Secrets on Kayak Cockpit Cleaning

Ever notice how cleaning the cockpit is the most difficult task? Get dirty, muddy, grimy… yet is the most resistent to cleaning it out well and getting all the gunk and water out thoroughly.

Does anyone have any cockpit cleaning tips please? Thanks

Cockpit cleaning
is made lots easier with a wet/dry shop vac.

I hose her down, dump out, repeat.

Wash with mild soap (I use dish detergent).

Hose her down, dump out, repeat.

Vacuum out the water that won’t dump.

Done deal!

I guess I don’t even think about it
I use a sea sock.

dry vacuum spray out then wet vac
but really I dont much mess with it.

not much help
I built my kayak with the rear bulkhead slanted and flush with the inside of the rear coaming (at the suggestion of Topher). All I have to do is rinse and dump, or flip the boat either on its side or upside down and rinse. Everything just runs out.

I don’t think I’ve ever
cleaned my cockpit. I just do a lot of rolling, which means a lot of rinsing/pumping, and at the end of each paddle I swamp the kayak and rinse out the grunge.

Same here NM

hose, sponge, air dry
It is good to get the sand out now and then but I don’t really spend much time at it.

Good Houskeeping Seal of Approval
Didn’t know kayakers got issued one!!!

Easiest way I’ve found to clean out the cockpit - practice a wet exit then dump the water out. When you get the 'yak to shore wipe it dry.


I’ve often thought about this myself
especially while cleaning the “kids” kayaks. They must always visit “duck island” a sandbar. Seems like the first company to start doing this will get all of the 2nd kayak sales.

Also use this method…
… seems to work well. Use a lot of water … you can use the pump to get most out, then sponge the rest. The sponge will pick up sand and gravel … just rinse with a hose as you go and you can get the cockpit clean.

Read somewhere on this board that it’s not a good idea to close up (hatch and cockpit cover) boats when the inside is wet … more directed at glass boats as I recall, but depending on your climate and humidity, probably a good idea to keep mold out. Weather permitting, I put the boat in the sun for an hour or so until the seat is dry …

I installed a drain hole behind the
cockpit to get the last of the water out after I washed it and dumped it with help.

A little bleach…
When I discovered some “science project slime” in the cockpit, I just added a small amount of bleach to a bucket of water. Sloshed that around, dumped it, and rinsed well.

George in Cody

Sea sock

worked just fine for me. hose it while it’s on the roof of my car upside down, slosh out by lifting the bow(my driveway is sloped down) and then sponge out whatever is left while it’s sitting on the side on the rack in the garage. done deal.

“Ever notice how…”
"…dirty, muddy, grimy…"

I have devoted a lot of thought to this, Cooldoc, and I think it’s because we put our feet in the cockpit. As a result of this thread, I have begun to put my feet in the day hatch instead. And voila! Clean cockpit! (Although now my day hatch is a mess.)

Clean it ???
Leave it on your vehicle in a “gully washer” every so often with no cockpit cover.

Then pump the water out and get the final crud out with a sponge.

Other option is to, do a little playing in some breaking surf with no skirt !

Then all you have to do is remove a few small fish and some shrimp.



In the rare cases…
…that I actually feel the need to clean out the cockpits in any of my boats, I simply let them dry then use a vacuum with a brush attachment to removed and debris.

All my boats
have flush rear bulkheads so just turn it over and that’s as clean as I need it.


I also use the dry and then vaccuum
method. It’s the only way I’ve found to get rid of the sand that seems to accumulate in the nooks and crannies.