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  Bleach safe for gelcoat and no-skid?

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Author Topic:   Bleach safe for gelcoat and no-skid?
weekendwarrior posted 06-17-2009 09:25 AM ET (US)   Profile for weekendwarrior   Send Email to weekendwarrior  
After years of trying multiple different cleaners, bleach seems to do the best job of getting my boat clean. But in the long term, is it safe for the gel coat and no-skid?
New 2 Whalers posted 06-17-2009 09:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for New 2 Whalers  Send Email to New 2 Whalers     
I have been using a recipe I got years ago from a Sunbrella dealer for cleaning fabric and gel coat.

1 cup laundry bleach.
2 ounces boat soap or dish soap.
1 gallon water.

Wet the surface and then scrub with a soft boat brush and rinse. It works great.

I prefer to use boat soap because it's bio-degradable:-)

Jeff posted 06-17-2009 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Bleach works good but, I have found it to speed the on set of a chalky look to the gel coat. If I have to really clean the nonskid I use Krud Kutter (claims to have a eco friend formula) for the really nasty jobs and Starbrite Deck cleaner with PTFE for general everyday cleaning. Both work great. But, they each have their place.

Bleach, dish soap and laundry detergent will strip off all of the wax that you have on the hull. Krud Kutter is not as harsh as the bleach but, it will strip most wax. So, if you use any of these be sure to reapply a coat of wax. The Starbrite product will not strip off your wax.

Here are some images of Krud Kutter cleaning my project 13. It cleaned all of the dirt, grim, mill dew and other nasty stuff that had stained the gelcoat right out.

What is looked like before the cleaning

Blackduck posted 06-17-2009 10:26 AM ET (US)     Profile for Blackduck  Send Email to Blackduck     
MaryKates "Detail" works just, so why use something the people who made your boat recommend against using?
Blackduck posted 06-17-2009 10:29 AM ET (US)     Profile for Blackduck  Send Email to Blackduck     
Should have said, "works just fine", ah for an edit feature.
hauptjm posted 06-17-2009 01:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
We've been down this road many times with many opinions as to whether bleach will/will not harm your gel coat. Simple answer is, Boston Whaler specifically states in the Owners Manual, to NOT use bleach to clean your boat. I use Oxalic Acid in a mild form and rinse after just 20 or 30 seconds. Works great and removes any wax that may be present. So, it's the easy way to clean, but adds additional work in having to reapply wax.
Tohsgib posted 06-17-2009 01:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Could somebody please show me where Whaler says not to use bleach.
Jeff posted 06-17-2009 02:18 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jeff  Send Email to Jeff     
Here is page 113 of the 2009 25 Outrage owners manual. I sure you would be able to find it in all others. 250_OR_09113.jpg?t=1245262709

striper swiper posted 06-17-2009 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for striper swiper    
Be careful what you mix with bleach!
Toxic fumes are created by mixing bleach with certain soaps. Bleach is best used with water, rinse then use soap/detergents.
You may do yourself harm.
hauptjm posted 06-17-2009 03:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for hauptjm    
The no bleach! statement is present in my 1985 Outrage manual. So for at least 25 years, Whaler has recommended against its use.
TransAm posted 06-17-2009 06:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for TransAm  Send Email to TransAm     
The cleaning disclaimer says don't use abrasive cleaners, detergents, abrasive pads, brushes or sponges, chemicals, acids or cleaning products containing corrosive agents. That pretty much rules out everything, including water.
Tohsgib posted 06-17-2009 07:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Tohsgib posted 06-17-2009 07:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib tells you not to use brushes or sponges or bleach(under the SS harware but not sure if meant for fiberglass) then in the same sentence says to use a sponge or brush to clean it...WTF????
RevengeFamily posted 06-19-2009 08:06 AM ET (US)     Profile for RevengeFamily  Send Email to RevengeFamily     
The way I understand it is.... Whaler does not want bleach used on metal surfaces. Just my 2 cents. I use a mild bleach solution with the boat soap on my decks after fishing, helps get rid of any remaining smell and keeps flies from looking for a free meal... Have yet to have a problem on any of my Whalers.
RM NY posted 06-19-2009 10:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for RM NY  Send Email to RM NY     
so according to the manual you should only use hopes and dreams to clean the boat.

Come on people have been using bleach to clean thier boats as long as boats and bleach have been around.
It pretty much the only thing that will remove mildew, if you buy a "boat specific" cleaner for that purpose its main ingrediant will still be bleach

Tohsgib posted 06-19-2009 10:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tohsgib  Send Email to Tohsgib     
Again from what I read that was for SS hardware, not fiberglass. Without bleach my Whaler would look abandoned in about 3 weeks down here. Going on 34 years and she looks great still.
R T M posted 06-19-2009 11:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for R T M    
Be careful mixing bleach and dish soap together. I did this one time a few years ago to clean a nasty bathroom tile floor left by a tenant when he moved out. The floor cleaned up easy, but the toxic fumes almost put me away. I almost passed out, and had to leave the apartment till the next day. I found out later the soap had ammonia in it, and ammonia and bleach form a toxic gas cloud. Here is some info;


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