Spring is blooming, and you’re probably excited to get back on the water! Before boating season begins, take some time out of your week to deep clean your beloved boat. Here are five cleaning tips that will save you a lot of time and money and help you keep your boat in great shape.

1. Clean the exterior.
Grab a hose, and get to it! For this first step, you should have a pressure washer to cut through all the algae and scum that accumulates on the hull of your boat. Afterwards, grab a boat brush and dip it into a marine-friendly wash mixture. Use a high-quality soap that won’t ruin your paint, and rinse the exterior thoroughly when you’re done. 

2. Wax.
If you don’t wax your boat after you wash it, your paint job will suffer. Ideally, you should wax your boat once a year. We know it’s a big job, but it’s important. There are plenty of boat services out there that can take care of it for you. It’s worth every penny! However, if you decide to do it yourself, make sure you use marine-grade wax. Car wax isn’t going to cut it.

3. Clean wood surfaces.
Start with the floors. If your boat has carpeting or vinyl, save them for later. Grab some hardwood cleaner and polish, and get to work! Mop the floors, dry them, and then use a buffer to polish them.

4. Clean the carpets.
If you’re diligent about vacuuming and dusting, you’re already ahead of the game. Every month, go over them with carpet shampoo to keep them fresh and smelling good. When you’re out on the water, it’s only natural for your carpets to smell like salty fish. After you steam clean them, apply a sealant on top.

5. Clean the vinyl.
Vinyl is the easiest to clean, so we saved it for last. All you need is an all-purpose cleaner and a mop/brush. If you make sure to keep your vinyl clean enough so it doesn’t accumulate dirt and mold, you’re doing well. Only use bleach if absolutely necessary. It’s not a good solution in large quantities because it can can harm both your health and the health of your boat.