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Top 7 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!

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Best Pontoon Cleaner

Image
Product
Best Overall
STAR BRITE Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer
  • Very easy to use due to sprayer
  • Great for old and new boats alike
  • Restores luster
Best Rinse Off Cleaner
JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner
  • Non-acidic
  • Great for bare aluminum
  • No scrubbing needed
Best Bottom Cleaner
STAR BRITE EZ-ON EZ-Off Hull & Bottom Cleaner
  • Safe for most aluminum
  • Gentle formula made with patented buffering technology
  • Removes tough build up and rust
Duragloss 860 Automotive Aluminum Cleaner and Brightener
  • Easy to use spray bottle
  • Pre-mixed formula
  • Great for polishing
Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Deck Cleaner
  • Affordable
  • Gentle
  • Marine-safe
Bio-Kleen M00109 Aluma-Kleen
  • Concentrated formula
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Safe for most aluminum surfaces
Quality Chemical Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorere
  • Deep cleaning
  • Corrosion preventing enzymes
  • Great for many aluminum surfaces

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

Star Brite Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer

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.

PROS

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

CONS

  • 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 – gsa.gov

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!

The top best product [hide]

STAR BRITE Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer


STAR BRITE Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer
As a leading brand in the aluminum care industry, the Star Brite line of products generally tend to work quite well for most appliances and items. This Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner and Restorer is no different, offering the ability to completely clean and polish your pontoon easily and comfortably.

While perfectly suitable as a standalone product for most applications, in order boats with significant staining, it can be used as a step two for removal and treatment after a more intensive product is ultilized.

With a sprayer for easy application, this product works to remove lime deposits, dirt, oxidation, and waterline stains. This means it it suitable for both deep cleainings and for routine maintenance and preventative care. It is also great for restoring dull aluminum to its previous lustrous state, too!
Pros
Very easy to use due to sprayer
Great for old and new boats alike
Restores luster
Cons
Not suitable for severe restorations as a standalone
Can leave scratches on aluminum, according to reviews

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JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner


JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner
If you want a product to use without the need for scrubbing and scraping, this JJV’s Best ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner will likely a great fit. It is designed to clean and brighten pontoon tubes from top to bottom with no scrubbing or need for elbow grease, allowing you to just rinse away the formula once it has sat. To be used only on bare aluminum, this product is not suitable for all aluminum boats. Polished or anodized aluminum can be damaged by the chemicals used to create this cleaning product, so it is best to opt for something different if your boat is constructed of either of these or any component aside from plain aluminum. That being said, the non-acid formula is fantastic and works wonderfully to quickly and easily remove debris and stains from alumnum surfaces and restore the space to its original luster and quality. If it can be used on your boat, you cannot go wrong with this fantastic product.
Pros
Non-acidic
Great for bare aluminum
No scrubbing needed
Cons
Cannot be used on treated aluminum or polished aluminum
Doesn’t work on all faded aluminum
Can be streaky

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STAR BRITE EZ-ON EZ-Off Hull & Bottom Cleaner


STAR BRITE EZ-ON EZ-Off Hull & Bottom Cleaner
Another fantastic product from Star Brite, this Ez-On Hull and Bottom Cleaner is a no fuss product that works to treat the areas of a boat that are often left behind. This product loosens even the toughest deposits on boat bottoms, removes scum lines and rust stains yet is water-based and environmentally friendly, lowering the ecological impact of your routine and deep cleaning schedule.

Additionally, the special, patented buffering qualities of this product make it safer than traditional acid cleaners, preventing etching and damage to aluminum surfaces that can degrade the appearance and value of your boat over time. This product is designed to be easy to use and safe all around, making it a great choice for cleaning the hull and bottom of your boat.
Pros
Safe for most aluminum
Gentle formula made with patented buffering technology
Removes tough build up and rust
Cons
Damages galvanized steel and some other metals
Respiratory irritant (wear a respirator)
Strong smell

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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.
Pros
Easy to use spray bottle
Pre-mixed formula
Great for polishing
Cons
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.
Pros
Affordable
Gentle
Marine-safe
Cons
Reports of not working for stuck-on debris
Odor
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.
Pros
Concentrated formula
Environmentally friendly
Safe for most aluminum surfaces
Cons
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 & Restorere
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.
Pros
Deep cleaning
Corrosion preventing enzymes
Great for many aluminum surfaces
Cons
Powdery residue
Sticky residue
Not good for some painted metals

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Pontoon Cleaners FAQs

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.

Coclusion

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.

4 comments

  • #2 worked very well on my old pontoon carpet which was stained and had black streaks. Worked it in with a stiff handled brush and power washed it off. Took alot of water as it was quite soapy/sudzy. One bottle did the whole carpet on a 20′ pontoon boat.

  • Star Brite Ultimate Aluminum works great, this product, in particular, is really good at polishing and shining boats. It can be used for other types of boats aside from just regular aluminum pontoon boats. Aside from that, it also comes with a sprayer, making it really easy to use.