A clean dock is important for a beautiful waterfront, not to mention safer for you and your family. Algae buildup on your boat lift, dock, and accessories is not only unattractive but slippery. It’s important to clean algae once you see it and prevent it from growing in the first place. Thankfully, dealing with algae on your dock doesn’t mean investing in expensive cleaning solutions or professional cleaners. With these three tips, you can do it yourself.
Invest in the Right Dock
No dock will be completely immune to algae growth. Anything that’s exposed to water can be affected by algae. However, aluminum boat lifts and docks can help minimize algae growth. Aluminum is better at resisting algae growth than other materials like wood, and aluminum is easy to clean as well.
Choose Safe Products
When cleaning your dock and boat lift, use a non-corrosive cleaning solution. This can be as simple as baking soda or a few drops of water-based dishwashing liquid that you already have in your home. The EPA’s Sager Choice Standard can help determine which products are best to use: pick something biodegradable and phosphate-free and with a neutral pH. Rub the surface of your dock and lift down with a soft cleaning pad or brush, and once you’re done rinse with water or blast the dock surface with a pressure washer.
Know What to Avoid
Some cleaning products can have environmental and health risks, so it’s important to watch what you put in the water. Even ordinary household cleaners can increase nutrient pollution in lakes and streams, which can cause algae blooms and oxygen depletion and hurt the water and wildlife. In general, you should avoid any cleaning products that contain these hazardous ingredients:
- Antibacterials and disinfectants
- Butyl glycol, ethylene glycol, or monobutyl
- Chlorine bleach
- Petroleum solvents
- Phosphorous and phosphates