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  #1  
Old 08-03-2021, 07:50 PM
tandm tandm is offline
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Location: northwest illinois
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Default Calcium buildup

My aluminum boat lift has a thick deposit of calcium on it. Thoughts of the best or easiest way to remove the buildup? I take it out of the water about October 1 each year and can transport it easily to a heated shop to work on it.
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  #2  
Old 08-04-2021, 08:13 AM
REW REW is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: .
Posts: 38,941
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Just use Lime A Way - it is off in a jiff.

Take the boat to a self operated car wash. Use hot soapy water to blast down the boat. The key thing is to get the hull wet with soap and then let things sit for about 15 minutes to really soak through everything.

Then, come back and hit it with the soapy water again. Once all of that has been blasted off the hull as much as possible, wearing rubber gloves and sponge go over all parts of the hull with lime a way and get it well wetted with lime away. Then, continue the walk around with the lime away and a fiberglass scrubee to remove all of the deposits. If you have any brown or rust colored deposits - you likely have iron deposits on your boat. Again, with the hull wet - apply a liberal application of IRON OUT - which excels at any sort of Iron Deposits and also assists with Calcium deposits. Let sit for 5 minutes and then come back with water and a scrubee to complete the process. Then, blast off a 3rd or 4th time with the hot soapy water and follow up with the rinse and the liquid wax.

Do this cleaning in the self service wash during a very slow time at the wash so that you don't tie up a bay for the hour you may spend to really clean your boat.

--------------------------
Scrubber:
https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sco...r%20bath%20tub

Scrubber refills:
https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sco...r%20bath%20tub

Iron Out:
https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sup...Ntt=Iron%20Out

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/lim...Lime%20a%20way

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/clr...234679?Ntt=clr

-------------------------
I keep several of these Scrubbers on board to assist with cleaning chores:

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sta...2?Ntt=scrubber

This style scrubber - non abrasive pad - also works well for general hull cleaning. Comfortable handle - https://www.menards.com/main/floorin...1886141&ipos=4

Several different choices for various types of scrubbing pads and or integrated units, and some with poles to help reach: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=boat+clea...ref=nb_sb_noss
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  #3  
Old 08-04-2021, 09:33 AM
mk cant log in
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Posts: n/a
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A lot of things will dissolve the calcium...it just depends on how comfortable you are using them.

CLR, Vinegar, Sno Bowl toilet cleaner, as mentioned, Lime Away, etc. They are all acid based and will work, some more quickly than others. You need to take appropriate safety precautions using any of them.

Personally, I'd start with CLR and move up to Sno Bowl if necessary for the more stubborn areas. Don't do it inside, the fumes from any of them can be nasty.
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  #4  
Old 08-04-2021, 11:21 AM
Watertank1 Watertank1 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 108
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Vinegar bath for your boat lift - liberal wash with a soaked Vinegar rag and then power wash the residue. Might have to hit it again, but cheap and easy method.
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  #5  
Old 08-04-2021, 01:37 PM
bobk bobk is offline
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Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,366
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REW View Post
Just use Lime A Way - it is off in a jiff.

Take the boat to a self operated car wash. Use hot soapy water to blast down the boat. The key thing is to get the hull wet with soap and then let things sit for about 15 minutes to really soak through everything.

Then, come back and hit it with the soapy water again. Once all of that has been blasted off the hull as much as possible, wearing rubber gloves and sponge go over all parts of the hull with lime a way and get it well wetted with lime away. Then, continue the walk around with the lime away and a fiberglass scrubee to remove all of the deposits. If you have any brown or rust colored deposits - you likely have iron deposits on your boat. Again, with the hull wet - apply a liberal application of IRON OUT - which excels at any sort of Iron Deposits and also assists with Calcium deposits. Let sit for 5 minutes and then come back with water and a scrubee to complete the process. Then, blast off a 3rd or 4th time with the hot soapy water and follow up with the rinse and the liquid wax.

Do this cleaning in the self service wash during a very slow time at the wash so that you don't tie up a bay for the hour you may spend to really clean your boat.

--------------------------
Scrubber:
https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sco...r%20bath%20tub

Scrubber refills:
https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sco...r%20bath%20tub

Iron Out:
https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sup...Ntt=Iron%20Out

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/lim...Lime%20a%20way

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/clr...234679?Ntt=clr

-------------------------
I keep several of these Scrubbers on board to assist with cleaning chores:

https://www.fleetfarm.com/detail/sta...2?Ntt=scrubber

This style scrubber - non abrasive pad - also works well for general hull cleaning. Comfortable handle - https://www.menards.com/main/floorin...1886141&ipos=4

Several different choices for various types of scrubbing pads and or integrated units, and some with poles to help reach: https://www.amazon.com/s?k=boat+clea...ref=nb_sb_noss
It's a boat lift REW.
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  #6  
Old 08-04-2021, 07:27 PM
tandm tandm is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2017
Location: northwest illinois
Posts: 629
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Thanks for the advice, guys. And the boat cleaning ideas, too. All of the advice is very much appreciated.
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  #7  
Old 08-05-2021, 04:47 PM
38bill 38bill is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Annandale MN
Posts: 318
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If you want to be eco friendly use citric acid. You can purchase it online or most places that sell canning supplies. It comes dry and you mix it with water.
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2021, 02:14 AM
Anonymouse Anonymouse is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Posts: 665
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Just remember, aluminum is a highly reactive metal and CAN react pretty quickly with acids - even weak ones. Definitely don't want to leave any acidic residue.
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