How Using the Wrong Cleaning Chemicals Can Damage Your Boat

Yacht cleaning and detailing are an important part of yacht care. In order to maintain the integrity and aesthetic of the vessel, yachts need to be properly cleaned on a regular basis. Of course, the appropriate cleaning products need to be used throughout the cleaning process. Failing to research the right products to use when it comes to cleaning your vessel is a sure way to find out how using the wrong cleaning chemicals can damage your boat.

boat cleaning chemicals

Regular upkeep and daily protection is crucial to keeping your vessel show-ready. YMP highly recommends that a standard wash down be performed two times per month, at a minimum. Should boat owners decide to clean their vessel on their own, there are two pieces of advice YMP suggest all boat owners follow:

  1. Choose the right cleaning equipment – General cleaning products, or products that are specifically made for other types of vehicles are not ideal. You want to look for and use marine specific products. Before selecting your cleaning equipment and products, consider the type of boat you have and its composition. This will ensure that you have the right items to properly clean your vessel, without damaging the finish or gel coat on your boat.
  2. Always clean a wet boat – You never want to scrub a dry boat, as that is almost a guaranteed way to cause some type of damage. Any grit or grime on the surface of your boat can easily scratch smooth finishes. This preventative measure, along with the right products will properly clean and protect the surfaces on your boat from damage.

There are a few things that are important to know and consider when it comes to choosing the right products for your yacht. While the process of yacht cleaning may seem straightforward, it is essential to pick the right products, and using the wrong cleaning chemicals can damage your boat. 

Boat Cleaning Chemical Tips

  1. Environmentally-Friendly Soap is best. Using chemicals that are too strong can break down surface wax and polish that are in place to protect your vessel. You’ll want to select a soap that will be tough on dirt, grime, and salt, yet easy on the environment. Do not opt for a generic dish soap when it comes to cleaning your yacht. Instead, select an effective, biodegradable cleaning agent with a neutral pH factor opposed to harsh chemicals and acid based products to avoid ruining the exterior of your vessel..
  2. Chemicals react differently with different products. When using the wrong cleaning chemicals, it is possible to break down previously applied products, such as compound, wax, polish, and gloss, leaving the gel coat exposed. It’s also important to be aware that certain “super concentrated” detergents may not be suitable for your boat, as these cleansers can strip away and damage finishes when left on for extended periods of time.
  3. Bleach is not your friend. When it comes to cleaning the interior of your yacht, stay away from any products or sprays that contain bleach.”Bleach Free” products are a much safer option. Mixing your own products is also highly recommended, such as a solution made up of water and vinegar or water and rubbing alcohol. These are natural solutions that are effective for disinfecting while helping to avoid chemical marks or permanent staining to delicate interior materials.

Yacht Management Professionals knows the importance of proper yacht cleaning, and works with clients to ensure their yachts are always properly taken care of and detailed appropriately. Our crew understands how using the wrong cleaning chemicals can damage your boat. We are able to call on our years of marine experience to provide our clients with peace of mind knowing their yacht will always remain in pristine condition. Reach out to us today for help with yacht maintenance.