How to Clean a Boat

What supplies are needed to clean a boat

Regardless of whether you're a new boat owner or a long-time boat owner, you know that cleaning your boat is important. Just like the way you routinely clean your car in order to make sure it looks pleasing to the eye, cleaning your boat is a similar process. However, cleaning your boat also ensures that it's structurally sound.

The good news is that you don't have to do a deep clean every time you go out–rinsing the salt water off and drying it is usually enough. This is because a wax job should be able to last two to four months. 

Read on to learn all about the best ways on how to clean a boat as well as our top product recommendations! 

Why You Need to Clean Your Boat

Before we get into how it's important that you understand why it's necessary to clean your boat after each outing. Beyond the cosmetic issue of having a dirty boat, you'll find that neglecting its cleaning can also lead to structural damage–especially if you're taking your boat out on the ocean instead of the lake. 

Saltwater can be destructive if left to its own devices. It can corrode metals on your boat, leading to pitting, as well as warp any wood detailing. Even fiberglass can deteriorate over time if saltwater is left to fester on top.

Salt crystals can also scratch up the interior and exterior of your boat, leading to cosmetic damage that requires more effort to remove. For these reasons, even just a lighting cleaning after each outing can help your boat perform its best for a longer amount of time. 

Stock Up on Boat Cleaning Supplies

When it comes to boat cleaning hacks, the trick is to start with high-quality boat cleaning supplies that will last you through multiple seasons. When you have the right supplies, you'll find that cleaning is more efficient and thorough. Here are a few of our recommended supplies: 

You'll find that as you clean your boat more, you'll find ways to speed up your process. You'll also invest in more cleaning supplies that are best for the materials on your boat, such as teak flooring.

Hydrogen peroxide to clean a boat is also a low-cost, non-toxic method to deal with mold and bacteria. When it comes to how to clean a boat interior, you can use a mixture of one teaspoon of ammonia, one cup of hydrogen peroxide, and two-thirds of a cup of water in order to easily handle vinyl stains. 

How to Clean a Fiberglass Boat 

Once you have all the basic supplies you need for cleaning your boat, you're ready to begin. You'll want to start by rinsing off any dirt, seaweed, and saltwater from your boat. Remember to start at the highest point of your boat so that you're not putting more work on yourself by rinsing away dirty water that's cascading downward. 

Next, fill a bucket with soap specifically formulated for boats and begin soaping it up starting from the top and working downwards. Remember to work in small sections at a time so that you have time to rinse off the soap before it dries out. Allowing the soap to dry will leave a tough layer of film that can also scratch the wax. 

After you're done soaping and rinsing your boat, give it one final, thorough rinse. You'll then want to use a highly absorbent towel in order to ensure that it dries with a streak-free shine. 

Applying Sealants or Wax

After you clean your boat, it's recommended to apply a sealant or wax in order to protect your boat from harmful UV rays and salt. It's not necessary to wax your boat each time you clean your boat. You'll only want to do it every two to four months or once or twice a season for protection and to preserve its shine. 

You'll also find that waxing your boat will make your regular cleanings easier. Oftentimes, your boat will only require a thorough rinse instead of scrubbing with soap and water. 

How to Clean a Boat: A Consistent Process

Now that you know how to clean a boat, it's important that you remember the most important detail: make sure it's a consistent, repeatable process. By using products you enjoy and creating a habit out of cleaning your boat after each outing, you'll be able to avoid the corrosive properties of saltwater. 

For instance, consider purchasing boat brushes with long handles so you're not bending and hurting your back after long periods of time. You may also want to consider waxing your boat every few months, as you'll find that your boat will keep its shine over time without as much effort. 

Even if you don't have time to clean your boat after an outing, you'll at least want to give it a good rinse. Start from the top to the bottom so that you're not leaving dirty water on the boat when you're finished. This is a quick and efficient way to remove dirt, and you'll also be getting rid of the harmful effects of saltwater over time on your metal and wood surfaces. 

Ready to start cleaning your boat efficiently? We have a full line of boat cleaning products to use. Take a look at the products we have today!