Five Cleaning "Dont's"

Courtesy of DIY Boat Owner Magazine

Photo of a man cleaning a boat hull

Common Mistakes

A boat is like a home away from home but that doesn't mean it should be cleaned the same way. Household cleaning products can be damaging to a boat's surfaces and harmful to the environment. Here's a list of the most common mistakes owners make with boat care.

#1 Dish Soap: Not as gentle as it seems, it can strip a boat's wax or degrade the waterproofing on marine fabrics. Also, some of the chemicals are harmful to the environment if dumped in the water.

#2 Windex: Marine windows and mirrors are usually made of plastic, not glass. Windex and other glass cleaners contain ammonia, which is great for glass but can cause plastic to yellow and craze or crack.

#3 Paper Towels: Not very soft, they will leave scratches on a boat's fragile plastic surfaces and Isinglass windows. Using paper towels is wasteful and costly over time compared to a micro fiber towel or Absorber (the best glass window cleaner without chemicals) that can be washed and reused and are gentle enough for all surfaces.

#4 Soft Scrub: A harsh cleanser may seem like a great idea for tough scuffs and stains but it's too abrasive on fiberglass and gelcoat surfaces.

#5 Bleach: Products containing bleach have a tendency to discolor fabrics and break down their integrity. As well, they cause irreversible streaking if allowed to dry on gelcoat.