How to Clean & Wax an Aluminum Boat

How to Clean & Wax an Aluminum Boat

Need some tips on developing a maintenance routine for an aluminum boat? Now is your chance to get the answers to your questions from our boat detailing experts at Bling Sauce.

What are the advantages of an aluminum boat?

Beaching your boat, navigating shallow water, and eliminating time at the fiberglass shop are all reasons people buy aluminum boats vs fiberglass. Aluminum boats are much lighter than fiberglass, making them easier to tow around with smaller vehicles and a lot easier to launch and load at the ramp. Aluminum also doesn’t crack or break upon impact like fiberglass, which typically makes repair costs lower if there’s any bumping up against the dock. The best part? Aluminum boats generally require less maintenance than fiberglass.

But how do you maintain the aluminum? Can you use the same cleaning products on painted aluminum and powder coated aluminum?

Aluminum is a tough, resilient material that makes for strong boats that will last for decades. Caring for your aluminum boat doesn’t have to be a hassle. A little maintenance goes a long way in keeping the showroom shine.

You’re going to need a spray detailer developed to remove water spots without stripping wax, all while providing a streak-free shine. Hot Sauce and Quickie Sauce by Bling Sauce are perfect options to safely maintain painted, powder coated, and decal covered surfaces on your aluminum boat. Hot Sauce is essentially a fast detailer on steroids. The polymer sealants found in the Hot Sauce formula help seal and maintain the wax coat making future cleanups a breeze. A simple mist and wipe of Hot Sauce after a day on the water is all that’s needed.

Quickie Sauce montan wax blend provides 3-4 months of UV protection with a simple and fast application. Wiping down a waxed boat after a long day on the water becomes a 5-minute task vs a full detail session since the water spots won’t etch into the painted surface.

aluminum boat hull

What about the bare aluminum hull? How do I clean oxidized aluminum boat surfaces?

Bare, unfinished aluminum is a different matter. Untreated aluminum begins oxidizing as soon as it is manufactured. Oxidation is essentially a protective layer that builds on the surface of the aluminum once it is exposed to the elements. Depending on several factors including aluminum alloy, environment, humidity levels and surface contaminants, the oxidation layer may appear consistent in color or spotty. Left untreated, oxidation won’t cause harm to aluminum or compromise the structure; however it can be unsightly, especially when the rest of the boat is immaculate.

Removing oxidation typically requires corrosive acids or abrasive polishing, both of which are effective methods, but the bare aluminum must be treated ASAP or the oxidation process will resume. Hot Sauce spot remover/detailer and Quickie Sauce liquid wax were developed for finished aluminum surfaces such as paint, powder coat, and decals—not bare aluminum.

Before-and-after cleaning aluminum boat with Bling Sauce


In summary, Hot Sauce spot remover/detailer and Quickie Sauce wax are popular choices for fiberglass boat owners, but both work just as well on painted aluminum boats as well. They are not designed for use on bare aluminum.

For premium detailing products to care for the interior of your boat, check out Condition Sauce, a functional UV protectant and moisturizer designed to block the sun’s harmful rays, and Vinyl Sauce, a professional vinyl, leather, and upholstery cleaner.