Removing Wax From A Fiberglass Boat

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Is it time for a new layer to your boat—either a new coat of
paint or a fresh application of wax? Then you know the saying: out with the
old, in with the new. The “old,” in this case, is the old layer of wax on your fiberglass
boat. If you want to give your boat a fresh update—whether that means painting
or a new coat of wax—the first step is to remove the old wax without damaging
the fiberglass itself. Here’s a simple guide to removing wax from a fiberglass
boat.

Before You Start

You’ll want to work with a boat that’s clean and dry. You
can always apply your own fresh water later. So, bring the boat out of the
water and give it sufficient time to dry off. If you already have your boat on
dry land, great. Simply make sure you have it in a protected, well-ventilated
area so you can work without having to worry about precipitation interfering
with the process.

It always helps to work on a clean surface as well. Boat Cleaner can be used
for this kind of preparation—but keep in mind that this will clean without removing the wax from your
fiberglass. This is an advantage for routine cleaning, but if your goal is
solely to strip off the old wax, you’ll need an extra step. After a rinsing,
let the boat dry.

Removing The Old Wax

Once you’ve cleared out dust and debris, your next step is
to remove the old wax itself. This is when you’ll want to read labels! You’ll
find plenty of products like acetone, de-waxing solutions, and boat cleaning
solutions—but you have to be sure of two things:

  • First, that the product will remove old wax. Boat Cleaner, as seen above, is made especially
    for cleaning a boat without interfering with the coat of wax—a tremendous
    advantage for routine cleaning. But this is the rare case in which you will
    want an old cleaner that removes wax.
  • Second, that the product is safe for use on
    fiberglass. There are plenty of strong solvents out there that will remove wax,
    but if they’re not safe for fiberglass, then they’re a non-starter.

Once you’ve procured your wax-removal product of choice,
you’re free to start applying. But that introduces a new question: what should
you use to apply the solvent?

Many boat owners use rags or sponges. The key here is to
avoid an abrasive that will scratch the fiberglass underneath the wax. But you
don’t have to use a method that will be too cumbersome or labor-intensive. Feel
free to invest in a cleaner with plenty of width, even those with long attachments
so you can use both hands to cover as much space as possible.

Taking Care Of Your Fiberglass

Once your wax is removed, you’re ready to apply a fresh
coat—or even move forward with the steps to apply a new coat of paint. Your
reward will be a fresh hull of fiberglass that hasn’t been damaged. And if you
want more great ways to treat your fiberglass right, visit all of the boat cleaning
and solvent products
here at BoatLIFE. 

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