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.

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In an update to our June 2006 and January 2007 metal polish test, we pit three products against PSs 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 werent available for the stainless test, so we decided to put those three to work on a grimy stainless bow railing.

Metal Cleaners

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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 thats 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 Sailors 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 Marines Teflon Boat Polish.

Darrell Nicholson, editor of Practical Sailor, grew up boating on Miami’s Biscayne Bay on everything from prams to Morgan ketches. Two years out of Emory University, after a brief stint as a sportswriter, he set out from Miami aboard a 60-year-old wooden William Atkin ketch named Tosca. For 10 years, he and writer-photographer Theresa Gibbons explored the Caribbean, crossed the Pacific, and cruised Southeast Asia aboard Tosca, working along the way as journalists and documenting their adventures for various travel and sailing publications, including Cruising World, Sail, Sailing, Cruising Helmsman, and Sailing World. Upon his return to land life, Darrell became the associate editor, then senior editor at Cruising World magazine, where he worked for five years. Before taking on the editor’s position at Practical Sailor, Darrell was the editor of Offshore magazine, a boating-lifestyle magazine serving the New England area. Darrell has won multiple awards from Boating Writer’s International, including the Monk Farnham award for editorial excellence. He holds a U.S. Coast Guard 100-ton Master license and has worked as a harbor pilot and skippered a variety of commercial charter boats.

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