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​How to Clean Boat Fiberglass: Avoid These Mistakes


When it comes to your boat looking its best, there’s nothing more important than the quality of your boat’s fiberglass. If you’re wondering how to clean boat fiberglass, be sure you avoid the following mistakes. This simple guide will help you enjoy a boat hull that looks “like new” for years to come.

Mistake #1: Forgetting the Rinse

Don’t make the mistake of assuming your boat’s fiberglass is pre-rinsed because of its time in the water. Use clean, fresh water to apply the rinse and then get to work.

Rinsing off your boat fiberglass before cleaning will get rid of dust, grime, and debris. No, it won’t do the entire job of cleaning, but it will make your fiberglass boat cleaning efforts much easier when you do apply the Fiberglass Powder Cleaner.

Mistake #2: Ditching the Wax

Applying fresh coats of wax to your fiberglass, especially early on, will do a lot to keep the surface of your fiberglass clean and looking new. Ignore the wax, however, and you expose it to sun damage, debris, and all the associated problems.

Make sure you get a wax like LifeWax that is specifically designed to work with your boat’s fiberglass and offers long-term protection once applied.

Mistake #3: Cutting Corners

Block off a solid chunk of time so you can properly clean your boat’s fiberglass. You should take the time to inspect it, rinse it thoroughly, and give it the washing it deserves. Saving time by going too quickly will mean you miss spots. If you handle your layer of wax the same way, you’re going to leave holes in your fiberglass protection.

It’s far better—and even more efficient—to take your time and do it right. The better care you take of your boat’s fiberglass, the longer you can go in between cleanings.

Mistake #4: Ignoring Your Fiberglass When It Needs Help

Some of the primary enemies of a clean, healthy-looking fiberglass hull are oxidation, fading, and even chalking. The key here? You need a Color Restorer that won’t harm or scratch the gel coat of your fiberglass. Use a dedicated boat Color Restorer to fight these familiar symptoms without doing more harm than good.

Mistake #5: Ignoring Your Gelcoat

The gelcoat of your fiberglass is the key to giving it that “new boat” sheen. The finished, glossy look of new boats is unmistakable. Unfortunately, too many boat owners let this slip by the wayside while they focus on other aspects of boat maintenance.

To do a better job of protecting and restoring your gelcoat, include a de-greasing routine after your usual rinse. Even boat detergents aren’t very effective at removing all the debris from your boat’s gelcoat, which is why you’ll want to use a strong cleaner (with protective glove) before applying your wax.

As stated before, always look for a non-scratching formula that won’t harm your gelcoat but instead restores it to a “like-new” luster. Once you’ve properly degreased and cleaned your fiberglass, you can let it dry and then apply an even layer of LifeWax to ensure that what you’ve just cleaned will stay clean.

Now that you know how to clean boat fiberglass, you’ll never make these mistakes again. Browse our  collection of boat cleaning and maintenance products for all of your boating needs. 

Life Industries Corporation
4060 Bridge View Drive
N. Charleston, SC 29405
United States of America

toll free: (800) 382-9706
local: (843) 566-1225
fax: (843) 566-1275


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