Bill Kelly asked:
I have stains from leaves left on my boat several weeks last fall, and
nothing I’ve tried is completely effective.
Any sure-fire answers?
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Unfortunately there is no sure fire answer, because there is no sure fire question. The stains vary from tree leaf to tree leaf, because their chemical composition can be different. The stains are indelible and are carried in the oil from the tree. Tree oils are very penetrating and can carry the stain deep into the gelcoat.
The answer is to try a variety of solutions, starting with the most gentle and getting more aggressive, until you have the results you want. The first thing to try is a 50/50 solution of Boat Clean Plus and Boat Scrub. This is what boat manufacturers use to remove yellowing and streaking, caused by Carnauba Wax, which also comes from tree leaves. It’s the most gentle and works exceptionally well. Use this paste to rub away the stain. If it all doesn’t come out, allowing the sun to bleach it after cleaning usually gets the rest out.
If the above mixture doesn’t do the job then it’s time to get out the heavy duty stuff. Use Waterline Stain Remover. Apply it to the stain, let it sit for ½ hour and rinse away. Be careful when working with this product as it’s made up of a combination of several different acids, plus surfactants, brighteners, inhibitors, etc.
After you get the stains out be sure to protect the deck with Sure Step. It will seals the pores and put a protective coating on the gelcoat to help prevent future staining.
Thanks for your question,
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