The Best Way to Clean a Fiberglass Boat – Apparel By Home Run

The Best Way to Clean a Fiberglass Boat

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I'm a little bit of a stickler when it comes to properly cleaning a boat. I think you should be too! If you want to have a clean sparkly boat like me then give this blog a read, and I'll show you the best way to clean a fiberglass boat.

The exterior surface of a fiberglass boat is covered in a gel coat, which is a special type of resin. This material helps to protect the hull from water damage. It also gives your boat its color and glossy finish.

There’s one problem with gel coat, however; its surface is relatively soft. That means that when it’s exposed to water, it will eventually erode, reducing the aesthetic appeal of your dingy, and increasing the risk of damage.

There’s nothing worse than investing in a boat, only to find that it looks less than
attractive, and worse, discovering that it is damaged – all because you didn’t clean it properly.

How to Clean a Fiberglass Boat

Sure, you could pull your boat out of the water and hose it down every now and again; however, that tactic isn’t really going to do any good.

Some of the surface debris might come off, but it won’t remove anything that’s caked on.

If you really want to get your fiberglass boat shiny and clean, here are some
tips help you out.


In order to keep your fiberglass boat in tip-top condition, the first thing you are going to want to do is give it solid cleaning. To do this, mix detergent (there are dozens of specialized detergents that are specifically made for fiberglass boats) with warm water.

Read the label on the cleanser to find out how much detergent and water you should mix together.

If there’s any mildew on the boat, mix some bleach into the solution.

Once your cleaning solution is mixed, dip a clean, soft sponge into it and then start working it into the fiberglass surface. Make sure that you put on a pair of protective gloves before you begin, otherwise you could end up damaging your hands.

After going over the entire surface of your boat, rinse it. Use a hose with a strong spray and thoroughly soak your boat to remove the cleanser and debris.


After your boat is clean and dry, you’re going to need to degrease it. This is important, as the majority of fiberglass cleaners aren’t powerful enough to remove oil and grease.

If there’s any oil and grease on the surface, wax (the next step) isn’t going to adhere to the boat.

To degrease your boat, apply acetone or MEK to a clean rag. Go over the entire surface of the boat.

Apply more degreaser to clean spots on the rag as you go and replace the rag with a new one once you run out of clean spots.

Make sure you wear protective gloves for this stage, too.

Waxing and Polishing

The last phase of the cleaning process involves waxing and polishing the fiberglass. Wax will prolong the life of the boat and ensure that the gel coat retains its high-gloss finish.

There are plenty of fiberglass wax options to choose from. Whichever option you choose, make sure you use a soft, clean cloth to apply the wax and work in circular motions.

Allow the wax to dry and then use another soft, clean cloth to buff and polish it.

Finally, you should have a super clean, protected boat!

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