How to Clean Pontoons

by Carlye Jones
Take your pontoons from dingy to gleaming by spending a little time cleaning.

Take your pontoons from dingy to gleaming by spending a little time cleaning.

You might never get those sparkling clean, straight from the showroom floor pontoons back again, since the pontoons aren't designed to stay pretty, but you can remove growth buildup and most of the water marks with a regular cleaning procedure. It's not hard, but it does take a bit of elbow grease and time, and a special aluminum cleaner.

  1. Scrape off any growth or buildup using a plastic putty knife. Use the knife to get under and pry away any growth and then scrape off any remainders. Be careful not to gouge or scratch the aluminum surface.

  2. Spray down the pontoons. If you have access to a pressure washer, or can take your boat to a car wash, the pressure spray will help remove some dirt and debris. If you don't have access to a pressure washer, a hose with a spray nozzle will work just fine. Rinse away as much dirt and debris as you can.

  3. Fill a bucket with a mixture of aluminum cleaner and water, according to the manufacturer's directions.

  4. Dip a sponge or rag in the bucket of soapy water and scrub the pontoons.

  5. Rinse the pontoons off by spraying them with clean water.

  6. Dry the pontoons with a soft rag.

  7. Use a clean rag to spread a small amount of aluminum polish or car wax on to the pontoon. Work a small section at a time, wiping the polish on in a very thin layer and then rubbing it off with a clean rag in a circular motion.

Items you will need

  • Plastic putty knife
  • Hose with sprayer
  • Bucket
  • Soft rags or sponge
  • Aluminum cleaner
  • Car buffer or polishing rags
  • Aluminum polish or car wax


  • Use a car buffer to speed up the polishing process. You can also use the buffer to help clean the pontoons if it has a cleaning attachment.


  • Don't grind or sand buildup or debris away. You could damage the pontoon.

Photo Credits

  • d3designs