Cleaning a pontoon boat that is made of aluminum is not an easy task; this is because it is quite difficult to get rid of algae that are stuck on the boat. Therefore, for this huge work, professional help is required.
One of the ways this algae mess can be taken care of is by washing under a high-pressure water spray; sanding and also scraping. This is a tough job; if you’re searching for easier ways to cleaning Pontoons with vinegar, then read on.
The Use of Vinegar; Is It A Good Idea To Use It In Cleaning Your Boat?
Here are a couple of reasons why vinegar is useful;
- In addition to being very affordable, vinegar is one of the most effective and eco-friendly cleaning agents.
- It swiftly attacks algae and water stains on your boats.
How Do You Go About Cleaning Your Aluminum Pontoon Boat With Vinegar?
The acidic nature of the vinegar reacts totally with the basic nature of aluminum, which makes it a very effective cleaning agent. For best results, however, you need to take note of some points.
The Materials You Will Need;
- Distilled water
- A soft, clean washcloth
- A spray bottle.
The procedure: Cleaning Pontoons With Vinegar
- Wash first with a soapy solution.
If the dirt that has accumulated on your boat is quite much, you could do the first washing by using a liquid soap solution. This will take a major portion of the stains off. Then you will be left with the stubborn stains that you can now clean off using vinegar.
- Prepare your vinegar solution.
The water to vinegar ratio should be 1:1, that is half part vinegar and half part water. Also, note that the water of choice here should be distilled water, preferably warm. Please avoid using lake water or seawater, especially saltwater. This will only serve to worsen the mess you are trying to clean.
- Apply the vinegar solution to the stained areas.
Now that you have prepared the vinegar solution, the next step will be to pour some into your spray bottle and spray it on the stained areas of your boat. After spraying it on, do not begin cleaning immediately. Allow the vinegar to saturate the stains for like a minute. This is to ensure a maximum cleaning effect
- Begin cleaning off the stains.
Now that the stains have soaked in the vinegar, you can begin cleaning them off using a soft wet towel or cloth. Remember, your focus is on the aluminum parts. You could use straight, top to bottom strokes. But if leftover, you could clean them off using circular motions.
Some Things That Cannot Be Cleaned With Vinegar Solution
Though the above procedure is quite effective in cleaning stains, however, some stains are outside the scope of vinegar cleaning. These include:
- Barnacle stains on the aluminum parts of your boat. These will not respond to vinegar cleaning.
- Salt deposits stains.
- Vinyl with stains of mildew.
What Kind Of Stains Can You Clean With A Vinegar Solution?
- Water smears.
- Stains left by animal waste products.
Additional Ways Of Cleaning Your Aluminum Boat
Aside from the method listed above, there are other ways you could get your boat cleaned. These are:
- You could use car soap
This is quite cheap and easy to use; If you always keep your boat in top condition and do not go on trips with it very often, then you could clean it the way you would clean your vehicle. This is when you are not doing a sort of spring cleaning.
If you don’t know the technicalities of cleaning a boat, as long as you have prior knowledge of car washing, then you can use that knowledge in cleaning your boat, provided that the mess isn’t too much.
- A pail of water
- Car soap
- A sponge
- A garden hose
First of all, get the boat wet by spraying it with a garden hose. This is to help it absorb the soap and get cleaned easily, then you add the soap to your bucket of water, dip in your sponge and begin scrubbing.
When you have scrubbed to your satisfaction, then rinse it off. Also, if you notice leftover stains, you could wash those areas again. or use a tougher cleaning agent.
- Pressure washing
Washing your boat using a high-pressure water stream is also an important aspect of keeping your boat clean. You don’t need to use costly cleaning agents all the time, here is a Do-It-Yourself method;
First, after fixing on a pressure washer that sprays soap on your hose, spray your boat all over and let the solution sit for about five minutes. Do not let it dry on, or you will have more stains to worry about.
Once that time has elapsed, remove the soap nozzle and fix it on a power sprayer. Spray your craft all around to get rid of the soap suds and dirt, moving from top to the bottom. Make sure every part of your boat is cleaned, including areas easily overlooked such as the outboard on smaller crafts. This is to avoid more complex work later on.
- Hand scrubbing
After most of the dirt and grime has come off your aluminum boat by applying the above-listed methods, any residual stains still left behind can be attacked by using an abrasive sponge, and some extra time.
In cleaning these stained areas, spray on soap and let it saturate them, then you get to work with your sponge. Do not use steel wool except the occasion demands it, otherwise, a regular sponge or scrubbing brush will do just fine. Attend areas where you notice rusts immediately, do not leave it to get worse. Here, you could use your steel wool, but don’t be too hard on scrubbing.
When you are done with scrubbing and rinsing off, finish up your work by applying a nice finishing aluminum polish, both to protect your boat and to make it look good.
- Cleaning with bleach
This is sometimes the fallback solution when some stubborn algae stain still remains after the first couple of washes with water and soap. As required, you have to be careful while carrying out this process to ensure that you do not get bleach on any sensitive part of your body. That is why properly gearing up for this activity is important.
- Bleach -water solution of the ratio 1:4 respectively.
- Protective gear, such as goggles, gloves, and a couple of worn-out clothes.
- A water pail
- A soft cloth and a brush.
First, put on your safety wear; your health is always a priority. Next, prepare the bleach water solution. For every one part of bleach, add four parts of warm water.
Now, get your brush, dip it in the solution and focus on the stained areas, do this with circular motion. After scrubbing, use the cloth to clean up the scrubbed areas to prevent discolorations of those parts.
When you’re done with this, conclude your washing by rinsing the entire washed area with clean water in order to get rid of any residual bleach.
- Commercial cleaning agents
There are cleaning agents that are specifically made for the cleaning of boats, be it aluminum or fiberglass. Among these agents, some of the most common ones are Fiberglass cleaner and Toon Brite. It is not every time you want to clean your boat that you will go for these agents. You only use them annually or biannually.
How you use these agents is by coating every part of your craft with them using a brush, and letting the solution sit for about ten minutes. After this, you could repeat the process again with tougher stained areas. When the whole washing process is completed, endeavor to thoroughly rinse off your boat so as to prevent causing additional damage to your boat’s exterior
- Boat wax
This gives a nice finish to your cleaning efforts and helps preserve the lifespan of your craft. At least once annually, you should apply boat wax to your craft. This should be done no less than a day after washing the boat.
Read Also: How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats Of Mildew
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