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How to Clean a Boat Deck

how to clean a boat deck

It’s boat season again, and for many of us, that means it’s time to break out the old bucket and scrub brush to clean our decks. But what is the best way to clean a boat deck?

There are a few different methods, depending on the type of deck you have. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the convenient options for cleaning your boat deck so you can get started on enjoying your summer on the water!

What do you Need for this Tutorial?

  • A bucket
  • A brush (preferably with a long handle)
  • Some soap or mild cleaner (dish soap works well)
  • A hose or pressure washer
  • Elbow grease
  • A vacuum
  • A pair of gloves and a mask for protection

How to Clean your Boat Deck?

One of the most important things to remember when cleaning your boat deck is to be gentle. Boat decks are susceptible to scratches and scuffs, so it’s essential to use a soft brush or cloth when scrubbing.

Furthermore, make sure to wear protective pieces before cleaning your desk. A pair of rubber gloves and a disposable mask are required.

Here’re the methods for cleaning different boat deck materials:

1. Wood Deck

Step 1: Mix the soap into a bucket of water, and use the brush to scrub the deck. If there’s any dirt or grime build-up, the soap will help loosen it and make it easier to remove.

Step 2: Use a pressure washer for tougher stains or areas that seem to be particularly dirty. Just be careful not to damage the wood with too much pressure.

Step 3: Rinse the deck well after cleaning, as too much soap can leave a sticky residue.

2. Synthetic Deck

If your boat has a synthetic deck, you have a few different options for cleaning it.

  • You can use the same soap and water method as with a wood deck
  • Or you can opt for a more potent cleaner such as bleach or vinegar

Step 1: Test the cleaner in an inconspicuous deck area before using it on the whole surface, as some cleaners may damage the material.

Step 2: Apply the vinegar solution onto the deck, then use the scrub to remove stubborn dirt on its surface.

Step 3: Use a pressure washer to get rid of all residues and wait for the deck to dry.

3. Metal Deck and Vinyl deck

If your boat has a metal or vinyl deck, you’ll want to avoid using any harsh cleaners or chemicals, as they can damage the finish.

  • Step 1: Use a vacuum to remove the loose dirt from your boat deck
  • Step 2: Use soap and water or a mild cleaner designed specifically for metal and vinyl. Then, use a soft bristle to scrub the deck thoroughly
  • Step 3: You can also use a pressure washer to clean a metal deck, make sure to use a low setting to avoid damaging the finish

Frequently Asked Questions

how to clean your boat deck

How do you Clean a Fiberglass Deck?

The best way to clean a fiberglass deck is to use a pressure washer. You will want to use a low-pressure setting and hold the wand at least 12 inches away from the deck’s surface.

  • Start by spraying down the entire deck and then scrubbing any areas with stubborn dirt or grime
  • Once you have finished scrubbing, rinse off the deck with clean water
  • Allow the deck to air dry or dry it off with a soft towel

If you don’t have a pressure washer, you can use a garden hose with a spray attachment.

Can I use Bleach to Clean the Boat Deck?

The answer to this question is a bit complicated. It depends on the type of bleach you are using and the material of your boat deck.

If you are using chlorine bleach, it will likely damage the surface of your boat deck. However, if you use oxygen bleach, it is safe to use and will not damage your deck. Be sure to read the instructions on the bottle before using any bleach to clean your boat deck.

Here are a few tips for safely using bleach to clean your boat deck:

  • Always read the label before using bleach. This will tell you how much to use and how to apply it properly
  • Wear gloves and protective eyewear when using bleach
  • Keep children and pets away from the area while you are cleaning
  • Rinse the area thoroughly with clean water after bleaching it
  • Store bleach in a safe place, out of the reach of children and pets

Things to Remember When Cleaning a Boat Deck

When cleaning a boat deck, it’s important to remember the following:

  • Always use a cleaning agent that is specifically designed for boat decks. It will help protect the surface and ensure that it is properly cleaned
  • Always follow the instructions provided by the cleaning agent manufacturer. This will help to avoid any damage to the deck surface
  • Be sure to rinse the deck thoroughly after cleaning to remove all cleaning agents. This will help to protect the deck from staining or discoloration
  • Be sure to store any cleaning agents or supplies away from children and pets
  • Deck cleaners can be harmful if ingested, so wear gloves and eye protection when using them
  • If the deck is covered in mildew or algae, use a bleach-based cleaner to remove it. Be sure to rinse the deck thoroughly after using a bleach-based cleaner
  • For best results, clean the deck regularly to prevent dirt or debris build-up
  • Always test any new cleaning agent on a small deck area before using it on the entire deck surface
  • Keep a bucket of fresh water and a sponge nearby when cleaning the deck to avoid any accidents if the cleaning agent comes into contact with your skin or eyes
  • If you are using a power washer, hold it at least six inches away from the deck surface
  • After cleaning, be sure to apply a fresh coat of boat deck sealer. It will help to protect the deck and keep it looking its best


Cleaning your boat deck is an important part of maintaining your vessel. It will keep the deck looking its best, but it will also help prevent any long-term damage from occurring.

By following these simple tips, you can get the job done quickly and enjoy your time on the water. Feel free to share the article with fellow boaters. Thank you for reading!

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