Washing kayak

I have a plastic kayak, and after every paddle I rinse it off. If it is very dirty I use ivory dish detergent.

What do you paddlers use?

And don’t say you leave it on top of your car, and run it through the car wash. Hmm…

Robert G

we don’t go thru the automatic car wash. But the hand hose side works pretty well when they are really loaded with mud etc.

Pressure Washer
If you are doing a lot of washing, invest in a pressure washer. No soap needed.

Like me car…

– Last Updated: Jul-02-11 8:51 AM EST –

Ah' never wash me canoos either. Figger de dirt prootects de paint.

(Exceptin' de beach bath iffin' ah' bring it ta coytain reservoirs.)


I never wash my canoe, unless I’m doing some repair work on it. If it is dirty, I just go canoeing again. Sometimes it gets cleaner, sometimes it doesn’t.

Only if it has mud on it or a nasty
scum line.

Wash off the salt
Boats are used in salt water, so I rinse them off with a hose after every paddle. When I feel like it I wash them with whatever soap is handy in the garage.

If I’m going out the next day I just put the cockpit covers on the boats and hose them down right on top of the car at the same time I rinse off the car.

If its raining on the way home from a paddle, GOD rinses off the salt for me.

Poly boats get 303’d a couple times a year, kevlar boats get treated to boat wax once or twice a year.

if you come here please wash
your boat before your visit. I know many of you paddle Eurasian milfoil infested waters.

We don’t want that milfoil and some of its alien kin.

Yes it can stick to paddle craft or be carried inside. All it takes is one fragment.

Every boat that I take to foreign waters like the Ozarks or Pennsyvania or Ohio gets washed here at home away from the lake.

Plain water from a hose w/ trigger nozzl
There’s a lot of worry here about zebra mussels, so a few years ago I began washing the boat off after every paddle instead of every 2 or 3.

It’s good anyway because our road has lots of dust and grit so that even one short trip up the road coats the boat with it.

After spraying outside and in the kayak, I let it drip and then blot dry with a hand towel. That’s all.

The little bit of effort pays off when I go to one place where they always do a ZM query and, if warranted, an inspection. When they see the clean, dry kayak, they wave me on and say, “Yours are always good!”

Dawn and a scrubber
Dawn detergent and one of these: http://tinyurl.com/3b6qwap

Wash then PROTECT
Cleaning the kayak is important to prevent cross contamination of lakes/waterways.

Don’t forget to protect that boat from the sun UV


right, I don’t wash my canoe when I put it back into the same waters that I always end up in. But, that is a good reminder to give it a good scrub to prevent transporting invaders to other waters.

FYI on dish washing soap -

– Last Updated: Jul-04-11 8:38 AM EST –

Dish detergents will remove any wax from your boat so it should be reapplied after washing. If you use any car wash soap the wax isn't affected.

I only clean mine when I transfer to a different body of water for aforementioned reasons.

I wash with plain water, then spray with Windex and wipe it clean. The Windex is to kill anything that a week of drying and regular washing doesn’t take care of.

As for wax…

Don’t wax your boat. Sure it makes it look nice, but it contaminates the water and also slows down your boat by disrupting the flow of water across your hull.

If it’s really dirty, it usually gets a good rinsing after the trip and a day in the sun to dry. If I’m taking it to the pool or another creek, I use backet with diluted bleach and a scrub brush. The chlorox is bad for plastic, so rinse it off a couple of times after applying. Probably bad for the boat, but I’m confident that I kill the algae and such when I do that.

Making sure it dries out fairly quickly seems to be the key. If you can’t bear to let it sit in the sun, at least put it out in the shade so air moved through it with the hatches open. A dirty boat that stays wet for days is not going to smell good.

I agree

– Last Updated: Jul-06-11 8:51 AM EST –

You should be washing your boats every time you are out in foreign waters. I am up in MN now and the lakes here in the cities have zebra mussels and mil-foil, nasty crap to paddle in. You don't want to pass that on to another body of water.