Four Easy Steps to Cleaning the Boat Fenders

Posted by Sarah Jones on September 15th, 2021

Owning a boat is an achievement on its own. But, in order to make the most out of this investment, the owner requires committing to various obligations. One such obligation is of keeping the boat clean and well-maintained. After all, the appearance of the boat matters the most for every sailor. And a well-maintained boat means increased overall lifespan and enhanced functionality.


However, one thing that can quickly take away the beauty of your boat is the dirty fenders. Well, yes, they play a key role in protecting your boat from impact during the collision, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook their cleaning process. This is because unkempt fenders have dirt, mildew and sediments built over them. This build-up can easily get transferred onto the hull, thus, damaging the gel coat.

But before that,

Here is how to prevent fender grime and build-up

1. Keep the fenders away from water as much as possible: Most of the grime and dirt that gets accumulated on the fender is a result of it being left in the water.

Dirt, along with water and salt, end up building on the fenders resulting in unwanted stains and growth of algae, mildew, etc. By keeping the fenders away from the water when the boat is docked, you can easily reduce the unnecessary growth.

2. Scrub and spray the fenders regularly: The lighter your fender is, the more visible the stains are. In fact, avoiding the regular cleaning process can result in stubborn stains. So, stay on the top by scrubbing and spraying the unwanted sediments as soon you notice the build-up.

The process will consume hardly any of your time.

3. Dry them before storing: Once you scrub and spray the fenders clean, wait until they get dried before storing them. This way, you will have sparkling clean fenders for the next use.

Plus, you can mitigate the risk of mildew growth when the fenders are stored in the storage bins.

The cleaning process

To start the cleaning process, you will require soapy water in a bucket, pressure washer, tent pegs, cleaner and scrubbing brush.

1. Do pre-cleaning: Start by taking the fenders out of the water because you will have a hard time cleaning them when they are in the water.

Once the fenders are off the water, use a scrub and soap water to start the cleaning. Keep scrubbing while regularly using the power washer to get rid of the mildew and debris from the surface.

Now the surface will only have stubborn dirt that requires the chemical solution.

Also, while pressure washing, make sure to not use too much pressure as that will blow a hole on the fender.

2. Scrub them: Once the pre-cleaning is done, you will have tough stains on the fenders. Use an abrasive sponge with a surface similar to sandpaper for long scrub.

However, make sure that you don’t add too much pressure when scrubbing, or it will damage the surface of the fender. Be gentle and scrub for longer until the dirt and stain are removed. A Hard bristled brush may work wonders here.

3. Use chemical solution and solvent: For the stubborn and sticky dirt, use solvent and chemical solution. You can use the soap and water solution you made on your own or purchase one from the store.

If possible, purchase specially formulated cleaners because they won’t be as harsh and abrasive on the surface of the fenders. If you have your doubts about the new products, then start by using a small amount on the small area and observe the effects. Once your doubts are cleared, proceed with using the suggested amount.

Another best thing about specially formulated cleaners is that they have little to zero harm to the environment or marine life.

4. Finish with a final protectant: Even though cleaning and scrubbing make the fenders look new, the process can end up removing the protective layer covering the fender’s surface.

Even if your fenders never had a protective layer in the first place, it is always best to add one after the cleaning procedure.

You can use a specialized vinyl coating or waxing products to add the final protective layer to your fender. The application of a protective layer ensures that the fender maintains its surface and lasts longer than anticipated.

Signing off

There you have it. These are some easy ways of maintaining and cleaning the fenders to ensure they stay clean and add more beauty to your boat.

Also, if you wish to invest in quick fenders, make sure to check RS Marine for high-quality boat accessories.

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Sarah Jones

About the Author

Sarah Jones
Joined: December 12th, 2019
Articles Posted: 213

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