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How to Properly Wash the Exterior of Your Boat

When you think of boat maintenance, it’s easy for your mind to jump to engine maintenance or cold weather care. In reality, some aspects of boat maintenance are simpler. Keeping the exterior of your boat as polished as possible is much easier than it sounds, if not a tad bit labor-intensive. Here are a few quick tips to help you get the best out of the next time you decide to clean your boat!

Know the Cleaning Equipment Your Boat Requires

This requires knowing what tools you’ll need to clean the hull of your watercraft, as well as other things. When you go to purchase cleaning supplies and tools, knowing every detail about your boat is imperative. Not doing so can put the exterior of your boat at risk, both functionally and aesthetically.

Buy the Correct Soap

It’s important to buy a soap that’s environmentally friendly. Not doing so could damage the marine ecosystem that your boat is docked in.

Buy the Basic Tools

At a minimum, giving you boat’s exterior a good cleaning will require the following: A bucket, a mop, a towel, the appropriate type of brush, and a sponge.

Rinse the Exterior of Your Boat

Don’t think that a strong cleaning agent is the first step to cleaning your boat’s exterior – You’ll want to rinse your boat off completely before you begin to wash it, or the cleaning agents won’t be as effective due to pre-existing grime accumulation.

boat maintenance

After rinsing, soap down the exterior of your boat, working from the top to the bottom. Make sure that when you brush the soap off with your brush that the area is completely soaked; a dry brush can damage the exterior of your boat! You’ll want to wash your boat section by section.


This step is optional, but a good coat of wax once per season can make a lasting difference in the look of your boat’s exterior.

Follow these simple tips to ensure that your boat’s exterior remains in good condition.