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Old 08-15-2018, 11:33 PM   #1
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Flossing the NonSkid

Hi,

I've seen the following problem on both clean boats and dirty boats (and my boat which I try to keep in the clean category!). In between the raised "teeth" (diamonds) of the non-skid, there are black specs. No matter what cleaning product of tried and no matter how hard I brush, they won't come off. If I give a quick rub with a finger nail between the diamonds, the black specs come off. I assume this is residue left behind by water from cleaning that evaporates and then the sun bakes it onto the surface. It is not mold or mildew. I've tried various cleaners and have been on the look out for the perfect brush to try (stiffer, shorter bristles but not too aggressive). I've thought about trying my low-powered pressure washer with a 15 or 25 degree nozzle, but don't think it will really work and am worried about using it on the decks. Since it seems to be a common problem from inspecting other boats at the marina, I thought I see if anyone has the magic bullet for this cleaning task before I turn it into a big science experiment. I'd love to have the spaces between the diamonds clean.

Thanks for any tips.
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Old 08-16-2018, 05:59 AM   #2
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Bar Keepers friend. Walmart 99 cents. Use on non skid only as it is a mild abrasive and will scratch smooth surfaces. Lightly scrub into non skid with a deck brush and let it sit for a few minutes. Rinse well. Follow up with Star bright non skid deck cleaner. The Starbright will protect and shine.
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Old 08-16-2018, 06:53 AM   #3
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I agree... Bar Keepers and Star Brite Deck Wash seem to be effective on those areas. A stiff scrub brush helps as well.

I've started using Woody Wax on the non-skid area that is the worst and it really helps prevent future build ups.
Applied sparingly and folliwing directions it doesn't make the area overly slippery.
Caution though while still wet it is very slippery and requires special attention.
I can reach most of my cabin top while standing on the walk around which works for me.
If you try it best to test a small area to decide where to use and where to avoid.
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Old 08-16-2018, 07:00 AM   #4
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I use a product called "Awesome" on stubborn stains that my boat soap and a good scrubbing will not remove. I buy it in a spray bottle at the Dollar General Store in KY. Just spray on and let it sit for a moment then follow with soap and rinse. Works good for me.
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:19 AM   #5
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I use Bar Keeper's once or twice per year and it does a great job, but doesn't seem to help in the areas between the threads where the black specks like to grab on. I use the liquid version of barkeepers. Are you guys using the powder?
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Old 08-16-2018, 08:54 AM   #6
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I have two kinds of non-skid on my boat--the diamond grid and, on the foredeck, a sand grit type non-skid.

The diamond usually comes clean with a brush and Starbrite non skid cleaner, but the sand non skid has so many little spaces, the brush can't reach. I've resorted to a small electric pressure washer that is more effective.

I've used the pressure washer on the diamond non skid as well, and it works great but only needed it during spring commissioning after the boat has sat all winter when it gets pretty dirty.

I follow with Starbrite and woody wax.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:18 AM   #7
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In the past on a boat with aggressive diamond pattern nonskid (Tiara) i have used a generous amount of inexpensive cleaner wax to clean/treat the surface. The solvent in the wax dissolves the black spots. Pour on a generous amount and work into the non skid with a stiff short bristle brush in a pattern parallel (two different patterns 90 deg.) to the diamond pattern. Wipe off the excess and let it dry overnight. Next day come back with the same brush and clean out the remaining product from the low areas. cleans and somewhat protects. In my experience this type of non slip does not get slippery even when waxed.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:50 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssurabus View Post
I use Bar Keeper's once or twice per year and it does a great job, but doesn't seem to help in the areas between the threads where the black specks like to grab on. I use the liquid version of barkeepers. Are you guys using the powder?
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:52 AM   #9
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I know exactly what the OP is describing, however I have no idea what it is. For a long time I was suspecting it was some type of mold. I've used the 3m Gelcoat restorer (WITHOUT the Wax). that also works pretty well.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:00 AM   #10
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I'll try a couple of the new-to-me ideas (cleaner wax, maybe my electric power washer). I suspect that if I can find the right brush, it will help a lot. I'm going to renew my efforts to find something that will work. I've had some success with magic eraser but it's tedious because you need to try to angle it along the grooves. Thanks for all the input. If I find something that works easily I'll report back.
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Old 08-16-2018, 10:23 AM   #11
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In my experience, there is no magic elixir that will clean the non-skid. A stiff bristle brush, a good soap, and knee pads are the only way to get it clean. Star Bright non-skid is good, even Simple Green works well. Regardless you have to get the brush bristles to get into the grooves and Iíve yet to see a long handled deck brush that will do it well.

Woody Wax works well to keep it from getting as dirty but you do have to be sure to rinse it really well afterwards or it will be very slippery. The last time I did it I didnít rinse as well as I should and my flybridge was a bit exciting to walk on for a while.
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Old 08-16-2018, 11:52 AM   #12
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I find a power washer works pretty well. Used sensibly, it should not damage the gel coat unless it is ready to fail anyway.
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Old 08-16-2018, 12:58 PM   #13
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By far, the best tool I've found for cleaning non-skid is this carpet brush on an orbital buffer/polisher:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My decks looked brand new after using this. It's cheap and very easy (assuming you have the buffer/polisher already).
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:04 PM   #14
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I just ordered one. I have some brush and pad attachments for my buffer, but they are longer bristles and i didn't have success with them. The one you recommend looks different enough that I'll give it a try. Some reviewers complained that it was very difficult to remove the brush from the buffer once it was stuck on. Did you experience any problems?
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:06 PM   #15
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p.s. I've also been considering some grout cleaning brushes and scrubbers. Seems like the non-skid grooves are roughly in the same family of jobs. Haven't tried yet, but will if that "carpet brush" for the buffer doesn't work out.
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Old 08-16-2018, 01:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ssurabus View Post
I just ordered one. I have some brush and pad attachments for my buffer, but they are longer bristles and i didn't have success with them. The one you recommend looks different enough that I'll give it a try. Some reviewers complained that it was very difficult to remove the brush from the buffer once it was stuck on. Did you experience any problems?
It's just velcro. I had no problems getting it off. The problem I did have (and other people reported it as well) was the adhesive holding the velcro to the brush loosens over time. I tried reattaching with VHB tape as was recommended in one of the reviews. That failed as well. Finally attached it with epoxy and it's held fine ever since.
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Old 08-16-2018, 09:36 PM   #17
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Hi Ssurabus,

I have had good luck with my electric pressure washer. I use it at full power, around 1600 psi. It has worked well for me.

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Old 08-16-2018, 09:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreySky View Post
By far, the best tool I've found for cleaning non-skid is this carpet brush on an orbital buffer/polisher:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My decks looked brand new after using this. It's cheap and very easy (assuming you have the buffer/polisher already).
Thanks for the info.
I have a Flex DA polisher and have been thinking about picking up a brush head for exactly this application.
Im considering using a rubbing compound worked in w the brush...
My thinking is the non skid groves get oxidized and tend to hold the dirt / stains more than a smooth shiney gelcoat surface would.
I have done small spots w a scotch brite type pad and cleaner/compound and it seemed to support the above theory so looking for an easier way to do larger areas.
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Old 08-17-2018, 01:01 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by dhays View Post
In my experience, there is no magic elixir that will clean the non-skid. A stiff bristle brush, a good soap, and knee pads are the only way to get it clean. Star Bright non-skid is good, even Simple Green works well. Regardless you have to get the brush bristles to get into the grooves and Iíve yet to see a long handled deck brush that will do it well.

Woody Wax works well to keep it from getting as dirty but you do have to be sure to rinse it really well afterwards or it will be very slippery. The last time I did it I didnít rinse as well as I should and my flybridge was a bit exciting to walk on for a while.
I too have used Woody Wax. However, after a month of rain, I had brown streaks from the wax running down the walkway.

I now use Starbrite Deck Wash and they came out with a non-skid wax. I tried the wax this summer and it still beads water after a hot summer.

BTW if you do use the deck wash, it does remove wax.
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Old 08-17-2018, 08:45 PM   #20
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I too have used Woody Wax. However, after a month of rain, I had brown streaks from the wax running down the walkway.



I now use Starbrite Deck Wash and they came out with a non-skid wax. I tried the wax this summer and it still beads water after a hot summer.



BTW if you do use the deck wash, it does remove wax.


Thanks for that tip. Iíll have to try the Starbrite non-skid wax.
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