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How to Clean a Jet Ski in 5 Easy Steps [Video Guide]

How to Clean a Jet Ski in 5 Easy Steps [Video Guide]

Many owners would like to know how to clean a jet ski properly and what are the best jet ski cleaner alternatives, and for good reason.

Getting a jet ski requires a significant financial investment. So, you will have to take care of your investment properly to prevent any loss in the long-term. And by “taking care” we mean proper jet ski cleaning.Maintaining a jet ski is an ongoing responsibility that you will have to meticulously perform to keep your craft in an optimal condition.

There are four simple steps that you need to follow to properly clean your PWC. Firstly, let’s have a look at some tools that you will need for cleaning, and then we will move towards the actual process:

What Can You Use To Clean A Jet Ski

  • Garden Hose: You will need a garden hose for jet ski cleaning. You may also use a pressure washer if you want.

  • Jet Ski Cleaner: You will need a cleaner if you are cleaning a really dirty jet ski. We recommend the Simple Green which is environmental friendly as well.

  • Soap: Soap is a must in the arsenal of your jet ski cleaning tools. Now, you have two choices. You can either use special boat soap, or you can use the regular car soap. To be honest, there isn’t much of a difference; you can use the car soap and save a few bucks instead.

  • Rags: When it comes to applying the soap on the jet ski or drying it, white cloths work better than a foam sponge. They are easy to get into the irregular places where a sponge can’t reach. You need a bunch of white rags that have some fluff to them along with some microfiber rags.

  • Scrub Brushes: You will also need a long handle scrub brush that will help you in cleaning jet ski seats especially.

  • Wax Spray: To give a final shiny finish to your jet ski, you will need a wax spray as well.

How to Clean a Jet Ski

When it comes to cleaning a jet ski, first, you have to rinse it down with a hose. Then use a mix of cleaner and water and clean the whole jet ski carefully, including the seats and the engine compartment. Finally, rinse it down again with the hose and dry the whole craft completely.

Drying it carefully is very important to avoid mold on the inside of the cover. Occasionally, you can consider using some spray wax to make it bright and shiny. Let’s drill into the details and take a closer look at each step!

1: Rinse it Properly

Start with good and thorough rinsing of your jet ski using a garden hose. The dirtiest part of your jet ski will be the footwells, with a lot of dirt, slime and goo stuck to it. You can use a power washer to scrub it all away.

If you are using a power washer, be careful around the soft spots and decals. If you get too close to them, you could do more harm than good. Once you are done with your first spray of water, you will need to go another round to reach more inner surfaces.

Take the seats off and open all lids and storage places. Be sure to take out the drain plugs and also avoid spraying water on the electrical parts of the craft.

2: Wash With Jet Ski Cleaner and Water

This is the most important part of your jet ski cleaning process. Once you have rinsed your craft and it is all wet, you will need to apply the jet ski cleaner (Simple Green) mixed with 50% of water.

Spray down the jet ski with a mixture of cleaner and water. You can coat pretty much everything with it including the engine. Make sure to apply extra layers to the footwells.

Note: Only use the cleaner if your jet ski is very dirty and needs enormous amounts of cleaning. Furthermore, avoid the aluminum and oxidized white fiberglass as it can turn yellow.

Now, rinse down the jet ski cleaner (Simple Green) and get your craft wet again. This time, get a bucket of water (5-gallon bucket is adequate), add a few drops of car soap, and get the white rag wet in it.

Divide your jet ski into four areas and make sure to wash all the soap off one area before moving to the other.

3: How to Clean a Jet Ski Engine?

It’s also important to clean the jet ski’s engine, especially if you used your ski in saltwater.

You can clean a jet ski engine easily with a damp sponge. First, make sure that your engine is cooled down completely! It’s best if you wipe down the water from the engine first with a sponge. After that, rinse it and the bilge carefully with a low-pressure hose. NEVER use a high-pressure cleaner to clean a jet ski engine!

If your engine/engine compartment is really dirty, you can use Simple Green again, or you can consider another special biodegradable motor degreaser for better cleaning. Many owners prefer to use a little Gunk Engine Cleaner, then scrub the engine with a brush. Finally, use the sponge to clean it completely.

This solution is especially useful if you have an older 2-stroke jet ski, as the engine can be quite dirty in these models after a while.  As a final step, you can use some lubricant to protect the hoses, terminals, and rubber parts.

Never miss cleaning your jet ski’s engine if you used it in saltwater!

4. How to Clean Jet Ski Seats

You need to take extra care of your seats since that’s where you will be sitting the whole time you are out in the sea.

How do You Clean a Jet Ski Seat?

To clean a jet ski seat, you should rinse it first, then spray some jet ski cleaner on it.  Finally, use a scrub brush to clean it completely. For a deeper cleaning, give it a try with a Magic Eraser; using it with cleaner it can make your seat look new.

5. Dry and Wax The Jet Ski

The hard part of jet ski cleaning is gone. Now, you simply have to deal with plain and simple drying. Take the white rag and wipe down your whole craft. Just push the water out with the rag and when it gets full, ring it and then get back to wiping again.

Pay close attention to footwells and once you have gone through the whole craft, take a new rag and start wiping again. This will take out the little amount of water that is left inside.

Once you are done with the second rag, take some microfiber rags and clean the shiny pieces like mirrors and chrome with it. Check your jet ski one final time to make sure it is completely dry, and you are ready for the last step.

After your craft is completely dry, take some spray wax and spray it over your craft. This will give it a perfect shine and protect it from harmful environmental elements.

Make sure to spray the wax at some cool place where there is no direct sunlight. Use a spray or a combination of sprays to make sure your craft gets protection and shine even at its plastic parts.

How To Clean a Jet Ski Cover?

To clean a jet ski cover, the best practice is to lay it down on the driveway first. Then wet it completely with a hose, spray some Simple Green on it, and scrub carefully. Once it’s done, rinse down again and hang it over somewhere and dry it completely.

Many owners wonder if it’s a good idea to put the jet ski cover in the washing machine or not?  While sometimes washing machines can do the job for you, be aware that they may wash off the cover’s waterproofing, so ultimately, you’ll have to make it waterproof again.

On the other hand, washing machines may damage your cover in the worst-case scenario, so because of this, it’s not recommended to use this method!

FAQs About Jet Ski Cleaning

For your convenience, we’ve collected the most common questions about jet ski cleaning, and the answers too, of course.

What Can You Use to Clean Your Jet Ski?

You can use a marine soap, or even Simple Green to clean a jet ski. You will also need a garden hose, a bucket, rags, a sponge, and even a scrub brush, depending on how thorough you want to be. To remove water spots, you may want to use some vinegar/water mixture to make your jet ski perfectly clean.

How Do You Clean a Jet Ski After Use?

You should clean a jet ski after every use, if possible, as part of the after-ride care. You not only should clean the whole hull and the interiors, but you should flush through the systems (cooling, exhaust) as well with attaching a low-pressure hose to the flushing port.

How Do You Clean a Jet Ski After Salt Water Exposure?

You have to clean a jet ski really carefully after saltwater exposure. In this case, flushing through the systems with fresh water is a must as soon as possible! Saltwater is extremely corrosive so you have to remove it from the systems every time!

For How Long Should You Flush a Jet Ski?

You should have to flush a jet ski around 30-40 seconds with fresh water. Don’t run your engine for too long; even the hose is attached to the jet ski, as there are some parts which are not cooled in this situation!

For the same reason, you have to run the engine on idle speed, as high RPM can damage your ski in many ways, even if it’s cooled by running fresh water.

Important: also remember the right order when you attach the hose into the flushing port!

  1. Attach the hose to the flushing port
  2. Start the engine
  3. Turn the water on
  4. Flush the systems around 30-40 seconds
  5. Turn the water off
  6. Turn the jet ski engine off
Be extra careful, as the wrong order may force water into your engine which can lead to permanent damage!

How do You Clean a Jet Ski Intake?

Sucking up a rope or debris into the pump is always a hassle, but if you have to clean the jet ski’s intake, it’s very important to not turn the jet ski over in the water! You always have to tow it back to the dock and put it on the trailer to clean the intake.

How do You Clean the Bottom of a Jet Ski?

You can clean the bottom of the jet ski’s exterior with a power washer. First, it may look tricky, as the jet ski is sitting on the trailer, but it’s recommended you clean the bottom of the jet ski after every ride. Make sure that you pay attention to all nooks and crannies!  Also, don’t forget you should always move from top to bottom when you clean the jet ski, so this means the bottom will be your final step in the process.

How do I Get Water Spots Off my Jet Ski?

After washing your jet ski, there may still be water spots on the hull. If you’re a careful owner, you probably want to know how to remove them.  The good news is that you can remove water spots from a jet ski easily with a mixture of water and vinegar. Just create a 50/50 mixture, rinse down the spots with the liquid, then give them a careful wipe. You can use a towel, rug, or a microfiber cloth.


This was our brief summary of how to clean a jet ski properly. The whole process will not take more than 30 minutes, and when it is cleaned, you will be glad you did it. It’s much faster than cleaning a boat!Clean your jet ski after every use, especially if you used in saltwater and it will remain as good as new. Also, don’t forget to clean your trailer occasionally.

If you simply want to use a jet ski but are not much into maintenance and cleaning, you can browse several jet ski rental services here.