Best Aluminum Pontoon Cleaner for 2020

Utilizing the best aluminum pontoon cleaner in 2020 will keep your boat looking great and help it last a lifetime. Whether you’re using your pontoon for enjoying summer, fishing, or other activities, you must keep your boat well maintained. Taking good care of your boat is critical for many reasons. Not only will it make your boat look great, but it’ll help in removing the damaging buildup that can cost you a hefty sum to repair.

In today’s article, we’ll review some of the best aluminum pontoon cleaners that you can find on the market, so you can pick the one that suits you the most. While the process of maintaining the aluminum under your pontoon boat would usually take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours, the cleaning process itself won’t take as long. 

Ideally, if you use aluminum pontoon cleaner, you’ll need about 10 minutes to apply it to a standard-sized pontoon boat as well as 5 to 10 minutes to let it sit, then another 5 minutes to fully rinse or hose the pontoon to wash off the cleaner for a total of about half an hour.

aluminum pontoon cleaners for tough stains and marks
Aluminum pontoon cleaners work quickly on tough stains and marks.

However, the time needed for cleaning pontoons will depend on your pontoon’s size, using power tools to speed up the process, and the type of cleaner and aluminum polish you use. Since the project won’t take a lot of time to be finished, it shouldn’t be a problem to routinely clean it. 

As a rule of thumb, you should always clean your pontoon as much as you’re using it. For example, if you use it in the summer, you need to clean it at the beginning of each summer and at least once every week or two. However, if you regularly use your pontoon, you shouldn’t go more than 5 to 8 trips without cleaning it to avoid the damaging buildup of slime and pollutants.


Best Way to Clean Aluminum Pontoons (3 Easy Steps)

In this section, you’ll find the best method to keep your pontoon clean in 3 simple steps.

Step 1: Wash

Washing the pontoon is a simple and quick way to keep the aluminum clean. Whether your boat is relatively new or old, you can wash your pontoon using a bucket and a soft sponge.

You can also rinse the entire pontoon with a water hose or even use a power washer to initiate the cleanup and help remove any mild buildup on the aluminum.

Step 2: Clean

To clean a pontoon, you need a good aluminum cleaner, which we’ll review in the following section.

It’s fairly easy to use these cleaners. Some people might even opt for cleaning pontoons with vinegar. Simply apply some of the liquid and scrub it into the aluminum with a soft bristle brush, then let it sit for a few minutes or as instructed by the brand. 

aluminum pontoon cleaners spray on and wipe off quickly
Aluminum pontoon cleaners spray on and wipe off for quick results.

Once the time is up, rinse the aluminum and repeat if the pontoon needs to go in several rounds. Usually, it’s recommended to test the cleaner on a small unnoticeable spot to find the most optimized results.

Step 3: Polish

After cleaning, you need to polish the boat to keep it fresh and aesthetically appealing. First, you’ll apply the polish on a polishing ball attached to a cordless drill and run it at a lower speed clockwise until the cleaner absorbs the polish.

Then, start increasing the polishing speed gradually to help the polish blend better. Lastly, you’ll need to use a dry and clean terry cloth to wipe the remaining polish and buff it out.


Best Aluminum Pontoon Cleaners for 2020

No.Aluminum Pontoon CleanerSummaryRating
1.Toon-Brite Aluminum Pontoon CleanerConvenient, simply spray on and rinse off.[4.9/5.0]
2.Bosh Aluma Bright Aluminum Cleaner and BrightenerExcellent for dirty, oxidized, or stained aluminum.[4.9/5.0]
3.STAR BRITE EZ-ON EZ-Off Hull & Bottom CleanerBegins working on contact to remove unsightly grime, yellowing and waterline stains.[4.9/5.0]
4.Bio-Kleen Aluma-KleenRemoves oxidation, stains and discoloration from aluminum and metals.[4.8/5.0]
5.JJV’S BEST Aluminum CleanerCleans and brightens pontoon tubes from top to bottom.[4.7/5.0]
6.Sharkhide Aluminum CleanerPackage offers protectant too.[4.9/5.0]
Comparison Table of the Best Aluminum Pontoon Cleaners

1. Toon-Brite Aluminum Pontoon and Aluminum Boat Cleaner, 64 Oz.

Kicking off the list with one of the best options for an aluminum pontoon boat cleaner, the Toon-Brite is an aluminum acid-based cleaner that’s designed to remove all kinds of dirt, grime, slag, and slime on aluminum pontoons and boats. Since the cleaner is basically a strong acid. The cleaner is also great for removing waterline stains, oxidation, and lime deposits on aluminum boats in general.

The formula is engineered and marketed to perform in fast action without having to dilute before use instantly. In fact, it even comes with a 3 finger trigger sprayer to quickly apply it on the pontoon aluminum. Additionally, it’s also safe to use painted decals and paints, so you won’t have to worry about ruining or damaging them while cleaning.

After you spray it on aluminum, you should let it sit for about 5 minutes, then rinse it by hosing off or power washing.  Another good feature of the Toon-Brite is that it’s a biodegradable formula that breaks down and won’t cause toxicity to water after cleaning. The only downside of that product is that it’s quite pricier than other options per gallon.

Toon-Brite Aluminum Pontoon and Aluminum Boat Cleaner, 64 Oz.
  • Easy to use
  • Spray on / rinse off for a like-new finish
  • Includes 3-finger trigger sprayer

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2. Bosh Aluma Bright, Aluminum Cleaner and Brightener, 1 Gallon Concentrate

Another great option to consider is Bosh’s Aluma Bright cleaner. This one is an all-round formula to clean up, brighten, and restore your pontoon’s shine. Like the Toon-Brite, this one is designed for a “spray & rinse” usage, which means that you’ll need to let it sit for about 1 to 10 minutes, which is a bit longer than what Toon-Brite takes to work.

However, this product is much more reasonably priced per gallon if you put how efficient it is in mind. Unlike the previous one, this one is concentrated. This means that you’ll have to manually dilute the formula with water in a spray bottle before rinsing it with a power hose.

However, this also gives experienced pontoon owners a larger window for experimenting with the concentration and coming up with the highest performing dilution ratio. Bosh Chemicals also trusts in the quality of their cleaner. That’s why it’s backing it up with a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with the product quality, which adds an extra layer of security to your purchase.

Aluma Bright, Aluminum Cleaner and Brightener, 1 Gallon Concentrate
  • ✅ Aluminum Cleaner, Aluminum Brightener, and Restorer
  • ✅ Works quickly to bring back dirty, oxidized, or stained aluminum. Simply spray on with a pump sprayer, allow to product...
  • ✅ Highly concentrated and non fuming detergent. Removes aluminum stains, carbon, diesel exhaust smoke, grease and oils.

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3. STAR BRITE EZ-ON EZ-Off Hull & Bottom Cleaner

If you’re looking to save cash on your cleaner without compromising its cleaning power quality, you should keep the Star Brite Cleaner. This one uses a relatively high concentration of muriatic acid as the main ingredient of the cleaner. This formula can remove all kinds of scum, rust stains, waterline marks, and oxidation.

One of this cleaner’s unique features is that it comes with a patented buffering process that makes this cleaner significantly safer than a wide variety of cleaners on the market. The product is available in two different sizes to suit both large and small pontoon boats. One thing you should know is that this one isn’t concentrated like the other options.

This can be great news for beginners, as you will pour it directly in a spray bottle and apply it on aluminum after washing the pontoon. Yet, this means that you might need to reapply it a few times for exceptionally challenging stains and dried up grime.

The formula of Star-Brite is water-based, so it won’t have a serious impact on water and will break down after you’re done washing it off your pontoon. However, the Star-Brite can discolor other metals even from short contact. That’s why you should be careful while spraying it around metal emblems, for example.

Star brite Instant Hull Cleaner - Clean Stains & Scum Lines on Boat Hulls Easily & Effortlessly
  • Formulated to begin working on contact to remove unsightly grime, yellowing and waterline stains
  • Very effective at removing rust stains or leaf stains from fiberglass or painted surface
  • Will not harm the surface being cleaned and is an ideal preparation for polishing the hull

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4. Bio-Kleen Aluma-Kleen

Bio-Kleen M00109 cleaner is another ideal pick for someone who’s buying within a strict budget. The Aluma-Kleen is designed to clean aluminum and remove different kinds of stains, discolorations, and watermarks on boats and pontoons.

Additionally, the formula is a concentrate, so you’ll need to dilute and test it out first before applying it to your pontoon. However, this won’t be a problem for a beginner because the bottle’s directions will give you enough details on the ideal dilution for your pontoon.

The Aluma-Kleen is also highly versatile because it’s safe to use other aluminum-based items, such as vehicle rims and running boards. The formula is biodegradable and water-based. Moreover, it won’t cause damage to ozone because the formula is a non-aerosol one.

However, it would be best if you were careful not to use it on painted aluminum, as its acidic nature will dull the paint finish. Yet, you can restore the aluminum by polishing or repainting it.

Bio-Kleen M00109 Aluma-Kleen - 1 Gallon
  • Removes oxidation, stains and discoloration from aluminum and metals
  • Quickly and easily clean the diamond plate on your boat or RV
  • Designed for cleaning aluminum boats and pontoons

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5. JJV’S BEST Aluminum Cleaner

Next up, we have the JJV’S BEST LU100-G Aluminum Cleaner, a unique formula because it’s not acid-based like most aluminum cleaners on the market. Many pontoon owners were amazed by how fast this cleaner is compared to how safe it is. In fact, some people claim that cleaner didn’t kill off their backyard grass as they were hosing down the cleaner off the boat.

However, you should also consider that you need to follow the instructions very carefully while applying the cleaner because it can cause strong streak marks if you spray too much of it. The instructions on the cleaner say that it should be allowed to sit for 5 to 10 minutes. However, for most pontoons, the sweet spot is usually from 5 to 8 minutes only. 

So, make sure that you test out the formula on a hidden part before you apply it fully on your pontoon. While JJV’S Aluminum Cleaner is a relatively safe formula, it’s not recommended to use it on anodized and polished aluminum because it’ll dull it. 

JJV'S BEST ALU100-G Aluminum Cleaner (1 Gallon)
  • Cleans and brightens pontoon tubes from top to bottom
  • No scrubbing, just spray on and rinse off
  • Safe and environmentally-friendly; acid-free

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6. Sharkhide Aluminum Cleaner

Last but not least, the Sharkhide Aluminum Cleaner is easily one of the most popular cleaners on the market, which is understandable considering the number of satisfied customers they have!

The cleaner comes in various size options to suit a wide variety of pontoon boat sizes. Not only that, but it’s also one of the highest concentrated formulas on the market. In fact, this cleaner can be diluted up to 1:10, which means that the full power formula might be too harsh on your boat. 

That’s why testing out the formula before fully applying it is critical for your cleaning project’s success. This cleaner can deal with all kinds of grime, dust, oxidation marks, waterline stains, and more. However, it’s a bit too strong, so always use it with safety gear on.

Similar to Toon-Brite Aluminum Cleaner, the only real downside to Sharkhide’s cleaner is its price.  However, if you’re looking for a cleaner that will get the job done efficiently, Sharkhide is definitely a product to keep in mind.

Sharkhide Aluminum Pontoon Boat Cleaner and Protectant
  • (2) Sharkhide Aluminum Cleaners - 1 Quart
  • (1) Sharkhide Aluminum Protectant - 1 Quart
  • Amazing Aluminum Cleaner

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Best Pontoon Aluminum Cleaners FAQs


Can I Use a Vinegar Solution to Clean Aluminum Pontoons?

Yes, first soak a cleaning microfiber cloth in white vinegar, apply it on mild oxidation marks, and then scrub them with a soft bristles brush. Make sure that you rinse the vinegar after cleaning.

Most aluminum cleaners on the market contain a very diluted concentration of muriatic acid (hydrochloric acid) as the formula’s main ingredient. Manufacturers use this product because these acids will clean aluminum and remove relatively mild oxidation marks without damaging the sheets. Since white vinegar is a highly diluted acetic acid, you can use it to clean aluminum pontoons.

30% Vinegar - 300 Grain Vinegar Concentrate - 1 Gallon of Natural Concentrated Industrial Vinegar
  • Natural 30% industrial strength white vinegar
  • Multi-use and perfect for cleaning, laundry and automotive
  • Concentrated vinegar is widely used to replace many harmful and expensive commercial cleaning products

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How to Make Dull Aluminum Pontoons Shine?

After cleaning, use an aluminum polish with a good variable speed polisher, such as Porter’s Polisher. Use the polisher carefully to obtain a mirror-like finish and avoid leaving circular marks on the boat.

After using most of the aluminum cleaners mentioned in this post, your pontoons can become dull looking. The best way to make aluminum pontoons shiny after cleaning is to use an aluminum polish, as mentioned. You’ll find that most brands that make aluminum pontoon cleaners will also offer aluminum polish or waxing agents to apply after cleaning.

PORTER-CABLE Variable Speed Polisher, 6-Inch (7424XP)
  • Random-orbit, swirl-free sanding/polishing action and 4.5 amp, AC only
  • Electronic variable-speed dial from 2,500-6,800 OPM
  • Features a proprietary counter balance for use with 6-inch sanding/polishing pad

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Can You Use WD-40 to Clean Aluminum Pontoons?

Yes, WD-40 can be used to clean aluminum pontoons, but it won’t be the most convenient option because you’ll need a lot of WD-40 to get the job done. 

aluminum pontoon cleaners used on a dirty boat
Aluminum pontoon cleaners used on a dirty boat will help it look great and last a lifetime.

People find new uses for WD-40 every day. WD-40 won’t damage aluminum because they don’t react with each other. Also, keep in mind that it doesn’t clean as good as other aluminum specific cleaners. You can use it on polished aluminum without worrying about it getting dull.


Can You Clean Aluminum Pontoons with Household Cleaners?

No, household cleaners are not recommended unless you know what you’re doing and the specific ingredients in each product.  A lot of people might consider using regular household cleaners on aluminum because aluminum looks like stainless steel. However, aluminum is much more reactive, so it’s prone to corrosion by many household formulas.

For example, bleach won’t eat away the aluminum or cause bubbling, but it can severely discolor the metal. Similarly, glass cleaners and other detergents that contain ammonia will react very negatively with aluminum pontoons and might even erode the sheets.


Final Thoughts on the Best Aluminum Pontoon Cleaners

Utilizing the best aluminum pontoon cleaner in 2020 will keep your boat looking great and help it last a lifetime. Whether you’re using your pontoon for enjoying summer, fishing, or other activities, you must keep your boat well maintained.

In this post, we reviewed some of the best aluminum pontoon cleaners that you can find on the market, so you can pick the one that suits your needs the most. While the process of maintaining the aluminum under your pontoon boat would usually take anywhere between 1 to 2 hours, the cleaning process itself won’t take as long. 

If you use aluminum pontoon cleaner, you’ll only need about 10 minutes to apply it to a standard-sized pontoon boat as well as 5 to 10 minutes to let it sit, then another 5 minutes to fully rinse or hose the pontoon to wash off the cleaner for a total of about half an hour.


How to Apply Aluminum Pontoon Cleaner

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