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Top 5 Best Pontoon Cleaners

Having a pontoon is without a doubt incredibly fun. These boats are perfect for partying, relaxing, and fishing and provide a fantastic little getaway from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Like all good things, though, these boats come with a bit of required maintenance and work. This includes cleaning your boat to prevent rust and other issues that could degrade its safety and appearance over time. Luckily, there are tons of products that are amazing at helping keep your pontoon look as good as new! Here are five of the best pontoon cleaner products that you can find on the market today!

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Star Brite Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner

Star Brite Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer

Specifically formulated to assist in safely and easily cleaning pontoons, canoes, and Jon boats, this Star Brite product is perfect for all of your aluminum boat surface needs.

It works by stripping away grime, stains, and oxidation without the need for harmful chemicals or potentially dangerous solvents, saving you time and effort in the process. Safe for aluminum surfaces that have not been painted, this potent cleanser is already premixed and comes with a sprayer nozzle, making it ready to use the second it arrives.

This acid-based product is a beloved tool for thousands of professional and hobbyist pontoon lovers, making it one of the leading options in the country and perhaps one of the best aluminum pontoon cleaners in general.

Many people do report that using more than one pass may be necessary and recommend following up with a pressure washer or scrubber brush to really work the product in and remove older grime but in general, this product is easy to use and works fantastically with little effort on your part.


  • Very powerful
  • Acid-based
  • Great for old rust and grime


  • Strong smell
  • Some residue
  • Not safe for some metals aside from aluminum

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Pontoon Cleaner – Buying Guide & FAQ

Aside from just getting the job done and having a good product, there are some things you should probably know about cleaning and maintaining pontoon boats that can save you a lot of time and effort in the long run. Let’s go over some of our buyer’s tips and tricks and see if we make the process even easier!

How to Clean Pontoons

When looking at how to clean aluminum pontoons, you should understand that these boats are made to be durable and generally can withstand some powerful chemical-based cleaners. This means that when selecting a pontoon boat cleaner, you can choose something powerful or that does not need diluting without worrying about your boat being damaged, for the most part.

One of the most important things to do when going about how to clean and polish aluminum pontoons on a boat is to always follow the directions on your cleaner of choice. A good cleaner will have detailed instructions on how to mix, use, and rinse off their product to give your pontoon a stunning shine.

What Are Some Aluminum Pontoon Polishing Tips

When attempting to restore aluminum boats, you first want to wash the pontoons to remove any build-up. Then, you can apply a cleaner of your choice and follow the direction on the packaging to ensure proper cleansing before rinsing the product off.

Next, you want to use a buffing tool or hand buffer to shine up and polish the pontoon, working in neat circles to prevent streaking. Wool makes for a fantastic hand polisher and an s-pattern is good to prevent streaks, as well.

Once your pontoon is polished, use the cleaner for a second time and then rinse. This will remove any residue from the buffing and ensure your nice, shiny finish is well protected. Lastly, apply a protectant seal of your choice to lock everything in and you are all set! Polishing aluminum pontoons is much less complex than it seems.

How to Remove Oxidation From Aluminum Boats

Oxidation naturally happens when aluminum is exposed to moisture. With boats, there is a fairly high chance that you will develop some sort of oxidation over time as the boat gets used and contacts more and more water, especially if it is left in water for extended periods of time or otherwise simply docked when not in use. While generally not particularly harmful, oxidation can eventually eat away at your boat or otherwise degrade it while also looking pretty unappealing.

Fortunately, following a normal cleaning process like the one listed above usually, does the trick, especially if you follow up with the buffer, as suggested. A mild hydrofluoric acid solution can also be used on particularly rusty areas to ensure you get down to the shiny metal and completely remove all of the crusty build-up, as well.

Be sure to use proper protective gear to prevent rust shavings from entering your skin or eyes. You should also try to prevent contact with acid cleaners and your skin, as even mild ones can be extremely irritating and result in a rash or burn. This is especially true if you have sensitive skin, as a full chemical burn can develop in some cases.

Important Note

DO NOT ALLOW acids to come in contact with skin or clothing. Protect hands by wearing rubber gloves. Wash with soapy
water immediately if skin comes in contact with an acid cleaner –

The Best Pontoon Cleaner

When cleaning your pontoon, having good products on hand plays a massive role in the success of the venture. Here are some of the best products available to help you get your boat looking shiny and new with minimal effort. We have selected these products due to their price, effectiveness, formula, reviews, and a host of other factors and believe them to be of very high quality. Let’s take a look at some of the best aluminum pontoon cleaner options on the market today!

Duragloss 860 Automotive Aluminum Cleaner and Brightener

Duragloss 860 Automotive Aluminum Cleaner and Brightener

As one of the best aluminum boat hull cleaner options, the Duragloss aluminum cleaner is perfect for polishing and honing the shine on any aluminum surface, especially boats. The industrial strength brightening formula works to clean the surface and remove built-up grime and grit without damaging the integrity of the aluminum. While not recommended for use on high shine boats, this cleaner is a great choice if you want something that works and can serve other purposes around the house, as well, due to the fact that it is safe for use on many different aluminum surfaces. The brand says all you need to do is spray it on and let it sit for three minutes before rinsing the residue away.
Easy to use spray bottle
Pre-mixed formula
Great for polishing
Can leave a greasy residue behind
Not good for high shine finishes
Pricey compared to other similar products

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Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Deck Cleaner

Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Deck Cleaner

As an accompaniment to the Star Brite aluminum cleaner products, this deck cleaner is a great choice for the other surfaces on your pontoon. Safe for decks, carpets, and vinyl, this product makes cleaning the rest of your boat easy and mess-free, allowing you to get that perfect, new-boat clean look in a pinch. The lake-safe formula can be used near water and is non-toxic to aquatic life and contains protective polymers to help UV coat and protect the boat’s surfaces from the sun. It also easily lifts dirt and stains to make soft surfaces like benches and carpeting look new again, as well. You can even use this gentle but effective product on painted surfaces, making it incredibly valuable to those with custom pontoon accents and artwork, as well.
Reports of not working for stuck-on debris
Sticky residue

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Bio-Kleen M00109 Aluma-Kleen

Bio-Kleen M00109 Aluma-Kleen
As one of the best aluminum boat polish options on the market, this Bio-Kleen product is biodegradable and completely safe for use near aquatic plant and animal life. It is designed to not damage the flora and fauna of a marine area while still proving to be an effective and potent formula for cleaning pontoon aluminum surfaces. This aluminum boat cleaner and brightener removes oxidation, stains, and discoloration with ease while being biodegradable, eco-friendly, non-aerosol, and ozone-safe, lowering the environmental impact of your boat ownership experience greatly. This product can also be used to clean the rims and running boards on trucks and utility vehicles, making it worth investing in, as well, since it is a multi-purpose asset. Plus, since it is a concentrate, a little goes a long way and the gallon will last you for several cleanings to come in most cases.
Concentrated formula
Environmentally friendly
Safe for most aluminum surfaces
Can dull aluminum finish but works to polish when followed with a proper sealant
Can harm some painted surfaces
Has scent

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Quality Chemical Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorere

Quality Chemical Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer
As a quick and easy solution for aluminum boat hull cleaning, this Quality Chemical product works to easily remove all traces of stains, rust, and mold while brightening the surface area to a nice, natural shine. It is safe for use on most boats, RVs, and trailers and is excellent for removing road salt corrosion and other everyday damages from aluminum materials. The highly concentrated formula cleans and shines in one pass, making cleaning a breeze and saving you time. It also works to prevent rust from returning due to the product containing corrosion inhibiting enzymes. All in all, this is a fantastic affordable option for those looking for a no-frills, direct approach to pontoon cleaning.
Deep cleaning
Corrosion preventing enzymes
Great for many aluminum surfaces
Powdery residue
Sticky residue
Not good for some painted metals

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Will vinegar clean aluminum pontoons?

When mixed at a fifty-fifty ratio, vinegar and water can work quite well to clean pontoons. It is a very direct method and since the vinegar is acidic it can help loosen rust and other debris and damages, making them wipe off much easier with minimal scrubbing.

Can baking soda be used to clean a pontoon?

You can use baking soda with a vinegar-water solution to assist in removing stuck-on debris since it is mildly abrasive without potentially scraping off the paint or damaging the texture and finish of the boat.

How do I make my pontoon boat shiny?

To make it shiny, you must polish the pontoon. This can be done by using a polishing product and a soft cloth or sponge in a circular or s-shaped motion to prevent streaking.

Should you polish pontoons?

Generally, it is considered a good thing to polish and maintain the finish on your pontoon, as it makes it very smooth and helps to keep it looking nice over time while preventing the adherence of mold and other issues and helping to diminish the chances of rusting.


When you are the captain of your boat, cleaning and maintaining falls to you. Fortunately, there are plenty of products to help you along the way.

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