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A Guide to Essential Boat Washing Tools

There’s nothing quite like hitting the open water on a beautiful, sunny day. But, before you set sail, it’s important to make sure your boat is in tip-top shape – and that includes giving it a good cleaning. With the right tools, you can make boat washing a breeze and keep your vessel looking like new. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the essential tools you need to make your boat sparkle. And stay that way, week in and week out.

High Quality Bucket

First and foremost, you’ll need a high-quality bucket. A must have for any boat washing kit. Not just any old bucket will do – you’ll want one that is sturdy and large enough to hold all the cleaning products you’ll need. 

That’s why we love a good rope handle bucket. They’re easy to carry. Comfortable to lug around the boat and the handles don’t crack like many of the other cheaper options on the market.

Check out our 5 gallon rope handle bucket for maximum comfort and durability. We’ve put these things through hell and they still perform day after day wash after wash.

PH Neutral Soap

Next up, you’ll need a PH neutral boat soap for your boat washing needs. This is important because some soaps can be too harsh and strip the wax or sealant from your boat’s finish. A PH neutral soap will gently clean without causing any damage.

Bubble bath delivers just that. A deep clean, with nice suds and a ton of lubricity. To help minimize the risk of harming your boats paint/gel coat. While also laying down a thin layer of protection with every wash.

Soft wash pad or mitt

A soft wash pad or mitt is also another boat washing essential. These will be gentle on your boat’s finish, but still effective in removing dirt and grime. A soft bristled brush is also a great option for getting into tight spaces and around hard-to-reach areas. 

All Purpose Cleaner

An all-purpose cleaner is also a must-have for boat washing. This type of cleaner can be used on a variety of surfaces, including vinyl, plastic, and metal. It’s a great option for tackling tough stains and grime.

We’ve all been there a friend spills something and we don’t get to it fast enough. Or the bite is on and there’s remnants of bait everywhere that have baked on. And simple soap and water just won’t do! 

You need the extra punch of an APC to break down the stained area prior to scrubbing! 

Looking for something safe and effective, Eco-Clean is a plant based degreaser. Perfect for tackling the toughest stains you can throw at your boat. 

A good drying aide/protection

After thoroughly going through your boat and giving her a bath. One quick step saves you hours of back breaking labor. By incorporating the use of a drying aide/ or quick protection provides a layer of sacrificial protection with every wash. This will help to protect your boat’s finish and leave it looking shiny and new. 

And best part is it doesn’t add much time to your washing regiment. Because you can incorporate it into your drying phase. A key boat washing tool that is often overlooked!

Quality Microfiber Towels

High-quality microfiber towels are a must-have for boat washing. They are gentle on surfaces and great for drying off your boat after washing. They are also highly absorbent, so they’ll make quick work of drying your boat.

Also, toss one or two in your wash bucket to help clean hatches and tracks and those tight areas. Where a wash mitt just isn’t practical.


Finally, a chamois is a great tool to have on hand for giving your boat that final, streak-free shine. Chamois are super absorbent and will leave your boat nice and dry. Especially chamois heads that attach to your boat pole. Great for drying flybridge boats and hulls while in the water.

Putting All Our Boat Washing Tools Together

Now that you have the tools, it’s time to get cleaning! Start by rinsing off your boat with a hose to remove any loose dirt or debris. Next, use your bucket to mix up a cleaning solution of water and boat soap. Dip your wash pad or mitt into the solution and start scrubbing the boat’s surface, being sure to pay extra attention to areas that tend to get dirty, such as the waterline. Use the soft bristled brush for hard-to-reach areas. Once you’ve finished washing, rinse off the boat with a hose.

Now that you have a clean boat, it’s time to dry it off. Use your microfiber towel or chamois to gently dry off the boat’s surface, being careful to remove as much water as possible. While drying spray the boat with you drying aide/quick detailer to incorporate our protection into our boat washing regiment.

Keeping your boat clean is an important part of maintaining its value and prolonging its lifespan. With the right tools and a little bit of elbow grease, you can make boat washing a breeze and keep your vessel looking like new. By using a high-quality bucket, a PH neutral boat soap, a soft wash pad/mitt, a soft bristled brush, an all-purpose cleaner, a drying aide/protection, high-quality microfiber towels, and a chamois, you’ll have everything you need to give your boat a sparkling clean. Remember to always test cleaning products on an inconspicuous area before using them and to rinse the boat off with a hose before washing to remove any loose dirt. Happy sailing and enjoy your clean boat!

Looking to get them in one shot be sure to check out our Full wash kit bundle here! It will give you the basics needed to wash your boat.

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