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Old 04-11-2008, 20:26   #1
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Cleaning Awlgrip HELP!

I have a boat that has a 6 month old all-grip paint job. I have yet to get it outta the yard as all the "other stuff" keeps taking so dang long. I am in a fix now as it looks like the dirt from the area has layed on the deck too long, and we had a very small amount of rain and it ran streaks down the cabin sides. We tried scrubbing with a mild detergent and rags on the smooth part and a scrub brush on the non skid. The streaks on the cabin sides are really tough. I would say 80 to 90% off but still some left over stains. Any place that was covered on deck is sparkly white, so we can see the difference. I have access to a power sprayer, would this be the way to go?
I am leary with the new paint job to take on anything to caustic or too abrasive. And I am located in Mexico so I may need more of a generalized cleaner or chemical....thanks ahead.
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Old 04-11-2008, 21:09   #2
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Cleaning awlgrip

Awlgrip has a product called Awlwash that they recommend for cleaning and they also have a special sealer as well.

I know that the instructions that come with Awlgrip say to never use abrasive cleaners or wax on Awlgrip. However, while painting my boot stripe and coaming stripe this spring, I had numerous conversations with our yards paint and gel coat specialist. He swears that you can rub out Awlgrip with various materials such as 4000 wet sand paper, or a polishing compound, and wax it to a high shine afterwards.

I have not tried it myself but, while I was painting my boat, they hauled a 50+ foot Hatteras for detailing and bottom painting. Hatteras uses Awlgrip to give their boats a white, high sheen, finish. The detail crew proceeded to buff out the entire hull using a fine polishing compound and then a wax. It looked like new when they were finished.
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Old 04-11-2008, 23:05   #3
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I just take some boat soap and a very soft brush to my Awlgrip. It does not need anything else because it does not oxidize or hold stains like gelcoat does.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:16   #4
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On the chesapeake we would get the brown mustache associated from the Bay and at the boatyard I used to work at we used FSR which can be found at West Marine works like a charm with little effort. if you cant find that, try something like simple green and let it soak for some time. Sanding with a fine grit is another option, we would use this method to color match repairs and to get the original color back to the boat, we buff then seal for a factory finish, lot of work but well worth it.
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Old 05-11-2008, 04:53   #5
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Quote:
On the chesapeake we would get the brown mustache associated from the Bay and at the boatyard I used to work at we used FSR which can be found at West Marine works like a charm with little effort.
A diluted lemon juicein a spray bottle will remove the tanin stains like toy get in the Bay or the ICW. You shouldn't need anything rough to renmove that. We have an oil refinery and a power plant near by and that stuff is hard to get off but so far a little scrubbing gets it off. It has an oily fine partical asspect that makes molded nonskid hard to clean.

I have used a cheap electric power washer I got from Lowes for $69. The higher powered ones can do serious damage at point blnk range. I have never used it on the Awlgrip mostly because it never required it.

Dirt on top of Awlgrip seems suspect. I've never had a problem removing most anything from Awlgrip using anything other than mild soap and soft brush.

Simple Green works well on gelcoat but you shouldn't need it on Alwgrip.
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:18   #6
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We've got Awlgrip paint and have had as good a result using cleaning vinegar as we've had with the Alwash product.............
IMHO vinegar, then hot soapy wash gets rid of almost everything except iron oxide - and a weak solution of oxalic acid knocks that off without apparently harming the surface.
Aslo whist I've heard one should not wax Awlgrip - we have the topside of our combing go really dull in the sun. So heart in mouth I tried out a small area with a automotive car wax.
Absolutely brilliant result.
Did all the rest of the combing - and still looking good a season later.
Good luck
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Old 05-11-2008, 05:44   #7
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West Marine sells a product called Rolloff that everyone that I know of that has used it can not believe how well it works.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:15   #8
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Don't use any of the acidic cleaners on your Awlgrip. It will not show up today but will significantly shorten the life of your paint. The dirt should wash off easily so if it is not something else is going on. This is perhaps paint dust or something else chemical. You could try wiping down with Awl-Prep and then do an immediate wash down. This won't damage your paint and should remove any substance. This is the product used to wipe down the surface prior to painting. Worse case situation, use a slow speed polisher and 3M Finnesse-It compound. A solution of white vinegar and warm water sometimes works. I have not been able to get even the lightest dirt off of Awlgrip with thier cleaner.
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Old 05-11-2008, 06:22   #9
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Awlgrip recommends Awlwash and Awlcare for maintenance. I've found Awlwash is an expensive boat soap. However, Awlcare, a liquid polymer, does a good job removing stains and streaks. For more stubborn stains such as black streaks I've used 3M's Finesse-It polish with good results.

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Old 05-11-2008, 07:36   #10
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Thanks

Thanks to all for the ideas.....it rang a bell when the idea that it might be paint dust. I bet it is....just too nasty to be dirt... See in Mexico nothing is tarped . You can be trying to do a finish paint job and the guy next to you is sand blasting the bottom paint off. I returned this Early Oct. and the boat was stored in an area away from the work yard. The dirt just hosed off. So I am dealing with something more nasty. And As I said I am too far way from West Marine or any other place like that to just go buy a bottle of the choice stuff. Today I will try white viniger and a lot of scrubbig and see how that goes. I am afraid of any type of acids as I know they will break down over time and just make it worse in the long run.
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Old 05-11-2008, 08:47   #11
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Jmolan,

I didn't realize you have limited access to the specialized products suggested.

My yard use to wipe down Awlgrip painted hulls with alcohol. I don't know how effective it was but it didn't seem to be detrimental to the finish - try on an inconspicuous spot first. In fact, the Awlgrip website recommends using toluene, MEK, acetone, or lacquer thinner to remove the buildup of grease and grime but advises: caution, use sparingly, and rinse well afterwards. If Awlcraft was the topcoat, milder solvents like mineral spirits, xylene, and kerosene could be used with the same cautions.
Some of these should be available where you are.

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Old 05-11-2008, 09:42   #12
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try something easy to find - possibly even in Mexico

We have dive boats in South Florida with awlgrip off white paint on the decks and when we get stains, we use Sno-Bol - a toilet bowl cleaner. Just let it soak for a minute and the stain washes right off. Be careful of getting it on any clothing or lines though.

Best wishes!

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Old 05-11-2008, 10:19   #13
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Probably the best forum discussion I've seen regarding Awlgrip and Awlcraft. Maine Sail seems to know his stuff.

If this violates forum rules please modify.

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Awlgrip on the hull...good, bad??? - SailNet Community
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Old 05-11-2008, 14:32   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck Baier View Post
Don't use any of the acidic cleaners on your Awlgrip. It will not show up today but will significantly shorten the life of your paint. The dirt should wash off easily so if it is not something else is going on. This is perhaps paint dust or something else chemical. You could try wiping down with Awl-Prep and then do an immediate wash down. This won't damage your paint and should remove any substance. This is the product used to wipe down the surface prior to painting. Worse case situation, use a slow speed polisher and 3M Finnesse-It compound. A solution of white vinegar and warm water sometimes works. I have not been able to get even the lightest dirt off of Awlgrip with thier cleaner.
Chuck et. al,

First, Awlgrip does state not to use acid based cleaners on Awlgrip. For the majority of knuckle heads this is good advice drawn down to the lowest common denominator.

You can in fact use products such as FSR or acid based cleaners on Awlgrip, and tech support will tell you this, provided you do not let it sit on the paint any longer than it takes to remove the stain. Imediately once the stain is gone thoroughly rinse the surface and move on to the next 6"-12" area then rinse it. NEVER let an acid based cleaner, including metal polishes sit on the paint! Always rinse as fast as possible and you will not acid etch the paint. It can be done if you have some common sense. The Awlgrip instructions are written for the lowest common denominator (power boater) so keep that in mind.

Second, I would not advise any novice to use any product containing "grit" including Finesse It II on a polyester LPU after the curing process is finished. Use Awlcare! Awlcare has zero abrassives, zero silicone, cleans well protects and resists dirt and polutants instead of attracting them.

Awlgrip cures similar to the way water and oil seperate. The hard solids migrate to the top or exterior and the pigment sits bellow this "hard shell" of a surface resin. This resin layer is very, very thin and one can buff through it quite easily even without any polish or compound and jsut a damp wool buffing pad. Once you have ruined this hard shell the finish is toast!

Awlgrip should never be compounded!!!! It cures like a clear coat / base coat system with the clear solids rising to the surface of the paint creating a hard, high shine shell. If you buff through this layer it's toast!!

Essentiall the linear polyester resins can not be re-melted, what actually happens when you compound or buff a painted surface, because the window time of time between melt & disintegrate is so narrow. It is nearly impossible, and totally impossible for a novice who has not had serious specialty training or woring with LPU's, to keep an LPU at the right temp to re-melt without destroying it in the process. It sort of goes like this when buffing Awlgrip.


To cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, to cool, right temp for a split second, destroyed.......

Acrylic two part paints such as Imron or Awlcraft 2000 can be buffed because the re-melt window is much wider and they don't cure the same as a polyester LPU like Sterling, Awlgrip or Alexseal. The pigment on an acrylic LPU is the full thickness not sitting under a thin layer of clear solids..

This photo illustrates a destroyed Awlgrip finish. Note the shine on the majority of the hull even after many years. Now look at the center of the photo and you'll notice a large dull area. This is what happens when you chew through Awlgrips "protective shell". It is destroyed...


To answer the original question I would go in this order;

1) Wash with Awlwash or IMAR boat soap removing any dust or dirt.

2) Try Awlcare using a soft terry cloth rag.

3) If Awlcare does not work use Starbrite Black Streak Remover. Do not let this sit on the surface and do small sections then rinse. This stuff works amazingly well and it was suggested to me by the Awlgrip rep. The WM Black Streak Remover does not work as well and is clearly not made by Starbrite for West Marine. BSR also works very well for removing aluminum oxide staining from aluminum toe rails!!

Those three products, and very occasionally some FSR or MaryKate On/Off Gel, are the only ones that touch my Awlgriped hull.. Paint jobs are very,very $$$$$ don't ruin it..!

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Old 05-11-2008, 18:06   #15
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Acoustic, If you read his posts he does not have access to any of these products where the boat is located. But some good points. Yes if you want to use acidic products on the boat it will clean it but rinse as quickly as you like but you have still cut the lifetime of the paint. I speak from a whole lot of years of applying this product.
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