Posted on December 15, 2022
What can I use to clean my deck that won’t harm the fish?
A clean, well-maintained boat dock is important for a beautiful waterfront. It’s also safer for you, your family, and the environment. Algae buildup is unattractive and too slippery to walk on and needs to be cleaned once you see it to avoid accidents.
But another part of what makes your waterfront beautiful is the water itself. To keep your shoreline beautiful, you don’t want to use chemicals that will hurt or kill wildlife. Luckily, cleaning your dock the eco-friendly way is simple and less expensive than buying cleaning solutions or hiring professional cleaners. Here are some tips for how to clean your dock without harming the natural beauty of your water.
Unfortunately, algae can grow on just about any surface that’s exposed to water. However, some materials resist algae better than others. For instance, certain tropical hardwoods and other wood materials have natural oils and tannins that can resist algae growth. Aluminum boat lifts and docks are better at resisting algae growth than wood or most other materials. Aluminum is also very easy to clean—all you need is a pressure washer, and it doesn’t require staining or refinishing like wood.
The best cleaning products for your boat dock and lift are non-corrosive. You really don’t need much to keep everything clean while staying eco-friendly, especially if your boat dock and lift are made of aluminum or another very easy-to-clean material—baking soda or water-based dishwashing liquid are both great for boat docks and things you already have in your house. Look to the EPA Safer Choice Standard to help choose something biodegradable, phosphate-free, and with a neutral pH. To clean, rub the surfaces with a soft cleaning pad or brush, and rinse or power-wash the surface when you’re done.
It’s always important to watch what you put directly into the water due to the environmental and health risks of some chemicals. Even chemicals you use everywhere in your house shouldn’t be used on your dock. Some cleaners are toxic, and others can cause nutrient pollution, which can cause harmful algae blooms and oxygen depletion in your water and harm existing wildlife. In general, avoid anything with these ingredients:
After decades spent on, in, and engineering for the water, ShoreMaster’s waterfront experts know a thing or two about taking care of your dock decking and accessories. Whether you’re looking for a new addition to your existing dock, building your dream waterfront from the ground up, installing a dock system and need some tips, or searching for advice on how to care for your waterfront from the shore to the bottom, ShoreMaster has a customer support team of experts who can help. Get in touch with a local ShoreMaster dealer for advice and products tailored to your unique waterfront.