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How to Clean Aluminum Boats

how to clean aluminum boats

Aluminum boats are a popular choice for boaters and fishermen because they are lightweight and durable. If you own an aluminum boat, you know that they require a little more upkeep than your average vessel.

With just a little bit of extra care, you can keep your boat looking great for years to come. Check out below fast and effective ways to clean an aluminum boat.

How to Clean Aluminum Boats by Detergent, Car, and Boat Soaps

Method one: Hand Washing

You will need:

  • A bucket
  • Water
  • Mild detergent or boat/car soap
  • Sponge
  • Soft cloths
  • Baking soda (optional)

Here’s how you hand-wash your aluminum boat:

Step 1: Fill a bucket with water and add a mild detergent or boat soap.

Step 2: Dip a sponge into the soapy water and wash the aluminum surface.

Step 3: Rinse the sponge frequently to avoid re-depositing dirt and grime onto the boat.

Step 4: Use a soft cloth to dry the aluminum surface.

Step 5: If you see any stubborn stains, you can make a paste of baking soda and water. Rub the paste onto the stain with a soft cloth and then rinse it.

Method two: Pressure Washing

You will need:

  • Pressure washer
  • Mild detergent or boat/car soap
  • Sponge

To pressure wash your aluminum boat:

Step 1: Add a mild detergent or boat soap to your pressure washer’s detergent tank.

Step 2: Connect the pressure washer to an outdoor spigot and turn it on.

Step 3: Hold the nozzle of the pressure washer about 18 inches away from the aluminum surface and spray your boat.

Step 4: Rinse the boat with clean water after you have washed it.

Step 5: Allow the boat to dry completely before storing it.

How to Use Vinegar Mixture to Clean an Aluminum Boat

Vinegar is a popular cleaning agent applicable for a variety of purposes. If you’re looking for a more natural way to clean your aluminum boat, you can use a vinegar mixture.

To make this mixture, simply combine equal parts of water and vinegar in a bucket.

The vinegar mixture should be enough to keep your aluminum boat looking its best with regular cleaning. However, if your boat is particularly dirty, you may need to repeat the cleaning process a few times.

Things to Remember when Cleaning Aluminum Boats

how to use vinegar mixture to clean an aluminum boat

Aluminum requires special care to keep them looking its best. Here are some things to remember when cleaning aluminum boats:

  • Always use a soft cloth when cleaning to avoid scratches
  • Avoid using harsh chemicals or detergents, as they can damage the boat’s surface
  • Instead, use a gentle soap and water solution to clean the boat
  • Make sure to rinse the boat thoroughly after cleaning to remove all traces of soap or dirt
  • Dry the boat with a soft towel to prevent water spots from forming
  • If you notice any oxidation on the aluminum, use a metal polish to restore its shine
  • Regularly clean and polish your aluminum boat to keep it looking its best!

How to Remove Oxidation from Aluminum Boat

If you have an aluminum boat, chances are you will eventually need to remove oxidation from the surface. Oxidation is a natural process that occurs when metal is exposed to oxygen and moisture. Over time, this can cause the metal to become dull, discolored, and even pitted.

There are a few different ways to remove oxidation from aluminum. You can use:

Chemical Strippers

Chemical strippers are the most popular choice for removing oxidation from aluminum boats. They are relatively easy to use and can be found at most hardware stores.

Be sure to read the labels carefully and always wear gloves and eye protection when using them.


Sandpaper is another option for removing oxidation from aluminum boats. You will need to use very fine grit sandpaper, so you don’t damage the metal. Be sure to sand in the direction of the grain to avoid scratching the surface.

Wire Brush

Using a wire brush is a bit more time-consuming, but it will eliminate all of the oxidation. Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when using a wire brush.

Once you have removed the oxidation from your boat, wash it thoroughly with soap and water.

You may also want to apply a coat of wax or sealant to help protect the surface from future oxidation.


Cleaning and maintaining your aluminum boat is vital to keep it looking its best. Be sure to use a mild soap and water solution to clean the surface. You can remove it with a chemical stripper, sandpaper, or wire brush if you notice any oxidation. Once the oxidation is gone, wash the boat thoroughly and apply a coat of wax or sealant to help protect the surface.

Hopefully, this detailed guide makes maintaining a good look for your aluminum boat much easier. Thank you for reading!

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