Americans love their boats, and the numbers don’t lie. The latest statistics reveal boat sales holding steady at well over 250,000 powerboat sales per year.

Owning a boat is a blast but it also comes with some responsibilities, one of which is keeping your boat clean. A clean boat is more than a pretty boat, it’s also a boat with longevity.

If you’re taking your boat out in the saltwater, it’s even more important that you keep it clean. Do you know how to clean a boat?

Keep reading for a guide on how to clean your boat to maintain its beauty and longevity.

Start With the Right Supplies

When it comes to cleaning your boat, make sure you invest in the right boat cleaning supplies. You need cleaners that are safe for your boat’s materials such as fiberglass and vinyl.

Anything associated with water is in danger of mold and mildew and that goes for your boat as well. You’ll also need:

  • A washing mitt
  • Long-handled stiff- and soft-bristled brushes
  • A chamois
  • Microfiber cloths
  • A hose with a control nozzle

A washing mitt slips over your hand and doesn’t abrade surfaces like a regular washcloth.

Rinse First

Using the hose on full power, give the boat a thorough hose down. Loosen as much dirt and debris as possible. Start at the top and work your way down.

Wood Deck

If your boat has a wood deck, apply a good teak cleaner. After cleaning and rinsing, apply wood oil.

Time for Soap

Soap up the outside hull of the boat but only work on small areas at a time. Avoid letting the soap dry on the surface or it’s possible you’ll damage the finish.

Apply soap to a small area, lathering it up with the washing mitt. Once you’ve loosened the grime, rinse well. Keep moving around the boat until you’ve soaped, lathered, and rinsed the entire boat.

Dry the boat with a clean chamois.

Buff the Boat

Using a rotary buffer or by hand, buff the outside surface of your boat. This brings back a nice new-looking shine to the exterior. It also prepares the exterior for the next step.

Boat Wax

Once the boat is thoroughly washed and rinsed, it’s time for some boat wax. Always use specialized boat wax for the best protection of your boat’s exterior. Other types of wax don’t offer the same protection against water.

The wax protects your boat from grime, debris, and salt. Apply wax to a small area and buff as you go.

Interior Cleaning

Vacuum any carpeted areas. Spot clean any stains. Use multi-purpose cleaners for each area of the boat interior.

Clean the head like you would your toilets at home but run a few cups of white vinegar through the lines once monthly.

Now You Know How to Clean a Boat

Now that you know how to clean a boat, it’s time to give your boat the royal treatment. Rinse your boat after every use, and follow the above steps every 2-4 months for a deep clean.

Always use specialized boat products and you’ll keep your boat looking great for years!

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