make an otherwise clean boat look dirty.
As you probably already know, exhaust
stains don’t always come off in the wash.
Some spray cleaners are strong enough
to remove exhaust stains; however, if
they’re strong enough for that job, then
they’re probably also strong enough to
eventually strip that area of wax, only
making it harder to clean the exhaust
stains off over time. The best way to
remove exhaust stains from gelcoat is to
wax them off. This is something that can
easily be done by hand with cleaner wax.
Use a terrycloth rag to apply the wax,
and wipe or rub it in until the exhaust
stains are gone. Then use a microfiber
rag to wipe the hazy wax residue off.
If the exhaust stains cover a large area,
you’ll want to use several terrycloth rags
as you go, so you’re not rubbing the
exhaust soot from the rag back onto
another section of your boat. When you’re
finished, you’ll be left with a clean, white
surface, and it should be a little easier
to wipe exhaust stains off next time
because they’ll be sitting on top of freshly
Clean Vinyl, Rubber,
And Plastic Surfaces
Clean vinyl seats with soap and water
using a wet sponge or rag. Lightly use a
Mr. Clean Magic Eraser pad to remove
any stains or marks. Then use 303
Aerospace Protectant to protect them and
give them a light sheen. 303 Aerospace
Protectant sounds like something you
might use to keep your rocket ship shiny,
but it’s actually intended for boats. It
offers the same kind of UV protection
as Armor All, but it packs a bit more of
a punch and lasts longer. It can be used
on vinyl seats, the rubber pontoons of
your tender, plastics and plastic windows,
leather, and the dashboard area of your
helm station. It helps keep dark colored
plastics, such as the helm station, from
fading. Those little black specs of spider
droppings on vinyl seats can also be
removed this way. Spray with water or a
multipurpose cleaner spray, let it soak in
for 30 seconds, then wipe off.
Natalie Sears owns Deckhand Detailing
( www.DeckhandDetailing.com) and is the
author of The Insider’s Guide to Boat
Cleaning and Detailing.
Do It Yourself
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