Best gelcoat cleaner?

philipm

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Relative newbie question having just bought this boat last autumn. I want to give the outside of the boat a clean to get rid of stains which have appeared over the winter. On initial inspection these will not come off with a wipe and require some elbow grease or a product which dissolves them.

Do I need to purchase something bespoke for gelcoats or is, for example, ordinary car wash/ wax liquid sufficient?

The boat is in the water.

Thanks in advance.
 

Mr Googler

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Neat traffic film remover is cheap and works wonders. It will however remove any polish and wax.

I’ve been using meguairs flagship wax. Really really impressed with it.
 

rafiki_

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Actually, most boats need a polish and waxing after wintering. Mine does! You won’t bring up a decent shine just by gating rid of the streaks, it needs a bit more work.
 

gjgm

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If the black streaks caravan black streak remover is cheap and impressive ( ie instant)
Odd..I have always found it useless!!
OP..I d try any old chandlery gelcoat wax and restorer.IF IF you just mean a quick clean up job...more permanent, you need to restore the gelcoat finish,polish and wax.
Choose your own snake oil preference! Mine is 3M , but no shortage of options.
 

Marine Reflections

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Relative newbie question having just bought this boat last autumn. I want to give the outside of the boat a clean to get rid of stains which have appeared over the winter. On initial inspection these will not come off with a wipe and require some elbow grease or a product which dissolves them.

Do I need to purchase something bespoke for gelcoats or is, for example, ordinary car wash/ wax liquid sufficient?

The boat is in the water.

Thanks in advance.

There are a couple of things to think about when choosing a product to wash down with.
The condition of the surfaces and the general fallout type.


The condition of the surfaces:
This really is about how the surfaces are rejecting or accepting.
Are the surfaces smooth and well protected, or are they rough and raw?
At each end of the scale between the two, is also the probable scale between using something very mild, to using something a little more persuasive.
Of course, the safer and more gentle option is the goal, as many cleaners by their very method and make-up are detrimental to the gel coat over long term and occasionally short term use.


The general fallout type:
So the boat will catch fallout for the area, it could be salty, water scale, tannin, oily, or heaven forbid even rusty!
A de-scaler won't touch something greasy, and a de-greaser won't touch something with scale, so you first determine what fallout or 'contamination' you have. Black streaks etc are usually diesel, or perhaps aviation fuel.
If your surfaces are tip-top, then a mild PH cleaner may well sort these out easily, the problems start when a surface is holding, then the importance of knowing which type to use becomes more significant.

The other consideration is the type of tool you use for working the product, a sponge in its many options of density allows a choice between mild and harsh. For example having a normal yellow sponge with a ton of air in it and a much more dense, tighter sponge such as melamine; two very different sponges that will make a mild wash solution more or less effective due to how close the sponge is getting to the surface.

As part of a kit, I'd suggest you have one very mild PH neutral, some de-scaler (such as Viakal) and a de-greaser such as Auto Glyms engine and machine de-greaser, along with a couple of sponges as above.

As you achieve a condition closer to 100% and the surfaces are in a rejecting status, the less you will need anything other than mild PH neutral and a soft gentle sponge.

There's no cover all answer, what works on one, may not work on another due to the above.

Tony
 

peterjaw

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There are a couple of things to think about when choosing a product to wash down with.
The condition of the surfaces and the general fallout type.


The condition of the surfaces:
This really is about how the surfaces are rejecting or accepting.
Are the surfaces smooth and well protected, or are they rough and raw?
At each end of the scale between the two, is also the probable scale between using something very mild, to using something a little more persuasive.
Of course, the safer and more gentle option is the goal, as many cleaners by their very method and make-up are detrimental to the gel coat over long term and occasionally short term use.


The general fallout type:
So the boat will catch fallout for the area, it could be salty, water scale, tannin, oily, or heaven forbid even rusty!
A de-scaler won't touch something greasy, and a de-greaser won't touch something with scale, so you first determine what fallout or 'contamination' you have. Black streaks etc are usually diesel, or perhaps aviation fuel.
If your surfaces are tip-top, then a mild PH cleaner may well sort these out easily, the problems start when a surface is holding, then the importance of knowing which type to use becomes more significant.

The other consideration is the type of tool you use for working the product, a sponge in its many options of density allows a choice between mild and harsh. For example having a normal yellow sponge with a ton of air in it and a much more dense, tighter sponge such as melamine; two very different sponges that will make a mild wash solution more or less effective due to how close the sponge is getting to the surface.

As part of a kit, I'd suggest you have one very mild PH neutral, some de-scaler (such as Viakal) and a de-greaser such as Auto Glyms engine and machine de-greaser, along with a couple of sponges as above.

As you achieve a condition closer to 100% and the surfaces are in a rejecting status, the less you will need anything other than mild PH neutral and a soft gentle sponge.

There's no cover all answer, what works on one, may not work on another due to the above.

Tony
Hi Marine Reflector,

What type of product(s) should I use if my marina is close to a power plant which burns coal?

I would like to:
1. Clean the black streak.
2. Prevent or reduce the black stuffs from the power plant.

Thank you very much.
 

Restoration man

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Hi I use starbrite none skid deak cleaner with PTEF on the topsides I get whole bottle sump into pump up garden sprayer mix 50:50 with water spray on agitate it. And pressure wash off the PTEF helps keep it clean , I’m a tight wad but I don’t mind using this as it cleans ingrained dirt and keeps clean afterwards , I’ve tried everything and this works best also I use starbrite black streak remover on pvc seats and they come up a treat
Thanks Nick

https://www.gaelforcemarine.co.uk/M...tm_medium=shopping&utm_campaign=UnitedKingdom
 

philipm

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Thanks all.

I have ordered some Starbrite Wash and Wax , also some Y10 stain remover, to kick off.

According to a veteran boat owner in my marina, the black streaks on the boat are apparently due to the narrowboats who have log burners which give off soot. I've no proof of this but it could be right.
 

Marine Reflections

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Hi Marine Reflector,

What type of product(s) should I use if my marina is close to a power plant which burns coal?

I would like to:
1. Clean the black streak.
2. Prevent or reduce the black stuffs from the power plant.

Thank you very much.

Hi Peter,

If you dropped some black powder on the surface, it will either wipe off easily or remain on/within the surface.

This is down to the surface condition.
In fact I do just this when correcting a surface, I wipe a black powder on and what remains tells me how much correction needs to take place.

Compare dropping the powder on a sheet of glass versus a carpet.

The flatter and more uniform the surface is, the easier it would be to remove the powder, so the same can be said of airborne.

The black streaks have to have somewhere to sit in order to become a problem to remove. You can use a cleaner, let's say (black streak remover) and with the right tool (melamine) the streak will be gone, however, that space will soon be occupied.
The solution is to create a smooth, flat uniform surface and your product of choice for removal will be water.

Tony
 

Hydrozoan

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Thanks all.

I have ordered some Starbrite Wash and Wax , also some Y10 stain remover, to kick off.

According to a veteran boat owner in my marina, the black streaks on the boat are apparently due to the narrowboats who have log burners which give off soot. I've no proof of this but it could be right.

For hydrocarbon deposits on GRP from atmospheric washout, in the form of black/grey streaks, I find Autoglym Engine and Machine Cleaner very effective indeed; I guess any suitable detergent formulation (e.g. for traffic film removal) would work well.
 

peterjaw

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Hi Peter,

If you dropped some black powder on the surface, it will either wipe off easily or remain on/within the surface.

This is down to the surface condition.
In fact I do just this when correcting a surface, I wipe a black powder on and what remains tells me how much correction needs to take place.

Compare dropping the powder on a sheet of glass versus a carpet.

The flatter and more uniform the surface is, the easier it would be to remove the powder, so the same can be said of airborne.

The black streaks have to have somewhere to sit in order to become a problem to remove. You can use a cleaner, let's say (black streak remover) and with the right tool (melamine) the streak will be gone, however, that space will soon be occupied.
The solution is to create a smooth, flat uniform surface and your product of choice for removal will be water.

Tony

Thank you very much, Tony.

I got your points.
 
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