Are Household Cleaners Safe for your Boat?

Why would you use specialized detailing products for your boat when the cleaners you buy for the house do such a good job? They all clean dirt and grime right? While most cleaning chemicals will get the job done, you should consider the consequences of using harsh or improper chemicals for the specialized and sensitive surfaces found on your vessel. Let’s take a look at some of the most common household cleaners used on boats and why there are better options available to you.

Dish Soap – Designed to cut grease and tough stains, these soaps are extremely caustic and will quickly strip your wax. Without wax, your boat will oxidize from the suns UV rays and the dish soap will begin eating into the gelcoat. It’s better to use a dedicated boat soap like our Brite Wash. It will clean your boat without stripping the wax and is biodegradable to boot.

Bleach – It’s tempting to use bleach to clean your boats tough stains, bilge, and other nasty areas. It’s powerful and the results look good. The problem is that bleach is an extremely harsh chemical. It will dull your gelcoat in only a few applications, cause paint to fade, change the color on your vinyl,  and corrode your fittings. Instead, try our SMC, which is our non-bleach based strong cleaner. It’s designed to remove tough stains without the harsh of effects of bleach. Feel free to use it on your colors, wraps, vinyl, and tough stains.

Windex / Pledge – These products are designed for use on hard, reflective surfaces like mirrors or heavy lacquer. When used on your isinglass, plexiglass, GPS Screens, and other boat surfaces, the ammonia in them will quickly destroy the finish leading to a hazy and yellow appearance.  The better choice would be our Serious Shine, an aerosol cleaner designed for use on sensitive, transparent surfaces. It also contains UV inhibitors, adding further protection from the suns harmful rays.

Soft Scrub – This is one of the harshest chemicals you can use on a boat. It has an extremely aggressive grit that will remove stains, but also dull the finish of shiny gelcoat and paint to a dull haze in one use. If you feel the need to use an aggressive compound, why not use a product that also breaks down to a fine polish to re-shine the surface? That’s where our Buff Magic comes in. It’s also perfect for correcting the dull areas around your boat from prior improper chemical usage.

There you have it, another helpful maintenance tip from Shurhold. Until next time, we will be here to help keep your car, truck, boat, or RV Clean-N-Simple!