The 1-2-3 Guide to Cleaning Boat Aluminum

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If there’s a lot of aluminum on your boat, then you’re
going to want to pay attention. Not only can you make your whole boating life a
lot easier by understanding how to clean this unique metal, but you can cut a whole
lot of stress out of your life as well. The problem: too many boat owners make
cleaning their aluminum far too complicated—and you can tell by the products
they use.

But when you start with the right tips—and the right
product—aluminum isn’t as fickle as you might imagine.

That’s why we’ve put together three quick tips for
cleaning boat aluminum that you can follow for easier maintenance of your
boat’s pristine sheen.

Step
#1: Eliminate debris

No matter how clean your boat is, no matter how good your
habits are, no matter how little you use your boat, debris is going to pile up.
It’s just a fact of life; it’s why you have to dust your desk and book case.

Generally, newer boats won’t have as much buildup, so it’s
possible that you’ll only need to give your aluminum a quick once-over and rub
down with a towel to make sure that there’s not any excess debris that might
block your cleaning efforts in the next two steps. But remember: just because
your boat is new doesn’t mean that there’s going to be no debris whatsoever.
Water minerals and other debris can build up over time and give you much more
to clean than you bargained for; best to embrace this fact and tackle it first.

Note that if there’s more debris built up than you
anticipated, you might want to use a stiff brush to ensure that the aluminum
itself is exposed to the later steps.

Step
#2: Rinse and dry

If you’re using a dual cleaner and polish, then you can
leave that to step three. For now, the goal is simple: make sure that the
cleaning and debris-eliminating you took on in step #2 actually gives your
aluminum cleaner the opportunity to work on the aluminum directly. This means
washing away any excess and giving the aluminum time to dry.

You don’t have to wait for days—just give it enough time
that there’s no more obvious water buildup or dripping so that you’re ready for
step three.

Step
#3: Apply aluminum cleaner and polish

Now it’s time for the real cleaning: using Aluminum Cleaner.
This product brightens, polishes, and
protects aluminum, which is why it applies as the final step in our quick
guide.

Because this is a low-micron and anti-oxidant product, you
can use this on your hull and even some surrounding hardware to make sure you
get an even cleaning.

Most guides will have you polish your aluminum afterwards,
but since you used a dual product, you don’t have to worry about an additional
layer of polish. You can simply wait a while and then check it out again for
any missed spots and—viola! —you have a freshly cleaned, freshly polished boat. 

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