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10 Boat Detailing Tools Professional Detailers Use

10 Boat Detailing Tools Professionals Use

10 Boat Detailing Tools Professional Detailers Use

Boat detailing tools are necessary to ensure your prized possession’s beauty, durability, functionality, and longevity. Some people think that they can use ordinary cleaning materials or auto detailing products to clean their boats. After all, a boat is also a vehicle, they say.

We beg to disagree. It’s because boats are more prone to the damages brought about by natural elements due to their constant exposure to water, salt, sunlight, and strong winds. This is why boat detailing tools are a must for every boat owner who wishes to DIY boat cleaning. These are also used by professional boat detailers.

10 Boat Detailing Tools for Professional and DIY Use

1. Gelcoat Polish and Sealant

Boat polishing is a must for every boat owner. The gel coat is specifically designed to protect the fiberglass layers beneath it. This compound gives your prized possession that high-quality finish. However, it is prone to dings, scratches, and ultimately, deterioration. This is why you need to maintain its functionality and beauty with the right boat detailing tools.

How to Use:

For manual application:
  • Clean and dry the surface thoroughly.
  • Put some product on a foam applicator pad.
  • Apply this on a small area of your boat, about 2 feet by 3 feet.
  • Move on to the next area.
  • Let dry until you see a haze.
  • Buff off with a clean and dry microfiber towel.
For mechanical application:
  • Clean and dry surface.
  • Put some product on the finishing pad of your dual action polisher.
  • Set the speed dial at 5 then work on a 2×3 ft. area, using a back-and-forth motion.
  • Buff off with a microfiber towel.

2. Plastic Cleaner

Boat windows are typically made of isinglass, a clear plastic material. As with any type of plastic, it yellows and hazes in time. Cleaning it with soaps or glass cleaners won’t do as these break down the UV inhibitors and plasticizers. Your best bet for having clear isinglass windows is to use a cleaner specifically created for it.

How to Use:

  • Wash off loose dirt from the window.
  • Put some plastic cleaner on a clean towel.
  • Use this to clean the isinglass.

3. Boat Detailing Tools to Remove Mold and Mildew

Because your boat is almost always in water, it can be susceptible to mold and mildew growth. We all know that mold and mildew are not only unsightly – their foul smell can also cause health issues later on.

How to Use:

  • Spray the product directly on the affected surface.
  • Let dry.
  • Clean it off with a damp brush or towel.
  • For stubborn stains, use a mold stain eraser.

4. Canvas and Fabric Care Kit

Your boat’s canvas and fabric can get a beating from contaminants that abound in the marine environment. There’s dirt, mineral deposits, and salt all around. Not to mention the oil residues from your favorite suntan lotion.

A canvas and fabric care kit that contains all the things you need for the process will make cleaning easier and faster for you.

How to Use:

  • Scrape off loose dirt from the surface – bird droppings, bugs, and all. You can use an ordinary household brush for this purpose.
  • Spray the surface with fresh water.
  • Put some canvas cleaner on a boat canvas brush.
  • Use this to clean the surface, making sure you clean the seams as this is where lots of contaminants accumulate.
  • Leave for thirty minutes.
  • Rinse with warm water.
  • Repeat the process if necessary.

5. Boat Oxidation Removal Kit

Sometimes, even if you try your best to maintain your boat’s gel coat, you still see a dull, chalky finish. For this, you’ll need a boat oxidation remover. There are available kits in the market, which contain polishing pads, oxidation cleaner, polish, carnauba wax and sealant, gel coat wax, foam pads, finishing pads, and detailing cloths.

How to Use:

  • Clean and dry the affected surface thoroughly. Remember to work by sections, about 2×3 feet per section.
  • Put some product on the buffer head.
  • Use an RPM range between 1,200 to 1,500. If the oxidation proves difficult to remove, increase the RPM to 1,800 to 2,100.
  • Wipe off residues with a clean microfiber towel.

6. Waterless Wash and Wax

How do you clean your boat between trips with not much freshwater source? This is where a waterless wash and wax comes in handy.

How to Use:

You simply apply the product as you would when cleaning your car. Then wipe off. Easy-peasy! The downside to this is you won’t get the same level of beauty and shine when you use products specifically for boat care. It’s only good for quick cleanups.

7. Shop Vacuum

One of the boat detailing tools you definitely must have is a shop vacuum. No, a house vacuum is not enough. You need something that can suck not just contaminants but water, too. Yes, it’s for the times when a strong wave hits your boat and seawater enters your interiors. Unattended, seawater can cause rusting on the metal parts of your boat.

How to Use:

Always follow equipment instructions before using your vacuum to avoid voidness of warranty.

8. Steam Cleaner

What else can clean and disinfect your boat’s interior than a steam cleaner? It can kill up to 99% of germs and bacteria upon contact. Use it on the exterior and you’ll have an easier and more effective way of getting rid of surface contaminants.

How to Use:

Follow equipment instructions before trying it on your boat.

9. Pressure Washer

A pressure washer comes in handy when you need to dislodge contaminants from the surfaces of your boat.

How to Use:

  • Make sure to remove loose equipment to avoid damaging them. We’re talking about canopies, cushions, and similar items.
  • Apply some cleaning product on the boat’s surface.
  • Leave for a few minutes.
  • Pressure wash the surface.
  • Dry thoroughly.

10. Organic Bilge Cleaner

Unattended, your boat’s bilge can harbor bacterial growth, rust, and foul odor. This is why you need a bilge cleaner. It is one of the boat detailing tools which effectively removes grease, grime, and other contaminants. Make sure you choose an organic product to avoid chemical runoff and residues harming marine life.

How to Use:

  • Apply the cleaner on a small area of your bilge.
  • Let soak for two to three hours.
  • Scrub the area with an abrasive cloth.
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly.


One of the boat cleaning products to have handy is a bucket with grit guard. It helps avoid contaminants from recontaminating your boat’s surface.

How to Use:

  • Fill the bucket with your favorite boat cleaner and water.
  • Place the grit guard at the bottom.
  • Put your wash mitt or towel in the bucket and wash your boat as you would.
  • Submerge the soiled mitt in the bucket, making sure to drag it against the grid.

Having the right boat detailing tools in your boat detailing equipment checklist is one of the best investments for your prized possession. They can help you clean your boat faster and easier, saving you huge amounts of time and effort.

But if you want your boat to look its best whenever and wherever check out DetailXPerts’ boat detailing services and schedule an appointment to have it professionally detailed. Our technicians are experts in the use of all types of boat detailing tools that can give your boat the treatment it deserves.

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