Antifouling paint that has become contaminated with oil can become “blocked”. This will prevent the biocide from being released which could lead to premature fouling. This contaminated layer may make the adhesion of new antifouling difficult.

Special Note: Sanding or sand blasting a surface that still has oil on it may drive the oil into the surface and cause poor adhesion of new paint.

Cleaning of heavily contaminated hard or ablative antifouling surfaces:

  • Use a paint stripper to remove all the pollution and the paint

  • Scrub the substrate using Interlux Fiberglass Surface Prep and a coarse Star brite Super Scrub Pad pad.

  • Rinse with fresh water.

  • Repeat until the surface is clean (when the water cascades off the surface with no beading or separation). Allow the surface to dry thoroughly prior to re-painting.

Cleaning of lightly contaminated hard or ablative antifouling surfaces:

  • Power wash and then use a household detergent with water to scrub off any pollution.

  • Then scrub using Interlux Fiberglass Surface Prep and a coarse Star brite Super Scrub Pad pad and rinse thoroughly with fresh water. Let dry prior to re-painting.

  • Polishing paints such as Micron Technology may be re-launched without painting assuming the film thickness of remaining paint is adequate (2-3 mils dry after scrubbing) and the next application is scheduled within 5 months.

The above process is also recommended for metal boats, however, to avoid corrosion the metal substrate should be prepared by grinding or blasting after the cleaning process and prior to priming. Apply InterProtect 2000E primer per label instructions to aid adhesion.

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AWLGRIP Recommendations For The Treatment Of Topside Paint Contaminated With Crude Oil

Contaminated topcoats should be cleaned as soon as possible to minimize the damaging effects of crude oil. If the surface of topside paint is contaminated with crude oil, staining and degradation of the topcoat may result from the acidic nature of crude oil. In the case of heavy contamination, the material may be a thick, sticky tar-like material due to its exposure to the elements. The recommendations below apply to Awlgrip®, Awlcraft® 2000, and Interlux® Perfection topcoats.

  • If there is any doubt about the type of surface in question always test a small area first.

  • Clear contaminates on the surface by wiping down the surface with T0016, T0170, or Mineral Spirits

  • Power wash, and clean with Awlwash® at a 4 oz/gallon level (or use household liquid detergents such as Joy).

  • The detergent washing must be done in manageable areas. Each area should then be thoroughly rinsed with plenty of clean water before moving on to the next step. DO NOT allow detergent solutions to dry on the surface.

  • Hulls with only a light ‘sheen’ contamination, may be cleaned with a regular concentration of Awlwash, though they too may benefit from a prewash wipe down with T0016, T0170, or Mineral Spirits to loosen the film.

  • In both cases, it is recommended that the newly cleaned surface be protected from further contamination with the application of Awlcare®.


Follow all local regulations and marina guidelines concerning the disposal of contaminated wastewater. Collecting the water and the emulsified crude will prevent the spreading of contamination. Crude, solvents, and contaminated wipes must also be disposed of in a responsible manner.

Interlux Technical Service: 1-800-468-7589

Awlgrip Technical Service: 1-888-355-3090

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