How to Clean a Canoe: Ultimate Guide to All Types of Canoe

When your favorite canoe has traveled through the saltwater or busked in the sun or going to be stored for a long time, it is necessary to clean it properly. Your proper maintenance, according to your canoe can extend its lifetime.

Cleaning a canoe is not so tricky or complicated, but a little bit labor task. It may take a day or two to complete the whole cleaning process. All you need to know is the materials of your canoe and the necessary cleaning accessories.

In this article, we are presenting the easy and simple methods of how to clean a canoe properly. You can get a complete guideline about the cleaning processes, whatever your canoe materials are.

How To Clean A Canoe-The Cleaning Process For Different Canoes

Canoes are not all the same categories. The used materials and hull shape make a difference in their cleaning process. There are six types of canoe usually have seen.

  1. Wooden canoe
  2. Aluminum canoe
  3. Polyethylene canoe
  4. Royalex canoe
  5. Fiberglass composites and
  6. Kevlar composites

Among the types, your canoe is one of them. Now, let’s see the proper way how to clean a canoe.

1. How To Clean A Wooden And Polyethylene Canoe

The wooden canoe is the primitive version of a canoe and made of natural wood. Its hand-crafted design can be a real piece of art and joy for you. A wooden canoe is sensitive, but a little care and cleanliness can extend its lifetime.

Also, polyethylene canoe is durable for a long time recreational use. Easy to use and clean. It’s a bit heavier, and a long-time sunbath can change its shape.

If you have a wooden canoe or plastic polyethylene canoe then simple dish soap and water can perform the cleaning task. Take a soft brush and clean the whole canoe by gently rubbing it. Use dish soap and rinse thoroughly with water. Dry it well. Your canoe is clean.

2. How To Clean An Aluminum Canoe

An aluminum canoe cannot clean correctly with water and soap. Although there is a chance of getting rust. So, it is necessary to clean an aluminum canoe according to its metal. The acid wash can decrease its appearance but enrich its durability.

Step 1: Spray Hydrochloride Acid To The Body Of The Canoe

At first, clean the canoe with water and dry it. If there is any stain, then rub it with salt and baking soda before acid wash, apply hydrochloride acid (best aluminum boat cleaner) by a sprayer on the canoe. Leave the canoe for fifteen minutes.

Step 2: Pawer Wash The Whole Canoe

A power wash is applying the water with a high-speed force by a pipe. After acid wash, power-wash the whole canoe. Your canoe will lock new and remain robust for a long time.

3. How To Clean A Royalex Canoe

Royalex is a lighter and more used canoe of composite materials (outer is with vinyl, and ASB plastic and inner is ASB foam). It’s a layer of plastic, vinyl, and rigid foam. Regular water and soap wash are not enough for restoring Royalex canoe. Use wood alcohol, Mean Green Cleaner, and 303 Aerospace for cleaning.

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Step 1:  Wash The Canoe With Soap

Wash the canoe with dish soap and gently rub the stains. Reins it with water and dry it.

Step 2: Use Alcohol For Sticky Areas

Apply Wood Alcohol or Methanol for sticky areas. For this task, use a soft cloth. Don’t use the same side of the clothes frequently. Turn it after some time. The alcohol will evaporate after a few minutes.

Step 3: Use Mean Green Cleaner

Mean Green Cleaner is a mild acid that can use for any indoor or outdoor accessories. Clean your canoe with Mean Green cleaner. Wash it perfectly and dry.

Step 4: Apply 303 Aerospace Protectant

303 Aerospace Protectant is an excellent cleaner for vinyl. Apply 303 protectant gently as the finishing touch.

4. How To Clean A Fiberglass Canoe

Fiberglass canoe is heavy, delicate, but not very strong. This type of canoe is made of plastic resin and chopped fiber. It is important to take the necessary cautions while cleaning fiberglass canoe.

Step 1: Clean The Canoe With Mild Soap

Wash your fiberglass canoe with a mild soap that doesn’t possess bleach. Bleach can harm fiberglass a lot. You can use detergent to clean the canoe.

Step 2: Clean The Oil Stain By Paint Thinner

Use Acetone or Paint thinner to remove oil stains as a fiberglass cleaner. Apply them to the spotted area to remove the stain correctly. Don’t use these chemicals on the average surface. Use hand gloves and musk during the task.

Step 3: Clean The Hard Water Stains By The Rust Remover

You can use rust remover or any kind of phosphoric acid to remove crazy water stains. Dilute 10% water with the rust remover and apply them to the canoe. Don’t let the mixture remain on the canoe for a long time. Wash with water entirely.

5. How To Clean A Kevlar Composites Canoe

Kevlar Canoe is the most robust canoe for flatwater boating. It is lightweight and durable. The cleaning task can save the canoe from any kind of UV harm or stain. The regular cleaning of your canoe will enrich its lifetime and appearance with the best performance.

Step 1: Wash Your Kevlar Canoe With Cleaner For Boat

Use any kind of boat wash or car wash or mild soap to clean the canoe. Gently rub on the body of the canoe to clean it perfectly. Don’t rub harshly. Wash with water and make the canoe dry.

Step 2: Apply Fiberglass Gel For Removing Any Kind Of Stain

There are many brands of FSR (fiberglass stain remover) gel in the market for better treatment. Make sure about the dry and moistureless surface of the canoe and apply a thin layer of FSR.  Wait for fifteen minutes and wash the canoe with water again. Wear a pair of latex hand gloves during the application of FSR.


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Some Additional Tips For How To Clean A Canoe

Now you are aware enough of how to clean a canoe. Besides these, you should know some important issues regarding the cleaning. Let’s have a look at some important matters for your safety and better cleaning task.

1. Use Hand Gloves And Mask Before Any Application Of Chemicals

The canoe cleaning chemicals are poisonous and harmful to the human body. Take the precautions and maintain a proper distance. Use hand gloves and a mask for safety. Don’t touch your face or eyes. Perform the cleaning task away from children.

2. Use A Good Quality Cleaner

Always choose the proper cleaner. Buy a boat wash or car wash as a cleaner. You can use mild soap for your canoe cleaning also. Try to choose an environmentally friendly cleaner.

3. Rinse The Whole Canoe

You may think, as the canoe stays in the water for a long time, there is little importance to rinse the canoe again. But staying on the water can damage the hull of a canoe. So try to clean boat hull as well. Moreover, pulling out the canoe from the water can make stains and rust. It is better to rinse every corner of your canoe thoroughly, even those parts where you clean hull of boat. Use normal water for washing tasks.

4. Dry The Canoe After Washing

It is necessary to dry the canoe after wash and before the store. Wipe the body of the canoe with soft water after washing.

Final Thought

Now you know all about how to clean a canoe. You don’t need to go elsewhere for further information. Just check your canoe material and clean it perfectly. Your canoe will remain strong, new, and a piece of joy on the water.