Here are some easy tips to consider when you’re cleaning your boat:
Wash frequently with a sponge or nonabrasive pad and plain water; this approach is very effective at removing salt. Additional “elbow-grease” is required to remove stains.
When using detergents, only use soaps that are phosphate-free, biodegradable and non-toxic. Any soap should be used sparingly, because even non-toxic products can be harmful to wildlife. For example, detergents will destroy the natural oils on fish gills, limiting their ability to breathe.
Wax your boat, if appropriate. A good coat of wax prevents surface dirt from becoming ingrained. Clean teak with a mild soap and abrasive pads or bronze wool. This method is safe for the environment and better for the boat than the solvents in standard teak cleaners which tend to eat away at the wood and to damage seam compounds.
Avoid detergents that contain ammonia, sodium hypochlorite, chlorinated solvents (bleach), petroleum distillates, and lye. Once you’ve thoroughly cleaned the outside of your craft, ensure that you have appropriate levels of outboard motor oil and other essential fluids.