Do any paddlers have advice on cleaning mildew and other crud from nylon drybags and other kayaking gear made from nylon fabrics? I have the habit of often not appropriately cleaning my gear after a trip and need some tips to cure my sins. I know bleach kills mildew, but I don’t really feel like using that on all my stuff for fear of damaging it. Any tips are greatly appreciated----------Kevin
Usually sold in dive shops. Just recommended to me by Immersion Research for splashtops.
sink the stink
a product you can find a scuba store. It takes the funk out of wet suits after they are stored wet. I mix up a trash can full and soak them.
Bleach shouldn’t be used on any paddling gear since it degrades nylon and rubber products. But there are mold and mildew alternatives including vinegar (which you can buy in gallon jugs at large grocery stores – Heinz makes a slightly stronger dilution called "cleaning vinegar:), hydrogen peroxide and tea tree extract (the latter kind of costly for large applications). Supposedly the combination of vinegar and peroxide is more effective than either alone.
I have had good results rinsing my paddling gear with Mirazyme. I keep a 5 gallon bucket in the area where I store my gear and mix a solution of the enzyme liquid and dip anything that won’t dry quickly after regular rinsing (like my neoprene paddling booties and any wetsuit gear or drybags) in the rinse before hanging them up to air dry.
I have also had good results in removing mold and mildew from sponging off items with a sponge or rag soaked in vinegar. (Before I had water intrusion remediation done in my basement a few years ago that was a regular chore.)
Vinegar got the mildew smell from nylon
backpack I had.
A year later I could barely smell the vinegar when facing into the wind.
what I do now
just wipe a dab of vinegar under your nose, it gets rid of all bad smells except vinegar.
it’s all relative
I’d rather smell faintly of pickles than strongly of fermented river slime.
On a related note, it’s funny how we react to smells once we’ve been off the grid on a trip or something. At that point fermented river slime bothers me less than strong perfumes.
Most perfumes bother me most of the
Mildew bothers me as much a perfume.
Dawn dish soap has always been my goto
cleaner for all sorts of gear.