for a full line, Ive needed to go online.

    There is no single best product. With fiberglass maintainance you have to take some time to learn and understand what youre actually doing and then buy the correct product for the job AND apply/use it correctly.

    One thing I will tell you is that for fiberglass boats, the best thing I ever did is buy a variable speed 10 inch buffer. This not only saves a tremendous amout of work, but the results are vastly superior. However!!! You need to use it properly so you dont damage the finish.

    The key is to use the minimal abrasive that will accomplish what you need to accomplish. Then you need to protect the finish and keep it clean.


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