Boat cleaning questions

CLAYMAKER

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So new boat I pick up was sitting for a few years and it's covered in grease and gas all on the inside of the boat.

I've power washed alot of it out but still have black grease spots and gas smell.
I'd like to get it dealt with asap as it is huge pain.
 

DaleH

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I'd use naptha (lighter fluid) on the grease spots, but scrape off all you can with plastic or metal tool 1st.

And for the smell, wash the areas with a mix solution of equal parts baking soda, cheap white vinegar, and water. That and FULL exposure to strong sunlight helps.
 

airshot

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Simple Green works well for me, you can cary the strength, full strength takes iff anything.....!!!
 

KMixson

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Super Clean works well at removing grease. It goes by a few different names. I have heard it called Super Clean, Purple Power, Purple Piranha, Purple Stuff and maybe more I do not know of.
 

LDUBS

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I cleaned my hull last August with Star Brite aluminum cleaner. It did a good job making it bright and shiny again. Eleven month later I'm back where I started. I am wondering if I should apply wax or something to help keep the aluminum bright and the scum off. Do we put wax on unpainted aluminum?

Hopefully this isn't too much off track to be a counted as a hijack of the thread. 8)
 

CLAYMAKER

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LDUBS said:
I cleaned my hull last August with Star Brite aluminum cleaner. It did a good job making it bright and shiny again. Eleven month later I'm back where I started. I am wondering if I should apply wax or something to help keep the aluminum bright and the scum off. Do we put wax on unpainted aluminum?

Hopefully this isn't too much off track to be a counted as a hijack of the thread. 8)

Yeah I wondered if we should polish the bottom and wax it
 

GTS225

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Dawn? At least it won't react with the aluminum, not that the others would do bad things in the short time of exposure.

Roger
 

midwestfisher

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Am in the same situation and any help would be appreciated. I have a 2004 Tracker PT175. The gentleman I got the boat from had used Starbrite hull cleaner on it and I am thinking he didn't clean it correctly. I fish on a flowage and the water is tanic colored. Every time I get back I struggle to get the brown stains off. Tried everything and what I end up doing is using Startbrite again on a cloth. Then use white diamond aluminum polish. Looks good till I put the boat back in the water. Any ideas what I can do to stop the brown stuff to stick.
 

airshot

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Aluminum will oxidize naturally and you cant stop it!! By polishing you keep removing a tiney amount of the surface. A coat of cheap spray on wax will slow down this down a little. Unpainted aluminum is hard to keep looking good, on reason people paint it !! I have owned aluminum boats for over 55 years and have never found a good way to keep bare amuminum looking good....at best, sprayon car wax/polish seems to slow it down but still requires extra work. Once you get it all looking good, I supose a clear coat may help....but is it worth the trouble?? My current boat has a fully painted hull and is actually quite easy to keep clean and looking good
 

LDUBS

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if wax only slows it down, then I think I'll skip it. Wax might even interfere with removing the next round of oxidation, IDK.

I was just looking at Star Brite's site. They say after using their restorer, which I know works very well, to apply their aluminum polish. Says it will be needed annually. I might give that a try.
 

airshot

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While the painted hull is much easier to keep clean my bare aluminum hulls in the past, were easier to keep clean by using a sprayon car wax. I didnt bother to polish it out, just sprayed it on and let it dry. Made the brown scum from the water easier to get off. Many filks claim an extra 1-2 mph at wot with a simple sprayon auto wax
 

Rasdiir

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midwestfisher said:
Am in the same situation and any help would be appreciated. I have a 2004 Tracker PT175. The gentleman I got the boat from had used Starbrite hull cleaner on it and I am thinking he didn't clean it correctly. I fish on a flowage and the water is tanic colored. Every time I get back I struggle to get the brown stains off. Tried everything and what I end up doing is using Startbrite again on a cloth. Then use white diamond aluminum polish. Looks good till I put the boat back in the water. Any ideas what I can do to stop the brown stuff to stick.

What about Shark Hide aluminum sealant? I haven't tried it myself, but a lot of guys with polished hulls use it and have good results, not cheap though.
 

LDUBS

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LDUBS said:
I was just looking at Star Brite's site. They say after using their restorer, which I know works very well, to apply their aluminum polish. Says it will be needed annually. I might give that a try.


I wanted to circle back around and share my experience with Starbrite aluminum polish. Their aluminum cleaner/restorer works great. I attempted to follow up with the recommended Starbrite polish. It did not work well for me. I applied it manually per the directions. I tried several times and just created a blotchy mess that I had to remove again with the restorer. The hull was brite and shiny after the cleaner/restorer. The polish seems to remove more oxidation and spread it around no matter how often I changed the cloth. I suspect it might work better with an electric buffer. I don't have one of those. Probably user error, but I gave it several tries and ran out of ideas. So, from my perspective the Starbrite aluminum cleaner works very well, but their aluminum polish, applied manually, was a no go.
 

thill

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I've done quite a bit of boat work, and the best aluminum polish I have found is Mother's. That stuff is amazing.

That being said, when doing something big, like an entire pontoon boat, Mothers would become very expensive. When trying to find something more economical on a badly stained and oxidized pontoon boat, I decided to see what would happen if I tried using 3M Fiberglass restorer with my buffer, just like I use on fiberglass boats.

Here is the before pic, after getting the worst of the stains off with Alumabrite:
Resized_20220719_145948.jpeg

Here is the sample spot that I did, which took maybe 15 seconds:
Resized_20220719_145906.jpeg

It's not perfect, as there was a lot of pitting on that boat, but it looked really good, so I went on and did the rest of the boat:
Resized_20220719_143246.jpeg


Notice the beading water. One thing I really liked is the fact that the 3M has a wax already built in, and it really did a great job, not only removing the oxidization, but in sealing and waterproofing it during the process. I did the entire boat, and it took me most of a day, but the owner was THRILLED. Now, I need to do mine, as my wife is asking me why ours doesn't look like that.

It would take a little more difficult, working between ribs and strakes, but I'm confident that it will still do a great job. Using some Alumabrite might be a good start, if you have a lot of staining, but if not, I would skip it. LDUBS, your boat is already polished, so it should be really easy on yours.

Just thought I'd share, since I saw this thread.
 

cyclops2

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Check some auto body shops on spraying ONLY the transom right after polishing to lock out the air & oxidation problem. Or bring in a piece of polished Roof Flashing & clear coating it. Clear coat on cars is tough & U V resistant.
 

LDUBS

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I've done quite a bit of boat work, and the best aluminum polish I have found is Mother's. That stuff is amazing.

That being said, when doing something big, like an entire pontoon boat, Mothers would become very expensive. When trying to find something more economical on a badly stained and oxidized pontoon boat, I decided to see what would happen if I tried using 3M Fiberglass restorer with my buffer, just like I use on fiberglass boats.

Here is the before pic, after getting the worst of the stains off with Alumabrite:
View attachment 112856

Here is the sample spot that I did, which took maybe 15 seconds:
View attachment 112857

It's not perfect, as there was a lot of pitting on that boat, but it looked really good, so I went on and did the rest of the boat:
View attachment 112858


Notice the beading water. One thing I really liked is the fact that the 3M has a wax already built in, and it really did a great job, not only removing the oxidization, but in sealing and waterproofing it during the process. I did the entire boat, and it took me most of a day, but the owner was THRILLED. Now, I need to do mine, as my wife is asking me why ours doesn't look like that.

It would take a little more difficult, working between ribs and strakes, but I'm confident that it will still do a great job. Using some Alumabrite might be a good start, if you have a lot of staining, but if not, I would skip it. LDUBS, your boat is already polished, so it should be really easy on yours.

Just thought I'd share, since I saw this thread.

Thanks for the hands on info. Those results are pretty impressive. The thing that still eludes me is after putting in all that work, how to keep it that way. For mine, it doesn't take long for the stains to take over again.
 

Stand Up

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I've done quite a bit of boat work, and the best aluminum polish I have found is Mother's. That stuff is amazing.

That being said, when doing something big, like an entire pontoon boat, Mothers would become very expensive. When trying to find something more economical on a badly stained and oxidized pontoon boat, I decided to see what would happen if I tried using 3M Fiberglass restorer with my buffer, just like I use on fiberglass boats.

Here is the before pic, after getting the worst of the stains off with Alumabrite:
View attachment 112856

Here is the sample spot that I did, which took maybe 15 seconds:
View attachment 112857

It's not perfect, as there was a lot of pitting on that boat, but it looked really good, so I went on and did the rest of the boat:
View attachment 112858


Notice the beading water. One thing I really liked is the fact that the 3M has a wax already built in, and it really did a great job, not only removing the oxidization, but in sealing and waterproofing it during the process. I did the entire boat, and it took me most of a day, but the owner was THRILLED. Now, I need to do mine, as my wife is asking me why ours doesn't look like that.

It would take a little more difficult, working between ribs and strakes, but I'm confident that it will still do a great job. Using some Alumabrite might be a good start, if you have a lot of staining, but if not, I would skip it. LDUBS, your boat is already polished, so it should be really easy on yours.

Just thought I'd share, since I saw this thread.
That's an amazing outcome. Like Wow! But how to keep it that way for any length of time. Let us know how well it stands up. Thanks for posting the pics.
 

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