Removing stains on Royalex

I just bought a used Royalex canoe. It had been sitting for quite some time in the water or in someone’s backyard with a couple inches of slough mud, algae and water sitting in it. The canoe came with two nice Bending Branch bend shaft paddles.

I washed out the hull twice with mild soap and warm water and the stain remains. First question - Can I use bleach to remove the stain without doing damage to the hull? I once used bleach to remove walnut hull stains from an in-ground swimming pool. It worked great.

One of the paddles has a warped (cupped) paddle face. Second question - How can I remove the cup from the paddle face? It’s cupped so the power face is convex.

Answers and suggestions would be appreciated.


Try some o’ dat auto upholstery cleaner

– Last Updated: Dec-31-09 1:08 PM EST –

fer vinyl. It always woyk purty well fer me fer moderate stainin' of de vinyl. Bon Ami woyks ok on some stubborn stains.

Cuppin' of yer paddle... well dependin' on de amount of cuppin' ah'd try some careful sandin' of de "horns" (high point at de edges o' de concave face) ta flattin' it out a bit.


I used acetone on a rag …

– Last Updated: Dec-31-09 2:04 PM EST –

...... and it wiped it right out clean . The acetone qt. cans right from the hardware store (consumer product) is what I'm speaking of ... not 100% acetone .

Don't be afraid to try it , it won't hurt your Royalex boat .

Much of the stain is oils that were used in the manufacturing process that have weeped out and hardened in the vinyl layer . (this is the normal aging/harding you have heard of with Royalex) .

The dirt and other stuff cleans with normal cleaners .

No damage to the vinyl skin ... evaporates too quick to cause any softening , but cleans out the stains fantastic .

If you do try the acetone , recomend that you use some latex or nitril disposable gloves and put on a pair of jerseys or similar over them ...because the quick evaporation of the acetone will make your fingers feel frozen fast otherwise .

Yes, you can use acetone on the vinyl
skin of Royalex, but why not use a vinyl cleaner instead?

If you should leave an acetone container in the boat, and if it should fall over, and if the container lid is leaking, then the acetone will go RIGHT THROUGH the vinyl skin and turn the ABS and foam core to mush.

That’s what happened to me. Acetone and also Vynabond and similar vinyl glues must be used with great care around Royalex. The stories about dissolving Royalex are NOT suburban myths.

I’ve used a 1 part Clorox to 8 parts
water with a few drops of liquid dishwashing detergent every spring for the past 16 without ill effect. Rubber gloves, a Dobie plastic scouring pad, a little elbow grease and a good rinse are all that’s needed.

the canoe I used the acetone on …

– Last Updated: Dec-31-09 9:34 PM EST –

..... was an Old Town model , 1984 royalex .

Don't know if the vinyl being used in royalex then was somehow different than more recent years ??

But just to see if any softening would begin (because I do know acetone can and will eventually disolve/melt vinyl if left in contact long enough) , as a test I did purposely allow a fair amount of acetone to stay pooled up for about 3 minutes , checked it continously during that time , then wiped it off .

I believe I could just barely tell that the vinyl skin was maybe beginning to get just a very little bit softer ... not even certain it was but think so ??

Nothing I had tried previous to the acetone would even touch the stains that were in this particular canoe ... hardened oils that weeped out into the vinyl layer for eons ... bought this dirty canoe used , cleaned up like new !!

So yes g2d , good advise to use measured caution with chemicals that may/can disolve vinyl ... and perhaps exhaust all other avenues before trying the acetone ... but to answer your question as to "why use acetone" ... well for my case , nothing else would do the job , and believe me I tried all else I could think of first , so I pass this on in good conscience .

I actually ask on the forum here before trying it and Eric told me that with caution it was worth attempting in my case , it was what I was thinking also so I went for it and very satisfied I did .

Probably the acetone
container was leaking for some days before I discovered it. But while vinyl dissolves slowly in acetone, ABS is more sensitive. If someone sops acetone over the inside of a Royalex hull, and if there is a small crack in the Vinyl, then softening of the ABS can occur even though the acetone applied to the surface has been wiped off. Worse yet, a crack in the inside vinyl usually means that the ABS layer is cracked too, so the acetone can get right into the foam and possibly soften both layers of ABS.

I would not hesitate to use acetone, because I know what to watch for, as do you. But before using acetone, I would consider a good, strong vinyl cleaner.

Rubbing alcohol
90-100% rubbing alcohol could do a great job, takes about quart for the inside hull. Not as carcinogenic as acetone when you stick your hed into the enclosed hull with the vapors. It worked great on the off-gassed staining from the vinyl that occurs every 2-5 years.

If you have bottles of Ripple left from
New Years Eve, they should take off those stains. Or, you can use them to pay vagrants to get those stains off with elbow grease.