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Author Topic:   How Best to Clean Non-Skid
jimh posted 04-23-2000 08:19 PM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
What is the best technique for cleaning the non-skid pattern on the cockpit of Whalers?

I've been using 3M Boat-Soap and a little 3M scrub pad; anything better?

And, once it is clean, do you apply a Wax finish? I tried using some 3M-Cleaner/Wax One-Step liquid, but it ended up with dried cleaner/polish in the little gutters that was very hard to buff out. Any thoughts on this?

I've got the boat back from winter storage and as soon as the weather warms up I want to wash it down and wax it.


triblet posted 04-26-2000 12:51 AM ET (US)     Profile for triblet  Send Email to triblet     
Just cover it with DriDek and vacuum under
the DriDek once a quarter. ;-)

The 3M scrubpads are pretty abrasive.
and won't reach into the the diamond pattern
well. Use a big soft brush with longish
bristles (3"+).

Chuck Tribolet

kingfish posted 04-26-2000 10:45 AM ET (US)     Profile for kingfish  Send Email to kingfish     

I stumbled on some stuff in a Marina in Little Current last summer (Harborview) in a squeeze bottle, label says it's biodegradable; squirt some of it (thick like a milk shake) on some wetted non-skid area, work it in lightly with a relatively soft brush and let it work for a couple of minutes, rinse it off. I thought it just short of miraculous! Made in Canada, supposed to eventually be handled in the states by someone in Ohio, I think. I'm about to order some more direct - be happy to e-mail you more information, order some for you with my order, etc.

Let me know-


lhg posted 04-26-2000 02:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
Jim: I'm not familiar with John's recommendation, but I saw his boat and the floor sure looks clean! I have been using Starbite's "Non-Skid Deck Cleaner" or West Marine's same product (blue liquid), and found it works quite well with a scrub brush. Just follow directions on bottle. If you have any tar or petroleum based spots, use mineral spirits first. If, after doing this, the non-skid is still not like new, see next paragraph.

One problem I have been struggling with over the years is oxidation of the gelcoat in non-skid areas, such as bow gunnel areas on Outrages, raised seat areas & step pads, or even the floor. I just recently found something that helps here. It's called Sudbury's HD Fiberglass Hull Cleaner, and is a powder in a qt plastic bottle. The labeling on the bottle recommends it for oxidized non-skid. Sprinkled on, with a little water & a scrub brush, it REALLY brightens up non-skid. Then you can buff it up with a dry towel. This stuff also cuts rust stains on gelcoat, with 3 or 4 applications.

Finally, for your safety, Whaler recommends that you NEVER wax the non-skid!

JLL posted 04-26-2000 08:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for JLL  Send Email to JLL     
I forgot where I saw this tip, but I tried it last weekend on my Montauk's non-skid and it worked great. Teak cleaner. (Part 1). I think the active ingredient is oxcillic acid. Pour it on, scub with brush and let it sit for a few minutes before rinising. It even removes tar and other stains.
Tom Byrum posted 04-29-2000 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for Tom Byrum  Send Email to Tom Byrum     
I have a high pressure washer that takes almost everything off real quick with almost no effort. It has trouble getting the oily type stains off but regular mud and dirt comes off in a hurry. Also it is excellent at cleaning teak prior to sanding.
lhg posted 04-05-2001 02:19 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
I have recently discovered another way to buff up oxidized non-skid, particularly on gunnels and raised seat & deck areas. Using the Meguiar's #44 Color Restorer, I apply it with the orbital buffer. It's a little hard on the terry cloth pad, but it polishes up the non-skid nicely. THEN, wipe it right off with a towel while it's still WET, and polish it up with the towel. If you let it dry, you're in trouble! Do small areas at a time.
whalernut posted 04-05-2001 04:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for whalernut  Send Email to whalernut     
I use the same Stuff(Meguier`s #44) Larry, great stuff! I do it all by hand though, don`t own a buffer. You talk about getting intimate, my hands an arms tell me that! Regards-Jack Graner.
scottfarm posted 04-05-2001 06:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for scottfarm  Send Email to scottfarm     
Spray pure chlorox to clean and use mop and glow to wax.
Bullbay posted 04-06-2001 09:21 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bullbay  Send Email to Bullbay     
I use a diluted degreaser called Greased Lighting (made in Clemson, SC) purchased from Sams with a scrub brush to clean the non skid area and the whole boat. It works up excellent suds and does a great job all over. Incredibly it does not harm my 3M wax job on my smooth jelcoat.
jameso posted 04-09-2001 08:46 AM ET (US)     Profile for jameso  Send Email to jameso     
For what it's worth, I discovered Dow soft scrub with bleach and bicarbonate of soda to be a great cleaner esp for the non skid areas. Use a soft scrub brush. I had a couple of rust stains under the console and auto cleaner/wax would not touch them, the Dow took it right off. Also when you remove a rod holder or some other accessory and find a lot of gunk underneath it works good. I rinse well then buff with a dry towel. I do not like the idea of waxing anti skid.
Thanks, Jim Armstrong
Dick posted 04-09-2001 09:48 AM ET (US)     Profile for Dick  Send Email to Dick     
I have been using a product called "Cleaning Detail" non-skid deck cleaner made by Mary Kate. I like it better than soft scrub.
bdb posted 04-09-2001 10:21 AM ET (US)     Profile for bdb  Send Email to bdb     
Ditto lhg's post...excellent stuff and advice. My experience with soft scrub was that it was very abrasive and simply would not rinse clean.

Another great product for rust stains is Barkeepers Friend. Looks abrasive but it's not; a great product.

Squeaky clean Harpoon Harry

JAC posted 04-11-2001 03:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for JAC  Send Email to JAC     
The best all around cleaner, for non skid, stainless, rust etc is oxcillic acid, found in the common and very afordable product "barkeepers friend". For stains, let the solution sit for a few minutes and repeat. For non skid, a stiff brushing while wet and lite buffing to dry leaves a clean finish with little work. I uswally finish any gelcoat surface with a non silicon sealer, available from many sources.
lhg posted 04-11-2001 03:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for lhg    
The Sudbury's HD fiberglass cleaner I mentioned above is a white powder, containing oxalic acid as the active ingredient. Must be similiar to the Barkeepers Friend product.

With a toothbrush, and a few applications, it will also remove rust stains around SS rail bases, etc.
RFK posted 04-18-2001 11:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for RFK  Send Email to RFK     
Soft Scrub w bleach by Dow. Great product! As
was mentioned spread liberally, then using a
scrub brush take it off. Rinse immediately before it drys. Does a great job.

Great for discolored sinks etc. Won't scratch.

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