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Author Topic:   Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
Milepost43 posted 07-19-2004 09:00 AM ET (US)   Profile for Milepost43   Send Email to Milepost43  
Cleaned my new (April 2004) 220 Dauntless yesterday. I use it in a lake. I used Star brite non-skid deck cleaner and it generally worked great. However, have some spots/stains it wouldn't quite get out. What else should I try?

Also have a couple of stains the size of pencil erasers on rear seat from spider droppings. Keep it covered in slip but still get some from time to time. Big problem here. Any advice appreciated.

skred posted 07-19-2004 10:04 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
I have similar problems with my nonskid. I used Star brite Hull Cleaner (Oxalic acid - pretty strong). It did about 80% of the job. I'm still looking for something more effective also...
Camuyano posted 07-19-2004 11:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for Camuyano  Send Email to Camuyano     
I've had good results with a mixture of bleach and Soft-Scrub tile cleaner. My last boat was a sailboat that was transported from the West Coast in an open carrier with the stern facing forward. By the time I received it there were hundreds of blood stains from bugs splatered on the cabin bulkhead. This mixture and a bit of scrubbing took out almost all of it. It also seems to work better if you leave it in for a few minutes in the sun.


BW23 posted 07-19-2004 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for BW23  Send Email to BW23     
MaryKate ON/OFF

Might even have to use 3M Finesse it.

Jarhead posted 07-19-2004 04:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for Jarhead  Send Email to Jarhead     
Barkeepers Friend.
kamie posted 07-19-2004 05:02 PM ET (US)     Profile for kamie  Send Email to kamie     
You might also try some Mr Clean. I have see cleanup some things I thought were a total loss.
gimcrack225 posted 07-19-2004 05:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for gimcrack225    
Be careful with ON OFF or other products with Oxalic Acid. I have been cautioned about using them inside the boat because of the damage that they may do to bilge pumps and electrical insulation and wiring.
I have felt that flushing with lots of water after use would dilute it to the point where it would be inert. My buddy who has been using ON OFF for years, disagrees and will never use it in a boat, He says it sits in the sump tunnel and will damage wiring.
Nothing I know works like it so its a tough call.

Best regards

kingfish posted 07-19-2004 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     
I wouldn't be as concerned about the oxalic acid in products like ON/OFF as I would be about the phosphoric and hydrochloric acids in those products.
joncoastie posted 07-19-2004 08:26 PM ET (US)     Profile for joncoastie  Send Email to joncoastie     
I use Rustaid with rubber gloves and a sponge for terribly tough stains and follow it up with a good waxing. There are those who say waxing the deck is a no no but I have done it on boats for years and have never busted my buns yet. Plus, it makes for very easy cleanups.
dauntlass 18 posted 07-21-2004 07:03 AM ET (US)     Profile for dauntlass 18  Send Email to dauntlass 18     
I have been useing Barkeepers Friend to clean anti skid for several years.On real tough stains I let it soak in for a few mintues than scrub with a stiff nylon brush.I than coat the anti skid area with Woody Wax.I do this about every six weeks over the summer.After every use I only fresh water flush the anti skid.Woody wax seams to seal the anti skid so dirt and stains do not soak into the surface.
skred posted 07-21-2004 08:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for skred  Send Email to skred     
Looks like Barkeeper's Friend and Woody Wax are the way to go... Where on earth do I find Woody Wax?
Cappy posted 07-21-2004 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Cappy  Send Email to Cappy     
Collinite Fiberglass Cleaner, then Collinite Fiberglass Wax!
jjf posted 07-23-2004 06:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for jjf  Send Email to jjf     
Simple Green works the best and cost less than the "marine" non-skid cleaners.
mojipa posted 07-26-2004 10:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for mojipa  Send Email to mojipa     
I just tried Meguiars non skid cleaner. It is awesome! I expected nothing less than perfection from them. Give it a try. You won't regret it.

newt posted 07-27-2004 08:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for newt  Send Email to newt     
Here is the site for woody wax. Lots of people report great results with this product, but my experience hasn't been so great. Maybe frequent application is the key.

K Albus posted 07-27-2004 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
I recently scrubbed my non-skid surfaces clean with Bar Keeper's Friend, and then applied Woody Wax to the non-skid according to the instructions on the bottle. The next time I took my boat out the footprints and other marks accumulated on the non-skid in the usual manner. Later, I tried to rinse away the mess, but contrary to Woody Wax's claims, rinsing did not do the trick. Next, I washed the deck with West Boat Soap and a deck brush, but that didn't do the trick either. It appears that I am going to have to scrub the non-skid once again with Bar Keeper's Friend.

While typing this message, I took a quick look at the Woody Wax website, and I noticed that directions for applying the wax to non-skid which appear on the website are somewhat different from the directions on my bottle. I will give the Woody Wax another try, following the directions from the website. I will report back in a couple weeks to let you know how it worked.

jimh posted 07-28-2004 08:33 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I tried some Star brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner recently. It seems effective. I just bought a bottle, and they've added "with Teflon" to the label. We'll see if that is any better.

I think the secret is to use a detergent or cleaner in high concentration, and let it soak in for a few minutes before scrubbing.

jcswpa posted 07-28-2004 08:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for jcswpa  Send Email to jcswpa     
Boat detailer introduced me to Softscrub. Works better than anything else I've tried, including the non-skid cleaner, and does not have to be sprayed as the chemical ones do (spray removes the wax on your adjoining non-skid surfaces). The fewer chemicals the better all around, and those nonskid products tell you to use gloves and eye protection! With softscrub, just apply a bit on a sponge, let it sit for 3 minutes and wipe it off.
jimh posted 07-28-2004 09:05 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I do like to get the names of products spelled properly, and, after some research, it appears that the proper spelling is "Star brite". Their products are "Sea Safe". The application of capital letters in those two names has be a bit puzzled, but, hey, they're making the stuff (and the money), not me.


Curiously, the company's website contain literally no information about their products. To find out about them, you have to go to a retailer's who sells these products and search their website. For example, WEST Marine:

Star brite Non-Skid Cleaner

In my searching for this information, I came across another vendor, Hawaiian Girl. They have an excellent website, and sell their products directly. Apparently they have been shut out of distribution at large store chains like West Marine. See:

Their website is very informative. Apparently they are or were popular with marine stores on the west coast, and had better distribution until the retail marine business was taken over by one large chain (West Marine).

Has anyone used Island Girl products? Any California Boston Whaler boats with Island Girl polish on them?

jimh posted 07-28-2004 09:10 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Administrative post]
Perry posted 07-28-2004 03:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Perry  Send Email to Perry     
I went to my local Boston Whaler dealer to pick up my boat yesterday. They did some warranty gel coat repair. I went out back and saw a guy cleaning the non-skid deck because of all the dirty footprints left behind by the repair guy. I noticed that what he was using was better than anything I ever used (including simple green and starbrite). I asked him what they use and he said "Boat Soap".

I never heard of the product before. Has anyone else?

LHG posted 07-28-2004 03:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
Products like Softscrub (which I think is badly mis-advertized as non-abrasive) and Bar Keeper's Friend, both DO contain abrasives and will dull and abrade your non-skid. They should not be used on plumbing fixtures, either. So does the Marykate non-skid deck cleaner and oxidation remover.

After several applications and scrubbing, your non-skid will now have micro-fine scratches and abrasions in it, almost impossible to remove, and they will collect and hold more dirt, faster. Rather than help the problem, these products aggrivate the situation.

You should only use a non-abrasive liquid cleaner on the deck. Don't forget mineral spirits (ordinary paint thinner) for petroleum based marks. Never use chlorine based products either (see for that information)

Incidentally, Starbrite's Non-skid Deck Cleaner cleans Whaler Tan Pleat upholstery like brand new. Walmart has the best price on it

macfam posted 07-28-2004 08:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for macfam  Send Email to macfam     
After you've applied the cleaner of your choice, a good pressure washer can also do a great job in getting those crevices nice and clean.
ocuyler posted 07-28-2004 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for ocuyler  Send Email to ocuyler     
I have tried most of the products. What seems not metioned here is the use of a good stiff bristle brush and some serious elbow grease. Further, a frequent cleaning, posibly every ride, may be required. I hate that reality in our 10 week season...
Divedog posted 07-29-2004 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Divedog  Send Email to Divedog     
I use a 'Boat Soap' which is made by 3-M. Works pretty good for me. You can get it at West Marine and Boaters World.
K Albus posted 08-30-2004 01:32 PM ET (US)     Profile for K Albus  Send Email to K Albus     
Well, I cleaned my non-skid again, this time using Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner with Teflon. It did a pretty good job of cleaning the deck. I then re-applied Woody Wax. This time, however, I used quite a bit more wax than the instructions suggest.

After cleaning and waxing, I used the boat for a three day weekend trip, and usual, the deck got very dirty. When I got home, I washed the deck using West Marine's pink Boat Soap, and, for the most part, the deck came clean with only very light scubbing using a stiff deck brush. The only marks that did not come off were numerous footprints left by my black-soled Nike ACG water socks. In the future, I will no longer be wearing those water socks on my boat.

Royboy posted 08-30-2004 03:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Royboy  Send Email to Royboy     
I start with a mixture of bleach and water with a little dish soap. Roughly a half cup of bleach in a quart spray bottle with a squirt of dish soap. Spray all of the non-skid areas and let work for a few minutes. Then I scrub with a stiff brush and then rinse. What's left gets rubbed gently with something from Mr. Clean called an "Eraser". It's a small, white block of soft foam about the size of a pack of cigarettes. Mrs. Royboy discovered these things for all kinds of marks around the house that nothing else seems to remove. They take off virtually anything, and I am at a loss to explain how. They have no odor and apparently nothing in them, but they just plain work.


LHG posted 08-30-2004 07:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
See where they specifically say not to use ANY product containing chlorine to clean a Whaler.
prm1177 posted 08-30-2004 09:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for prm1177  Send Email to prm1177     
My cleaner routine of choice is to use boat soap (I use West Marine's Crystal) along with a couple of scoops of Oxy Clean (or equivalent)mixed in my wash bucket. Pre-wet the hull, then use your boat brush to apply and scrub. The combo removes most organic stains (it does wonders on dirty fenders), and if there is a tough mark, I dust in a little Barkeepers Friend, let it soak, and then bruh and hose off. The combo of the Barkeeper's Friend, Oxy Clean, and boat wash take care of most of the most difficult stains I've had. Any scuff marks remaining, will probably require Collinite Fiberglass Cleaner or equivalent.

A couple fo things to keep in mind:

1) Barkeeper's Friend uses Oxalyc Acid as it's active ingredient. It will remove wax where it is used (even Collinite) and if you have a bilge and bilge pump, flush the bilge and pump with fresh water thoroughly since the acid will accelerate corrosion on the wiring.

2) If you apply Woody Wax at the end, don't forget to buff it off when it dries to a haze. If you leave even a small, un-buffed residue it will actually attract and hold dust and dirt on your non-kid.

whalerdude posted 09-08-2004 12:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for whalerdude  Send Email to whalerdude     
Forget woody wax or any other cleaner crap. The best way to clean the nonskid is with a pressurewasher with a little soap injection in the machine period.
pvonk posted 09-08-2004 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for pvonk  Send Email to pvonk     
Yup - Simple Green works!
GeneNJ posted 09-08-2004 09:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for GeneNJ  Send Email to GeneNJ     
LHG: The whaler site says that it will discolor the gel coat or painted surface. I've been using diluted bleach in a spray bottle for years on the non-skid surfaces and have not seen any problems and it appears I'm not alone in using it. I suppose you could have a problem with the warranty if it did damage a new boats surfaces.
David Ratusnik posted 09-12-2004 08:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for David Ratusnik  Send Email to David Ratusnik     
Star brite hull cleaner with teflon. Fabulous product for the boat in salt water. I use it every other week with impressive results. If you grew up with drum brakes-- it's like disc brakes front and back. Give it an hour and the teflon shine jumps out at you. Quality product. .02
andygere posted 09-13-2004 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
This is a bigger problem for those of us who keep our Whalers in a wet slip. None of the chemical cleaners or soaps are allowed, and a foamy trail around your boat will lead to big trouble with the harbormaster, not to mention the possible negative effects to marine life.

That said, I hate dirty decks, and brush them and rinse after every outing. To help clean them, I follow a tip I read in an old boating magazine. I use liberal amounts of baking soda as a scrubbing agent, followed by liberal amounts of cheap vinegar to help remove the organic stains. Overall, it works OK, but I always have to give the boat a good cleaning in my driveway with 3M non-skid cleaner and a bit of Barkeepers on the tough spots. Yeah, the fizzing and foaming is kind of fun too.

Nobleskydiver posted 09-29-2007 10:22 PM ET (US)     Profile for Nobleskydiver  Send Email to Nobleskydiver     
Well, I am confused fellow owners- I had my 13' 1966 now called a classic, "gee what does that make me?" since same and she still runs, looked to get a replacement motor and the local dealer sold me a motor and thru a new 2008 Sport 130 adn trailer for free,..... Anys My daughter decided it would eb fun to play in teh boat and left those "scuuf marks-foot prints from her shoes on teh non skid I tried brushing with dishsoap, minor help, Here I am with a new Virgin boat ad teh interior hull looks worse than my blue hull on my 66, Its the same but with all the time the sharpness of diamond design has worn a bit,

Any true thoughts, Not sure on chemicals on new fiberglass, Just want to new 13' to last as long and maintain apperances, Why did they stay with all White I kinda thought Whalers trade mark was two tone,

From the saddle
and on the level


glen e posted 09-30-2007 10:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for glen e  Send Email to glen e     
Problems with woody wax?

If you have had bad luck with woody wax (like it gathers dirt, slippery, etc) it's because:
1. you are using too much - 1-2 trigger pulls will do 1/2 a front deck of a 26 foot boat...
2. you are not spreading it with a SOFT brush with a very wet deck
3. You are not spraying it off HARD with water after you apply it - water washed off should be a bit brown
4. you are not buffing it with a towel after it dries - a once over is good enuf...

The directions are not real good at getting this right...

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