All boat owners know that one of the tasks that has to be done regularly is washing down your boat.
This should be done after every trip with a solution that is compatible with the material of your vessel. Then you will need to rinse to remove the soap solution.
The problem is that rinsing tends to leave water spots on the surface of the boat. Unless of course, you wipe the entire boat dry with a microfiber cloth which would stop the water spots appearing.
Most people however don’t take the time to dry off their boat.
So you are left with the frustrating problem of water spots which look unsightly and if left can cause damage to the boat’s surfaces. We have looked at the best water spot removers to help you deal with this problem.
There are a lot of different products on the market to deal with water spots on boat surfaces. With such a wide range of potential solutions it can be difficult to find the one that is right for your boat.
Instead of guessing which one will work best we’ve done the work for you in finding some of the best water spot removers available.
We’re not saying we’ve done the hard part, that’s down to you, but hopefully it will mean you can spend more time on your boat and less time researching cleaning products.
Below are the nine best water spot removers that we have found.
Meguiar’s Hard Water Spot Remover tackles the toughest hard water spots on your boat to give the surface a sparkling gleam.
The special formula dissolves and breaks down the minerals that create these unsightly spots on paint, gel coat and fiberglass.
This low drip formula is thick, so it remains on vertical surfaces, allowing you to wipe off and clean all parts of your boat. It will also protect the boat’s surface from future hard water deposits and the resulting spotting.
- Low drip formula for vertical surfaces
- Easily removes tough water spots
- Protects the surface against future hard water spots
- May not work on yellowing or heavy stains
Ducky Products Original Water Spot Remover is ideal for surfaces that are matte and don’t have a wax or gloss finish.
It is a non-toxic and biodegradable product so will do no harm to the environment whilst still being effective at removing difficult water spots.
The spray-on application makes this an easy product to use, and it is also good at removing deposits from the transom and chrome exhaust tips. This water spot remover may not tackle neglected areas sufficiently well.
- Easy to apply spray-on product
- Removes calcium and mineral deposits
- Biodegradable and non-toxic formula
- Separate product needed for gloss surfaces
Boat Bling Hot Sauce is one of the most popular hard water spot removers for boats. It is an effective and easy to use product which makes removing unsightly mineral deposits a simple task.
It contains high gloss wax sealants which will protect the surface of your boat after cleaning, giving it a premium shine.
This product won’t strip the current wax on your boat’s surface and can be used on fiberglass, plastic, glass, chrome and all painted surfaces.
The product does have quite a strong smell so beware if using it in an enclosed area. Despite this it does have a biodegradable formula.
- Effective at removing water spots
- Easy to use
- High gloss sealant
- Has a strong odor
Boat Juice Extreme Water Spot Remover is very effective at removing water spots and much more.
It will also tackle scum lines, stains, and buildup on the surface of your boat. This powerful cleaner will provide a streak free clean and is easy to use.
Simply spray on and leave for a minute before wiping off to reveal a clean, spot free surface. Although you will need to use a different product to provide protection and a high gloss shine.
- Removes stubborn hard water spots
- Tackles scum lines and stains
- Simple to use
- Needs a second product to give gloss finish and protection
Also available at: shopboatjuice.com
If you want a boat surface cleaner that will remove water spots, shine and protect in one step then Meguiar’s Extreme Marine Water Spot Detailer is the right choice for you.
It is a non-abrasive cleaner so is safe to use on gel coat, glass, stainless steel, and fiberglass.
The added layer of advanced polymer protection will help to minimize the amount of hard water spots forming on the surface. This will help you to keep your boat gleaming a lot longer.
- One step clean, shine and protect
- Minimizes future water spotting
- Non-abrasive, safe formula
- Needs to be used regularly for best results
Boat Candy Speed Gloss is a strong and effective water spot remover. It dissolves the minerals that create the water spots on your boat’s surface. At the same time it leaves a coat of top quality Carnauba wax for increased gloss.
This product also provides protection from UVB and UVA light to minimize color fading. There is a strong smell to this cleaner, but it is biodegradable with a low impact on the environment.
As an easy to use but effective water spot remover and gloss detailer this is a great product.
- Effective at removing water spots
- Protects with a wax finish
- UVA and UVB ray protection
- Strong smell
Also available at: spankysrvonline.com
Boat Juice Exterior comes in a handy spray or a larger gallon container for easy refills of your spray bottle. This product will clean and protect in a single step, removing mineral deposits and water spots from hard water easily.
It contains a ceramic sealant which will give your boat a glossy and spot free finish. The added bonus is that this cleaner smells like pina colada, no strong unpleasant smells here.
Effective on gel coat, glass surfaces, and fiberglass leaving your boat looking like new.
- Single step clean and protection
- Effective on water spots and scum stains
- Pleasant smell
- Won’t work on tough stains or oxidation
Bass Boat Saver is an easy to use hard water spot remover and comes in a handy spray bottle as well as a gallon refill jug.
There are no harsh chemicals in this cleaner, and it is environmentally friendly and biodegradable so is safe for fisheries.
While it is tough enough to remove mineral deposits it has a refreshing cedar wood smell and also provides UV protection to your gel coat. This cleaner will leave your boat with a spot free, high gloss shine with no streaks.
- No harsh chemicals
- Environmentally friendly and biodegradable
- Cleans and shines
- May not remove stubborn stains
Also available at: bassboatsaver.com
Ducky Products Water Spot Plus is a simple spray on clean which dissolves calcium and mineral deposits. It is made with a grade A white carnauba wax which acts as a protective film against dirt, water spots and UV rays.
This cleaner is suitable for use on fiberglass, gel coat, clear coat, and painted surfaces and will not scratch them. Matte surfaces may not be suitable for this product as it is more suitable for high gloss surfaces.
- Easy spray-on, wipe-off use
- Has grade A carnauba wax
- Suitable for glossy surfaces such as fiberglass, gel or clear coat
- Not suitable for matte surfaces.
There are things to consider when you are choosing a water spot remover for your boat. You’ll need to select one that is compatible with the types of materials on the boat that you will want to clean.
You should also make sure that what you are buying is going to be effective and will be relatively easy to use. The amount that you need will depend on the size of your boat so consider quantity and of course, price.
Finally, think about what chemicals are in the water spot remover you are going to use and what environmental impact it may have.
When choosing a cleaner to remove water spots from your boat, think about the kinds of materials that you need to clean.
Some cleaners may damage certain surfaces so check the label carefully before using. For example, you shouldn’t use glass cleaner on polycarbonate or acrylic.
If you can get a product that works on multiple surfaces such as fiberglass, plastic, painted surfaces and glass you will be able to save some money.
However, if you have materials such as clear vinyl you will need to be more cautious. It takes very little to scratch vinyl, so you’ll need to choose a cleaning product that won’t damage the surface.
Vinyl can be particularly susceptible to water spots and its resulting damage.
Yacht soap is a good choice for this material, but there are other options in boat supply shops or online.
Clear vinyl panels such as Strataglass which are found in cabin enclosures can get scratched by mineral deposits when they are rolled up. If you do have scratched vinyl panels that are hazy as a result, it’s possible to buy a vinyl restorer.
When searching for the best water spot remover for your boat make sure that you choose a product that gives good results.
This may sound obvious but often when buying products within a certain category like water spot removal you may assume they are all the same.
This is not the case and some cleaners will be more effective than others. This can be because of the active ingredients, the manufacturer or simply ensuring that you are buying the correct cleaning product for the right material.
One of the best ways to research the effectiveness of a water spot remover for your boat is to read some of the reviews and testimonials about it.
While individual experiences will vary if you consider the majority opinion relating to a specific product it should give you an accurate indication of how effective the product will be.
When you do buy a water spot remover that you’ve never used before try testing it on an inconspicuous spot first. Once you are happy with the results then you can go on to use it on the rest of the boat.
Ease Of Use
As well as being compatible with the material you are cleaning and effective, the water spot remover should be easy to use. You will have a lot of surface to clean and the easier the application of the cleaner, the better for you.
Most water spot removers come in spray bottles which allow you to spray the product on and then wipe it off.
This is preferable to having to mix up a solution, giving the ratio correct and then finding the best way to apply it to mostly vertical surfaces.
As spray bottles are quite a small size for convenience and ease of manipulation, the contents will be used up quite quickly on a medium to large boat.
For this reason, it’s a good idea to find a product that you can buy in refillable bottles with a gallon size refill jug.
The most effective water spot removers will have a protective wax finish which helps to prevent the build up of water marks.
To work at its best this needs to be applied regularly after you have used your boat and washed it down. Ease of use is more likely to encourage you to do this on a regular basis.
The water spot remover that you use should be environmentally friendly and pose no pollution threat to the water.
Anything that you use to clean your boat will inevitably end up back in the water one way or another, so it is important to make sure that it is not toxic.
Choosing a water spot remover that is safe for the environment and also biodegradable is a responsible decision.
The chemicals contained in boat cleaning products will vary according to the manufacturer and the job that they are designed for.
For example a heavy-duty water spot remover will likely have stronger chemicals than a regular water spot remover.
Most water spot removers will contain chemicals such as hydrofluoric acid, ammonium fluoride, and alcohol.
While these are effective at dissolving the minerals that are left behind when water evaporates from the surface of the boat they can enter the waterways and may cause some pollution.
Other cleaners can contain sulfuric acid and sodium benzenesulfonate.
Check the contents of the water spot remover you are buying and choose one that is safe for the environment and biodegradable.
Quantity & Price
Depending on the size of your boat you may need a lot of water spot remover. This will impact how much you pay for these products. Most of the spray on products also come in handy one gallon refill jugs to top up as you need.
Other water spot removers may seem expensive but are often in a concentrated format. This means that you need to add water to them to dilute them before application.
Compare the cost of buying a concentrated product with a pre-mixed cleaner to work out which is the most cost effective for you.
There are ways to reduce the cost of water spot remover. One way is to apply some elbow grease with a microfiber cloth when you have rinsed down your boat and dry all the surfaces.
This may take a while but remember you’ll have to go over the same amount of surface with a water spot remover anyway. So a little physical effort will save you some money.
Another option is to use soft water which leaves no water spots.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is advisable to wash your boat after each trip to keep it well maintained, but the water from a faucet typically contains hard water. If you don’t dry off the boat with a microfiber cloth then the water leaves behind mineral deposits such as calcium and magnesium when it dries.
Water softeners in homes are usually used to maintain the plumbing pipes and prevent them from getting calcium deposits. However, when calcium and magnesium are removed they are replaced with sodium which will still leave deposits if you just let your boat air dry.