BlogMay 2019

8 Tips for How to Clean a Boat Properly

8 Tips for How to Clean a Boat Properly

By Alycia Downs

May 22, 2019

Your quick, step-by-step guide on how to clean a boat. Eight boat cleaning tips for all types of boats and boat owners. Care for your boat and make it last!

Boat ownership is a fantastic achievement that is worthy of celebration. Boating provides great fun and quality time with family and friends, and is a vessel of opportunity for recreational activities such as fishing and water sports. Of course, with all the fun a boat brings, there also comes the responsibility of proper care and maintenance. Here is a quick, step-by-step guide on how to clean a boat.

Boat Cleaning Tips

  1. Get the right cleaning equipment. A good boat scrub brush is key. It should have sturdy bristles, but not be too rough to scratch your boat. You’ll also need shams, towels, and a hand-held scrub brush for small spaces.
  2. Eco-friendly boat soap. Be sure to use cleaning products that are environmentally safe.
  3. Clean the livewells. Use baking soda and water or a non-chemical product to clean livewells so they don’t smell.
  4. Clean and dry the vinyl. Vinyl can begin to mold, discolor, or crack, if not cared for properly. Use a vinyl cleaning product with added protectants.
  5. Clean the nooks and crannies. A great tip for how to clean a boat is getting soap into hard-to-reach places. To do this, use a hose end sprayer with a plastic jar attachment. Put soap in the jar where the water pressure will create and spray foamy soap out of the nozzle.
  6. Clean and flush the motor. For outboard motors, attach the hose to the provided connector to flush any water out. Scrub the motor exterior to remove any residue or buildup.
  7. Clean the hull. Scrub the hull with a scrub brush and boat soap to remove residue. You should occasionally wax and polish your boat for that “new boat glow,” but this doesn’t need to be done every time.
  8. Cover the boat. Allow the boat to dry and cover it with a weather-resistant cover. This will protect your boat from the sun’s harmful rays and other debris.

Now that you know how to clean a boat with these great boat cleaning tips and tricks, you can get out and enjoy it! Or dive deeper into more boat cleaning tips. Happy boating!

Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs
Alycia Downs is a freelance content creator and avid sportsman who contributes to numerous publications promoting tourism, fishing, and outdoors. Alycia is a member of the Florida Outdoor Writers Association and is actively involved with conservation and fishing non-profit organizations. Visit her personal blog at or on Instagram @tideandtale.