Jun 02, 2023


Regular cleaning and maintenance will help keep your boat looking great and extend its lifespan. Threats to maintaining the cleanliness of your boat range from A to Z, from algae to zebra mussels. The good news is that you can maintain your prestigious watercraft in great condition for seasons to come with a little work, know-how, and the right boat cleaning supplies.



Step one is to gather all the equipment and cleaning supplies you'll need for your boat and making sure you have access to a hose hookup are the first steps in effective boat maintenance. You may need more supplies depending on how thorough your boat cleaning project will be, but the following basic boat cleaning products are necessary:

  • Two Buckets: the second bucket allows you to rinse dirt out before dipping a brush or Wash Mitt back into your soap
  • A Wash Mitt: this is less abrasive than a standard washcloth and protects the finish and gel coat of your boat
  • A water hose with a nozzle
  • Long-handled brushes: with both stiff and soft bristles
  • The Absorber: air-drying would leave water spots and swirls, so get some Absorbers, Shamwows, or an equivalent for a dry finish with no streaks
  • Boat Soap: choose a paint-safe and environmentally friendly product
  • Boat wax or sealant, applicator pads, and chrome polish
  • Buffing Balls: affix to a 3/8-inch drill to polish chrome and painted surfaces
  • The Glosser: a quick detailing wipe saturated with cleaners and waxes for the final shine
  • Dash Gear: a microfiber cloth for cleaning your instrument panel, etc.
  • Safety clothing: gloves and goggles as needed for dealing with heavy-duty chemicals



Start by using a hose to completely remove all of the loose dirt particles before starting to clean your boat. To prevent dirty water from cascading over places you've already cleansed, always rinse from top to bottom.

Next, grab one of the buckets, and then fill it with water and boat soap. Never use home cleaning soaps on your yacht since they might have pH balances that might harm the gel coat or other surfaces. To ensure your cleaning water bucket is as clean as possible, use the second bucket to wring out your wash mitt or sponge.

Next, cover small sections at a time with a gentle brush or wash mitt, and rinse them off right afterwards to stop dried soap from degrading the state of your wax. Allow the boat cleaner to do the work and resist using excessive force that could harm the boat's surface. It shouldn't require much elbow grease either.

Next, give your boat one last rinse after cleaning every desired nook and cranny of its surface to reduce the quantity of beading and water marks. To dry your boat and leave a streak-free finish, use your Absorber instead of a standard beach towel from the cabin.

Finally, buff your boat's surface next to get it ready for waxing or sealing, then follow the instructions of your wax or sealant.



Both boat waxes and sealants are made to shield the exterior of your boat from elements like salt, dust, UV rays, and other substances that might damage the paint. While sealants fill the pores in a gel coat to provide a durable finish that lasts the entire boating season, waxes are used to cover the entire surface of the boat. Always make sure to get boat sealant and not automotive or any other kind of sealant. Otherwise, the sealer will be too abrasive because it wasn't designed for gel coat finishes.


If you are planning on performing a full boat detailing, there are a few topside tasks to remember:

  • Wash the windshield and windows and dry with your Absorber or Shamwow.
  • Vacuum the floors and seats.
  • Scrub non-skid flooring and teak with a stiff brush.
  • Polish the chrome: railing, horns, ladders, cleats, etc.
  • If you have vinyl seats, apply a vinyl cleaner with a UV blocker.
  • Use Dash Gear to clean your instrumentation gauges.
  • If you cover your boat with a canvas between outings, scrub the underside of the canvas, too, to help prevent mold and mildew.


How Frequently Should a Boat Be Cleaned?

After each trip out on the bay, you should rinse and dry your boat. This is particularly true for saltwater and those who keep their boat on a trailer. You don't have to wash your boat with soap every time; in fact, doing so too frequently can cause any waxes on its surface to breakdown. As a result, you should only wash your boat with soap after using it for a month or two. A good sealer can shield your boat for a whole year of boating while a wax job should last you up to four months.

How to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains.

Hard water stains frequently appear on boats. The earlier you attend to a stain, the better chances you have at getting rid of it. You can remove the stain by mixing a cup of vinegar with a gallon of water and pouring the contents into a spray bottle so you can easily apply to the affected areas. After about a minute, wipe off the mixture with a cloth. If the stains remain, spray the spot again and wait for a longer time before wiping it off.

Regular cleaning is an important to keep your boat looking great and prevent damage that can lead to costly repairs. Remember to use the right cleaning products, protect your boat's finish, and pay attention to the details. With a little effort and regular maintenance, your boat will provide you with many years of enjoyment on the water.


If you’re looking for boat detailing or full service boat restorations at your location contact Hani Murad at Platinum Boat & Yacht Detailing They are a licensed and insured and a fully equipped company that brings the highest work ethic to their customers!  


For more information about how Tampa Yacht Sales can help you find the boat of your dreams contact Shane Faunce at (727) 513-7615 for more information or view our current listings.



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