How to Remove Water Spots from a Pontoon Boat (+ Stains)

how to remove water spots from a pontoon boat

When your pontoon boat first left the showroom, those aluminum ‘toons probably shined like nobody’s business. But after just a trip to the lake, those darn water spots might make your pontoon look like a splotchy mess.

Wondering how to remove water stains from a pontoon boat? Here are a few techniques you might want to try.

DIY Method - Water and Vinegar

You’ve seen those cleaning hacks using vinegar to shine up almost anything, and it’s really more than just clickbait. Vinegar is known to contain acetic acid -- a strong substance that’s been known to dissolve mineral deposits.

If you really think about it, the reason why water leaves marks on your pontoon in the first place is because of minerals. As the water dries, minerals in the water harden on the surface of your pontoon.

This mineral build-up leaves a blurry, cloudy appearance which often takes the shape of the droplets of water they were in. That’s also why they’re so hard to remove with just soap and water -- because they’re minerals!

The acid in vinegar works wonders to dissolve these hardened minerals, revealing the shiny pontoon surface underneath. Here’s how to use it:

Mix equal parts vinegar and water.

For the purpose of cleaning a pontoon, distilled water is best since it’s been stripped of any minerals. Once you’ve combined equal parts distilled water and white vinegar, you can go ahead and put your solution in a spray bottle.

Spray target areas.

You might also want to leave it on for thirty seconds to a minute so the acetic acid can effectively and completely dissolve tougher, stubborn spots.

Wipe with a clean towel.

Take a clean towel and wipe down all the areas that you sprayed. If there are a few water spots left behind, you can go ahead and repeat the process.

While white vinegar can be used to clean most parts of your boat, you’re going to want to avoid hardwood, marble (if you’ve got a fancy kitchen on-board), and parts that are too close to electrical wiring like your console.

Something a Little More Professional

Sure, there’s really nothing wrong with cleaning your boat with vinegar and distilled water. But if you were hoping to try something a little more professional, then you might want to consider an actual store-bought solution.

There are tons of cleaning products for pontoons out there, and the Boat Bling Hot Sauce Hard Water Spot Remover is one of the best you’ll find. This formulation was developed specifically for mineralized stains, providing excellent cleaning power that’s a cut above white vinegar.

boat bling hot sauce water spot remover

Made from biodegradable ingredients, this formulation touts spray-on, wipe-off application that can cut down your boat cleaning process to mere minutes. It also adds an extra coat of wax sealant every time you use it, instead of stripping away that protective barrier that your pontoon needs.

Great for hard water stains, the Boat Bling Hot Sauce also works wonders for scum line and exhaust residue. The water-based formulation is safe to use on plastic, chrome, glass, and painted surfaces, making it a true-blue, all-around cleaning agent.

How to Prevent Water Spots on Your Boat

So what’s an effective way to prevent or even just limit the development of water spots in general? Fortunately, there are a few things you can try. The most obvious solution however would be to use a wax-based cleaner for your pontoon.

Adding a wax layer to the surface of your boat makes it harder for minerals to harden on the surface. In effect, you make your boat ‘slippery’ by adding a barrier of wax that somewhat repels mineral deposits and other contaminants.

There are lots of wax-based cleaners on the market, like Meguiar’s Marine Quik Wax Clean & Protect which leaves a glossy finish and adds a coating of wax for added protection.

And then of course, there’s the old school way which is to simply dry off your boat whenever you can. After a trip to the lake, go ahead and give your boat a rinse (preferably with distilled water) and pat dry with a clean towel.

Washing away lake or ocean water before it has the chance to dry up prevents minerals from hardening on your boat’s surface, and thus minimizes the chances of hard water spots that might be tougher to remove later on.

Shiny and New

Water spots can definitely take away from that shiny boat appeal, but you don’t really need to scrub the afternoon away just to get rid of them. So if you’ve been wondering how to remove water spots from a pontoon boat, a good ol’ spritz with vinegar might be all you need. But for those extra tough water spots, we recommend using Boat Bling Hot Sauce for easy peasy water spot removal.

Scroll to Top