Tips on Cleaning Aluminum Potoon Boats

closeup of a boat
  • 2-3 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 200-500
What You'll Need
Pressure washer
Aluminum cleaner
Polishing ball
Aluminum polish

Cleaning an aluminum pontoon boat requires some effort, but it’s certainly something you can do yourself and it’s also very rewarding.

When a pontoon boat has been sitting in the water for some time, it will inevitably gather some marks and some dirt. Thankfully, there are products and tools at your disposal for making it look like new again, and with a little hard work and dedication that’s soon accomplished.

Remember that leaving dirt to accumulate on the boat is always a bad idea as it will just get worse, require more hard work later on and look bad in the meantime.

Simply starting to clean your aluminum pontoon boat with any cleaning materials you have to hand, from the kitchen for example, could be disastrous. They require special care and attention, and there are some tips to keep in mind when you decide to clean one.

Find out What the Manufacturer Recommends

It’s likely that your aluminum pontoon boat came with some instructions regarding how best to clean it. If not, or if they’re not with you any more, then it’s a good idea to contact the manufacturer to ask their advice. You should find that they’re friendly and eager to help.

Use a Pressure Washer

As with any ordinary car, washing an aluminum pontoon boat with a pressure washer is a good way of removing dirt and grime. High-pressure jets of water will remove the bulk of the build up of grime and dirt from the frame of a boat, allowing you to see where the real problem areas in need of attention are.

De-Oxidize with an Aluminum Cleaner

While spraying with a pressure washer will remove much of the dirt from your pontoon boat, it will not remove stains and discoloration. These will be visible once the pressure washer has done its job, and you’ll want to remove them. For this task you’ll need a dedicated aluminum cleaner, and there are several on the market. If your manufacturer has recommended one then you’ll know which to choose. If not, then it’s a good idea to read all the directions and the descriptions carefully to make sure you’re using a suitable one. Spray the cleaner you’ve decided to use onto the boat, starting at the bottom and working your way up to the top all the way around. Allow it to become foam and let it stand for the recommended length of time before rinsing the entire boat. Use a soft cloth to remove any excess and repeat the process if you think your boat will benefit.

For a Special Shine Use a Polishing Ball

Polishing balls attach to the end of drills and when used give aluminum a real sparkle. Take the time to make your boat really shine by using a polishing ball. Follow safety guidelines and use a suitable metal polish to start the polishing process. Buff with a soft cloth afterward.