kayak seat odor remedies???

Just took my new Tsunami 140 on its maiden voyage down a chunk of the Suwannee river. Hosed it down both inside and out after the trip, but can’t seem to get the “suwannee stank” out of the seat. Looking for eco-friendly cleaning/deodorizing products or even home remedies that might help. Any suggestions???

Sink The Stink
Works great on neoprene. Don’t know what material your seat is. Might be worth looking at.


thanks for the tip. I believe that the seat material is some kind of synthetic-- maybe not neoprene, but definitely something listed at the sinkthestink website. Will try to remember to post again after using it.

lay off the…

…cheap burritos.

Or is that burritoes?



Kayak Seat?
Is that like Athlete’s Foot?

Or Runner’s Rash?

I suggest a daily Sitz bath, along with improved personal hygiene …

toot jokes
I usually just keep my nose plugs on, works great -bert

helps to keep it all in, you just need to hold your breath for 15 seconds when removing :wink:

Baking soda?
I’ve seen advice for removing freezer and refrigerator smells that recommended using baking soda, possibly in a paste form (mixed with clean water). You have to leave the stuff in there for a while so it can absorb the stinky air. Do a 'net search for this technique.

I often rinse my kayak inside and out with fresh water after paddling, then let dry in the sun before storing it. Then again, I don’t paddle in really stinky water.

If anything stinks at our house, my wife sprays the heck out of it with Fabreeze, sometimes adding Lysol. Cheap to try and works well on every other stinky thing … I don’t think it would harm your seat.

Thanks pikabike… not sure why baking soda didn’t come to mind earlier. I’ll just grab a few of those vented boxes (or buy some in bulk and put it in something reusable) and chuck 'em in there before storing. Much cheaper than the specialty products (and probably less harmful to the environment once disposed). Will try to remember to re-post after I use it.

FOLLOW-UP to cockpit odor remedies
Just in case anyone checks this, I thought I’d give an update on two solutions I am testing to combat kayak cockpit odors.

  1. Baking soda-- in theory, this was a great idea when originally suggested. The problem is how to aerate the soda so that it absorbs resident odors without spilling everywhere during transit. I decided to take the lazy way out and buy one of the Arm & Hammer stick-up filters that has the baking soda contained in a mesh-like bag surrounded by a vented plastic housing with a suction cup (don’t remember the exact name of this product, but many supermarkets sell them). Unfortunately, the suction cup wouldn’t stick to the inside roof or walls of the cockpit, so I just tucked it into the rigging on back of the seat to keep it from getting in the way or moving around.

    So far, it seems to be doing well in reducing the odor. Admittedly, this is not the most ecologically-responsible solution, but when weighed against other options (aerosol sprays) its not the worst either. I also suppose that the plastic housing could be recycled (or perhaps reused if the proper-sized mesh bags could be purchased separately and refilled by hand), and the used baking soda could also be given a second life by using it to clear sink drains or some other one-time household cleaning use that would otherwise involve more toxic materials. Probably not good for cooking though-- especially if, like mine, it got submerged during a “wet-exit” :slight_smile:

  2. Cedar wood-- this was an accidental discovery while looking around Bed, Bath, & Beyond for a reusable mesh-vented container to hold the baking soda (no luck). Seems that the Cedar Fresh Home Products company (cedarfresh.com) sells a number of cedar products for keeping items fresh in closets or enclosed areas. The value pack contains 4 cloth sacks of cedar wood shavings, 20 cedar bar blocks, and 12 cedar discs. I put one bag in each of the kayak holds and tied about 3 of the discs on to one of the tightening cords behind the seat. Stuffed a few of the blocks in the sacks for my tent and sleeping bag.

    The positives of this solution are 1) everything smells as fresh, like… a cedar closet!, 2) this product is made in the U.S.A. (except for the cloth sacks, I think), 3) doesn’t require buying non-reusable or single-function plastic objects (like the arm & hammer vented housing), and 4) all of the cedar products could potentially be used as firestarter sources (especially the shavings contained in the bags). I also hear that cedar has bug-repelling properties, but I’m not sure how much has to be present or in what form in order for the person in the cockpit to really see any benefits.

    BB&B sells the sacks, blocks, and discs in separate packages for $7.99, so buying the $15 combo-pack saves $9.00 (and it was true savings, because I actually used all three different kinds of products in the pack).

    Only possible downside here concerns whether or not the company that distributes these cedar products gets their raw materials from responsible loggers. They claim to “harvest the cedar in an environmentally friendly, sustainable and self-renewing manner to ensure our future.”

    I’m not sure how one would verify/certify such practices, but where I live virtually all logging (except to remove diseased trees) has a negative environmental impact. Perhaps a more knowledgeable kayaker could enlighten me on this topic. In the meanwhile, if anyone else wants to suggest any other homemade odor remedies please respond to this message. I would be especially interested in hearing about any solutions that are cheap, environmentally responsible, and effective!

Follow-up to the FOLLOW-UP…
Took the yak out on a nearby lake for some wet exit/re-entry practice. After two days of airing out, I discovered that the cloth sacks holding the cedar shavings were beginning to grow mold. Also, the baking soda leached through its mesh pouch and left chalky residue all over the seat that required significant scrubbing to remove. Of the original products tested earlier, the only one that has withstood the elements are the Cedar Fresh cedar discs that I tied into the rigging on the seatback. Even when wet you can still smell them, they don’t seem to get moldy, and they dry out fairly quickly. Probably not going to be strong enough though for the stinkier trips, so I’m still open to other suggestions.