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View Full Version : Best way to clean rubrail


XStar08
12-09-2012, 04:50 PM
Hi folks. As winter has arrived (currently snowing, -9 celsius outside) I'm in tryingbto get these not so fun things done. Outside of the boat has been cleaned a few weeks ago roughly. Looking closely to the metal part of the rubrail I notice that it has tarnished (most likely caused by the really aggressive thing the dealer uses to get rid of these chalkstains).

So now there is the question on how do you keep your rubrail nice and shiny?

Thank you, XStar08

Kyle
12-09-2012, 05:40 PM
I would try using some metal polish or a product called never dull. It comes in a can and its a cotton soaked material that you wipe or polish metal with. Then you use a clean towel to buff to a shine. Walmart has it.

Never Dull

CC2MC
12-09-2012, 11:33 PM
Or Try Mothers Metal polish, also sold at WM. Did the dealer put some kind of acid on there and what kind of chalk do you speak of?

XStar08
12-10-2012, 10:28 AM
Thank you for your replies.

I don't know what the dealer used but it was for sure some serious stuff since all the hard water stains where gone almost immediately (I mean the ones which occur when the boat is in the water regularly and not cleaned every time).

I already tried some metal polish stuff but did not work out. What do you think the rub rail is made of? Stainless steel or aluminum?

Greetings,

XStar08

jgraham37128
12-10-2012, 02:29 PM
Thank you for your replies.

I don't know what the dealer used but it was for sure some serious stuff since all the hard water stains where gone almost immediately (I mean the ones which occur when the boat is in the water regularly and not cleaned every time).

I already tried some metal polish stuff but did not work out. What do you think the rub rail is made of? Stainless steel or aluminum?

Greetings,

XStar08

I'm going to say stainless.

CC2MC
12-10-2012, 04:47 PM
Stainless for sure. Aluminum is too soft.

milkmania
12-10-2012, 08:24 PM
Just an idea.......Tarn-X

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TRPpBk67hU

CC2MC
12-11-2012, 12:31 AM
You try an electric buffer?

ZachDaddy
12-12-2012, 10:00 PM
I would suggest the following:

The Mother's metal polish or Meguiers metal polish or Flitz metal polish. All are excellent cleaners and will yield the result your after.

Second...I would use a cordless drill and remove good many of the screws than are in the rub rail. I remove about six or so, this is far easier than cleaning out the phillip heads stainless screws. Then if you have an old wool pad and an obital polisher, at a low speed polish the stainless rub rail. If you don't have an obital then a micro fiber is your best choice. Your working toward seeing a lot of black it the rag or wool pad. Pressure/fiction is what works the best. You'll see.

If you are serious about the shine...after you buff, use lemon juice and wipe over the rub rail. A little goes a long way. It cleans out that black stuff from the pours of the metal.

Cleaning the rub rail is time consuming but if your a shine person its will worth the effort.

Also using Acetone on the plastic backing of the rubrail or any place on the fiberglass, will remove any marks and will NOT hurt the plastic or the fiberglass. Acetone is one of the ingriedents of the gelcoat.

Post the after pictures. I'll clean mine and post a few pic's with a "how to"

Cheers

ZachDaddy

XStar08
12-13-2012, 04:22 PM
ZachDaddy, thanks for the hints which will be tried out as soon as it gets little bit warmer out there.

Do you recon taking a few screws out for polishing, putting them back in and moving on to another section?
I'll order a bit of Meguiers metal polish. Do you think a dremel will do the job or would I need another machine (orbital such as makita which could be also used to buff the hull if needed).

Thanks again for your tips, will let you know if and how it worked out.

XStar08

ZachDaddy
12-13-2012, 11:50 PM
I would use two micro-fiber towels and some elbow grease first, just to see if it yields your desired look. However if you use an obital polisher, then buy a 3 inch wool pad and make that your designated metal polish pad. Wash it with some Totally Awesome and warm water. It should look almost new.

As for the rail and the screws, you can take out 3 or 4 in a row with know worries. Just look where the rail stops and starts and leave one in on either side of that point. removing a few screws will save you from having to dig the the paste out of the heads. You cant hurt anything by leaving them in but you will see a little fur from the wool pad.

If you don't have an obital, this is a perfect time to pick one up. Cable and Porter is my personal favorite but there are a number of manufacturers. Please do NOT use a dremal tool it spins way to fast and could burn the metal. No boo boo's please. If you're like me accidents happen and to often so use the KISS method.
"Keep it simple stupid" is my montra. LOL
I'll look at my model number of my C&P obital and post it if I remember.

Cheers

ZachDaddy

ZachDaddy
12-13-2012, 11:55 PM
Porter Cable 7424 XP Dual Action Orbital Polisher
http://www.autogeek.net/dual-action-polishers

The wool pad is a 4 inch pad...FYI

ZachDaddy

XStar08
12-15-2012, 04:58 PM
Thx ZachDaddy, you're a great help. Will come back to that topic as soon as I got my stuff from over the ocean and it get's little more comfortable where my boat is stored over the cold season. Will let you guys know how it works out, what I used and how I did it. I'll take this occasion to get me a nice tool ;-)

Greetings, XStar08

XStar08
12-16-2012, 03:46 PM
Ok, today it was not too cold outside so I gave it a try.

The first picture is before I started.
Firstly I tried some manual polishing with some metal polisher I found in our kitchen. I realized relatively fast that this would not lead to what I'm looking for. The rubrail is just too much oxidized.

XStar08
12-16-2012, 03:50 PM
Then I tried my dremel, very low rpm and with a soft felt tool. It worked pretty good, however because of the small tool it took me a few minutes to get a section polished. Second picture is after...

XStar08
12-21-2012, 05:13 PM
So I did some more sections (one section is between two screws) and have to point out the following:

- it is a good idea to take out as much screws as needed to let the metal part come out/away from the rubrail so that you do not hurt the plastic part with the polishing tool

- I have currently 6 screws out and am polishing at about the middle of the loosened part

- I currently polish with about 10000 rpm but take care to move the tool steadily forth and back however it is to say that burning the metal is not done that easy

- Going on like this it will take me hours to get around :rolleyes: