Annually, warmer weather means getting your boat ready for the water.

Today is however different—with a shift towards environmental friendliness, boat cleaning is much safer and certainly less expensive than it once was. Many of the cleaning things can be made at home with only a few simple ingredients. Although some people may patronize homemade boat cleaning products with skepticism, I can tell you that they work. Here are some green cleaning tips to keep your boat looking its best while protecting your health and the environment.


Getting together Your Cleaning Equipment

Standard to any boat washing is a few good scrubbing brushes. A long handle brush that will let you to reach difficult areas without having to break your arm or back is necessary depending on the size of your boat. Most boat surfaces will allow a medium-soft bristle brush. If you get a brush that is too abrasive, it will damage the finish. Make sure that the handle of your brush is durable as well. A small hand brush is also handy as is a bucket, sponges, chamois cloths, and a mop.

Do Cleaning and Maintenance on Land

Where  possible, do most of your cleaning or maintenance on shore rather than in the water. Also be sure that you properly dispose of old parts or any chemicals appropriately.

Use Environmentally Friendly Cleaning Products: Recipes

Here are some inexpensive and safe cleaning tips for keeping your boat looking its best. Remember, the key to cleaning success is to put a little elbow grease into it. We are used to chemical-laden products that require little scrubbing or buffing, but if you want to stay greener and get your boat to really shine, it will require a little energy on your part.

To take care of hard water stain and rings, mix one tablespoon baking soda with one tablespoon toothpaste. You’ll need a pasty consistency, and you will use it by scrubbing at the stains with this mix and a damp cloth.

When it comes time to clean the hull, you can mix one part white vinegar and one part warm water in a bucket. Use a light bristle scrub brush to wash the hull before rinsing thoroughly. But, if this cleaner doesn’t do the trick, worry not! There is a heavy duty hull cleaner you can use with 1 ½-cups baking soda and a gallon of warm water in a bucket. Scrub with your brush just as before and rinse when you’re done.

Do you need to brighten your hull after it’s clean? Make a hull brightener solution with ¼-cup baking soda and one gallon water. Add this to your rinse water after cleaning.


Add one part each of water, salt, and white vinegar for a good brass cleaner. Putting these together, you should get a paste that you can apply with a clean rag. Rinse well when you’re done.

There’s no mixing required for a chrome cleaner. Instead, rub straight apple cider vinegar on your chrome pieces and wipe off with a clean, dry rag.