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How to Polish Aluminum Boat to Mirror Finish? – 3 Simple Steps

Polish Aluminum Boat

Our boats can get really dirty looking over time due to the environment. And this happens a lot with the aluminum boat especially. As a result, we often think of getting the actual look back again.

So, how to polish an aluminum boat to mirror the finish?

Polishing an aluminum boat to a mirror finish can be classified into 3 steps. First, you need to clean the surface of your boat properly. After that, you have to sand the surface thoroughly. And finally, you need to polish the aluminum boat and get a mirror finish. The entire process is very simple!

This is a very basic brief you got so far. But we got here all the details of this process in depth. You can get a number of insightful drills here!

So, get started right away!

How Do I Polish An Aluminum Boat to Mirror Finish?

Aluminum Boat Polishing

Polishing an aluminum boat could actually make an old boat look new. And adding to that, polishing an aluminum boat is actually quite simple.

Today, we tried discussing the process in 3 simple steps. We don’t think that you knew this process was this simple. So, take a look to get started now!

Step 1: Clean The Aluminum Surface

The first step of polishing an aluminum boat is cleaning its surface. This is a very simple step to start with. You need to take a wet sponge to clean the surface thoroughly.

But do not use any wiper that is made of carbon steel. Because this can damage the surface of your boat and may also rust it.

While wiping it off, make sure the entire surface is covered. Once you wet the surface with the sponge, you now need to washer.

You may use any soap or chemical washing agent for it. The purpose of using any chemical to wash off is to remove any dust.

If you think you have vinegar in your supplies, you may use it too. Because vinegar helps to take off any dirt and debris.

Remember that you may notice places where dirt is built up for a long time. In that case, you need to take some time to wipe it off intensely.

Make sure the soap or washing agent goes inside the buildup. You may also take the help of a degreaser in case the buildup is very stubborn. And then wash it off.

Once you finish washing off the surface, you then need to dry it off completely.

Step 2: Sand The Boat Surface

This is the second and most important step of this process. Because sanding is the driving factor to a good polish.

Remember that your success in the polish process depends significantly on the sanding step. Now, take coarser grit sandpaper to get started.

And do not forget to ensure that the surface is entirely dry. Now, start sanding the entire surface. You have to rub off the entire surface gradually.

Unfortunately, you have nothing to do other than use your own hand to do it. But make sure you do not go too fast while doing this. Because you know it is an important step.

However, that does not mean you would spend hours after hours to complete sanding it. And if you really want to go a bit faster, you may use an orbital sander.

This would help you to sand the boat a bit faster. But we repeat, you must not rush anyway!

As you know sanding is important but you may not know the actual reason. Basically, sanding enables the irregular surface to be flat and level.

Moreover, it gives an even smoother surface. So, the more you sand a surface the flatter and smoother it becomes.

Additionally, this may also be helpful to get the oxidation off aluminum boats. So, sanding is not only a basic requirement. But it can also enhance the advantages!

Step 3: Polish The Surface Completely

cleaning boat surface

This is the final step you follow. For this, you need an aluminum polish. Once you have it, you need a piece of cloth.

Apply the polish to an area and start rubbing it with the cloth. You need to rub the place slowly in a circular motion.

In this way, you need to cover the entire surface of your boat. After that, you need another piece of cloth. This time you need to rub off the entire surface once again.

You must make sure that you get off the polish by rubbing it off. Do not forget to see if the cloth is fresh.

Once you take off the polish, let it be like that for a while. And now, for the last time, you need to rub off the entire surface once again.

Just rub it in a circular motion at a languid pace. So that you can see the shine appearing on the surface.

Once you finish it, you will notice the glaze that you have been waiting for. That is, you see that your aluminum boat has been polished to a mirror finish!

So, that is how you carry out the method simply but effectively.

While using aluminum polish remember one thing. Try this to not let it get inside the hull of your boat. Because it can then go inside the bilge pump of your boat.

As a result, it might have issues and you need to test your bilge pump. Because substances like aluminum polish may disrupt the operation of the pump.

So, be careful about it!


cleaning boat

How long can a cleaning of boats to mirror finish last?

Well, the time of mirror finish lasts actually depends on a few factors. The first thing that comes is your usage. Like, it can last very long if you can use it properly. Moreover, the environment also plays a good role here. However, the polish can actually last longer than you expect.

How often can I wash my aluminum boat?

Well, you can wash your aluminum boat at least 2 times a week. But you need to keep in mind a few things about it. Do not go for a major wash very often. Because using chemicals on your boat very often might not be a good idea. However, quick washes are always good.

Is it worth it to hire someone to give my aluminum boat a major clean?

No, it’s not worth it to hire someone for major cleaning of your boat. This is because you now already know how to polish your boat easily yourself. And hiring someone would be commercial actually. They would charge an amount that might not even be beneficial as its value.

How do you polish a painted aluminum boat?

Assuming you want to keep the paint:

1) Buy a good quality aluminum boat polish. There are many on the market and most will do an adequate job.
2) Clean the surface with soapy water and a soft brush. Be sure to rinse well.
3) Apply the polish with a soft cloth following the manufacturer’s directions.
4) Polish in small sections, using circular motions until the hazing disappears. Wipe away any excess polish with a clean cloth.
5) If your boat has oxidation, use a rubbing compound before polishing.

Can you polish aluminum with baking soda?

Aluminum is a soft metal, and as such, it can be easily scratched and damaged. Baking soda is abrasive, and will therefore not be suitable for polishing aluminum. In fact, using baking soda to polish aluminum may actually end up causing more damage to the metal.

The Final Words

polish an aluminum boat

Now you know how to polish an aluminum boat to mirror finish! We believe the steps are clear and understandable.

But we got one more last tip here! Once you finish your polish, you may consider applying a bit of oil to the surface. This helps to keep up the shine even longer.

All the best to you!

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