Heading out on the water is one of the great joys in any boater’s life. Boat cleaning though? Not so much.
All the same, keeping your boat clean is a crucial part of keeping it seaworthy. Without regular care and maintenance, small details can turn into big problems, potentially shortening the life of your craft.
For cleaning made easy, try out these boat maintenance tips to spend less time scrubbing and more time enjoying the water.
1. Use Vinegar to Soften Those Hard Water Stains
Hard water is one of the biggest cleaning headaches, both on your boat and in the home. These unsightly, crusty looking deposits are caused not by the water itself, but by minerals like calcium and magnesium.
And once they set, they can seem almost impossible to get out, unless you know a little basic chemistry.
Since what we view as stains are actually mineral deposits, all you need is a chemical that can break them down without damaging the surfaces on your boat. For our purposes, household white vinegar is the perfect solution, being acidic enough to dissolve the minerals and gentle enough not to damage your boat.
Combine one part vinegar with one part water and use a spray bottle to apply it to the stains. Alternatively, dryers sheets make a great cloth for spot-cleaning trouble areas.
2. Prevent Foggy Portlights Before They Become a Problem
One of the most important cleaning tasks is keeping your portlights clear and bright. Over time, scratches or the oxidation of the plastic lenses can make them look foggy and reduce their efficacy.
To remedy this, clean them with a mixture of warm water and mild dish soap. Then squeeze a dab of toothpaste onto a rag and rub it over the portlights. The toothpaste reduces oxidation, keeping your lights shining brighter for longer.
3. Be Diligent in Cleaning Your Vinyl
It’s not just the exterior of your boat you need to worry about. Sea air and splashes of water can ruin the interior of your boat, so make sure you’re cleaning your boat inside and out.
Getting stains out of vinyl upholstery is particularly tricky. Many household cleaners have harsh chemicals like bleach that will eat through vinyl as surely as sea salt. Investing in a specialized vinyl cleaner and applying a vinyl sealant after every cleaning will help extend the life of your upholstery.
4. Dry Off, Then Wax On
If you’re a boater, you should know the importance of boat wax. Not only does it keep your craft looking its best, but also helps keep it seaworthy and extends the life of your hull.
That said, just because it’s important doesn’t mean you want to jump the gun.
To make sure that the coat goes one evenly and stays on, remember to dry to hull thoroughly with a soft cloth first. When it’s completely dry, apply the wax in a circular motion, as we all saw in The Karate Kid.
Once the wax dries, remove any excess with another soft cloth for a smooth, shining finish.
Make Boat Cleaning a Routine Task
Above all else, you want to make time for a good boat cleaning more often. Stains only get harder to remove the longer they’re left to sit, and by doing the work diligently you can make it easier on yourself in the long run.
Work smarter, not harder, as the saying goes. For more tips and tricks on how to live your life smarter, remember to keep up with the latest from Geeks Around Globe.