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Author Topic:   What is the Best Cleaner / Polisher for Stainless
BillD posted 09-17-2002 05:45 PM ET (US)   Profile for BillD   Send Email to BillD  
What do you guys use to clean your stainless (Bow rails, grab rails, Bimini, etc.). I go to West Marine and am overwhelmed by the choices. Should I polish, protect? Or what. I want to get it nice and clean and shiny for the winter.

Because of the members of this forum I use Barkeepers friend on the no skid and Mary Kates On/Off on the scum line. Help me out with the stainless if you can



awlgrip2 posted 09-17-2002 07:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for awlgrip2  Send Email to awlgrip2     
Never-Dull---- has been around for years and it works. Follow up with a coat of Nu Finish wax. If the boat is going to be laid up for an extended period, apply a coat of Nu Finish and leave it on until just before the next use. Will come off effortlessly even if left on for a year.
Taylor posted 09-17-2002 08:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
I've always liked Flitz, although what they have at West Marine now is a liquid in a bottle, and I prefer the paste type in a tube. I seem to recall that Flitz does some polishing and also leaves a protective coating in the same step, which is a feature I like.

I know how you feel standing in front of all those choices of products. Are any of them bad? Are some better? Its tough to know. As we discovered in the long debate that took place about teak oil, there are probably lots of right choices.

Taylor posted 09-17-2002 08:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Taylor  Send Email to Taylor     
My grandmother, who was obsessive about lots of things, coated the chrome plated work on her 1947 ChrisCraft with vasoline before she laid the boat up each winter and flew to the Royal Hawaiian Hotel. Vasoline certainly protected the chrome. Not that I'm recommending vasoline, but that's what worked for her. Hmmm... maybe that's where I got the obsessive streak about boats.
whalerfran posted 09-17-2002 09:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalerfran    
I have found 3-M's metal polish unbeatable. It is in a paste form and expensive, but the $21 container it is sold in is far more than you will ever need. Too bad it is not sold in a smaller quantity.
Jiles posted 09-17-2002 10:07 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jiles    
I have tried many products for polishing metal. I found that ---GS57-- will do wonders on stainless steel, alunimum, brass, gold, etc. It was advertized on T.V. some time ago and is now available at most Wal-Mart and K-mart stores for less then $10.00 for a 5.3 oz. tube. It is intended primarily for auto body scratch removal.
capngeo posted 09-18-2002 12:20 AM ET (US)     Profile for capngeo  Send Email to capngeo     
You've already got the barkeeper's! That's the best stainless cleaner / polish I ever found. You might also try a product called "Ospho". Which is a metal prep chemical, normally used before painting non-ferrous metals.... but it works great on stainless. The active ingredient in both is Oxacylic Acid.

I typically dry the stainless after rinsing with a terrycloth towel, then spray CRC silicone spray to protect it (use caution that the overspray doesn't get on your deck!! you may wish to wipe it on with a rag)

OutrageMan posted 09-18-2002 06:53 AM ET (US)     Profile for OutrageMan  Send Email to OutrageMan     
I have been very impressed by Colonite Metal Wax. It is made by the same people that make Colonite Boat Wax.

I even use this stuff on the tables of my woodworking machinery since it containes no silicones.


Teddymilo posted 09-24-2002 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Teddymilo  Send Email to Teddymilo     
The best thing to do for Stainless railing is to have it electro polished. Once it has been done you only need to hose it with fresh water. What normally stains is the acid from your hand, which you don't realize you have
ShrimpBurrito posted 09-24-2002 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for ShrimpBurrito  Send Email to ShrimpBurrito     
I second capngeo's recommendation for Ospho. I just used some on my 15 year old rails, and they shined up perfectly. Plus, it's so incredibly easy to use. Apply, drink beer for 15 min, and come back to observe the shine. No work required. I found it at Ace Hardware - the active ingredient is phosphoric acid.
jameso posted 09-24-2002 02:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
Barkeepers friend is the best 99 cents or so you can spend cleaning/polishing a boat. Gets rust stains off gel coat and really shines stainless. Rinse it goood it has oxalic acid in it, then apply a coat of wax. I don't use silicone on anything! It will not wash off, attracts dirt and will actually migrate under some waxes and sealants.
My 02, Jim Armstrong
BillD posted 09-30-2002 02:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for BillD  Send Email to BillD     
I used Never-Dull this past weekend because it was cheap, available in my favorite hardware store, and I did not want to drive to the marine store. It worked fine, but next time I will probably try Flitz or something that cleans and protects in one coat.

Thanks for the advice everyone.

Whaler Proud posted 09-30-2002 02:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for Whaler Proud  Send Email to Whaler Proud     
I like Maguire's mag polish. Readily available and inexpensive.
kingfish posted 09-30-2002 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I use Barkeepers Friend from time to time too, but a word of caution, whether you use it on gelcoat (nonskid) or stainless: it *does* have an abrasive in it. Enough uses over enough time and you will have a whole 'nother problem.

Anything with oxalic acid will clean up rust stains from stainless or from gelcoat. There are many cleaners, cleaner/protectors and polishes for stainless, and if all you're doing is spiffing it up and polishing/protecting it (as opposed to removing stubborn stains or discolorations), most any of them will work. I most frequently use the same wax I use on the fiberglass; Meguiars Marine.


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