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Did I hurt my gel coat

Old 07-26-2019, 06:51 AM
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Default Did I hurt my gel coat

I had some tough staining in the deck of my boat that deck cleaner would not clean up. So I finally broke down and did about 1 cup bleach, 1 cup deck cleaner and 2 cups water. I used this to scrub all over the deck and along the sides of the boat. It cleaned the boat up nicely and I rinsed everything down after. I had planned on washing the hull of the boat after but ran out of time. Fast forward two days. I look at my boat this morning and notice streaks running down the hull of the boat from the sides of the boat. I brush it off from around my registration sticker and it wiped the color off of my sticker. So I know it’s bleach. I instantly give the entire boat a thorough spray down and wipe it down. I don’t see any streaks left on the gel coat. Now I assume it will need to wax it for sure but do you think the gelcoat will have been damaged from this sitting there for two days?

Im hoping the answer is no as the boat is only a month old.

thank you for any input.
Old 07-26-2019, 06:57 AM
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. Wash the boat with boat soap & rinse well. Then re-apply a polymer polish. Leave the bleach in the laundry room.
Old 07-26-2019, 06:58 AM
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You'd have to try really hard to ruin gelcoat with household chemicals.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:00 AM
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Don't forget to wipe the wax off when yer done.
Old 07-26-2019, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by acme54321 View Post
You'd have to try really hard to ruin gelcoat with household chemicals.
I'm sure you could ruin the FINISH but between rubbing compound and super fine grit wet sanding it's easily undone.
Old 07-26-2019, 07:01 AM
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At the most you might have to buff the spots a little, I use Comet or Barkeepers friend or my deck all the time It's really good for getting stains out
Old 07-26-2019, 07:11 AM
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Why on earth did you use bleach in the first place? And then not wash it off? No, you probably didn't ruin the gelcoat, but you certainly stripped off the wax. The boat needs a wax job now.
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Old 07-26-2019, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by pglein View Post
Why on earth did you use bleach in the first place? And then not wash it off? No, you probably didn't ruin the gelcoat, but you certainly stripped off the wax. The boat needs a wax job now.
I used bleach because it’s what most people said would do the trick. And it did. Using deck cleaner did not no matter how many times I tried and scrubbed. And I rinsed it off just as I said, but I some managed to sit in places and run off onto the hull of the boat. I already knew it would need to be waxed.
Old 07-26-2019, 07:26 AM
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After I reapply wax, as I knew I would need to do afterwards regardless I want to try to keep it clean. For the last month, after EVERY trip the boat was scrubbed down with starbrite deck cleaner. It was scrubbed on, let sit and then scrub again. The deck only seemed to turn more and more brown after every trip until the deck cleaner just seemed to do nothing at all other than remove a few foot prints. Using the bleach got it back white like I wanted. I need something that will keep my deck WHITE. I am willing to scrub to keep it white but I need something that will work. What does everyone recommend.
Old 07-26-2019, 07:27 AM
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Bleach has it's advantages as long as you know what you in for and have plenty of water around
Old 07-26-2019, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Fishstew View Post
After I reapply wax, as I knew I would need to do afterwards regardless I want to try to keep it clean. For the last month, after EVERY trip the boat was scrubbed down with starbrite deck cleaner. It was scrubbed on, let sit and then scrub again. The deck only seemed to turn more and more brown after every trip until the deck cleaner just seemed to do nothing at all other than remove a few foot prints. Using the bleach got it back white like I wanted. I need something that will keep my deck WHITE. I am willing to scrub to keep it white but I need something that will work. What does everyone recommend.
Next time use barkeepers friend, you will need to use starbrite deck cleaner after to protect your deck.

If it's really bad I use magic eraser (less is more here).



Old 07-26-2019, 07:44 AM
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Relax. All you cost yourself is extra work replacing the wax you stripped. I use Mary Kate Cleaning detail or Bar Keepers Friend (the Soft Scrub like product, not the cleanser or new foam cleaner). These products are very effective, and don't harm the deck like Soft Scrub or powdered cleanser, (which are extremely abrasive). I'm not a fan of the Starbrite PTFE stuff. Never was very effective on our Whaler non skid. Once you get it clean with the above, follow up with Woody Wax Spray to protect the non-skid. FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS TO THE LETTER. A little goes a long way. Too much and you have a skating rink. Depending on use, redo every few weeks or so.
Old 07-26-2019, 09:30 AM
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bleach really does not belong anywhere on a boat except to maybe flush the fresh water system (diluted)
Old 07-26-2019, 09:37 AM
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If going to use bleach, get the non-chlorinated stuff they sell at Lowes and Home Depot, dilute it with water, it's great for mold and mildew. Mr. Clean magic erasers work well, just don't use them on cushions or coaming pads. Thinking a good wash and wax you'll be fine.
Old 07-26-2019, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by backbayguy View Post
Mr. Clean magic erasers work well
these dont really belong on a boat either

they are abrasive
Old 07-26-2019, 09:45 AM
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Rather than bleach use a product designed for cleaning stains from GRP such as Y-10 gel - works a helluvalot easier than bleach anyway - I saw someone scrubbing away at his yellow water line with bleach - he was making progress but very slowly - I lent him some Y-10 gel and we had the job finished in 5 mins - he told me he'd been 2 hours on the other side of the boat. He didn't know whether to laugh or cry!
Old 07-26-2019, 05:17 PM
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Next time just keep the hull sides wet while you're doing it. Rinse the sides often.
Old 07-26-2019, 06:13 PM
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Oxalic acid is the active "bleach" component in many marine compounds. You can buy the crystals at any good paint or hardware store. and make your own solution. That will save a few dollars.
I have seen fully concentrated muriatic acid (use with caution) cause some harm.

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