Top 7 Boat Cleaning Tips for Boat Owners

Some say it’s easy to buy a boat, but much harder to keep it clean, well maintained, and in good shape. At DEKit Fort Myers, we know a thing or two about boat maintenance activities throughout the year that go way beyond cleaning your boat flooring (article link at the end on this). While it’s always good to keep your floor in tip-top shape to maximize the value and longevity of DEKit flooring, the same can be said about your boat’s exterior and other interior parts. 

Not every boat owner can afford to hire boat detailers to ensure your boat is getting proper maintenance. There is an annual cleaning plan to follow if you want to ensure your boat’s longevity and re-sale value.

Whether you hire boat detailers or you plan to clean your boat yourself, we recommend only using the best cleaning products with high-quality ingredients. And to be transparent, we own a line of cleaning and maintenance products created and tested by science engineers. Being in the boating industry for years, and having to clean our own boats, we know a thing or two about maximizing time-saving cleaners and techniques that bring out the best shine and detail in fewer steps. 

If you are new to the club of boat owners, you might not be well aware of the ins and outs of maintaining and cleaning your watercraft asset. So, we hope this article fills you in on boat cleaning tips that go beyond boat flooring.

Tip 1: Switch to Microfiber Cloth

The foremost thing that one requires when deciding on cleaning a boat is a cloth. But have you ever thought which type of cloth will help be more suitable? Unfortunately, most boat owners do not put much thought into it, pick up a cotton cloth, and begin scrubbing. Instead, you should consider only using microfiber towels. 

Microfiber towels can absorb 98% of water which is much more than cotton towels absorb at only 70%. In addition, with these towels, you can pick up even minute dirt or oil particles given your drying efforts double duty. These dust particles attach themselves to the towel and do not leave it until it gets washed or rinsed. Hence, because of the microfiber towel’s ability to attract extra dirt, it greatly reduces the chances of creating scratches and imperfections on your boat's exterior.

Tip 2: Choose Boat Cleaning Products Carefully

When choosing products to clean and maintain your boat, make sure to choose products that can effectively clean up the dirt and grime and are environmentally friendly. To save a few bucks, some boat owners choose the same soap they use for cleaning dishes at home. Unfortunately, those soaps may or may not be environmentally friendly, and the chances of helping you get rid of all the dirt from your boat is not high as well. Plus, household products can potentially damage your exterior or create unsightly streaks. 

Like I said earlier, we do sell professional-grade boat cleaning products that leave your boat brilliantly clean inside and out with fewer steps. Make sure to read the instructions carefully before using the product, and if you need cleaning advice on how best to use the product, reach out to us anytime. 

Tip 3: Wax it Up

Waxing up your boat using boat care products like prep and finishing polishes will protect your boat’s fiberglass and keep it lustrous. You don’t have to wax your boat after every ride but make sure to do it at least once or twice when the season is about to begin and next during the end of the boat-riding season. Your hull will remain shiny, and no foreign elements will damage its gloss. 

Tip 4: Degreasing the Engine

The engine is the soul of any watercraft and must be kept clean and in top shape. So, when it comes to the boat’s engine, you should make it a point to clean the engine after the end of the season.

Some people prefer to hire professional boat detailing services to do this job. But if you want to save some money, you can get a good quality cleaner or protectants like WD-40 or Boeshield T-9. Otherwise, we recommend a universal cleaner like Koch Chemie Green Star Universal cleaner GS to get started and a 303 Protectant to protect the boat engine plastic parts, gel coating and wire casings.

Other Tips:

Make sure your batteries are turned off before cleaning the engine. Use a brush to agitate and knock off the dirt and accumulated salt for a perfect deep clean. A small shop vac will also help remove loose sand and dirt. Do not use a pressured hose nozzle - take the nozzle off and let the hose water run freely. Use microfiber rags to dry up the engine before you apply the engine protectant.

Tip 5: Maintaining the Livewell

For you fisherman, you know what a nasty smell an unkept livewell can cause if not properly maintained. Even occasional fishing expeditions can leave a livewell smelling nasty if not properly cleaned of baitfish and grime. To avoid a smelly livewell, regularly clean and sanitize your livewell, but DO NOT use bleach or detergents. Instead, as an easy and inexpensive remedy, you can use baking soda to clean and sanitize the interior surfaces. 

Tip 6: Avoid Hard Scrubbing

Hard scrubbing can damage your boat and leave marks on your boat’s paint. We recommend using fast-cutting cleaners to help dissolve the dirt and grime so that cleaning becomes easier with soft strokes. Instead of cotton cloths, use a soft scrubbing brush or microfiber towels mentioned above, along with effective cleaners, to remove dirt from the boat. 

Tip 7: Clean up your Portlights

Portlights are either square or rectangle in shape and are covered with tempered glass, acrylic, or plastic. Occasionally, portlights can take on a cloudy appearance. For safety purposes, you should always keep your portlights clean and ensure no fog on the glass. To remove the fog from the portlight, use warm water mixed with a good cleaning solution - a mild soap even works. With the warm-water-soap mixture, gently scrub and remove the cloudy haze with a microfiber towel that we mentioned earlier. 

Summing It Up

Your boat is one of the biggest investments you will have, and we want only the best for our boating customers. Our goal is not only to provide you with an amazing floor but also to educate you on maintaining the rest of your boat. Why do we pay so much attention to our customer’s needs? It’s because we love making boat owners happy!

If you have questions about cleaning your DEKit flooring and maintaining its quality throughout the season, let us know. Even if you have a standard boat cleaning question or problem, ask us. 

The Best in Customer Support

We’ve been in the boat maintenance and flooring business for many years, and we’d love to help guide you on the right path and answer your questions. Just give us a call at 239.851.6030 to get started.


Cleaning your DEKit boat flooring can be an easy task and leave your flooring looking beautiful for a long time. Just follow this boat flooring cleaning plan for the best results. 

April 16, 2022 — John TenBrink