How to Detail a Wave Runner or Jet Ski

Detailing a wave runner or jet ski is an important step in maintaining its appearance and prolonging its lifespan. Jet skis tend to experience heavy oxidation from the time they spend in and out of water.

The two best times to detail wave runners are before the first time they are used each summer or immediately after to prepare for storage in the winter months. Overall the process to detailing a jet ski is similar to detailing a boat, except you are working in smaller and more intricate spaces.

A detailed wave runner or jet ski not only looks great but also runs more efficiently and safely. Watch this DKTV video to learn how to detail a wave runner: 

Here are a few steps to follow when detailing your watercraft.

  1. Start with a good rinse: Begin by rinsing off your wave runner or jet ski with a hose or pressure washer. This will remove any loose dirt or debris, and make it easier to see any areas that need special attention.
  2. Clean the engine and mechanical parts: Use a specialized engine cleaner like our Citrus Cleaner to clean your watercraft’s engine and mechanical parts. Don’t let this product dry on the painted areas around the engine if working out in the sun because this product is caustic and can stain the paint, windscreen, etc.
  3. Clean the entire watercraft: Use a car wash soap like our Black Cherry or if you need to do more aggressive cleaning on some areas, our Ex-Con can be helpful especially if you have scum build-up on the lower portions. A Medium Duty Brush can be used to scrub away grime from unpainted areas. A Microfiber Chenille Wash Mitt or Soft Bristle Wash Brush can be used for all of the painted and smooth finished components. Make sure to rinse thoroughly with fresh water afterward, and don’t let any chemicals dry before rinsing.
  4. Clean the seat: Use the same wash soap or an all-purpose cleaner like our Special Force with a Soft Bristle Brush to clean the seat of your wave runner or jet ski. 
  5. Dry: After cleaning, use a microfiber drying towel like our Gauntlet Towel to dry your wave runner or jet ski.
  6. Compound and/or polish the paint: Depending on the condition of the paint, you might need to compound and then polish, or just simply polish the paint. If the paint is oxidized, you will want to compound first. After compounding, or if you don’t need to compound, you can go straight to polishing. For best results, using a polisher is recommended for these steps, but you can also do this work by hand. 
  7. Protect the watercraft: Finally, apply a coat of sealant like our STS3000 or a Ceramic Coating to protect the watercraft’s finish. This will help to prevent UV damage and oxidation and keep the watercraft looking great for longer.

It’s important to note that the above steps should be done regularly to maintain the appearance and performance of your watercraft. Avoid using abrasive materials or harsh chemicals on the watercraft, as they may damage the surface. Always read and follow the instructions on any cleaning product you use. Remember that a detailed watercraft not only looks good but also runs more efficiently and safely.