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Old 26-09-2020, 05:22   #1
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Deck discoloration and Teak Cleaner

Hello everyone,

We were just out revitalizing our teak toe boards and in the process, spilled some of the Star Brite Teak Cleaner and/or Brightener on our deck. It made some VERY white and pretty spots. The bottle says it's safe for fiberglass and painted surfaces. It would be an expensive way to brighten the whole deck, but is that even okay? What do you recommend?

Photo of one of said white spots.

1999 Lagoon 410.
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Old 26-09-2020, 05:53   #2
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Re: Deck discoloration and Teak Cleaner

Wow! That's impressive.

There is lots of discussion and products available on the internet that centers on whitening fiberglass bathtubs, which are gelcoat over fiberglass. Here's an example, in case you decide that the route out is whitening the entire deck.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/68961438017654472/

I suspect that you are soon to have a dazzling white boat....
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Old 26-09-2020, 05:55   #3
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Re: Deck discoloration and Teak Cleaner

Teak cleaners tend to be acid-based. While it’s safe for gelcoat, I personally wouldn’t apply it to the entire deck. Aggressive cleaners can increase the porosity of the gelcoat which traps more dirt over time. So while it will look great initially, it actually accelerates degradation.

Starbrite does a deck cleaner with PTFE that’s quite good and it fills in the pores so it slows the eventual degradation. If you really want to level-set the tone and get it back to the same bright white as the stain, try applying Fiberglass Stain Remover (FSR), but be careful with that as well, it’s pretty potent stuff. Once you’ve done that, I’d recommend regular application of the Starbrite deck cleaner.
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Old 26-09-2020, 07:06   #4
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Re: Deck discoloration and Teak Cleaner

Quote:
Originally Posted by Creedence View Post
Teak cleaners tend to be acid-based. While itís safe for gelcoat, I personally wouldnít apply it to the entire deck. Aggressive cleaners can increase the porosity of the gelcoat which traps more dirt over time. So while it will look great initially, it actually accelerates degradation.

Starbrite does a deck cleaner with PTFE thatís quite good and it fills in the pores so it slows the eventual degradation. If you really want to level-set the tone and get it back to the same bright white as the stain, try applying Fiberglass Stain Remover (FSR), but be careful with that as well, itís pretty potent stuff. Once youíve done that, Iíd recommend regular application of the Starbrite deck cleaner.
Thanks! I'll give it a go with a test section and see if it compares well enough. I was worried about the porosity issue.
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Old 27-09-2020, 17:06   #5
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Re: Deck discoloration and Teak Cleaner

I use Barkeeper's Friend on the non-skid on my boat and I wonder if I am getting a near-term clean look at the expense of long term gelcoat health. It really works to get the white to come out. I try to get some wax over the area after I scrub it via wash and wax solution to prevent damage.
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Old 27-09-2020, 17:36   #6
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Re: Deck discoloration and Teak Cleaner

Barkeepers Friendís trick is that it is a mild abrasive as you rub it in, much like Softscrub or Ajax (all of which also have their own additional additives). Donít ask me why Iím such a student of cleaners- I admit Iíve got a problem.

Iíve never thought of Barkeeperís Friend for gelcoat, but if you think about it, (minus whatever additives it may have in it- Iíve not researched it) light abrasive cleaning would be like using a mild gelcoat compound, followed by your wash and wax regimen. Itís more aggressive than a normal soap wash down, but not in a way that encourages porosity if that makes sense- it doesnít etch into the surface. So it certainly could be worse!
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Old 27-09-2020, 18:00   #7
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Re: Deck discoloration and Teak Cleaner

Most teak brighteners are just oxalic acid. Which is the same ingredient used in just about every fiberglass stain remover - and for that matter in Barkeepers Friend.

Here's the safety data sheet for the very popular Davis FSR fiberglass stain remover (I have some aboard). 4.5% Oxalic acid

https://www.davisinstruments.com/pro...ds/msds790.pdf

And here's Startbrite Teak Brightener. It has 5-9% Ethanedioic acid - which is - you guessed it - another name for Oxalic acid

https://www.google.com/search?client...UTF-8&oe=UTF-8
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