How to Clean a Boat Hull | How to Properly Clean the Hull of a Boat

How to Clean the Hull of Your Boat

Like any significant purchase you make in your lifetime, if you want to get the most out of it, you need to properly take care of it. Just as your automobile needs regular oil changes and tire rotations and your home HVAC equipment needs filter changes and routine maintenance, your boat also needs its fair share of care.

While boat engines tend to get most of the attention when it comes to maintenance, you can't forget about other parts of your vessel, as well. One part of the boat that's essential to keep clean is none other than the hull (the area of the boat where it meets the water). In this post, we'll discuss how to clean a boat hull and why this is so crucial. From the experts on how to clean boat hulls, here’s a step-by-step guide. 

Why You Should Clean the Hull

The biggest reason to clean a boat hull is simply to keep your vessel looking great. Because the hull of the boat is the area that comes directly into contact with the water, over time it accumulates dirt, debris, and salt residue. The hull can also be subject to mold and mildew growth. Keeping your hull clean will enhance your boat’s overall aesthetic and maintain its value. It's important to clean your hull the right way for the best results.

How to Clean the Hull of a Boat

Are you looking to get your boat hull as clean as possible? Here's a look at the steps to take for the best results. All you'll need is a hose, some sponges, a cleaning solution, and some drying rags.

Take Your Boat Out of the Water

It's going to be difficult to get your boat hull clean while it's still in the water. Though it's not impossible to clean the hull while your boat is docked or anchored, thorough cleaning involves using chemicals – and you don't want to contaminate the local waters. For this reason, it's best to take the boat out of the water and to a safe cleaning location. In addition to being able to use cleaning solutions and solvents without risking damage to water and the species that live there, pulling your boat out of the water allows you access to the entire hull.

Surface Clean

Now that you've got the boat out of the water, it's time to thoroughly clean the hull. Similar to how you would wash your car, spray the hull with water before you apply any cleaning chemicals or solvents to the surface. If you use solvents or cleaners, make sure they’re purposefully designed for boat hull cleaning. There are plenty of boat hull cleaners out there, so you may have to shop around to find the best one for the best one.

You may need to pick up a few soft sponges and put some elbow grease into your cleaning efforts to eradicate some stubborn stains.


After you've cleaned the hull, it's important to rinse. This helps wash away any excess cleaning solvents and debris. 


After you've washed, the next step is to dry the hull thoroughly. This step may seem pointless since your boat is just going to go back into the water. So, why dry the hull after cleaning it? The biggest reason is for the fifth and final step: applying the wax. So grab some towels and wipe away any excess moisture.


Once your boat hull is dry, it's time to apply a coat of wax to it to ensure that your cleaning job lasts. Waxing can also help your boat's hull fend off damage from the sun's rays. Once you apply the wax, give it some time to set before you put your boat back out into the water.

For more information on the best way to clean and care for your boat hull and fishing equipment, contact Gemlux. As the experts in all things marine hardware and fishing gear, we’ll help you maintain your boat for the best experience on the water.