Maintaining a boat is a difficult task but regularly cleaning it, especially the boat deck, is necessary for a pleasant experience while out in the water. Not only is a dirty boat deck visually unappealing, but it can also be a safety hazard because of the dirt and grime that render your deck’s non-skid nature ineffective.
However, finding the best boat deck cleaner can be a difficult task because of the large number of options available. Moreover, you can’t just choose any old cleaner because of the possibility that it might contain harsh chemicals that can harm your deck’s surface.
Considering this, I have compiled a list of the best products for cleaning your boat deck’s surface without harming it. These products have been tested and found to be among the best available on the market.
Additionally, I have also created a comprehensive guide to help you be more informed about the different factors and necessary information you need to consider when choosing a cleaner.
Table of Contents
Best Boat Deck Cleaner Reviews of 2023
1. Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner with PTEF
If you’re looking for an effective all-around cleaner that is safe for various surfaces, then the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is the perfect choice for you.
What I loved about the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is that it’s formulated without the use of harsh chemicals like bleach and other acids, so it’s safe to use on your boat deck. The Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is safe for use on fiberglass, plastic, vinyl, and even on painted surfaces.
You can even use it to clean waxed or polished areas without removing the wax and polish of the delicate surface.
I also liked how easy it is to use because of the special chelating agents, which help clean up the dirt and spills without the need for intense scrubbing. This is beneficial for those who want to spend time enjoying their boats rather than cleaning them.
I also loved how it leaves a protective PTEF polymer coating that repels dirt and stains to ensure that during your next cleaning, you no longer have to exhaust yourself, for it will already be a breeze.
I also loved how it is available in different sizes, with the largest being a gallon. This means you can have enough solution to clean the entirety of your deck without any problems.
2. Better Boat Marine-Grade Boat Deck Cleaner
Better Boat, a company that prides itself on manufacturing only the highest quality boat care products, has created a multipurpose deck wash. This specially formulated cleaner not only cleans your boat deck but also any fiberglass and painted surfaces on your boat.
It does so without stripping off any of the delicate finishes of your boat, making it an excellent and versatile choice for cleaning.
What I loved about the Better Boat Marine-Grade Boat Deck Cleaner is that it effectively cleans your boat deck by lifting and removing residue from grease, hard water, and grime. This leaves your boat looking like brand new without having to overhaul it.
Furthermore, I loved how its multipurpose nature makes it great for maintaining both the internal and external surfaces of your boat.
Another thing I loved about this all-around, multipurpose cleaner is that it also leaves a no-slip finish that helps protect against further dirt and staining. It also makes it resistant to the wear and tears from being exposed to the elements.
I loved this because this increases the durability of my boat deck’s surface and makes it even easier to clean the next time around.
3. Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Deck Cleaner
If you’re looking for a cleaner that can clean both boat decks and carpets, then the Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Boat Deck Cleaner is the one for you.
The Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Boat Deck Cleaner is intended to be safe for use on all types of decks, vinyl, and carpet. I love how it is designed to clean and protect your boat deck’s surface without the need for heavy scrubbing, making cleaning easy, quick, and hassle-free.
This is only possible with the special chelating agents that loosen and lift dirt, grime, and tough stains.
Another thing I loved about the Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Boat Deck Cleaner is that it also features special polymer coating after cleaning, which protects your deck’s surface against stains, dirt, and UV exposure that can harm your deck’s finish.
The special coating also enhances its overall appearance, making your boat look like a whole new one.
Furthermore, I also loved the lake-safe formula that makes it safe for use while on or near the water. With the Star Brite Ultimate Pontoon Boat Deck Cleaner, you don’t have to worry about contributing to water pollution.
4. RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain and Mildew Remover
Mold and mildew are common problems in boats because of the wet environment to which they are constantly exposed. This type of environment is favorable to the growth and spread of mold and mildew, both of which are unsightly and harmful to your health when inhaled.
To counter this problem, I recommend using the RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain and Mildew Remover Plus Stain Blocker, which is highly effective in removing the mold and mildew stains from your boat’s deck.
I recommend this cleaner because of its fast-acting capacity to remove and clean those unsightly stains, doing so in just 15 seconds or even less. You don’t even have to scrub to ensure those stains are removed.
Moreover, the reason why I love this cleaner for this purpose is that it can be used on most surfaces, making it versatile and compatible with almost any surface in your boat or even elsewhere. The RMR-86 Instant Mold Stain and Mildew Remover Plus Stain Blocker are compatible to use on wood, tile, fiberglass, and even vinyl.
I love how the variety of surfaces on which it can be used allows me to use it not just for my boat but also for my home and office as well.
Additionally, the formula is strong enough to remove even the toughest and most stubborn of mold and mildew stains, effectively cleaning your boat deck or other surfaces.
I also love how easy it is to use with its spraying mechanism, making cleaning molds and mildew easy and hassle-free.
5. Simple Green Marine All-Purpose Boat Cleaner
If versatility and eco-friendliness are what you’re looking for, then the Simple Green Marine All-Purpose Boat Cleaner is another boat deck cleaner worth checking out.
The Simple Green Marine All-Purpose Boat Cleaner, true to its name, is an all-purpose cleaner that can be used not only on boats but on other marine equipment as well like fishing gear, watercraft, etc.
I love this because it’s not only useful for maintaining your boat but also your other gear, especially if you’re also into fishing. You no longer need to buy different cleaners for each purpose; you just need this one.
It removes grime, grease, oil, fuel, fish blood, etc. from your boat and equipment and thoroughly cleans them without the use of harsh and harmful chemicals.
In fact, the Simple Green Marine All-Purpose Boat Cleaner is a cleaner with a non-toxic, biodegradable, and non-abrasive yet highly concentrated formula. This makes it safe for use on washable surfaces while you’re on or near the water. You don’t have to worry about polluting the water with it because of its environment-friendly composition.
Furthermore, it even works on boat carpets, allowing it to live up to its description as an all-purpose cleaner.
6. Spray Nine 26901S Marine Cleaner
Another cleaner that’s known for its versatility, the Spray Nine 29601S Marine Cleaner is the number one choice for those who are looking for an all-in-one boat deck cleaner.
The Spray Nine 29601S Marine Cleaner was designed to be both a multipurpose cleaner and disinfectant that can work on a variety of surfaces, especially marine surfaces.
What I loved about this cleaner is that you can use it not only on boats but also on things such as inflatables, life jackets, and even camping equipment and RVs. This makes it extremely versatile and a great value for money because it’s not limited to just boat surfaces.
Another thing I loved about the Spray Nine 29601S Marine Cleaner is that it not only removes and cleans stains and yellowing from your boat deck and various other surfaces of your boat, but it also disinfects said surfaces.
This is why it’s regularly used as a way to remove and clean mold and mildew on surfaces such as fiberglass, vinyl, and even carpets. Another aspect of this cleaner that I loved is that it doesn’t just kill germs, but it also removes foul odors caused by the bacteria.
It also comes in two sizes, with the largest one being a gallon, so there’s enough product for all your cleaning needs.
7. Rejuvenate RM32DC Non-Skid Deck Cleaner
The Rejuvenate RM32DC Non-Skid Deck Cleaner has a specialized nanotechnology deck cleaning formula, which allows users to remove and clean dirt and stains from boat decks without the need for heavy scrubbing.
What I loved about the Rejuvenate RM32DC Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is that it has an easy-to-use spray design and a rinse-off application which, coupled with the lack of need for heavy scrubbing, make cleaning my boat deck easy and hassle-free.
Its special formula instantly loosens the ground-in dirt on my deck, which is convenient because it lessens the time I spend cleaning, allowing me to spend more time out on the water and just enjoying my boat.
Moreover, I loved how it was designed for safe use on fiberglass, synthetic teak, gel coats, and even painted deck surfaces whose delicate nature requires non-abrasive cleaners.
Another feature of the Rejuvenate RM32DC Non-Skid Deck Cleaner that I loved is the protective barrier it leaves on the textured surfaces after cleaning. This barrier ensures that the newly cleaned surface remains that way by safeguarding it from further dirt and stains. This will make your job of cleaning your boat the next time around easier and quicker.
8. New Seachoice Non-Skid Deck Cleaners
Another great choice for a non-skid cleaner is the New Seachoice Non-Skid Deck Cleaner whose formulation is also free from harsh chemicals that can harm your boat deck’s surface.
It’s best used as a fiberglass boat deck cleaner because of its safe, bleach-free nature. The New Seachoice Non-Skid Deck Cleaner cannot only be used on fiberglass boat decks but also on metal and painted surfaces.
It works by foaming out ground-in dirt and stains on your boat deck, which can then be removed without the need for heavy scrubbing. This is great because constant heavy scrubbing can damage your boat deck’s surface.
Additionally, like the previous cleaner, it also leaves behind a protective coating that helps repel dirt and stains. This makes cleaning your boat deck the next time around easier and hassle-free because there won’t be as much to clean.
What I loved about the New Seachoice Non-Skid Deck Cleaner is that it’s great value for money because it does its job well at an affordable price.
What to Look for When Buying a Boat Deck Cleaner
Cleaning your boat deck is an important task every boat owner should do at least once a year. This is because boat decks experience the heaviest foot traffic on your boat and are constantly exposed to the elements.
Therefore, things like dirt, grime, and saltwater can get stuck in the grooves of your deck, which lessens its non-skid property and can cause accidents, especially since it’s constantly exposed to a wet environment.
However, you can’t use just any cleaner on your boat deck because it might do more harm than good. What you need is a cleaner that was made specifically for use on boat decks, but how do you choose the best one?
Considering this, I have listed down the factors you need to check out when choosing what boat deck cleaner to buy. They are as follows:
- Type of Non-Skid Surface
The boat deck cleaner you choose should be compatible with the type of non-skid surface you have.
This is because some surfaces are more delicate than others and, therefore, needs a boat deck cleaner that won’t harm or damage its non-skid property. For example, some boat deck cleaners are safe for use on gel coats but are still too abrasive for painted surfaces.
It’s ideal to first know what type of non-skid surface your boat deck has before deciding on a cleaner so as to not ruin your deck and avoid potential accidents.
- Composition or Ingredients
Once you know what type of non-skid surface your boat deck has, you then have to check if the cleaner you chose is safe for use on that particular surface. It’s ideal to choose a boat deck cleaner that doesn’t use harsh chemicals, for it damages most delicate non-skid surfaces.
Also, it’s best if you avoid cleaners with bleach as the main ingredient as it can be too abrasive for most surfaces.
It’s a good idea to check if your preferred cleaner is biodegradable and made of non-toxic ingredients, for it is environment-friendly. This is especially important if you’re planning on cleaning your boat deck while on or near the water.
Using cleaners with harsh and toxic chemicals while on or near the water will contribute to water pollution.
The ideal thing to do is to choose a cleaner that can effectively clean your boat deck without being a threat to the environment.
- Ease of Application
No one will want to spend more time on cleaning over enjoying their boat. This is why it’s best if you choose a cleaner that can instantly but effectively loosen the dirt and stains on your boat deck. This will make the cleaning process easier and hassle-free.
Moreover, a cleaner that’s easy to use will make cleaning much quicker and will need less effort and energy on your part.
- Availability of Added Protection
Some cleaners have the added bonus of leaving behind added protection against further dirt and stains.
These cleaners are ideal, especially for non-skid boat decks as not only do they prolong the cleanliness of your boat deck, but they also repel further dirt and stain and make the next cleaning easier and smoother.
It might also be a good idea to look for a cleaner that can be used not only on your boat deck but also on other surfaces. Some cleaners are multipurpose and can also be used at home and at the office.
If you want something that can be used for places other than your boat, then it might be worth checking out those multipurpose cleaners. They are designed for use on various surfaces, which makes them incredibly versatile and they give great value for money.
Other Important Factors to Consider
Aside from the aforementioned factors, there is other information you will need to know in order to have an easier time choosing the best cleaner for your boat deck. Here are some of the things you will need to take into account when choosing a cleaner:
What is a Boat deck cleaner?
A boat deck cleaner is a type of cleaning solution that is specially formulated for boat decks. The reason for the special formula is because boat decks are usually covered in a special coating that makes it non-skid.
These coatings are important because the boat deck is where you can find the heaviest foot traffic, and it is also constantly exposed to a wet environment. The non-skid coating allows you to walk on the deck without slipping and, without it, people might get into accidents.
The special formula of boat deck cleaners allows users to clean them of dirt, grime, and stains that get into the grooves without damaging the delicate coating of their decks and risking potential accidents.
How Does It Work?
Most boat deck cleaners work by first loosening the dirt, grime, and stains on your boat deck’s surface so that it’ll be easier to clean. Most of them often do not require heavy scrubbing to remove the dirt and stains.
Some cleaners even leave behind a special protective coating that not only preserves your deck’s non-skid property but also prevent further stains and dirt from being ground in. This makes the next cleaning time quicker and hassle-free.
What are the Different Types of Boat Deck Cleaners?
Most boat deck cleaners are non-skid cleaners but other types of cleaners include shampoo-type cleaners. Moreover, some cleaners are multipurpose while some are made specifically for just marine use.
Non-skid cleaners are specially designed to preserve the non-skid surface of your boat deck. They tend to be more expensive, for they usually leave protective coating after cleaning that prevents the deck from being further stained.
On the other hand, shampoo-type cleaners are for general cleaning and removing dirt and stain. These types can usually be used for other parts of your boat. Furthermore, they are usually cheaper than non-skid cleaners, for they are more concentrated and have to be diluted in water before use.
Multipurpose boat deck cleaners are designed for use on other surfaces aside from boat decks. Some cleaners of this type can even be used at home and at the office.
Meanwhile, there are also cleaners that are created specifically for marine use only. Non-skid cleaners usually fall under this category.
Why Do You Need a Boat Deck Cleaner?
As mentioned before, regularly cleaning your boat deck is vital to having a pleasant and safe experience on your boat.
Regular cleaning will not only allow you to keep your boat sparkling clean and looking like it’s brand new, but it will also help you avoid accidents because of the dirt and stains that reduce the effectiveness of your boat’s special non-skid coating.
As the name suggests, the non-skid coating of your boat deck allows you to walk on your deck without slipping. These coatings range from gel coats to kiwi grips, all of which are more delicate than usual surfaces, therefore needing specially formulated cleaners so that it doesn’t damage the surface.
Moreover, boat deck cleaners are more effective and thorough at cleaning the dirt, grime, and stains that burrow their way into the grooves of your non-skid surface compared to other types of cleaners.
In addition to this, cleaners that aren’t made specifically for use on boat decks often have harsh chemicals like bleach that can be too abrasive, which can damage the delicate non-skid surface of your deck.
Additionally, boat deck cleaners make cleaning decks easier and faster because they are designed specifically for that type of surface and almost all of them don’t require heavy scrubbing to remove even the most stubborn stains.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What are the most trusted boat deck cleaner brands?
A: Some of the most trusted boat deck cleaner brands have been mentioned in my product reviews. Some examples are products by the brands Star Brite, Better Boat, and Rejuvenate. These have been thoroughly tried and tested and have been found to be effective at cleaning boat decks. Their efficiency and effectiveness at cleaning dirt and stains from boat decks make them incredibly popular among their customers.
Q: Are boat deck cleaners biodegradable?
A: It depends on the boat deck cleaner as not all of them are made to be biodegradable. To ensure that the cleaner you’re buying is biodegradable, it’s best if you check out the ingredients and reviews.
Some of the cleaners I reviewed such as the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner and Simple Green Marine All-Purpose Boat Cleaner are biodegradable, so they’re safe to use while on the water.
Q: How to clean non-skid boat deck?
A: Cleaning non skid boat deck is best done through the use of a non skid cleaner such as the Star Brite Non-Skid Deck Cleaner or the SeaChoice Non-Skid Deck Cleaner, both of which I have reviewed in my product review section.
This type of boat deck cleaner is not only safe for non-skid surfaces, but it also often leaves a special protective coating that helps prevent dirt and stains from embedding into the surface again.
Q: How to clean fiberglass boat deck?
A: For fiberglass boat decks, the best way to clean them is by using a boat deck cleaner that is safe to use on fiberglass. Most of the products I have reviewed are safe for use on fiberglass surfaces, so just pick from any of those.
Q: Where to buy?
A: You can buy most boat deck cleaners at the hardware store or any boating supplies store. However, if there are no available shops around you or if you’re looking for a more convenient option, then it’s also possible to order them online from sites like Amazon.
They will deliver your chosen boat deck cleaner right at your doorstep. Plus, buying online can sometimes be cheaper. However, take note of possible delivery fees.
Q: Can I use bleach on my boat deck?
A: I don’t recommend using bleach to clean your boat deck because the harsh nature of bleach can be too abrasive for your boat deck. It might end up stripping off the delicate non-skid coating of your deck and cause accidents.
Moreover, if you plan on cleaning your deck while on the water, using bleach is not a good idea, for this chemical is harmful to the environment and will, therefore, pollute the water.
Q: How often do I have to clean my boat deck?
A: Ideally, you should be cleaning your boat deck annually or at least once a year.
However, if you use your boat frequently, it might be a good idea to clean it as often as possible to ensure that it remains free of dirt and stains. This will also help prevent accidents, especially while out on the water.
Q: Is it possible to use ordinary household cleaners to clean my boat deck?
A: It is possible, but I wouldn’t recommend it, for they can strip off your boat deck’s non-skid coating because they aren’t designed for use on boat decks.
Boat decks experience the heaviest foot traffic and are constantly exposed to the elements, which means you need to clean them at least once a year in order to preserve the integrity of your deck. Though cleaning your boat deck is always a difficult task, it’s something that all boat owners must do.
Not only is a dirty boat unsightly, but it can also cause accidents because it reduces the effectiveness of your deck’s non-skid nature. This is dangerous because it can lead to accidents, especially when the deck is wet.
Using a boat deck cleaner makes the task easier and more manageable, but finding the boat deck cleaner for your needs can prove to be more difficult than cleaning itself. With all the factors you need to consider and the number of options available on the market, it can be confusing as to what is best.
Hopefully, with the comprehensive product review and guide I’ve created, you will be able to find and decide which is the best boat deck cleaner for you and your boat.
I am Dave, Marine Talk’s content creator. Boating experiences matter when planning a boat trip for your family or going by yourself. Therefore, I am here to tackle all things relevant to boating so even the inexperienced ones can start their boating safely.