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Five Steps for Getting Oil Off Your Boat

Given the environmental and economic impacts of the recent Gulf Oil Spill, likely to go down as the worst spill in the history of the United States, a press release I just received from Meguiars on handling oil residue on fiberglass boats left me a little cold. OK, it left me a lot cold, at least at first. A cynical person could see it as exploiting—perhaps even trivializing—a dire situation to sell products.

But the sad truth is—and I know it is far from the top of anyone’s list of concerns on the long-term effects of the spill—oil residue will end up on boats that traffic the Gulf Coast. In the high-performance powerboat world, that means it will end up on a lot of big-buck paint jobs.

What follows are the five steps—minus specific product references that can be obtained through Meguiars—the company provided for getting oil residue off your boat.

1. Wash to remove loose containments using a gentle, biodegradable product that is safe for the environment

2. During the wash process, spray all affected areas with a degreaser to remove the oil residue.

3. If the boat only has light oil contamination, complete the cleaning process with a one-step product such as a cleaner wax.

4. If the boat has sustained heavy contamination, follow the wash and degreasing process with paint cleaner.

5. After cleaning and removing stains, restore a deep glossy finish by conditioning the gel coat and restoring its natural oils with a polish.

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