10 Best Boat Cleaning Products

Looking for the best boat cleaning products? Check out these favorites selected by a longtime liveaboard sailor.

cleaning products
There are many choices in boat cleaning supplies at your local marine supply store. Jen Brett

I know I have said it before, but for those who didn’t know – I am a bit of a neat freak. Not OCD, but I definitely like where I live to be clean, organized, and tidy. This is especially important when you live on a small boat where leaving, say, a stack of magazines on the table can make the space look messy. In addition to being very tidy, I like to keep the boat clean. That way, it smells nice and we avoid germs and bug infestations. Here are our 10 best boat cleaners and tips:

1. Simple Green – This is my go-to every day and everywhere cleaner. There’s nothing this stuff can’t do and it has such a nice, fresh scent that I love. It’s also non-toxic and environmentally friendly, which makes us happy.

2. Fantastik – This stuff is similar to simple green, but seems to work a bit better on wood and on grease. Plus it smells lemony good and I like to change things up from time to time.


3. Bleach – I know, I know. I am going to get some flack from people for using bleach but it really is one of the best cleaning agents out there. We disinfect our water bottles with it, we’ll put a tiny bit into our water tank to keep the water from spoiling, and it’s great in a spray bottle with water to clean and disinfect the toilet and sinks.

4. Amazing Roll Off – It really is amazing! This cleaner is used above deck and is great for stains on fiberglass and on the deck. Just wet the area with water, spray it with some roll off, let it sit for a few minutes and scrub. This product, coupled with some generic boat soap is all we use on our deck. We love the it and have over a gallon on board. Did we mention it’s non-toxic and biodegradable? Well it is!

5. Lemon oil – the interior of our boat has a lot of wood in it and wood, if not cared for properly, does not age well. Making sure to wipe all our wooden surfaces down with a little lemon oil makes our interior look brand spanking new.


6. Ecover toilet bowl cleaner – We try to keep toxic chemicals out of our toilet. Boat “heads” are famous for being stinky but not ours! Oh no! We smell fresh and clean over here – trust me, I make sure of it!

7. OxyClean Powder – when all else fails, we turn to OxyClean. Great for laundry but has loads of other uses as well. When Scott hacked open a coconut on the boat and left the skins overnight on our deck, they left stains all over the place the color of tea. I almost died and just said calmly “fix it.” After trying soft scrub, bleach, spray cleaners and more – he finally tried OxyClean – and it worked, like a charm. It became a top tenner at that moment for me.

8. Non-Ultra Joy Dish Soap – This lemony goodness will actually suds up in salt water which means we actually wash our bodies (and sometimes even hair) with it when we’re at anchor. Of course we’ll also do our dishes with it (in a bucket of salt water). It smells wonderful and they practically give it away it’s so cheap.


9. Dr. Bronners Castile soap – we have been huge fans of this stuff since day one. We love it. Not only is it great to wash your body with (and leaves you with a cool, tingly feeling of freshness) – there are TONS more uses for it as well. It can be a shampoo, an everyday cleaner, and even a laundry soap.

10. Vinegar – This is numero uno in my book. Vinegar, I am convinced, is pretty much the most versatile liquid out there. Not only is it natural and environmentally safe, it has about a hundred different uses. Wipe down your interior wood work with a water/vinegar solution to retard mold growth, coat your veggies in it to make them last longer, pour a little in your toilet to break up any calcification, use it as a disinfectant and so much more. It’s amazing.

Those are the best cleaning supplies aboard our boat and they certainly keep Rasmus looking good. What boat cleaning tips or products have I missed that you love to use in your boat or home?


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