You like to lounge and relax on your boat dock, so keeping it clean is a must. You don’t want to end up with dirt and grime on your clothing every time you’re on your dock. Also, keeping your dock clean is necessary, so it looks its best and lasts for years and years. Aluminum is one of the easiest materials to clean, so you won’t have trouble maintaining it all year long. Even though it’s easy to care for, you do need to follow some tips. These tips will help you clean your dock safely and effectively.
Sweep Your Dock Regularly
Sweeping your aluminum dock is an easy way to keep it looking its best throughout the season. Often, a quick sweep is all it needs to retain its shine and luster. Removing the dirt and debris will also help you if you need to perform a more thorough cleaning.
Wash It With Mild Dish Soap and Water
After you sweep the loose dirt from your dock, you might notice that the aluminum has some stains. If that’s the case, wash it with mild dish soap and water. Use a non-abrasive cloth or towel to scrub the boat dock with the solution. Then, rinse it off and check for stains. If you still notice stains, proceed to the next step.
Wash the Aluminum Dock With a Vinegar Solution
Vinegar can help you get your boat dock back in tip-top shape by removing some difficult stains. It reacts with the metal, allowing you to wipe away dirt, grime, and stains. Create a mixture of 50 percent distilled water and 50 percent white vinegar. Put it into a spray bottle, and then spray it to your boat dock. Let the solution sit on the dock for a full minute, so it will have time to react with the aluminum. Then, dip a non-abrasive towel or cloth in water and wipe off the solution. Ensure that you thoroughly remove the vinegar so that it doesn’t continue to react with the aluminum.
If you don’t have any vinegar handy, baking soda is also effective. You will mix it with water and use it in the same way as the vinegar. Again, remember to wipe it off when you are finished cleaning your boat dock.
Use Lemon and Salt to Remove Tough Stains
Dish soap and vinegar can take care of most stains. However, if you still notice some staining on your aluminum boat dock, you will need to clean it with lemon and salt. Cut a lemon in half, and then rub it in table salt. Table salt is slightly abrasive, so it can remove stains without scratching the dock. Rub the lemon on the dock to lift the stains. This can tackle the toughest of stains, so your dock should look like new when you finish.
Pressure Washing a Boat Dock
You also have the option of pressure washing your aluminum boat dock. You have likely heard that pressure washing can harm boat docks. That’s true when pressure washing wood. You have to be careful that you don’t apply too much pressure and damage the wood. However, aluminum can withstand high water pressure, so you don’t have to worry if your dock is made of this material. You can add a cleaning solution to the pressure washer or just wash it with water. Either way, pressure washing is a fast and easy way to clean an aluminum boat dock.
Cleaning Products to Avoid
Do you want to use something besides mild dish soap, vinegar, baking soda, or lemons to clean your boat dock? While there are other options out there, you need to be careful when selecting a product. Avoid products that contain:
- Chlorine bleach
- Petroleum solvents
If you are unsure if your cleaning product is safe to use, you can check with the EPA. The EPA maintains a list of approved cleaning products that are safe for marine life. As long as you select a cleaning product from that list, you can rest assured that you won’t put marine life at risk.