How to Remove Heavy Oxidation From Fiberglass

How to Remove Heavy Oxidation From Fiberglass

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Removing heavy oxidation from fiberglass RVs, boats and cars is an important part of your RV, boat or auto maintenance plan. The dull surface appearance, oxidation, is caused by the sun's ultra-violet rays. If caught quickly it can be removed easily, but if it is left untreated for long periods of time, the gelcoat surface can permanently fade and require professional removal and repainting. To restore and retain the glossy shine that is inherent in fiberglass, it is necessary to remove the oxidation and expose a clean layer of fiberglass.

Items you will need

  • Soft cloth

  • Moderately abrasive polish or wax that is formulated specifically to remove oxidation

Dampen a soft cloth with a moderately abrasive polish or wax that is formulated specifically to remove oxidation from fiberglass and apply the polish to the fiberglass in an overlapping circular motion, working one section at a time. Turn the cloth over (when it becomes covered with the color of the fiberglass) and dampen it with the polish as often as needed to cover the entire fiberglass surface area.

Allow the polish to dry to a dull overall finish on the surface. This will take approximately 30 minutes.

Polish the fiberglass surface with a soft cloth in an overlapping circular motion to remove the polish and restore the shine.


  • Wear chemical resistant rubber gloves and safety glasses when applying and removing the polish.


  • Fiberglass restoration polishes and waxes can be found at any RV, automotive or marine supply store.
  • The fiberglass polish can be buffed off with an orbital or high speed buffer, if desired, but you will still need to polish it with a cloth to restore the shine.
  • The fiberglass polish cloth can be secured to a paint roller with an extension handle for hard to reach spots.
  • If the fiberglass shine is not restored after using the polish, you will need to do a wet sanding or contact a professional fiberglass restorer.