Dockside Blues? Eliminate Barnacles And Maintain The Aluminum Your Structure Is Made Of

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If you own a piece of beachfront property and utilize your aluminum dock and portable ladder while fishing or entering and exiting the water to swim, keeping the aluminum surface clean will prevent barnacles from adhering to the rungs of the ladder or the dock's platform. If you have neglected the dock platform and ladder, the following steps can be completed to restore the aluminum surface that each piece is constructed of.


  • waterproof covers
  • aluminum cleansing agent
  • water hose
  • bucket 
  • non abrasive sponge
  • soft bristled scrub brush
  • plastic putty knife
  • microfiber cloths
  • aluminum protectant
  • buffing sponge

Detach The Ladder And Clean All Aluminum Surfaces

Gather up cleaning supplies and place them on a flat portion of your property. Lay waterproof covers acrosss the ground to support the ladder structure. Detach the ladder structure and carry it to the waterproof surface before carefully setting it down. A non abrasive sponge or a soft brislted scrub brush can be used to adminster an aluminum cleansing agent to hardened surfaces on aluminum.

A cleaning tool that has a cleanser applied to it should be move back in forth in an even manner over affected surfaces. Barnacles will loosen after being exposed to moisture. If barnacles do not respond to a standard cleaning solution, the edge of a plastic putty knife can be used to scrape the barnacles from aluminum.

Rinse Aluminum And Apply A Protectant 

Spray the ladder with water and use microfiber cloths to dry the rungs and side rails that the ladder is constructed of. Clean and dry the aluminum dock with the same steps that were used to clean the ladder. After aluminum surfaces are clean and barnacles are no longer an issue, dampen a soft sponge with an aluminum protectant. This type of product will add shine to the aluminum surface and will create a barrier that will minimize the risk of barnacles attaching to the dock and ladder again.

Move the sponge across the metal by using circular motions. Use protectant in small doses so that greasy streaks do not appear on aluminum. If you apply too much protectant by accident, simply wipe it off with a dry cloth. After the dock and ladder have been treated, reattach the ladder to the dock. The protectant will help the aluminum maintain its shine and will prevent debris from sticking to surfaces. It is also important, however, to briefly clean the dock and ladder at regular intervals with soapy water and a sponge or scrub brush.