Simple Guide to Cleaning Aluminum Boats

Too many boat owners see aluminum as just another material
on their boat. They wash it with soap, dry it off, and call it a day. But if
you want to maximize the life of your aluminum boat—and keep your aluminum’s trademark shine—just use this simple guide
to cleaning aluminum boats.

Aluminum Boats Can
Get Too Hot to Clean

If you’re cleaning an aluminum boat on a hot day, there’s a
chance the metal can be so hot to the touch that it’s not even worth handling.
It’s best to clean aluminum boats on a normal day, preferably one with shade.
Like a car waiting under the sun, aluminum will heat up with exposure to direct
sunlight.

This is an easy fix, but if you plan on cleaning your entire
boat on a hot day, you might want to temporarily cover your aluminum with a
tarp or even some towels just to get it out of the sun.

You Need to Work with Debris-free Aluminum Before You Can Clean It

Aluminum tends to look smooth, which convinces boat owners
that they can use any old soap and water and make quick work of it. But it’s
important to clear off any debris, dust, or even grease that might have built
up on your aluminum boat before you
apply a cleaner.

Doing so will give you much clearer aluminum when you’re
finished. Even better: it will make the cleaning process itself much easier.

Use a Dedicated Aluminum
Boat Cleaner

Aluminum needs to be brightened and polished when cleaned,
and then left in a protected state. Ordinary soap and water might clean the surface of the aluminum, but
it will do little to restore its luster or offer protection for your boat.

We recommend investing in a low-micron cleaner like our Aluminum Cleaner
to brighten, protect and get the best possible shine—especially if you have a
pontoon boat with lots of aluminum.

Aluminum’s Unique
Properties

As a chemical element, aluminum has its own set of quirks
and unique properties. The problem for most boat owners is that they gloss over
these special needs and treat aluminum the same way they treat other elements
on their boat.

To avoid these common pitfalls, keep the following in mind:

  • Aluminum
    tends to develop an oxidized coating.
    Special aluminum boat cleaner is
    required to get through this oxidized coating, which is why dedicated Aluminum
    Cleaner is so important. Otherwise, you’re simply cleaning the coating and not
    the aluminum.
  • Aluminum
    will react to exposure to the air.
    Aluminum’s susceptibility to oxidation
    means that even if you keep your aluminum boat in prime condition, it’s still
    going to require a unique cleaning process.
  • The
    “shine” of aluminum is its natural state before reaction.
    If you want your
    aluminum to “shine,” you’ll have to intervene to get through the reaction of
    oxidation. Aluminum is anti-corrosive, but its reactive nature will mean that
    even high-quality aluminum loses its shine without intervention.

Aluminum isn’t a complicated metal when you handle it right.
Simply invest in the right cleaning products and you’ll keep your aluminum boat
shining like new. 

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