303 vs Armorall

Hi Folks,

I missed the N.England Paddle Fest. this w/end although I did visit Kittery Trading Post. I Purchased the 303 Protectant for my Kayak both F/G anf Poly. I couldn"t believe the sales person telling me that the 303 was the same as Armorall. I informed him of the alcohol content in Armorall and the drying effect your looking to avoid…and your thoughts…

Definitely not the same
For years I used Armor-All. It looks like it’s “wetting” the vinyl or plastic at first, but later on it dries it out.

303 does NOT do this. It goes on glossy like Armor-All and eventually wears off but it does not desiccate the vinyl or plastic.

Salespeople pull “facts” out of their butt sometimes. Don’t trust them.

Forget about the alcohol and the drying.
It’s a phony issue. I have found no difference between Armorall and 303, except that Armorall drys better without needing a lot of buffing. I just sniffed my Armorall bottle, and I don’t detect any indicatio of alcohol.

The claims about Armorall damaging hulls are just hogwash. I don’t know if Armorall has protected from UV as well as 303, but how does ANYONE know?

Armorall has just updated their formula again, so all bets are off.

“…sniffed…don’t detect…”
…any indication of alcohol.

Silly, persons. alcohol is a colorless, odorless, tasteless liquid.

Armorall has changed their formula
lots of times over the years. But, so far as I know, it has always been petroleum based and 303 has been silicon based. Who knows what the latest version is. But I have never found Armorall to work very well at all. I used it on the vinyl seats of my pontoon boat and it did nothing that I could detect compared to the vinyl I did not treat. But probably the main point is why use anything at all? Just limit the exposure of your boat to the sun when you are not paddling it. Works better than any chemical.

I’ve used high-purity isopropanol in a cleanroom, and it has a very definite odor.

From the Dow Chemical website:

“IPA is a colorless, flammable liquid with a characteristic alcohol / acetone-like odor.”

Here we go again
I asked Armor All about its use on plastic kayaks. Here is the answer. DO NOT USE IT! It is not, repeat, not the same as 303.

October 28, 2005

Mr. xxx

Reference Number: 4254184

Dear xxxx

Thank you for contacting us about Armor All Protectant - Original. We always appreciate hearing from our consumers.

We would not recommend that you use this product on a plastic boat. There are two reasons, the first is it is not waterproof and it will streak and the second is that many boat manufacturers treat the boats with something that may react with the silicone in the protectant. Please contact us at any time if you have additional questions.

Again, thank you for contacting us.


Patti Copper

Consumer Response Representative

Consumer Services

I Armor-Alled all of my boats
last Fall, just before putting them up in the garage for the winter. When I went out last week to get them out, they were all gone! Armor-All caused all of my boats to dissolve into vapor.

odorless, tasteless??
er,what alcohols do you use that are so inert?

Anything alcohol based is to precious to use on a boat and is relished at room temp.

Actually i use 303.

is the clue there :slight_smile:

I’m not a chemist

– Last Updated: Apr-07-08 8:17 AM EST –

and I can't say for sure, but it all smells like snake oil to me. The stuff even leaves an oil slick in my wake!

It’s the froglegs…

…what you smell are the hops.

I did the same thing hermiting did, got the same answer. So what other silicon based items that you can find at your local auto-zone have folks used? the problem i have with 303 besides its price & availability is that it doesn’t last very long and seems to wash off pretty quick…

Simple test proposal

– Last Updated: Apr-07-08 8:05 AM EST –

I think I should try this, as I've intended to for a while; Two strips of 'clear' poly sheet, one with 303(or other product) applied, one without, about 4" X 8" each. Tape them to the front page of your local newspaper and place on the rear deck of any sedan for two sunny days. That should provide answers to questions regarding effective UV filtration/reflection. I agree with Swedge that the stuff washes off almost as soon as it hits water. Perhaps more tests involving immersion?

303 has more uv protection. this will rage on i’m sure. i’ve used 303 0n my boats for years. It seems to work. VF

i hope
i wear my boat out before any product i shine it with has a chance to.after looking at the shiny rutted up bottom. i think ive got a sizable lead

UV Tech
McNett UV Tech is better than both of them.

Armorall is cheap
That’s why I use it on everything and some times I will buy a rip-off brand called 203. It works great on VCP and Kayak Sport lids - makes them go on easier. I rub my fiberglass and varnished boats with it for an instant shine. If I’m going to a wood boat show, I rub them down with Armorall and they look like they were just varnished.

The only thing I use the 303 on is my dry suit seals - only because they recommend it and the manufacturers must have done some research and those are 100% rubber. I also spray it on my zippers.

Aluminum Foil
works better than even that.