How to Restore a Faded Jet Ski? DIY

While jet skis can last for a very long time, they are susceptible to losing and fading their color. While it usually doesn’t effect the operation capabilities, it can certainly ruin the aesthetic. Luckily, there are cheap and easy ways to restore a faded jet ski.

How to restore faded jet ski

The key to restoring a faded jet ski is to use a heat got to revive the plastic, and then perfect it with a polisher.

Before using the heat gun, I suggest you use some jet ski cleaning supplies to make sure the surface of your jet ski is clean and smooth. 

Now I know what you might be thinking, a heat gun sounds dangerous and expensive. Luckily, you can find a quality heat gun from amazon for only $20. Most of them also work just like a hair dryer, and they are easy to operate.

Now I’m not going to lie and pretend like I know the science behind why heating the plastic restores it. The thing just kinda works like magic.

Once you acquire a heat gun, put it on a light heat setting. You don’t want to start too strong and end up melting the plastic.

Point the heat perpendicular to the plastic to make sure you are evenly hitting it. Make sure to keep a distance of around 6 inches.

Slowly move the heat around evenly across small sections. You should begin to see some improvement pretty soon. If not, you might need to increase the heat.

You should also know that this can take a while. Sometimes it can take up to 20 minutes to complete a square foot.

If there are some faded trouble spots, you can try putting a rubbing compound on them. Afterwards, you can try applying jet ski polisher to see if that helps.

Once the jet ski is now an improved, restored color, you can move on to the last step.


At this point, your jet ski should look a lot better than the start, but still need a little work. That is where the polishing comes in.

Simply use any polisher that is meant for boats or jet skis. If you want to maximize the shine, you can use a buffer to apply the polisher. Buffers are also pretty cheap on amazon, so it could be worth it in the long run.

After you apply the shiner, your jet ski should be good to go.

Now you might be wondering what causes a faded jet ski, and how you can prevent it in the future.

What causes a jet ski to fade?

Now there are a combination of things that cause a jet ski to fade. For starters, there the light.

UV rays from sunlight

The UV rays from the sun are able to heat up the plastic so that the color begins to fade. While this is pretty much unavoidable, there are some things you can do to prevent direct sunlight while you aren’t riding the jet ski.

If you have your own dock, try to position the jet ski in a spot that does not receive a lot of sunlight. This could help prevent a lot of damage over the summer.

For the winter, try to keep your jet ski under a garage. This will protect your jet ski also from rain. You can learn more storing techniques in my article on how to winterize a jet ski.

If you don’t have a garage, at least put a cover over your jet ski. While your jet ski will still be vulnerable to other weather conditions, it will be safe from the sunlight.

Spilled gasoline

Another often overlooked cause of fading plastic on  jet skis is gasoline. Yep, a simple gasoline spill can cause your plastic to fade.

Again, I don’t know the science behind it, but the combination of the gasoline and uv rays cause the plastic to break down.

While you can’t necessarily predict a gas spill, you should try to always fill your gas tank in a secured, low wake area. This will greatly reduce the risk of spilling some on your jet ski. It’s also bad for the lake ecosystem as well.

If you do get a spill, you should try to dump water on it immediately. You want to do this before the sun is able to heat it up.

Sometimes, this will help prevent the gas from having an impact on the plastic.


Gas is not the only thing that can stain your plastic. Many people don’t realize that sunscreen can cause your jet ski color to fade.

While it is great to wear sunscreen, try your best not to get excess sunscreen on the jet ski. Now I know this can be pretty unavoidable if you’re sweating, so just try to wash the jet ski off with water if you notice sunscreen stuck on it.

You can also consider wearing a UV protected shirt, which could help prevent the amount of sunscreen that makes contact with the jet ski.


I know you’ve probably heard this a hundred times before, but saltwater does deteriorate essentially everything at a faster rate compared to freshwater.

Therefore, your jet ski color will probably fade quicker if you use your jet ski in saltwater. You can help mitigate this process by thoroughly washing out your jet ski every time you use it in saltwater.

Not only will this help maintain your color, but it will also extend the shelf life of your jet ski’s engine.


I hope this article helped explain just how easy it is to restore a faded jet ski. You can essentially get the job done by yourself with only $25 worth of supplies. It might take an hour or two, but it is certainly worth the wait.

I also hope that you now know of some techniques to help prevent the fading of your jet ski’s color.