Features March 2007 Issue

Marine Metal Polish

The battle of metal cleaners continues: Four products attack a dirty bow rail. Miracle Cloth still bests the other at getting the grime off.

In an update to our June 2006 and January 2007 metal polish test, we pit three products against PS’s favored metal polish: Miracle Cloth (the top pick for both stainless steel and bronze). The challengers—Sure Shine from Weems & Plath and Metal Polish Pros’ Mirage Polish & Sealant and Prism Polish—debuted in the bronze cleaner test published in January. This time, we put them to work on a stainless steel bow railing. Both Sure Shine and Prism Polish performed well, but the hands-down winner for shiny stainless remains Miracle Cloth.

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In the last year, Practical Sailor tested a slew of metal polishes on stainless steel (June 2006) and bronze (January 2007). The bronze test included three newcomers that weren’t available for the stainless test, so we decided to put those three to work on a grimy stainless bow railing.

Metal Cleaners
Latecomers (from left) Prism Polish, Mirage Polish, and Sure Shine, took on reigning champ Miracle Cloth (far right).
The challengers: Sure Shine from Weems & Plath and Metal Polish Pros’ Mirage Polish & Sealant and Prism Polish. To see whether they would unseat the reigning overall metal polish, Miracle Cloth rated Excellent in both the stainless and bronze polish test we taped the railing into four sections. Testers applied the products per the instructions, and evaluated how well the newcomers performed against each other and compared to the Miracle Cloth.

Sure Shine is advertised as a one-step application that cleans, polishes, and protects for three to six months. Testers rated it as Very Good.

Prism Polish is a "metal polish and fiberglass deoxidizer" formulated to clean, polish, and protect all metals. It also earned a Very Good rating.

Mirage Polish & Sealant is marketed as a wax-free cleaner and sealant that’s safe for all finishes. Although its label claims in the fine print that it cleans chrome, Mirage Polish appears to be meant primarily for "finished" surfaces (clear coat, gelcoat, paints, plastics, etc.) rather than for heavy metal cleaning. In fact, the label for Prism Polish recommends Mirage Polish & Sealant for use on fiberglass and painted surfaces. The Mirage mustered a Fair+ this round.

The Miracle Cloth lived up to its title as Practical Sailor’s Best Choice for polishing stainless and bronze, edging out the newcomers to keep top honors for stainless cleaning.

Bottom Line: The hands-down winner: Miracle Cloth. We recommend both Sure Shine and Prism Polish for cleaning stainless.

To see how the newbies stack up to the other cleaners tested, check out the chart. Five products did not make the performance cut after two tests, and were dropped from the chart: Woody Wax CPR System spray; the liquid Mothers Chrome Polish; Nevr Dull Magic Wadding Polish, the ZEP Stainless Steel spray cleaner, and West Marine’s Teflon Boat Polish.

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