Dirt and stain on the boat deck can be unappealing. Not to mention, it can create an unhealthy environment and result in an unpleasant smell. Fortunately, deck maintenance does not need to be difficult. The best boat deck cleaner will be your savior!
An excellent cleaner will make your deck spotless and sparkling without damages! Avoid those with harsh chemicals that can do more harm than good! Aside from removing dirt, it must also provide a protective barrier against future stains.
With too many options, choosing a good boat deck cleaner can be overwhelming! From its ingredients to compatibility with deck materials, you have a lot of things to consider. If you are undecided about what to buy, read on and we’ll help you make the right choice.
Table of Contents
- Best Boat Deck Cleaner Reviews
- 1. Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
- 2. Better Boat Deck Cleaner
- 3. Boater’s Edge Deck Cleaner
- 4. Star Brite Pontoon Deck Cleaner
- 5. 3M Marine Non-Skid Cleaner
- 6. Sea Choice Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
- 7. Simple Green Boat Cleaner
- 8. Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Wax
- 9. Rejuvenate RM32DC Deck Cleaner
- 10. Z Care LVP Marine Boat Cleaner
- 11. West Marine Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
- 12. Meguiar’s M6832 Marine Deck Cleaner
- What is a Boat Deck Cleaner and How Does It Work
- Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Boat Deck Cleaner
- How to Choose a Boat Deck Cleaner
- Care and Maintenance
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Boat Deck Cleaner Reviews
1. Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
The Starbrite deck cleaner provides an easy and effective way to clean without relying on harsh chemicals! Whether you have a plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, metal, or painted deck, this cleaner can do wonders!
What I love the most about this product is that it is easy to use. For lazy boat owners like me, this is a great choice! While you need to scrub the surface after application, you do not need to do it with much effort. The cleaner softens stubborn dirt, making it quicker to remove.
After application, leave it for two to three minutes. No need to wait longer! Use a medium bristle brush to scrub the treated area and rinse. Voila, within minutes of air-dry, you can restore the deck’s appearance. Another good selling point is that it does not remove polish, wax, or paint!
This cleaner contains special chelating agents, which will lift dirt without heavy brushing. To add, it has a non-slippery protective PTEF barrier. It creates a protective coating, which will repel dirt and stains.
When purchasing this cleaner, you will have three choices depending on the size of the deck and the extent of cleaning you need to do. You can choose from 22 ounces, 32 ounces, and 1 gallon. If you have a large boat, I suggest that you pick the biggest size.
2. Better Boat Deck Cleaner
Better Boat is a brand that many boat enthusiasts will recognize. It is an American company known for its exceptional boat cleaning products, such as brushes and scuff erasers. Unsurprisingly, their non skid cleaner is equally amazing.
I commend this product because of its effectiveness, even on the toughest dirt. From yellow stains to fish blood, there’s nothing that will be too harsh to handle. Whether it is algae or grime, removing residues on the deck does not need to be a complicated task.
Moreover, it creates a non-slip finish, which also doubles as a protective barrier. With the polymer coating, there will be a better grip, making it easier to walk on your boat.
After its application, it will create an invisible shield that makes the deck less likely to attract scums. This way, you don’t have to clean the deck often.
Another reason why I highly recommend this non skid deck cleaner is its versatility. While it is formulated for boat decks, that does not mean that you cannot use it in other parts of the boat. I also use it for the hull and windshield. The outcomes are as impressive!
Not convinced to choose this cleaner? You might have a change of mind after learning about the manufacturer’s risk-free guarantee. If you aren’t happy within 30 days, let the manufacturer know and you will receive an unconditional refund.
3. Boater’s Edge Deck Cleaner
Have you ever felt wasting your time and energy scrubbing a boat deck? This is probably because you are using an ineffective cleaner! In case you are searching for the ideal solution, this is another product that I can recommend, especially if you are impatient!
It takes only two to three minutes for the cleaner to work. If you are dealing with stubborn dirt, however, you might need a second application to make the deck shiny and spotless.
Like most of the products I am reviewing, this is a versatile cleaner. Whether your deck is made of fiberglass, plastic, vinyl, metal, or rubber, among other materials, it will deliver incredible results. Best of all, it will work beyond boat decks, making it a great choice for a multipurpose cleaner.
The secret lies in the ingredients! It has a marine-grade formula, which is strong enough to deal even with the harshest dirt. I am stunned at how quickly it softens grime upon its application, which will eliminate the need for a thorough scrubbing.
Speaking of its formula, many of its users also loved how it comes with added polymers. They will help prevent future stains, making sure that the clean-up of your boat deck will be a breeze.
4. Star Brite Pontoon Deck Cleaner
From their brushes to waxes, I am an avid fan of almost anything from Star Brite. Many boat owners will agree that it is one of the most reputable brands in the market. That said, it does not come as a surprise that the Star Brite boat deck cleaner makes it on our list!
After using this product, I can say that it does not only clean but it also protects. It bonds to polished metal, fiberglass, painted surfaces, rubber, and plastic, among other materials. It leaves the surface shinier. The cleaner also forms a protective barrier to minimize UV damage.
Besides, this cleaner has chelating agents, which will effectively loosen dirt. It also lifts grime off the surface, so you won’t find yourself scrubbing too hard.
The versatility of this product is also notable. While I use it mostly for cleaning my boat deck, it also works well on carpets and other surfaces.
It is also notable that this cleaner has a lake-safe formula. Even when using near the water, you don’t have to worry since there are no harsh chemicals. This means that you won’t be contributing to water pollution!
5. 3M Marine Non-Skid Cleaner
Through the years, your boat’s non-skid deck can lose its grip, increasing the chances that you will slip. Worse, you can fall off the water. To prevent that from happening, this 3M boat cleaner is a promising product. It does not contain waxes, which means that it can avoid the surface from being slippery.
It is specifically formulated for hard-to-clean dirt. Especially on textured surfaces in high-traffic areas, there are tiny spaces where grime will cram. It may harden over time, but this product will make cleaning straightforward.
With a quick three-step process, this cleaner will deliver the expected results! You just have to pour, brush, and rinse! Within minutes, you will be done cleaning and the results will be astounding! You can spend more time enjoying the deck of your boat instead of cleaning it. Although, if there are stubborn spots, you might need to brush a little harder.
Regardless of the exterior material, this product will be effective. Whether you have a fiberglass, painted, metal, or plastic deck, you will be happy with how it works. Best of all, there are no harmful acids that will damage surface materials.
6. Sea Choice Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
Packed in a one-gallon container, this is one product that I can suggest for those who are looking for the best bang for the buck. While it is cheap, it can deliver an incredible cleaning performance similar to many of its most expensive counterparts.
The foaming formula with PTEF is the reason why it cleans well. As soon as it is applied, it will act to break down dirt on the surface, making it softer and easier to remove. Within a few minutes, use a brush and your deck will be instantly clean. In some instances, a second application is necessary if the dirt is thick.
More than cleaning, I like this product because it also leaves a protective gel coating, similar to most of the products in this guide. The deck will improve its defense against dirt and stain that can ruin its appearance. The next time you are cleaning the deck, it will be a lot easier!
It’s also worth noting that this cleaner has a non-abrasive formula. It will not scratch or damage surfaces, regardless of the material. The manufacturer notes that it is safe for metal, fiberglass, and painted surfaces.
7. Simple Green Boat Cleaner
If you are a boat enthusiast, then you will surely love this cleaner. It isn’t just for decks! Whether it is for other parts of the boat or even for your fishing gear, this will be a superb choice. Even for skiing equipment and inflatables, it will work!
Among others, one thing I love the most is the spray nozzle packaging. This simplifies the application of the cleaner. You can spray the solution directly on the dirt or stain, leave it a few minutes, and brush.
The non-toxic and biodegradable formula is another reason why I commend this product. You can have peace of mind knowing that it is safe. You don’t have to worry even if you are working near marine environments. There are no harsh chemicals that can damage aquatic life. To add, it is also non-flammable.
With its highly-concentrated formula, you do not need to exert a lot of effort in cleaning decks. Whether it is fish blood or food stains, this cleaner can exceed expectations!
Aside from removing dirt, it is also effective against oil, fuel, and grease. If your deck or any other surface is feeling sticky, using this cleaner will deliver a quick fix.
8. Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Wax
If you are looking for the best wax for boat non skid deck, this should be on your radar! It isn’t your ordinary cleaner. Instead, it is a wax, and hence, the main purpose is to create a non-slippery barrier on the surface. Before spraying the wax, make sure that the deck is already clean.
Though it is supposed to make your deck non-slippery, I would like to warn users that the result can be the opposite when you use too much. The trick is to apply as little wax as possible. You should also thoroughly buff the deck so that it will not end up being too slippery.
Aside from making the deck safer by improving traction, it also protects against sun damage. The formula contains UV inhibitors, which will minimize fading, cracking, and other visible damages that can happen when the deck is exposed to extreme heat.
It is safe to use this wax on all fiberglass decks, whether it is textured or not. Even for painted surfaces, you can apply this wax without worrying that it will cause chipping.
9. Rejuvenate RM32DC Deck Cleaner
This product comes in convenient packaging with a spray nozzle on the top of the bottle. You can spray it directly on the deck, eliminating the need for dilution.
If the surface is completely dry, I suggest that you drizzle water first before applying this cleaner to make it more effective. After spraying, use a microfiber cloth or soft-bristle brush to agitate and loosen the dirt. Finish by rinsing.
From black marks to ground-in dirt, it can effectively deal with several problems on the deck. It has a strong formula that will immediately loosen grime upon contact. You do not need to sweat scrubbing the surface!
Whether your deck is made of synthetic teak or fiberglass, regardless if it is textured or painted, you will be happy to know that this product will work! Likewise, the cleaner will create a protective barrier, which will prevent future dirt and stain.
I also appreciate how this product comes with a marine-safe formula. While it effectively gets the job done, it can do so without harming marine life. With the innovative nanotechnology, the ingredients will break down once it is in the ocean, making sure that it does not cause any harm.
10. Z Care LVP Marine Boat Cleaner
Cleaning boat decks does not mean having to rely on harsh chemicals. I admire this product because of its non-toxic and biodegradable formula. There’s nothing in this cleaner that can damage marine life, so it is safe even if you rinse the residue in the ocean or lake.
More than being environment-friendly, I can attest to the effectiveness of this product. It has a powerful and professional formula to remove stains and black streaks. It works through direct spray application, dissolving dirt and grime as soon as it gets in contact with the cleaner.
After removing dirt on the surface, the cleaner will leave a protective coating. This will lessen dirt accumulation in the future and will also make the deck less prone to staining. Meaning, it has a double-action formula as it cleans and protects.
Remarkably, this cleaner has a gentle smell, making it a breeze to apply. This is unlike others that will remind you of strong chemicals.
Another reason why I am all praises for this product is that the manufacturer is providing a guarantee of effectiveness. If it doesn’t work, you will get an unconditional refund. So, you are not risking anything with your purchase!
11. West Marine Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
Formulated to clean textured surfaces, this is another product worth considering. It cleans fiberglass and painted decks while also leaving a protective coating. The latter does not only provide an invisible shield against future dirt, but it also protects against UV damage. Even if the deck is exposed to the heat of the sun, this product can minimize potential harm.
Furthermore, it comes with chelating agents, which makes it effective even on tough dirt. Chelates are specialized molecules that will bond with filth. Upon contact, it will soften the grime, making it easier to remove. Because of this, scrubbing will not require intense work.
One more thing that makes this fiberglass boat deck cleaner admirable is the marine-safe formula. You do not have to feel guilty about cleaning your deck even in the ocean. It does not contain harsh chemicals that can endanger marine life. You will be doing the environment a favor when you are using this boat cleaner!
I find the formula to be quite thin compared to other boat cleaners, but this does not mean that it is less effective. I was doubtful at first but it turns out that this isn’t an issue. It is as powerful and effective as the thicker cleaners.
12. Meguiar’s M6832 Marine Deck Cleaner
Made by another reputable brand, the Meguiars non-skid deck cleaner stands out because of its extra-powerful formula. Even the toughest jobs will be effortless to tackle when using this cleaner. No hard rubbing required!
If you are looking for green deck cleaning products, this is a great pick. With its non-toxic and decomposable formula, it is completely safe to use, even when you are on the water.
It is also worth highlighting that there are no volatile compounds. A high concentration of VOCs can have negative health impacts, such as eye irritation, liver damage, and loss of coordination, among others. Fortunately, this cleaner is free of such compounds.
From oily films to black streak, this cleaner can remove almost anything that is making your deck unsightly. To add, it works beyond the boat! I have heard of a lot of people who are also using this in their RVs, and they have nothing but good words to share, guaranteeing its effectiveness.
Many users love how it comes with a spray nozzle, which will be great for direct application. You can squirt the cleaning solution directly on the dirt.
What is a Boat Deck Cleaner and How Does It Work
A boat deck cleaner is a specially formulated solution for cleaning dirt and grime in decks. Over time, your decks can become unsightly. Stain can form and turn the surface yellowish. With too much filth, there can also be a foul odor. The best way to avoid all of these is to use a boat cleaner.
Depending on the product you will be choosing, boat cleaners are made using chemicals that break-down dirt. Upon application, leave it for a few minutes and it will soften the dirt, making it easier to remove on the surface.
The best product to clean boat deck should maintain the non-skid surface. It must remove the particles stuck in the grooves of the deck without making it slippery.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Using a Boat Deck Cleaner
Keeping your boat deck in its peak shape is possible with the help of the right cleaner. Despite the good things, however, there are also some issues worth noting.
Looking for more compelling reasons to invest in a boat deck cleaner? Here is a rundown of some of its benefits.
- Restores Shine: The deck takes a beating over time. As a result, it will look unappealing. There can be black streaks and yellowish stains. To make it gleam, a boat deck cleaner can save the day.
- Prolongs the Lifespan: Replacing a boat deck can be a lot of work. It is also expensive! With an effective cleaner, you can minimize damage on the deck and prolong its lifespan, eliminating the need for a replacement.
- Works Quickly: Most of the boat deck cleaners will deliver results almost in an instant. Apply it directly on the area with dirt, leave for a while, brush, and rinse. Within minutes, you can admire the look of a spotless deck!
- Versatile: While the name states that a specific product is a boat deck cleaner, this does not mean that such is its exclusive use. Some are equally effective when used in other parts of the boat. There are also cleaners that you can use even for RVs and cars.
There are also some potential problems when using boat deck cleaners, including the following:
- Potentially Toxic: Some deck cleaners contain harsh chemicals, which can cause eye and skin irritation when you aren’t careful with its application. Not to mention, others also have toxic compounds that can endanger aquatic life and cause water pollution.
- Expensive: The cost of deck cleaners can hinder many people from purchasing. They can be expensive, especially those with powerful formulas. Some people resort to natural cleaners instead or make a DIY boat deck cleaner as an alternative.
The Different Types of Boat Deck Cleaners
Before you start looking for deck cleaners, take note that they are available in different types, including those we’ll briefly talk about below:
- Non-Skid Cleaner: This is the most popular type of boat deck cleaner. These are designed specifically to protect the non-skid coating of the deck, which will maintain its grip. This will prevent the deck from being slippery, making it safe for everyone on the boat.
- Shampoo Cleaner: It is a general cleaner and produces a lot of foam, similar to the shampoo you use for your hair. It creates a thick lather that can effectively soften grime for easy removal upon brushing.
- Multipurpose Cleaner: If you are looking for versatility, then this is the best option. You can use it beyond the boat deck, even for your home. While it is multifunctional, it may not be as good as those designed specifically for decks.
How to Choose a Boat Deck Cleaner
The options for boat deck cleaners will be plenty, but this should not be an excuse to pick just any product. Below, we’ll talk about some of the most important things to consider.
Type of Non-Skid Surface
One of the first things you need to do is to look at the construction of the non-skid surface on your boat. The material will dictate which cleaner is compatible. For instance, some might work only on gel-coated surfaces and can cause significant damages on painted surfaces.
Speaking of the type of the non-skid surface, the main material also matters. Plastic, vinyl, fiberglass, and metal are some of the most popular. Choose a cleaner that will be compatible with these materials. Luckily, most of our recommendations above are versatile enough to deliver extraordinary results in different materials.
As a responsible buyer, take the time to look at the label and see the ingredients present in the product. The chemical composition will give you an idea of how effective it will be.
There should be fast-acting ingredients free of toxic chemicals, including bleach. It is also good if the product comes with natural ingredients.
When evaluating the ingredients used in the cleaner, see to it that they will be safe for both humans and the environment. Many cleaners have harmful components, which can be harmful when they are disposed of in the ocean, lake, and even on land.
Some of the words you should be looking for include biodegradable, non-toxic, marine safe, environment-friendly, and gentle formula.
Ease of Use
Truth be told, cleaning the boat deck, or a boat in general, is one thing that many people hate. It is time-consuming, especially when the boat has not been cleaned for a while.
Choose a boat deck cleaner that will be straightforward to use. Ideally, there should be no need for dilution. It is good if you can spray the cleaning solution directly on the dirt. To add, there should be no need to scrub hard just to get rid of grime on the deck.
Some cleaners listed in our recommendations earlier have built-in spray nozzles. They are easier to use, but make sure that the sprayer is not flimsy. Otherwise, you will need to transfer the cleaner in a spray bottle.
The best deck cleaners can offer excellent value for the money. For such to be possible, you need one that is versatile enough to handle multiple applications and deliver the same effectiveness.
Luckily, most of the boat deck cleaners are multi-purpose. You can use many of them not only for the deck but also for the windshield, seat, table, and hull. Some can even be used in RVs and cars.
Boat deck cleaners will come in bottles, the sizes of which will vary depending on what the manufacturer offers. This will also impact the price of the cleaner.
A lot of the deck cleaners are expensive, so it is best to choose one that comes in a large size for the best bang for the buck. Especially if you have a large boat, you will have a big deck to clean, and hence, you will need a big bottle.
Care and Maintenance
Aside from using the right cleaner, below are other things that you can do for proper care and maintenance of your deck.
- Wipe the deck as often as possible. You do not need to spray a cleaning solution every time, but it is a good idea to wipe dirt as soon as you see it. The longer it is unattended, the harder it will be, and this will be more difficult to eliminate.
- Consider using a pressure washer but use the lowest setting possible. The pressure of the water will help to soften grime on the surface, and hence, you will need to exert minimal effort when the time comes that you have to scrub the deck.
- Pick the right brush for cleaning the deck, which will depend on the main material. For delicate materials, it is best to stay with soft-bristle brushes. For harder surfaces, us stiffer brushes to effectively lift dirt.
Frequently Asked Questions
Get to know more about boat cleaners as we answer a few questions you might have about them.
Who makes the best boat deck cleaner?
There are countless brands in the market for boat deck cleaners, but some of the most reputable are the following:
- Star Brite: Established in 1973, Star Brite is an incessant favorite amongst boating enthusiasts. Their wide array of cleaning products is also formulated to RVs, cars, and homes, among other applications.
- Better Boat: As the name implies, they have products that will give you a better boat. They offer comprehensive cleaning solutions beyond the deck. They also have scuff erasers, deck brushes, and leather conditioners.
- Rejuvenate: Whether it is algae, scum line, fish blood, or rust, Rejuvenate has a wide array of boat cleaning products, not just for decks. Rejuvenate Marine operates under a parent company that specializes in floor care and home cleaning.
- Meguiar: Out of all the companies listed, this is perhaps the most popular. Since it started in 1901, it has been an unrivaled name in cleaning products. While they have marine cleaners, they specialize in products for cars.
What can I use to clean my boat deck?
Aside from a cleaning solution, you will also need a brush for cleaning your boat deck. Avoid those with stiff bristles as they can be harsh on surfaces. The best way to clean a boat deck is to use a soft-bristle brush. After all, if you have a powerful cleaner, scrubbing the deck does not need to be a struggle.
If you do not want to spend on expensive commercial cleaners, you can also make one at home. A simple mix will include two cups of water, one cup of isopropyl alcohol, and one tablespoon of ammonia.
To be more effective and to leave a fresher smell, you can also add essential oils for your DIY cleaners. Some of the best include lemon, orange, and lavender essential oils. Using liquid castile soap, vinegar, and baking soda can also prove to be cheap and effective.
How do I clean a fiberglass boat deck?
Fiberglass is one of the most common materials you will find in boat decks. It is pretty straightforward to clean. Here’s a quick guide on how you can do this.
- Start by washing the surface of the deck. This preliminary wash will soften the dirt and grime, making them easier to remove later. You can do this with a pressure washer or hose. Otherwise, you can just pour water on the top of the deck.
- Spray the cleaner on the target area. In case the cleaner comes as a concentrate, dilute it first based on the ratio the manufacturer recommends. After spraying, let it sit for three to five minutes.
- Clean the surface in a circular motion using a soft brush. If you have the right product, you do not have to apply a lot of pressure when scrubbing. You have to be as gentle as possible so that you will not scratch the fiberglass.
- Rinse the fiberglass deck once you are done brushing. Complete the boat deck wash by using a microfiber cloth to wipe the surface. Buff the deck and apply polish if preferred.
A word of warning: Be responsible and do not throw the rinse water in the lake or ocean if it has toxic chemicals. The harsh compounds can endanger aquatic life.
How to clean a non-skid boat deck?
Cleaning non skid boat deck is pretty much an easy process. Start by rinsing the surface to soften the dirt. After the first wash, apply your choice of boat deck cleaner. Spray directly on the target area, leave for a few minutes, and rinse. Once you are done, wipe the deck with a clean cloth. Wait until it is dry before stepping on the deck again.
How do I make my boat deck white again?
Between the salt in the water and dirt on your shoe, among other things, boat decks can turn yellow or brown over time. The good thing is that it will be easy to make it white again!
The best way to make your deck white again is to use the right boat cleaning products. Choose ones that use biodegradable ingredients. Aside from the cleaning solution, you will also need a soft brush to get rid of the stains and restore the gleam in the deck.
How often should I clean my boat deck?
The answer to this question depends on several factors, the most important being the extent of use of your boat. If you use your boat often, then you will need to clean the deck more frequently.
At the very least, you should be cleaning the boat deck once a year. This should be part of the regular maintenance of other parts of the boat, such as the hull.
Can I use ordinary household cleaners for boat decks?
Yes, you can use household cleaners for boat decks, but this is one thing that we do not advise. Household cleaners may not have the important chemicals needed to get rid of dirt and grime. Plus, they can also strip off the non-skid surface of the boat deck, making it slippery.
Also, most of the boat deck cleaners will have properties that leave a protective coating, which will shield against UV damage and future stains. This is one thing that you won’t often find in regular household cleaners.
Can I use bleach on my boat deck?
We do not recommend using bleach when cleaning boat decks. It is irritating and corrosive, making it harmful for the eyes, skin, and lungs. It can cause rashes, headaches, muscle weakness, nausea, vomiting, and abdominal discomfort. Bleach is not environment-friendly, and it pollutes water. Plus, it will remove the non-skid coating of the boat deck.
The abrasive nature of bleach can do more harm than good. It also has a strong chemical-like smell that can easily set most people off.
Where can I buy boat deck cleaners?
Buy only from reputable suppliers. Websites like Amazon and Walmart are some of the best places to start. They provide a convenient way to shop and compare the alternatives. You can also read reviews from other users, which will provide an easy way to weigh your choices and make the right decision.
A squeaky-clean and sparkling deck does not only look good, but it is also a must-have for a safer boating experience. With the build-up of dirt and grime, your deck will not only be unsightly, but it can also lose its non-skid property, and hence, you will be prone to slipping.
Luckily, restoring the full-functionality of your deck does not have to be complicated! Among others, one thing that you will need is the best boat deck cleaner, including our recommendations above!