Boat Soap Ratings

Unfortunately, studies are limited. We make our best recommendations using the following resources:

1..BoatUS Foundation tested 20 top boat soaps for their eco-friendliness. See the results and product rankings here. The revealing study, published in 2009, is due for an update in the near future. Our recommendations reflect availability, as some of the top products from the study are no longer on the market.

2..The EPA’s Safer Choice label also certifies some marine and all-purpose cleaners. As with all products, it’s critical to not trust a product because it uses flashy words like “green.” And know that the words “non-toxic” and “biodegradable” are not federally regulated and thus meaningless. It’s practically impossible to know a product’s “greenness” by its label (read ‘greenwashing’). Some green labeled products can actually be worse than “normal” ones. Instead, rely on trusted third party sources, like the EWG or EPA.

3..The Environmental Working Group’s Guide to Healthy Cleaning is the resource you’ve been looking for to tell the truth about “green” cleaners. They use an “A” through “F” rating system to score top brands, and searching for your favorite products is easy. We ask that you use “A-rated” dish soaps and toilet bowl cleaner (“B-rated” is ok, but “A” is #goals). And know that a single brand can have A-rated products AND F-rated products, so choose carefully.

Yes.

Shurhold’s Yacht Brite Brite Wash

Conclusion: A good choice. Quite green and effective. Unsure about local availability. *Do you know? Contact us!

-Boat US rating: #4/20. Toxicity-good, biodegradability-good, cleaning performance-good 

-EPA Safer Choice: No.

-EWG: Not evaluated.

Simple Green All-Purpose Cleaner and Degreaser 

Conclusion: A good choice. Harmful if not diluted per instructions. EPA Safer Choice certified. Easy to find locally. Good (though conflicted) environmental ratings- they’ve recently removed some bad stuff.

-Boat US rating: #5/20. Toxicity-good, biodegradability-fair, cleaning performance-good.

-EPA Safer Choice: Yes. Carries EPAs Safer Choice label.

-EWG: Receives an “F” rating from the Environmental Working Group (EWG), seemingly because it is harmful when not diluted. And the spray bottle encourages concentrated usage. Conflicted.

3M Marine Boat Soap

Conclusion: A decent choice. Quite green and effective. Unsure about local availability. *Do you know? Contact us!

-Boat US rating: #7/20. Toxicity-excellent, biodegradability-poor, cleaning performance-good.

-EPA Safer Choice: No.

-EWG: Not evaluated.

Booyah Boat Wash

Conclusion: Appears to be an eco-friendly and effective product. However, it’s a bit pricey and doesn’t seem to be available locally. *Do you know? Contact us!

-Boat US rating: Pending in upcoming study.

-EPA Safer Choice: Yes. Carries EPAs Safer Choice label.

-EWG: Not evaluated.

Meguiar’s Gel Wash

Conclusion: A surprisingly eco-friendly choice. But cleaning performance is poor. Unsure about local availability. *Do you know? Contact us!

-Boat US rating: #2/20. Toxicity-excellent, biodegradability-excellent, cleaning performance-poor.

-EPA Safer Choice: No.

-EWG: Not evaluated.


Maybe.

Starbrite Sea Safe Boat Wash

Conclusion: A decent choice. Available locally. But it doesn’t perform as “green” as the label would have you believe.

-Boat US rating: #9/20. Toxicity-good, biodegradability-poor, cleaning performance-good.

-EPA Safer Choice: No.

-EWG: Not evaluated.


No.

OrPine Boat Soap

Conclusion: BoatUS results are disappointing. So is the cleaning performance. Not recommended.

-Boat US rating: #18/20. Toxicity-good, biodegradability-poor, cleaning performance-poor

-EPA Safer Choice: No.

-EWG: Not evaluated.

West Marine Pure Oceans All Surface

Conclusion: BoatUS results are disappointing. doesn’t perform as “green” as the label would have you believe.

-Boat US rating: #16/20. Toxicity-fair, biodegradability-fair, cleaning performance-good.

-EPA Safer Choice: No.

-EWG: Not evaluated.

Ecover Heavy Duty Boat Wash

Conclusion: BoatUS results are very disappointing. This is an example of “greenwashing.” Other types of Ecover cleaners score very well on EWG.org.

-Boat US rating: #20/20. Toxicity-poor, biodegradability-poor, cleaning performance-good.

-EPA Safer Choice: No.

-EWG: Not evaluated.