How to Choose the Best Cleaning Products for Your Boat

If you're a boat owner, then you know that keeping your boat clean is essential if you want to preserve its condition and value. After all, research shows that the average boat price is $42,000 for a brand boat. With prices like that, you want to protect your investment!

How do you take care of your boat though? When it comes to boat care, one of the most important things you can do is choose the right cleaning products. 

Finding the right boat cleaner is not an easy task, though. There are a wide variety of boat cleaners on the market, and it can be tricky to know which ones are right for your vessel. Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing boat cleaning products.

Figure Out What Kind of Boat You Have

First, you’ll want to figure out what kind of boat you have if you don’t already know. Be sure to also figure out what kind of material it’s made out of. Usually, this varies from stainless steel or aluminum to fiberglass or wood.

Understanding the type of boat and the material it's made out of makes a big difference when looking for the best cleaning products for your boat. After all, you don’t want to be cleaning a wood boat with a boat cleaner specifically made for fiberglass!

Basically, to figure out what kind of boat you have, start by identifying the hull type, rig type, and keel type. Then, narrow down the possibilities by considering the size and purpose of the boat.

Here is how to identify your type of boat if you’re not sure.


Sailboats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, from the small Sunfish to massive America's Cup racers. Sailboats are generally classified by their hull type, rig type, and keel type. 

The hull is the main body of the boat, and it can be either monohull (one hull) or multihull (two or more hulls). The keel is a long, heavy beam that extends from the bottom of the hull and helps to keep the boat stable. 

Pontoon Boat

Pontoon boats are great for entertaining and provide a stable platform for activities like fishing or swimming. They’re usually easy to operate and have a spacious deck that can accommodate a large group of people. 

If you’re not sure whether you have a pontoon boat, look for these key features:

  • The hull: Pontoon boats typically have a flat bottom and a V-shaped hull.
  • The pontoons: Pontoon boats have two large tubes, or pontoons, that provide buoyancy and are usually made of aluminum or other lightweight materials.
  • The deck: Pontoon boats have a large, open deck.
  • The cabin: Pontoon boats often have a small cabin or enclosure.

If you’re still not sure what kind of boat you have, consult a professional or check the boat’s owner’s manual.

Deck Boat

Deck boats are a type of boat that is typically used for pleasure cruising and watersports. Deck boats are usually between 22 and 30 feet long and have a wide beam.

Deck boats are made out of a variety of materials, depending on the manufacturer. Many deck boats are made out of fiberglass, although some may also use aluminum or even wood construction.


Catamarans are defined as having two hulls of equal size that are connected by a frame. These types of boats are usually made out of a variety of materials, depending on the intended use of the vessel. 

For racing catamarans, lightweight materials such as carbon fiber or Kevlar are often used in order to minimize weight and maximize speed. For leisure catamarans, fiberglass is a popular choice due to its durability and affordability.


Houseboats are a type of boat that is designed to be used as, well, a house. This is a type of floating home. They are usually much larger than other types of boats, and they often have multiple levels, which makes them easier to identify (you’ll know if you have one!).

Cabin Cruise

Cabin cruises come in all shapes and sizes, so it's important to know what kind of boat you have so you can properly identify the material it’s made out of in order to choose the best boat cleaner.

Cabin cruises range from small boats that can seat two people to large boats that can accommodate up to 10 people. Likewise, they have both gas and diesel engines. Gas engines are typically more powerful, but they also require more maintenance.

Center Console

Center console boats are the kind of boat that most people think of when they think of a boat. It has a wide, open deck in the center of the boat with seating all around the edge. Center console boats are great for fishing, cruising, and watersports.

Center console boats are typically made out of fiberglass or aluminum. Fiberglass is a popular choice because it's strong and durable. Aluminum is also a popular choice because it's lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Note that, regardless of the type of boat you have, fiberglass is more susceptible to damage from UV rays and saltwater, while aluminum is more susceptible to dents and scratches.

Understand the Different Types of Boat Cleaners

Now that you’ve identified what kind of boat you have and the material it’s made out of, it’s time to choose the best boat cleaner.

The best way to choose a boat cleaner is to understand the different types available and then select the one that will best suit your needs. With a little research, you can find the perfect cleaner for keeping your boat in top condition.

All-Purpose Boat Cleaner

All-purpose boat cleaner is formulated to clean a variety of marine surfaces, including fiberglass, gel coat, vinyl, aluminum, and painted surfaces. It is also safe for use on decking and carpeting. When using an all-purpose boat cleaner, be sure to follow the instructions on the label. 

Better Boat all-purpose boat cleaner

In general, you will want to apply the cleaner to a wet surface and scrub with a brush or sponge. Rinse the area thoroughly with fresh water after cleaning. All-purpose boat cleaners can be used weekly or as needed to keep your boat looking its best.

Water Stain Cleaner

Water stain cleaner is a great way to clean your boat and keep it looking its best. This cleaner is able to remove algae, mold, mildew, and dirt from your boat's hull, leaving it sparkling clean. Water stain cleaner, which you might also see called hard water spot remover, is also effective at removing water stains from your boat's gel coat or paint. 

Better Boat water stain remover

This cleaner is safe to use on all types of boats, including fiberglass, aluminum, and wooden boats. You can typically use water stain cleaner to clean your boat's deck, hull, and cockpit. This cleaner is easy to use and will make your boat look its best. And best of all, it can help protect it from harmful UV rays!

Hull Cleaner

Hull cleaner is a popular product for cleaning, well, the hulls of boats. It is designed to remove algae, barnacles, and other marine growth from the hull of a boat. Hull cleaner is usually available in both gel and liquid form, and the best hull cleaners won't require you to scrub or rub.

Better Boat instant hull cleaner

It is important to follow the directions on the hull cleaner bottle when using it to clean your boat. Some hull cleaners also contain chemicals that can be harmful to marine life, so it is important to use them according to the manufacturer's instructions. All in all, though, a great hull cleaner is an effective way to keep your boat clean and free of marine growth.

Here's a great video of Bend it Fishing showing how you can use our hull cleaner to clean your boat hull in just 2 minutes! 

Deck Cleaner

If you've identified the type of boat you have above and know that you have a painted or fiberglass deck then one of our best boat cleaning tips is to get a good deck cleaner. Note that this is going to be different from a varnish that is used on wood decks.

A white deck cleaner can offer a number of benefits for your boat. First, it can help to brighten the deck and make it look new again. White deck cleaners contain bleaching agents that can remove staining and restore the original color of the deck. In addition, white deck cleaners can also help kill mold and mildew, preventing these organisms from taking hold in the future.

Finally, deck cleaners are less likely to cause sun damage than other types of cleaners, making them ideal for boats that spend a lot of time in the sun.

Whether you're looking to brighten your boat's deck or prevent mold and mildew growth, a deck cleaner can be an effective solution. 


1-gallon boat deck cleaner


Learn About Better Boat Care

There are a variety of boat cleaning tips on the internet. It can sometimes make choosing the best boat cleaner difficult as we know that each boat owner is unique and so is their boat. If you've invested lots of time and money into your boat, it pays to ensure you're cleaning it with the right boat wash and boat cleaning tools.

Check out our online catalog if you are looking for some helpful, high-quality products that will help you to maintain your boat. 


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