Best Tips for Cleaning Your Boat (The Smart Way!)

How to Clean Your Boat

She’s all yours, and she’s beautiful. Sparkling in the water with the sun shining on her perfect curves, she deserves your time and attention. You know we’re talking about your sailboat, right?


Cleaning your boat may feel like a mammoth task, and you might not know where to start. That’s why you’re reading this guide, to help you find the best options available.

What you need to know is that keeping your boat clean from the beginning will not only save you money in the long run, but it will also give you the opportunity to really get to know her. She is irresistible after all and totally worth it!

Here’s a basic guide of how to clean your boat and keep her in pristine condition or restore her – without wearing yourself out in the process!


Be Smart

Boats are big. You could easily spend more time washing your beauty than sailing her (groan).

You need to approach cleaning your boat with a plan, and a few tips and tricks up your sleeve, if you’re going to develop a sustainable, long-term habit of maintaining her.


Always Clean a Wet Boat

Work in sections, if you need to, but never scrub a dry boat, as that’s a guaranteed way to cause damage. The grit and grime easily scratch smooth finishes.

Use a powerful hose to wet down your boat, as this will also dissolve salt crystals (in a marine context) and wash them away. This preventative measure, along with the right product like Rejuvenate Marine ® Heavy Duty Boat Soap, will go a long way to protect the stainless steel on your boat from rust.

Top to Bottom Boat Cleaning

Always clean your boat working from the top and going down – it’s common sense really. It saves you time (cheer!) and lets you avoid cleaning parts of your boat twice (no thanks!).

Be Consistent When cleaning your boat by planning your time and developing a routine.


Plan Your Time

As you get to know your boat, you’ll know how often you’ll need to do an intense cleaning or just a quick rinse. Carve out time in your schedule dedicated to boat cleaning and maintenance; this will help you sort out issues before they become problems (saving you money and keeping your boat beautiful – win win!)


Develop a Routine

Figure out what works for you and get into a regular routine. You might even find it therapeutic and at least you’ll get to spend more time on your boat!

Also, make sure to take the seasons and your lifestyle into account. If you’re storing your boat for the winter, or traveling around the world, plan any intense boat cleaning sooner than later.


Be Prepared

The Right Equipment

It isn’t rocket science, it’s marine engineering (sorry, couldn’t resist that one!)

To give your boat a bath you’ll need a few things: A bucket, a scrub brush (medium strength bristles should do the trick), a long-handled brush to reach awkward spots, some super absorbent microfiber cloths for drying – like chamois – and of course, the right boat cleaning products!

The Right Boat Cleaning Products     

Different surfaces on your boat require different cleaning products and approaches (you wouldn’t wash your hair with toothpaste, would you?) Investing in good quality cleaners will not only make cleaning your boat easier but will protect her from future damage. Shop around and you’ll find a variety of marine specific products to clean your fishbox, non-skid deck, boat hull, bilge and more.


General Boat Cleaner

It’s a good idea to get your hands on a good, general cleaner like Rejuvenate Marine® Hull Cleaner. You’ve already realized that boats get dirty; droppings, salt, grime, fish blood (lovely) are just a few examples of what your boat will be exposed to.

You know how brand new boats look shiny and white while older boats look yellowed and dull? That “aging” appearance is due to salt and UV rays oxidizing the gel coat on the surface of your boat.

It’s such a pity!

Here’s the good news: there are boat cleaning products available that can restore and protect your boat keeping her looking shiny and new. Choose a professional boat cleaner, to help clean and protect all the hard surfaces on your boat (gelcoat, fiberglass, plastic and painted surfaces) from salt and sun damage.

Pretty great, right?

Boat Fabric and Upholstery Care

Moisture, sun and grime can seriously affect the appearance (and lifespan!) of your boat upholstery, canvas or leather. If you need help protecting or cleaning leather chairs, invest in a product that repels water, prevents mold growth and protects against UV damage. Rejuvenate Marine® Leather & Vinyl Cleaner helps clean, restore and preserve the impressive appearance of your vessel for many years to come.


Stainless Steel Care

Stainless steel is tough but can still be compromised by salt, did you know that? Take care of the stainless-steel elements on your boat – remove any salt residue then polish the metal to a high shine. Nothing says “classy and cared for” like gleaming metal in the sun.

The most effective way to remove rust from the stainless-steel parts of your boat, and leave behind a lustrous shine and finish, is to invest in a marine specific stainless steel cleaning product.


Caulking and Sealant Care

Ugh. Mildew loves moisture, and your baby lives on water (usually) – when mold takes over, caulking often needs to be replaced. So how do you remove mildew from caulking and prevent the costly and tedious task of replacing the caulking on your boat?

By making use of an effective deep cleaner on a regular basis – it’s that simple! It makes sense to invest in two powerful cleaning products to tackle this serious issue; a good caulking mildew remover gel and caulking deep cleaner.

Maintaining your boat by cleaning her regularly isn’t hard – sure, it takes some discipline and getting hold of the right boat cleaning products, but you can manage that.

Take care of her, keep her gleaming in the sun and she’ll stay your pride and joy, just as she should be.

Happy cleaning!

Happier boating!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This