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Old 07-09-2015, 12:40   #1
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How to clean wax-trapped dirt w/o removing wax?

So we sanded, compounded and waxed when we hauled out. The boat looked incredible. Then it rained! How do we get dirt trapped in wax off without removing the wax? Everything we tried so far doesn't work.Click image for larger version

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Thanks in advance.
Steve


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Old 07-09-2015, 16:14   #2
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Re: How to clean wax-trapped dirt w/o removing wax?

Sthompson,

If you give us more detail about the boat, and the general location, perhaps the input will be more helpful.

If it is fiberglass, I'm wondering why you sanded and compounded it before waxing, because gelcoat is porous, like tiny bubbles, and if you use rubbing compound on it you can open the tops of the tiny bubbles, creating pockets to hold dirt.

If it is a painted surface with wax on it, maybe you have acid rain where you are that already ate away the wax, and the industrial pollution ate into your paint. Fwiw, our topsides are painted, and dirt leaves stripes like the pic you posted, but it wipes off with dishwashing liquid (like Dawn or Joy) thinned in water. "Plain soapy water."

So, you might tell us exactly what you have already tried and the other info I suggested, and I bet the guys can sort it out for you.

Ann

on edit: If all else fails, wipe it with acetone, then re-wax.
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Old 12-09-2015, 14:09   #3
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Re: How to clean wax-trapped dirt w/o removing wax?

Sorry for the delay.

It's gel coat in Annapolis. We wet-sanded after buying because the finish had been neglected (practically chalk). It definitely made the gel coat look brand new.

We've tried cleaners except dish soap. Sounds like waxing might be needed every time after washing vs. 1-2 times a year.


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Old 12-09-2015, 21:43   #4
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Re: How to clean wax-trapped dirt w/o removing wax?

Actually, there are products for use on old gelcoat. The one we used was called PolyGlo, and came in a pack, acid wash and aftercoat that polymerized. It stayed looking good about a year, and we would re-do it at the annual haulout time. I understand a similar product is available in the US under the name, "TSRW" for This Stuff Really Works.

Like you, we had hit our gelcoat with rubbing compound before we learned why we shouldn't do that, , and the PolyGlo stayed looking good longer than waxing, and sealed up the little broken bubbles. Also, it was a lot easier to apply than holding up the big polisher during waxing.

What you described sounds like industrial polution, and it may be really hard to remove. When all else fails, my go-to product is acetone, but it ain't kind to you. And you'll definitely have to re-wax.

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