It’s hard to get excited about pontoon boat cleaning when all you want to do is cruise around the lake or catch some fish. Follow this boat cleaning guide and you’ll find you’re working smarter instead of harder, ultimately enjoying the boating life a whole lot more.
#1 – Cover your pontoon whenever possible
You’ll guard your investment from sun damaging UV-rays and keep marine contaminants and other dirt and debris off the deck.
#2 – Develop a regular routine
Make wiping down the boat deck and picking up trash after each use a ritual habit to save you time and effort down the road. The more trash, dirt and chemicals that accumulate on the deck and exterior means more work to remove in just a short period of time.
#3 – Invest in the right supplies
For regular boat cleaning and pontoon maintenance, you’ll find these everyday products helpful:
- Warm water and vinegar
- Bucket and spray bottle
- Cloths and sponges
- Long-handled brush
- Rubber or latex gloves
- Power washer
#4 – Prep your boat by power washing first
Even before power washing a boat, take a brush around the inside and outside to loosen any dirt, chemicals, etc. A good pontoon power washing should remove most of the debris except the really tough stains and grime.
#5 – Use environmentally-friendly water and vinegar when possible
Vinegar is a great boat glass cleaner and an excellent pontoon cleaning product. When diluted with water, it is also a safe, everyday cleaner for most all external boat components.
#6 – Use only manufacturer recommended products
For tougher stains and for de-oxidizing the hull of aluminum boats and fiberglass pontoons, you might need a stronger boat cleaning product. Follow manufacturer’s guidelines and the product’s instructions diligently.
#7 – Wax and De-Wax
You don’t need to wax the outside of your pontoon every week or with every use, although it is recommended to wax a couple times a season at minimum. For a like-new shine, remove last season’s pontoon boat wax with a boat de-waxing solvent (only manufacturer recommended) before applying new wax this spring.
#8 – Don’t forget to clean the boat engine
Just like a car’s engine, your pontoon’s engine needs regular cleaning and maintenance. A check up at the beginning of the season will solve a lot of issues on the water. Cleaning boat engines also prolongs the life of your investment.
- First inspect for any debris and remove with gloves and paper towels.
- Check the filters to see if they need changing.
- Inspect the fuel lines to make sure there aren’t any cracks.
- Look at rubber hoses and make sure all connections are tight.
- Apply any factory recommended degreasers.
- Wipe down the engine with a mild boat cleaner diluted with water.
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