View Full Version : Aluminum Cleaner?

08-01-2005, 04:43 PM
My new aluminum boat has seen some salt water use and is a bit
oxidized. What products are you guys using to clean up and shine your boats after Ocean and Pyramid Lake use? Also is there a product available that would act as a good barrier against salt & alkali corrosion?

08-03-2005, 06:41 AM
once it gets oxidized its a little hard to clean...3m makes a good marine polish...mine has never been in the ocean so no help there..but i use glass plus and protect all...nothing sticks after that..not even water...

08-03-2005, 08:36 AM
on cleaning your boat check ata pilot supply (airplane)

08-03-2005, 08:55 AM
For cleaning, there are quite a few products that work well. My favorite is called "Alumibrite" and available at NAPA Auto Parts for a few $$$ (maybe 20-25 for enough to do your boat).

For protecting your aluminum, I've heard great things about a product called "Sharkhide" (or similar). I don't use it, but there are people on here who have and I hope they'll chime in. If not, I'll get the info myself and let you know.

08-03-2005, 03:27 PM
Check out Sharkhide.com I used it and it works. A little pricey! Brettski

08-03-2005, 03:41 PM
I went to the site to check it out as I have my little boat I am going to sale and want to clean it first. Did you buy the cleaner Renewsall as well? How much did you need of both?

08-05-2005, 05:25 AM
West Marine sells a Aluminum Cleaner under their own name. It works great but read the directions and keep it off of your trailer. They also have an aluminum polish that helps keep the stains to a minimum.

10-11-2005, 06:24 PM
Since I was up at Pyramid last weekend I dug this topic out of the 8th page, any new input from anybody? My boat is only 6 months old but looks like it's 10 years ::)

10-11-2005, 07:56 PM

Mo uses Mother's Aluminum Polish. Check your PMs. Oh and Mickey, you actually have to put it on the boat. It doesn't work just putting the jar in the boat.

My boat looks like its right off the show room floor.

;D ;D

That means I am not using it enough.

:'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'( :'(


10-12-2005, 05:21 AM
MOthers Aluminum Polish, thanks TS, I don't think mo money has ever let his get dirty (like mine) ::) but if I can find it I'll get some. Hey "mo" where do you get that stuff? and TS, one trip up to Pyramid will break it in ;D

10-12-2005, 05:36 AM
I used the West Marine cleaning system on my boat prior to going to Pyramidfest. The acid wash helped a little but it didnt seen to take off all the deep oxidation from the bare aluminum. The polish in the kit is petrolium based and seemed to do a good job repeling water. The day afer I got back from pyramid the boat looked terrible. All oxidized again at the water level and below. I think a heavier duty wax like Mothers
and mabe a Sharkhide treatment is in my future. Any other thoughts would be appreciated.

10-12-2005, 06:42 AM
I tried 3M and Flitz (on different sides of the boat) just before Pyramidfest. Even after an acid rinse, the boat looked terrible. But remember that my boat had not been cleaned for 7 years and had seen a lot of Pyramid. The boat looked even worse after Pyramidfest with white oxidation all over. I wish that I had left it alone.

However, Desertdog polished a spot on one side of the boat with Mother's. I'm not sure if it was their metal polish or wheel cleaner. It was pretty amazing! It brightened the metal right up and it did not oxidize like the rest of the boat.

10-12-2005, 09:54 AM
I highly recommend mothers aluminum polish. Two motorcycles ago I had a fully polished frame, wheels, and brake rotors (all aluminum) and mothers would make all look like a mirror. For the money, I'm not convinced it can beat. Wipe on, wipe off with a clean cloth and woila.

This is the stuff


10-12-2005, 11:37 AM
Aluminum brake rotors? :o

10-12-2005, 12:17 PM
Oops...calipers. ;D

I forgot about the swingarm too. What a hassle that bike was to keep pretty. Never again.

10-13-2005, 11:52 AM
Just a word of caution here. READ THE DIRECTIONS AND USE GOOD THICK RUBBER/GLOVES. Look for gloves made with Nitrile (Acid proof). A good friend of mine was cleaning his new/used aluminum boat one day with some stuff he picked up at an auto part store. That night we where talking on the phone about the boat. He kept saying his right had been killing him. Being in the semi conductor industry at one time with some knowledge of chemicals I ask if had he used gloves? No. I asked him to read me the ingredients on the back of the can. Sure enough one of the ingredients listed was HCL (Hydro Chloric Acid). The stuff is nasty. When it gets on your skin it kills the nerve ending so you donít feel it. It is attracted to and eats calcium (your bones) which is where the pain comes from. He had his wife take him to the ER where they injected large amounts of calcium under his skin and nails to draw it out then gave him some calcium/magnesium mixture to soak his hand in for the few dayís. Then he had to have two of his nails removed. He didnít have full use of his right hand for 3 weeks and thankful it was not permanent. Not trying to scare anybody out of cleaning there boat. The stuff is safe as long you read and follow the directions. Just trying to keep my fellow sniffers healty and on the water where we belong.


10-13-2005, 01:56 PM
Good story Jim, I'll be wearing gloves when I get around to cleaning mine ::) the hardest part is getting started ??? Hey how about a boat cleaning "Fest" at Mickeys?

10-13-2005, 02:34 PM

8) 8)

10-13-2005, 03:08 PM
Hey Ken!! I can relate to the glass boat statement. My other boats have all been Whalers and they were easy to clean. Mr. Thomas, I got some of the Mothers polish last night at Grand Auto. In a couple of hours I had about 1/3 of my Northriver
so shinney I could see myself. The stuff works great. It is a bit of work however. I had alot of oxidation to clean up. I
think a buffing wheel would make the job easier.

10-13-2005, 03:45 PM
kingmules, If Grand Auto has it I'll get some, don't mind the work if it works ;) I figure that mo money uses it but he never let's his boat get dirty in the first place. ;D Mine has a lot of oxidation also, I'll let everybody know how it turns out 8)

10-13-2005, 05:10 PM
Mickey, I own a auto paint & supply co. All the aluminum cleaners work well.To make your job a lot less work you need to get yourself a autobody style buffer. Ver. speed 1000-3000 rpm for about $69.00. You will need a cutting pad and a pollishing pad. Then call Hammer and tell him you are having a buffing Party. ;D

10-13-2005, 06:23 PM
Steve M, send me a PM with all the stuff I need to get, name brands and such. And where to get them too if you can. Hammer's not into manuel labor, he tried to show me his cleaner and did a 3"x3" section and he had to take a nap ;D ;D

10-14-2005, 05:29 AM

10-14-2005, 07:15 AM

Mickey, if you tell Hammer it's a buffing party he might just come that way ;D ;D ;D ;D

10-14-2005, 03:55 PM
"IT" wrote

Mickey, if you tell Hammer it's a buffing party he might just come that way
If I had a dirty mind ::) ::) ::) I guess I'll just let that one go ;)

10-17-2005, 07:00 AM
Well here's how the first day of cleaning went. I started using the West Marine Aluminum cleaner, after about an hour of scrubbing per instructions all it did was lighten the grunge a little. Next my wife brought out one of her cleaners, I think it was called Eagle I NEVR-DULL Wadding polish. I started rubbing from the other end from where I started and this product did do the trick but very intensive labor wise (it kicked my butt) ??? Although it did cut the grunge it left a lot of black residue that was almost impossible to rub out. So I took another household product (liquid cleanser) and cleaned off the residue with that. Then I took a polish and waxed the clean area. After about 7 hours of scrubbing and cleaning and waxing I have one side of the boat done ??? ??? So today I'll start over again, (skipping the West Marine product) and going right to the wadding polish. I can tell I''m not going to let it get that grungy again, I guess I'll have to deep clean it every time I hit the salt water ::)or Pyramid and Eagle lake. Couldn't find the Mother's Polish around Georgetown but when I do I'll be buying some for sure.

10-17-2005, 07:26 AM
From an old navy guy who has years of using never dull you want to let it dry before you buff it out with a dry cloth. Use the magic wadding and then let it dry for about a half hour then rub it with a clean dry cloth. It is not good for taking buildup off but if you need to just touch up the shine on metal its the stuff. Small circles and let dry. If you ask someone who was a boatswains mate in the navy I bet they would know what to use. I was a supply guy. ;)
2Shakes ;D ;D 8)

10-17-2005, 07:30 AM
Mickey, You keep doin all that stuff and you'll get your boat so shiney it'll scare the cr@p out of the fish!! ;D ;D.. Larry

10-17-2005, 07:55 AM
Good advice 2shakes, I'll try that today ;D Larry, I use the boat so much it will probably be the last time it's shiny ??? Eagle lake this Thurs. ;)

10-17-2005, 08:45 AM
I posted this last year with a reminder......

I haven't tried this on painted surfaces..ie details, decals or the like....that being said....


I applied it to ferrous surfaces and had them remain clean for THIRTY YEARS.... 8) ::)

Take a look at the site....beware...the stuff must be applied outside.....and I don't know if you can get it in
California anymore.... ::)


10-17-2005, 02:40 PM
I found a good aluminum cleaner/conditioner at the local auto paint store. It is called Alumiprep. Just mix,spray on, (use good rubber gloves) and scrub lightly with a good sythetic scotch brite pad. Be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle. After you get the grunge off, use a buffer with a good bonnet and try 3M heavy cut rubbing compound. Works fast but is rather dirty.
I spoke with Gregor boats in Fresno last year and the guy told me that is the way they do it. One thing that surprised me was he recommended cleaning the boat afterward with kerosene to remove the alum oxide and rubbing compound. ??? It made my 14' gregor look mirror. *:)The bad thing was the first trip to Pyramid completely changed the color of the aluminum below the waterline. *:'( I was broken hearted, about 70 man hours went into fixing deep scratches with a buffing wheel and jewelers rouge and blending the rest out with the buffer. *I hope the mothers polish works better than the turtle wax I used. I plan on giving it another shot if I have a chance of keeping the shine next time.
Penny and 1 half.

10-17-2005, 03:32 PM
Pyramid is a problem, ??? mine wasn't bad from the salt water, but as soon as I put it in at Pyramid I had a white water line that still shows a little after the cleaning. I'd say that Pyramid is out but I love that lake and brought a season fishing and boating pass this year. Maybe I can find a good detail man and let him clean it next time ;D ;D ;D

10-17-2005, 03:55 PM
If it wasn't for the ugliness I would leave the oxidation on the boat. It is about the best aluminum protective coating there is. Or so I'm told. There is just a certain pride in taking something like a boat and shining it up to look better than new.
I met a jet boat builder from Arizona in 1990 at Odell lake in Oregon. His demo boat was litterally shined to a full gloss mirror finish. When I asked how much work it was to keep it that way, he just shook his head and shivered, like it was a bad dream or something. Now I know what he meant.

10-18-2005, 05:53 AM
I finished up my boat this weekend using the Mothers polish. Had everything nice and shinney again and then in a moment of brillance I decided to spray the West Marine petroleum based polish on to add some additional protection. Anyhow had some wierd kind of alchemy happen that left streaks and spots all over my nice new polish job. Watch out mixing different products.

10-18-2005, 06:47 AM
Sorry kingmules, you also have to read what is in the products, if one has clorine and another has bleach you can get a "deadly" gas mixing them. ??? ??? ??? read the labels please............

10-18-2005, 06:34 PM
On my Lowe, I wash the boat then use Soft Scrub then Blue Magic Paste (Napa) works well. I also use Soft Scrub to remove oxidation from my Reinel fiberglass boat.

10-24-2005, 09:12 PM
Here is the ultimate test. I did the right side of my boat with 3M aluminum polish and it made a mess. At Pyramidfest 2 weeks ago, Desertdog used Mothers metal polish on a small area of my hull just below the "Silver Streak" logo. Here is a picture of my boat that Mickey took last weekend at Eagle. This is after 3 additional trips at Pyramid and sitting over night at a slip at Eagle. You can still see the area that was treated with Mothers shinning bright.


10-25-2005, 04:01 AM
Nice photo work Doc, who was that that took the picture? Hammer did it ;) There's another one you could post, it's the one where you arn't looking at where you are going ;D ;D I thought you were going to give me that Mother's Polish so I could try it ::) I guess it was just a teaser ;D

10-25-2005, 04:42 AM
Anyone tried tak'n their boat to a pro detailer ...time is money...and there's no subsituite for experience ...you know Doc the ones in the white tank tops ! ;) :o ;D

10-25-2005, 09:15 AM
Ooops! I forgot Mick. ;D

10-26-2005, 08:30 AM
Be careful Doc, you might get that boat so shiny it'll scare the cr@p out of the fish! ;D ;D.. Larry