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How To Remove Wax From Fiberglass Boat? Simple Steps

If you want your fiberglass boat to shine, applying a fresh coat of wax is key. But over time, buildup can occur, leaving your boat’s surface dull and covered in difficult-to-remove layers.

Removing old wax from a fiberglass boat takes some elbow grease, but is doable with the right tools and techniques.

In this article, you will learn everything there is to know about removing wax from a fiberglass boat.

Why Remove Old Boat Wax?

Wax protects fiberglass by forming a barrier against UV rays, water spots, and oxidation. However, as the wax ages, it can yellow, chalk, and lose its protective abilities.

Removing the old wax allows you to start fresh by reapplying a new coat that will adhere properly for maximum shine and protection.

Supplies Needed

  • Boat soap or detergent – Use a soap made specifically for boats and marine surfaces. Regular dishes or laundry detergents can be too harsh.
  • Wax remover (acetone or alcohol work well) – Chemical solvents like acetone help break down the wax. Be sure to use chemicals meant for fiberglass.
  • Terry cloth rags – Terry cloth is gentle, absorbent, and lint-free. Old t-shirts can work too.
  • Buffer or orbital polisher – Mechanical polishers speed up removing wax residue. Use variable speeds.
  • Foam buffing pad – Choose a soft foam pad to avoid damaging the fiberglass.
  • Marine boat wax – Use a wax formulated for fiberglass and marine environments.

How To Remove Wax from Fiberglass Boat?

how to remove wax from fiberglass boat - someone wiping a boat gel coat

Follow these steps to thoroughly remove wax buildup from your boat’s fiberglass gel coat surface:

  1. Wash the fiberglass with boat soap and water to remove surface dirt and grime. This allows you to see the actual wax layer. Use a soft brush or sponge in gentle circular motions. Rinse thoroughly.
  2. Apply wax remover to a terry cloth rag and rub it onto the fiberglass in circular motions. Reapply remover frequently as needed. The wax will begin dissolving. Take care not to let the remover dry on the surface.
  3. Use a buffer or orbital polisher on a low speed with a foam pad to further break down wax residue. Increase speed slowly. Take care not to burn through or damage the fiberglass. Keep the pad flush to the surface.
  4. Wipe away wax remover with clean terry cloths. Check for any remaining wax and reapply remover to stubborn areas. Turn terry cloths frequently to avoid reapplying dissolved wax.
  5. Wash the fiberglass again with soap and water to remove all traces of the remover. Double-check for residue. Let dry fully.
  6. Once fully dry, apply a fresh coat of marine grade wax. Use a terry cloth to buff to a brilliant shine. Work in small sections.
how to remove wax from fiberglass boat - close up hand buffing a boat gel coat with a polisher machine

Final Word

With the right process, you can successfully remove boat wax buildup from your fiberglass surface.

Taking the time to “dewax” allows for proper adhesion and protection when applying new wax.

This article was all about how to remove wax from fiberglass boat. I hope you have gained value from it.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below and I will get back to you ASAP.

You might also be interested in reading how to wax a boat gel coat.

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