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Oliver Fiberglass Cleaning


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I took delivery of my 2018 Elite II this past December and it was too cold in New England to wash it and wax it. 

Now that the weather has improved, I washed the Ollie but there are water stains that remain from the roof down to the bottom of the sidewalls, so I have not waxed it yet.

Do I need to use a fiberglass rubbing compound to remove the water stains?

After removing the water  stains, I am thinking that I would apply two coats of wax (which would be polished with a electric polisher after each coat).

Any suggestions/comments would be appreciated?

Edited by dewdev

2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4

 

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I'd guess that a "rubbing compound" is a bit too aggressive at this point.  I'd start with just a simple polish of your choice followed by the wax as you mention.

Bill

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2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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This is a good question.

If you looked at the surface of the fiberglass under a microscope you would see that it would appear ROUGH/COARSE, (Peaks/Valleys) think different Grades of Sand Paper-Fine/Medium/Coarse. When the surface gets Rough, due to either environmental factors or lack of proper maintenance, the LUSTER/SHINE of the surface declines! The other down side of the Rough surface is that it attracts stains more easily from all sources by acting like a magnet for the dirt to stick to.

The only way to remove stubborn type of stains, after all other cleaning products/ method have failed, that I know of is to level the surface by removing the Peaks/Valleys, i.e. changing the surface from Coarse Sand Paper into Fine Sand Paper! This is done by Wet Sanding, and progressing through the various grits of paper and finishing with differents grits of Rubbing Compound, top off with Waxing. I have personally used these methods to restore Fiberglass surfaces on several of our Sailboats to bring the boats back to be the "Pride of the Fleet!" This will also work on most Painted surfaces on vehicles. 

 

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Posted (edited)

Dewdev, your trailer is pretty new,  but the previous owner may not have waxed it as often as you and I  would. That allows stains and dirt to set into the  gelcoat. As Pat said, it's porous. 

If you only have hard water stains, I'd start with the least cost and least harmful liquid treatments. Have you tried white vinegar? Soak a paper towel, slap it on a stain, let it sit, and see if it works. Then rinse it off . You can also try scrubbing it with vinegar and a soft microfiber cloth. 

Oliver uses a really good marine quality gelcoat. I'd be really surprised to find that you would need to resort to rubbing compound or wet sanding on a three year old trailer. 

There are as many opinions about proper gel coat maintenance as there are boats, I think. But everyone seems to agree, get the fiberglass really clean, then protect it with a really good wax or coating. Look to Practical Sailor for advice. They test products repeatedly,  and also report back on longevity .

 

 

Edited by SeaDawg
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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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I have had excellent success with this product in removing the black “weeping” streaks. I spray it on a soft new clean micro fiber cloth sparingly and it removes the black streaks quickly. I then follow up with waxing the entire area. So far so good. This may or may not work for your application, but worth a try.

-Patriot

 
 

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Edited by Patriot
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2020 Ford F-250 6.7 liter Powerstroke Lariat Ultimate “Tremor” High Cap tow pkg  - 2020 OLEII - Hull #634 

 

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58 minutes ago, Pat Maundrell said:

This is a good question.

If you looked at the surface of the fiberglass under a microscope you would see that it would appear ROUGH/COARSE, (Peaks/Valleys) think different Grades of Sand Paper-Fine/Medium/Coarse. When the surface gets Rough, due to either environmental factors or lack of proper maintenance, the LUSTER/SHINE of the surface declines! The other down side of the Rough surface is that it attracts stains more easily from all sources by acting like a magnet for the dirt to stick to.

The only way to remove stubborn type of stains, after all other cleaning products/ method have failed, that I know of is to level the surface by removing the Peaks/Valleys, i.e. changing the surface from Coarse Sand Paper into Fine Sand Paper! This is done by Wet Sanding, and progressing through the various grits of paper and finishing with differents grits of Rubbing Compound, top off with Waxing. I have personally used these methods to restore Fiberglass surfaces on several of our Sailboats to bring the boats back to be the "Pride of the Fleet!" This will also work on most Painted surfaces on vehicles. 

 

BTW, Youtube does a good job of showing these techniques.

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Posted (edited)

If vinegar doesn't work, give one of the marine cleaners a shot. Like the one Patriot posted. Or, a lot of people like Starbrite products.

Here's a review article from a long time ago, practical sailor.

https://www.practical-sailor.com/boat-maintenance/practical-sailor-tests-22-hull-cleaners-on-scummy-brown-waterline-stains-to-find-the-best-remedy-to-the-icw-mustache

If these don't work, as Topgun said, you may need a polish, not a full blown rubbing compound. 3m makes a very good one, that's very fine, and doesn't remove a lot of surface.

 

 

Edited by SeaDawg
Edit autocorrect. Starbrite, not starlite.

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)

I've been thinking about your trailer while I  was lubing and repairing cushion zippers, and cleaning the blinds I removed from the trailer last week.

We should probably start at the beginning.  Is your water very hard? Do you use soft water to wash and rinse the trailer? Which soap?

I think beginning of season,  you may have to wash the trailer more than once. After waxing, you're going to want a more neutral soap that doesn't remove wax, but my guess is you don't have much wax on yours. You may want to use a tougher soap, like turtlewax (NOT the combo wax and cleaner, pure soap.) This stuff can be hard on wax, but you're going to do two coats of a really good wax when you're done, anyway.

I like the yellow microfiber cloths from Costco and Restaurant Depot. They're cheap, and they really do a good job at removing dirt and bugs.

It's really best if you can rinse with softened water. 

Good luck. A photo of the spots you're talking about could perhaps draw better suggestions.  

The general rule is to use the mildest products you can to achieve the desired results. Even 3m polish is a mild abrasive, but it may be needed to get the dirt out. Once you're on top of the maintenance and waxing, you'll find all the stains come off more easily. 

 

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)

 

There are a number of threads on waxes. It will be hard to pick.

We've used 3m ultraMarine for many years. With supply issues We've changed over to Collinite marine. It's a little tougher to apply, but great protection,  and a high per centage of real carnuba.

Btw, search doesn't work on three letter words. Try waxing, instead of wax, if you'd like to read more posts (til your eyes glaze over....)

Edited by SeaDawg

2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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16 hours ago, SeaDawg said:

 

There are a number of threads on waxes. It will be hard to pick.

We've used 3m ultraMarine for many years. With supply issues We've changed over to Collinite marine. It's a little tougher to apply, but great protection,  and a high per centage of real carnuba.

Btw, search doesn't work on three letter words. Try waxing, instead of wax, if you'd like to read more posts (til your eyes glaze over....)

I searched and searched the Net and local brick and mortar over to find what may be one of the last tins of 3M Marine Ultra. A email to 3M reveals that this product has been discontinued and Their suggested replacement is the liquid-based 3M™ Perfect-It™ Boat Wax, 36113.  As a fan of paste waxes, a liquid replacement is not great news but I will try a bottle and see.  

 

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I remain a fan of Rejex, though it is considerably harder to apply since you must strip off all traces of any previous wax and debris like sap and tar, even the leftover carnauba from your wash product will affect how well it sticks to the gel coat (or paint). It also cannot be done in direct sunlight. Apply it incorrectly and it will disappoint.... I use it on my cars too and since they and the Ollie are garage kept and neither of us commute to work, I let the job go a lot longer, up to two years.

For prep, use a strong solution of genuine blue Dawn dish detergent, not a generic version which may be less effective, to remove dirt and any wax. Then follow up with 3M General Purpose Adhesive Cleaner 08984 . A quart size will last a couple of Ollie cleanings and can be found at a local auto paint retailer for about $15, body shops use this product routinely as a paint prep. If there is stubborn debris a clay bar will usually get that off. “Baby butt smooth” is the goal. Power buffers are not needed IMHO unless the surface is neglected.

I also like https://www.meguiars.com/automotive/products/meguiars-gold-class-car-wash-shampoo-conditioner-g7164-64-oz-liquid for normal washing. But it does have wax in it, so that has to be gone before the Rejex can be applied.

John Davies

Spokane WA

Edited by John E Davies
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36 minutes ago, Mountainman198 said:

I searched and searched the Net and local brick and mortar over to find what may be one of the last tins of 3M Marine Ultra. A email to 3M reveals that this product has been discontinued and Their suggested replacement is the liquid-based 3M™ Perfect-It™ Boat Wax, 36113.  As a fan of paste waxes, a liquid replacement is not great news but I will try a bottle and see.  

 

Well, that explains why we couldn't find it. I'm so surprised that a highly rated product would be discontinued.  But, a lot of people do prefer liquid for ease of application. 

We'll continue with the Collinite.

 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Thanks so much for all your advice.

I am going to start with just the vinegar that Seadawg suggested. Step two, if necessary, (which I found by googling) is a mixture of vinegar and dish soap.

Hopefully I will not need to go to a third step like a Starbright polish or a Miracle Mist product.

I spoke to the previous owner and he told ,me that he had to remove the water stains each year. I am thinking that he never cleared up the situation sufficiently and maybe did not apply enough good wax at least twice a year. I am looking to get a good shine on my Ollie so it looks new.

Richard  

 

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4

 

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You'll get there, Dewdev. Like I said before, mildest first. Once you get the stains off, and get some coats of good wax on, your Ollie will be shiny and bright. 

If you have to go beyond vinegar,  or vinegar solutions, with microfiber scrubbing, starbrite cleaner is probably the next mildest step. Like vinegar, it's mildly acidic, so should work well if the problem is alkaline hard water. 

Keep us posted .

 

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2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Posted (edited)

I washed the Oliver yesterday and then tried to remove the water stains.

I did a test section by first spraying on the white vinegar and let it sit for a couple of minutes. No change in the water stains after scrubbing with a sponge. I then put the white vinegar on the micro-cloth and tried scrubbing the water stain. No change. I then added Dawn liquid soap to the cloth with the white vinegar on it and tried scrubbing the stain. No change.

The first picture is of the Oliver after washing and the white vinegar treatment described above. The second picture (ignore the tree branch shadow) is before washing. The stains became lighter after washing. The stains are more prevalent on the lower half of the Ollie.

My next step is to soak a paper towel with the white vinegar and stick it to the Oliver (if it stays) for 5 or 10 minutes and then try scrubbing the area, as SeaDawg suggested.

If that does not work, I will be buying some Starbrite cleaner to try.

Any other helpful ideas would be well appreciated.

Thanks

Richard  

Oliver Water Stains_1.jpg

Oliver Water Stains_2.jpg

Edited by dewdev

2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4

 

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I've had good luck with a magic eraser on those types of stains.  Not with completely magical results, but quasi supernatural.  

Snowball • The world's only spherical Ollie

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You can get that Miracle Mist stuff at WalMart.  Since you plan to give it a couple of coats of wax anyway, I would jump ahead a bit and go for the Mist or other black streak remover product.  Yes, I think that you will probably need to also use a polish prior to the wax but by getting those black streaks off first you will not be smearing them around as you polish.

Bill

2017 Ford F150 Lariat 3.5EB FX4 Max Towing 2016 Oliver Elite II - Hull #117 "Twist"

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dewdev,

We use Meguiar's Flagship marine wax for cleaning and waxing. It will remove some stains/spots and make new spots & stains where waxed easy to remove.

We had some water spots that could not removed by waxing.  Called Meguiar's and they recommended using their #67 one step compound, then using their Flagship marine wax. This process took care of the spots. We purchased Ollie used and now looks better than when purchased.

IMG_5726-L.jpg

 

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Bill

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Since the vinegar (very mild acid) solution helped, you may want to try the Starbrite cleaner next. It's also mildly acidic, but stronger than vinegar. 

I wouldn't use a combination wax and polish til I got rid of the black streaks. You'd just be sealing anything left behind with more wax.

Anything beyond soap and water or vinegar, I'd try in a small area first, and rinse well when done. 

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2008 Ram 1500 4 × 4

2008 Oliver Elite, Hull #12
 

 

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Mine is not quite 3 months old but I go with Meguiars — wash first and spritz with Quick Detailer. I’m a simple woman. Reminds me of the time (yes I veer off topic and it’s kinda my trademark) I went to a high-end spa for a massage and they talked me into getting a fancy facial. The “aesthetician” was amazed at my skin for my age. Asked me what my “skin care regimen” was.

 “What products are you using?”

”Uhhh. Oh. Irish Spring.”

The look on her face. Like she’d stepped in something. But it did keep her from trying to sell me spa salon potions at $80 for like, an eighth of an ounce. She knew I was not a good “lead.” Heh.

 

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2021 Elite 1 -- Hull #731

Ram 1500 Rebel 4x4

 

 

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On 4/11/2021 at 8:16 AM, Mountainman198 said:

I searched and searched the Net and local brick and mortar over to find what may be one of the last tins of 3M Marine Ultra. A email to 3M reveals that this product has been discontinued and Their suggested replacement is the liquid-based 3M™ Perfect-It™ Boat Wax, 36113.  As a fan of paste waxes, a liquid replacement is not great news but I will try a bottle and see.  

 

Now that's what I am talking about! Great looking finish on your Oliver, good job.

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Thanks for all the suggestions and product recommendations. So here is my update and a product survey of products that I tried and the ones I settled on for removing the water stains on side of Ollie and then waxing.

First: Cleaned and waxed the roof -  I compared two waxes. The Starbright Marine Polish (left over from my many boating years) was used on one half the roof. The Meguiar's Flagship Cleaner/Wax was used on the other half of the roof. I found the Starbright wax easy to install and buff off (by hand) when dry. The Meguiar's wax was thicker and harder to get out of the bottle. It went on easier than the Starbright wax, and was easier to buff off (by hand) then the Starbright. Both finishes look great. I will see how each stands up to the environment. My recommendation though is the Meguiar's wax.

Second and hardest - removing the water stains from the sides of the Ollie (see before picture attached earlier in this post): Washing the Ollie with a good Boat soap removed some of the water stain. I tired scrubbing the remaining water stains using the following products: 1) White vinegar which did almost nothing in removing the stains (maybe I should have used more "elbow grease". 2) White vinegar mixed with Joy kitchen soap which worked about the same as the white vinegar by itself. 3) Bio-kleen Oxidation remover, which was given to me by the previous owner. This would have worked (as reported by the previous owner) but the first try really did little and would have required a lot of "elbow grease" and multiply coats. I was a little nervous that the product might not be a friendly environmental chemical to use. 4) Star brite Premium Cleaner Wax which removed the water stains but some extra rubbing to remove the stain. (5) Meguiar's 67 One step compound. This product was thick and harder to get our of the bottle but I was amazed at how easy it went on and fully removed the water stains with only a little rubbing. The clear winner was the Meguiar's 67 One Step Compound which also had a polish componet in it. 

After using the Meguiar's 67 One Step Compound on the top half of the Ollie and before waxing, I took a picture of the side of the Ollie to show everyone. You can see the water stains on the lower half. Imagine these stains going up to the roof line before I removed them with the Meguiar's 67.

With removal of the water stains and two coats of Meguiar's wax my Ollie now looks likes brand new just like fresh out of the factory. With this spring cleaning and waxing and washing throughtout the summer, (and washing and waxing before the winter layup hopefully the water stains do not reappear.

Thanks again for everyones helpful suggestions.

Richard

 

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2018 Oliver Elite II, Hull #354

2018 RAM 1500 Rebel 4 x 4

 

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