The Best Aluminum Boat Cleaners for 2021

Nicholas Swartz
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It’s Sunday afternoon, and you’ve been out on the water this entire weekend. You and your family are enjoying a nice day sailing, when it looks like your mast is coated in green algae.

You look up to see a few scallops of the stuff floating down from your rigging. Your boat is filthy. You’re going to have to clean it as soon as you get back to the dock.

Of the several aluminum boats cleaners I’ve tested, I can easily recommend the ones listed below.

NameCategoryProduct
Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer-1 GallonBest OverallAluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer-1 Gallon
Duragloss 551 Marine/RV Aluminum CleanerBudget PickDuragloss 551 Marine/RV Aluminum Cleaner
JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum CleanerUpgrade PickJJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner

1. Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer-1 Gallon

Our rating: 9 / 10

Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer-1 Gallon

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Pros:

  • Removes oxidation, stains and discoloration
  • Safe to use on ALL types of aluminum
  • Keeps rust from returning

Cons:

  • It might not be the best choice for painted surfaces

The Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer will restore your boat's original shine after just 1 application! It dries completely and leaves a protective coating on the surface. Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener is fast, efficient & affordable. Also, thanks to the corrosion inhibitors, the product keeps rust from returning.

2. Sharkhide Aluminum Cleaner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Sharkhide Aluminum Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Restores the luster to aluminum
  • Very simple to use – spray and rinse off
  • No scrubbing needed
  • Affordable
  • Does the job better than other aluminum cleaners

Cons:

  • May need multiple treatments to get your surface completely clean.

Sharkhide is a specialized aluminum care cleaner that will remove rust, oxidation, waterlines, and light scratches from your aluminum. It is a simple and effective way to clean and restore the original luster to your aluminum.

It is safe to use on your boat, pontoon, and motorhome. This makes it the perfect aluminum cleaner for occasional cleaning. Sharkhide is easy to apply and requires no scrubbing or elbow grease. Simply spray it on and wipe it off, it is that easy!

3. 3M Marine Aluminum Restorer and Polish

Our rating: 8 / 10

3M Marine Aluminum Restorer and Polish

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Pros:

  • Easy to apply and remove
  • You only have to apply a small amount
  • It quickly restores the deep luster to faded surfaces
  • It’s affordable

Cons:

  • Not suitable for anodized aluminum

Faded and oxidized aluminium surfaces can be difficult to get back to their original color and shine. But, if you’re looking for the best aluminium boat cleaners, then this may be the product for you.

The 3M Marine aluminium polish comes with a specially formulated compound for restoring surfaces. It quickly removes oxidation and restores the bright luster to faded surfaces. You only have to apply a small amount of the polish to your hand and then rub it over the surface with a clean microfiber cloth.

4. Bio-Kleen M00109 Aluma-Kleen

Our rating: 8 / 10

Bio-Kleen M00109 Aluma-Kleen

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Pros:

  • Stronger than regular household cleaners
  • Works well on aluminum and painted surfaces
  • Biodegradable

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Not suitable for polished aluminum

One of the best boat cleaners is Bio-Kleen M00109 Aluma Kleen. Why? Because it is super effective. To the contrary of pretty much any household cleaner, which you should never use on a boat, this product is specially created for it.

5. TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Etch Wash

Our rating: 8 / 10

TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Etch Wash

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Pros:

  • Ideal for bare aluminum, galvanized steel, and other non-ferrous metals
  • Suitable to use as a pretreatment for polishing
  • Removes salt, silicones, and grease
  • Leaves a very light matte coating that doesn’t turn white when struck by the sun
  • Very economical

Cons:

  • Not as strong as other similar products
  • Not suitable to be used on wood or fibreglass

The TotalBoat Aluminum Boat Etch Wash is a highly efficient cleaning product that works great on bare aluminum, galvanized steel and other non-ferrous metals. The product works in just 5 minutes, which makes it a time-efficient solution for your boat.

It can also be used as a pretreatment for polishing, if you prefer your boat to be all shiny.

6. Duragloss 551 Marine/RV Aluminum Cleaner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Duragloss 551 Marine/RV Aluminum Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Great for use on aluminum
  • Made with care to help minimize streaks
  • Nonabrasive
  • Makes a great boat cleaner
  • Will last a long time
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Some have said that the trigger sprayer is a bit sensitive

Duragloss 551 Marine/RV Aluminum Cleaner is an aluminum cleaner with a specialized formula for use on marine-grade aluminum. It is actually vehicle safe and will bring out a wet look shine you will love.

This aluminum cleaner is also a lot like a standard metal polish, apart from the fact that you won’t need to use a lot of elbow grease to get good results. This is good for when you don’t have too much time to spend on cleaning.

7. Zing 188 WHITE Professional Aluminum Pontoon & Boat Cleaner

Our rating: 8 / 10

Zing 188 WHITE Professional Aluminum Pontoon & Boat Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Safe for use on unpainted aluminum surfaces
  • Efficient against grease, grime, lime deposits and stains from algae
  • Phosphate free

Cons:

  • Not recommended to use on your pontoons, as they might turn white

The Zing 188 WHITE Professional Cleaner is a strong cleaning substance for your boat. It does a good job against grease, grime, lime deposits and stains from algae. However, previous buyers have reported that their pontoons turned white after using the product, so, even though is advertised like that, we would only recommend it for unpainted aluminum surfaces.

8. STAR BRITE Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer

Our rating: 7 / 10

STAR BRITE Ultimate Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer

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Pros:

  • Quickly removes scum and oxidation
  • Cleans away old stains
  • Works on unpainted aluminum
  • Will nourish and protect
  • Leaves a long-lasting shine

Cons:

  • Not suitable for painted or polished aluminum

The STAR BRITE Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer is specially created to be safe to use on unpainted aluminum boat surfaces.

It is a powerful cleaner and restorer, designed to reduce fading and damage. It also protects the surface from deterioration caused by changing weather conditions and restores luster.

9. JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner

Our rating: 6 / 10

JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner

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Pros:

  • A degreaser that gets rid of oil and grime
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Acid-free
  • Can be used for cleaning your aluminum boat and motor
  • Leaves a non-stick finish

Cons:

  • Not suitable for polished or anodized aluminum

If you clean your boat regularly, using this excellent aluminum cleaner is essential. It’s a non-toxic formula, so you don’t need to worry about any harmful substances getting into the water.

10. Toon-Brite Aluminum Pontoon and Aluminum Boat Cleaner

Our rating: 6 / 10

Toon-Brite Aluminum Pontoon and Aluminum Boat Cleaner

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Pros:

  • Removes barnacles
  • Works well on all stains caused by oxidation, UV rays, mold, mildew, oxidation, and rust
  • Biodegradable

Cons:

  • Not recommended to use near waterways

Toon-Brite makes an aluminum boat cleaner that is safe and effective. It does not contain any harsh chemicals that could damage your boat surfaces.

This Toon-Brite Aluminum boat Cleaner removes barnacles, prevents algae and mold from re-growing, and it effectively stops oxidation and rust stains.

Frequently asked questions

What is the best aluminum boat cleaner?

Over time, even the best-looking aluminum boats start to look a little dingy with oxidation.

If you like to keep your boat looking shiny and new, you will need a boat cleaner like the ones you discovered in the review above. One of the best you will find is the JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Boat Cleaner. It is an acid-free and environmentally friendly cleaner that does an exceptional job.

How do you remove oxidation from aluminum boats?

It depends on how deep the oxidation is. It is possible that in some cases the only way to completely remove it is with sandblasting. This is the action of blasting away layers of metal one at a time until the bare metal is revealed.

Other times a spray-on replacement, such as the products listed here may be enough. The key is finding a product that can treat and adhere to the highly porous and chemically reactive nature of aluminum.

I scoured the world looking for the best aluminum boat cleaners for this book, and this list represents the top ones. All of the products above are proven cleaners for aluminum boats.

What is the best aluminum brightener?

Without question, the best aluminum brightener for boats is Star Brite Aluminum Cleaner & Restorer.

Star Brite is a popular and well-known brand of boating supplies and their aluminum tops and boat cleaner is no exception. It is a highly effective, easy to use, and inexpensive way to clean your boat. Using other more abrasive methods can actually dull or damage the hull of your boat.

How do I remove hard water stains from my aluminum boat?

It might seem like a difficul mission to remove hard water stains from aluminum surfaces, but it's often easier than expected. Any of the products listed here works wonders and they successfully remove any types of stains, including hard water ones.

Conclusion

When it comes to boat cleaning products, there’s a lot to learn from my comprehensive guide. But the best part about preparing this guide is that I got to try out many products and varieties, and it was a heck of a lot of fun.

If you’re looking for a great aluminum boat cleaner for your outboard or pontoon boat, then I highly recommend that you read through my summary of the best products, as well as the in-depth reviews of the top products. You should consider all your options, and this list features the best available ones. With these products, you can clean your boat the way you want.

Our Recommendation

NameCategoryProduct
Aluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer-1 GallonBest OverallAluminum Cleaner & Brightener & Restorer-1 Gallon
Duragloss 551 Marine/RV Aluminum CleanerBudget PickDuragloss 551 Marine/RV Aluminum Cleaner
JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum CleanerUpgrade PickJJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner