Best Products To Clean & Renew A Boat’s Unique Trouble Spots

Top products to renew your boat’s showroom-like shine.

Regular washing with a boat-specific soap and the occasional wax application will go a long way toward keeping your boat looking its best. Even with the best of care, however, trouble can rear its head in a boat’s well-known trouble spots. Here’s how to attack these problems head on…and clean and renew your boat’s showroom-like shine.

Revitalize Dull, Oxidized Aluminum

Star Brite Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer
In addition to pontoons, aluminum restorers and polishes also work great on unpainted aluminum canoes and jon boats.Courtesy Amazon

With their unpainted, gleaming silver pontoons, pontoon boats look great when new. A season on the water, however, often produces a different image. Aluminum oxidizes and dulls. Add some grime and stains and that once new boat appears prematurely aged. Aluminum cleaners, restorers and polishes bring back that factory finish by stripping away all of the above problems without harming the metal and then protecting it from future damage. Apply cleaners/restorers with a scrubber-style applicator for best results. Immediately follow up with an aluminum polish to bring back the shine…and keep everything gleaming into next season.

Faded, Oxidized Gelcoat

Poli Glow kit boat RV fiberglass/gel coat restoration
Pressed on time? "One-step" products combine polish and wax into one time-saving application. They typically work best on mild to moderate oxidation.Courtesy Amazon

Wax is the best bet to keep a new boat’s gelcoat smooth, shiny and rich in color. But if you (or a previous owner) didn’t keep up with that waxing routine, the sun’s UV rays have likely begun to oxidize that gelcoat, resulting in a dull, even chalky appearance and a greater tendency to stain. Restore gelcoat’s luster with a fiberglass/gelcoat restoration product. Start with a wash to remove surface dirt. Use an acid-based stain remover to get rid of unsightly organic (bird droppings) or mineral (rust) stains, followed by a restorer and polish to bring back that familiar shine. Once those good looks are back, keep that renewed finish with a good coat of wax.

Boat Bling Hot Sauce Hard Water Spot Remover
Consider spot removers with additional wax sealants to reinforce your hull and deck's protection.Courtesy Amazon

Nothing looks worse on a shiny, darker colored hull than water spots, those chalky, salty-looking deposits that frequently result from water spray or end-of-ride wash downs with hard water. Hard water spot removers quickly get rid of these pesky water measles with soft-water based detailers that quickly spray on and wipe off. Bonus? They don’t strip wax from the surface.