3 Common Boat Cleaning Mistakes and How to Avoid Them


Did you know that more than 12.5% of American households have at least one registered boat? If you’re one of the many proud boat owners, you know that keeping your boat clean is essential if you want to keep it on the water for years. But if you’re new to boat ownership, you might not know where to start.

Unfortunately, even the most experienced boat cleaning pros can make mistakes every now and then.

Set yourself up for success this year. Avoid making these common boat cleaning mistakes.

1. Not Using the Right Boat Cleaning Products

Every boat owner knows that regular boat cleaning is the best way to preserve your watercraft’s value and keep it looking like new for years to come. However, there’s a right and a wrong way to clean your boat and it all comes down to the types of products you use.

Remember, boats are exposed to the elements and face different hazards than other recreational toys. That means you’ll need to use cleaners specifically designed to protect your boat from issues like corrosion and sun damage.

Rather than using household detergents or carwash solutions, use a designated hull cleaner to keep the exterior of your boat in good condition. Once it’s clean, apply high-quality marine-grade wax to your clear coat to protect it from scratches and damage.

2. Ignoring the Upholstery and Decking

When the exterior of your boat is dirty, you’ll notice a dull shine on the clear coat, a buildup of grime on the hull, and rust collecting on exposed metal. Unfortunately, spotting dirt and grime on your boat’s decking and upholstery isn’t always as easy to do.

This leads many boat owners to focus on their boat’s exterior alone. Instead, get in the habit of cleaning your boat’s interior just as often.

Wipe down vinyl cushions and let them dry between trips to prevent mold and mildew. If you have removable carpeting, pull it up and let it dry in the sun to kill bacteria. Regularly clean and polish chrome accents to keep things looking great.

3. Air Drying After Washing

Boats may be waterproof but that doesn’t mean you should let them air dry after washing them. If you do, you risk spotting and mineral buildup on the hull of your boat.

While the mineral buildup may not impact its performance on the water, it will make your boat look dirty even when it’s not.

Instead, take the time to dry your boat after washing it. This will prevent spotting and keep your clearcoat gleaming.

Don’t Make These Common Boat Cleaning Mistakes

Keeping your boat clean is part of being a responsible boat owner. As long as you avoid making these common boat cleaning mistakes, you’ll be able to keep your boat looking pristine at all times.

Looking for more tips and tricks to help you better maintain your boat no matter how often you use it? Check out our latest posts!