8 Best Boat Cleaning Tips and Maintenance Guidelines


    If you’re investing money in a boat, you’ll want to keep it clean and in good condition. After buying a high-quality boat from your watercraft dealer, you wouldn’t want to tarnish your valuable investment with grime and dirt. Luckily, there are a variety of things you can do to clean your boat, so that it continues to look nice and keeps its value.

    When it comes boat cleaning tips, consistency is the most important boat cleaning tip of them all. Without consistency, it doesn’t matter what you do to keep your boat clean. Once something has become stained or damaged, it will never be the same again. Good maintenance is key to keeping your boat looking brand new for as long as possible, and putting a little bit of time into it is a lot cheaper than buying a new boat.

    In addition, here are the best boat cleaning tips to keep your vehicle in pristine condition:

    1. Rinse, don’t scrub

    Unless necessary, try not to scrub down your boat, especially not with any kind of abrasive material. Doing so can remove the finish off of your boat, and make it look older and less pristine.

    Even though everything on your boat has been designed to withstand wet conditions, it will always last longer if you wipe it down regularly, paying special attention to certain parts that see more action, like the seats.

    2. Seal out stains

    To prevent stains from natural materials, lake water, food and beverage spills, fish guts, blood and slime, or anything else, use products that can seal your boat’s surfaces. Marine stores will have a variety of different sealants, and you can choose the ones that will work best for your needs both on the inside and outside of your boat.

    3. Wax

    Waxing your boat down can also help to maintain that new-looking shine that it has when you get it. It’s a very easy process to do on your own. After preparing your boat to be waxed by washing, drying, and removing old wax, apply the new wax in a circular motion. Once the wax is dry, buff it out and make it shine.

    4. Even the live well

    If you like to fish, you will also want to pay special attention to the live well. It’s one of the best boat cleaning tips to clear the live well regularly. This part of the boat can start to smell if you continually put fish in it without properly cleaning it out. Make sure you are using non-toxic cleaners, since you – or somebody else – will be eating the fish that end up in there.

    5. Select marine friendly products

    Always make sure the products you are using are marine friendly. Because the boat is going to be in the water, the products you use on the outside should be eco-friendly. There are a wide range of products designed specifically to protect a boat’s surfaces, and these are your best bets. Non-marine friendly products can strip the finishing off of your boat, leaving it vulnerable to the elements.

    You should also be meticulous about the fabrics that you use. Under the right conditions, fabrics, canvas, or anything that isn’t a hard surface can be great breeding grounds for mould, mildew, and other living things. To avoid this, take special care to dry and maintain anything on your boat made of these materials.

    6. Clean the windows

    Although it may not seem like a big deal, it is really important to clean off the windows on your boat. If the windows are not cleaned properly on a regular basis, they could end up with permanent water spotting. It is possible to clean off permanent water spotting, but it is more time consuming – it’s better to just take care of the windows properly in the first place.

    7. Vacuum the carpet

    Giving the carpet a good vacuum on a regular basis will help to keep it looking good as new too. Even if it doesn’t look dirty, it’s a good idea to suck out any dirt that might be in there before it becomes ground in and starts discolouring the carpet. Any carpet that your boat has will probably take a pretty hard beating, so it’s a good idea to give it some special care.

    8. Cover up

    After applying the above boat cleaning tips, you don’t want all your hard work to go to waste. Cover your boat with a tarp, and if possible, store it in a garage or other indoor storage area to prevent natural materials getting in it and making it dirty again before you have the chance to use it again.

    Don’t forget about the trailer either. It can get dirty, grimy, and full of bug guts or tar driving around behind your vehicle. Although it will probably work just fine for hauling your boat around whether it is dirty or not, it is a good idea to keep it clean anyway. It will maintain the look of your trailer, and ensure that none of that grime gets onto your boat and damages it.