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Boat Cleaning & Care

Boat Cleaning & Care

PartsVu carries a wide range of boat cleaning and care products to help keep your boat clean and free of corrosion, mildew, mineral buildup, and grime.

Cleaning and Care Resources and Information

PartsVu is thrilled to offer a complete selection of marine maintenance products to keep your marine vessel clean, polished, and protected from the elements. Browse rubbing compounds, polishes, waxes, cleaners, protectants, brushes, tools, bilge cleaners, and more. Brands include Meguiar’s, Perko, Attwood, Shurhold, 3M, Star-Brite, 303 Products, and others.

Looking for more boating and marine products? Browse our full selection of Products and Accessories. Or, browse cleaning products by category, including: 

Cleaning and Care FAQs

How do I wax my fiberglass boat

Boats should be polished and/or waxed when they are out of the water, so you’ll likely be conducting the job when your boat is on a trailer or storage pad. Additionally, make sure you can freely move around all sides of the boat.

Before you do anything to your boat’s exterior, you need to first clean it. We recommend using lots of fresh water and soap intended for marine use. If you are in a saltwater environment, you will want to be sure that all salt is removed as it can interfere with and break down boat wax and boat polish products.

Also, be aware that salt is good at hiding in any cracks and crevices as well as overhangs such as T-Tops and/or hardtops. After a good lathering, make sure to give a thorough rinse using clean fresh water and a reasonable amount of water pressure. After you’ve finished cleaning off the salt and surface dirt, you can begin the compounding and waxing process.

We’ve created an article to help you to select the most effective boat cleaning and protecting products.

If your boat has any removable fittings, remove them. Removing fittings will help to prevent your buffer from getting caught. It can also be pretty tedious trying to hand wax around fittings. Of course, when you remove fitting make sure that you organize your hardware effectively so that reassembly is easy.

It is not necessary to polish your boat every time you wax it, but you will want to polish it anytime the finish looks dull, faded, pitted, or scratched. When polishing your boat, start at the back and work your way toward the bow.

Apply the wax either by hand or electric buffer using circular motions much in the same way you applied the polish. Wait until the wax is hazy, indicating that it is dry. Then buff the wax until it shines using a soft towel.

How does a boat cleaner or boat soap help protect my boat?

A buildup of salt and dirt interferes with a metal’s ability to resist corrosion. Gelcoat and marine vinyl are porous surfaces, meaning they can absorb water, dirt, and grime from their surroundings. Unprotected vinyl seats are more likely to develop mold and more likely to fade and crack with frequent sun exposure. Lastly, fiberglass that is uncared for will stain and discolor more easily over time, notwithstanding simply degrade through oxidation and chalk away.

These are all reasons why cleaning your boat’s many surfaces is the single most important step in protecting them. It’s important to understand that there are different types of cleaning solutions for different parts of your boat. It’s a dangerous belief that household bleaches and cleaners are OK to use on your boat; they might appear to do the trick at first, but in the long run, they could end up causing unwanted deterioration.

To make protecting your boat a lot easier, PartsVu has assembled a list of recommended boat cleaner products from leading brands like StarBrite, 303 Products, 3M, Meguiar’s, and more.

What are some of the best products for cleaning vinyl? 

Star Brite’s Ultimate Vinyl Clean

Star Brite Ultimate Vinyl Clean is formulated to blast away the toughest dirt, grime, and greasy stains from vinyl, plastic, rubber, and leather surfaces. While you can use this product for a multitude of applications, it is particularly effective on marine vinyl.

Meguiar’s Vinyl & Rubber Cleaner & Conditioner

Cleans and revitalizes vinyl and rubber surfaces. Restores color with a rich natural sheen, not the typical artificial shine produced with conventional protectants. Screens out damaging UV rays that can dry out and crack the surface.

303 Multi-Surface Cleaner Formulated for all fabrics, carpeting, and upholstery, this cleaner removes even the most difficult of stains including dirt, oil, grease, coffee, and ink. Even better, it rinses off residue free.

3M Marine Vinyl Cleaner And Restorer

3M Cleans, shines, conditions, and protects vinyl, rubber, and plastic surfaces. Deep cleans dirt and grime enhances appearance. Restores natural sheen, and protects surfaces.

What are some of the most popular boat cleaning products? 

Star Brite Instant Hull CleanerRemove scum, rust stains, and grassy marine growth quickly and easily with this cleaner. You don’t even have to do any rubbing, simply wipe on and rinse off the solution to reveal spotless fiberglass.

Star Brite Instant Black Streak Remover – This popular spray-on cleaner instantly removes unattractive streaks caused by water runoff. It can also be used to lift dirt and grime on metal and painted surfaces in addition to fiberglass.

Marine Spray Nine Another convenient spray bottle cleaner, this product is an excellent degreaser. It also eliminates odors, kills germs, prevents mold, and removes streaks and stains caused by food or drink. It’s safe to use on almost any hard surface.

Orpine Wash & Wax This environmentally friendly boat soap and wax comes in a highly concentrated formula so a little bit goes a long way. It’s an excellent product for removing salt and dirt from fiberglass as well as metals, wood, and plastic.

Star Brite Sea Safe Boat WashThis boat wash is very concentrated and powerful against stains, dirt, salt, grease, and oil. In addition to fiberglass, you can use it on metal, glass, or rubber. 

Orpine Bilge Cleaner – This heavy-duty, concentrated cleaner dissolves oil, grease, and fuel from your bilge. With its fresh scent, it also effectively removes mildew odors from bilges.

Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner – This is a high-quality deck cleaning product that is used by the pros. It’s safe to use on textured fiberglass, painted decks, vinyl, teak, and metal. The cleaner leaves a protective coating that repels dirt, stains, and UV damage.

What are the best boat wax products?

Star Brite Premium Cleaner Wax – One Step Heavy Duty Cleaner Wax is formulated specifically to remove oxidation and hazing from fiberglass or painted surfaces. The special polymers seal the restored finish to keep it looking its best while providing unmatched protection against UV rays and a deep, long-lasting gloss. Application is simple, whether by hand or with a buffer; apply, let dry to a haze, and wipe off. For best results, protect the restored finish with a coat of Premium Marine Polish.

Star Brite Pre-softened Boat Wax – This easy-to-use pre-softened formula can even be applied in sunlight. It provides a deep shine and long-lasting protection against fading, chalking, oxidation, and UV rays.

3M Marine Liquid Wax – This wax is designed for the marine environment and is safe for use on gel coats, topside paints, as well as marine metals.

3M Perfect-It Gelcoat Light Cutting Polish + Wax Light Cutting Polish + Wax – This all-in-one formula combines a rubbing compound with a blend of waxes, so you can accomplish two tasks in just one step. If the gel coat is highly oxidized (faded) we recommend using a stronger compound first then wax.

3M Perfect-It Gelcoat Medium Cutting Compound + Wax – This product uses the same concept as the previous one, except it’s designed for heavier oxidation and blemishes.

Meguiar’s Premium Marine Wax- This wax works best to enrich the color and shine when used with Premium Paint Polish.

Meguiar’s Spray Quik Wax – This easy-to-use spray bottle product enables you to maintain gloss between waxings. This is PartsVu’s recommended quick touch-up after a weekend of boating.

Meguiar’s Cleaner Wax – This one-step liquid cleans your paint while you wax, removing light oxidation and haze.