Aluminum canoes are almost indestructible, secure, and easy to maintain. It is an excellent means of recreational activities.
Most canoes last forever. Many families inherit canoes from their older generation, aged almost 50 or more years. Often they are not used and sits in the sun or water for a long time, which causes oxidation and makes a very dull layer on the canoe.
Have you inherited a canoe but can’t use it because it looks very dull and dirty for sitting so long. Don’t worry, read this article to learn about how to clean an old aluminum canoe.
How To Clean An Old Aluminum Canoe
You can use the following one of three methods to clean your old aluminum canoe properly.
Method 1: Acid Wash
Cleaners used: Aluminum brightener, fiberglass cleaner
Materials used: Water hose, spray bottle, scrub brush
Step 1: Remove Build-up Dirt
First, you need to remove the build-up muck and slime from the canoe over the years using the water hose. Use any fiberglass cleaner if necessary.
Step 2: Find The Appropriate Aluminum Brightener
You will need an Aluminum brightener according to your preference and the canoe’s condition in this step. The cleaner supposed to consist of different kinds of acids, which will help to remove all the grime, discoloration and brighten the aluminum.
Use a spray bottle to fill it up with the product.
Step 3: Spray With The Aluminum Brightener
Now you need to start spraying on the side of the canoe from the top and gradually to the bottom. Then spray the same way the other side and the rest of the boat.
Step 4: Wait For A Few Minutes
After spraying, you need to let it sit for a few minutes, depending on the cleaner you are using, maybe 10 minutes or less.
Step 5: Rinse It Off
In this stage, you have to rinse the whole canoe thoroughly with a water hose. If any marks are left behind, then spray to those areas one more time, let it sit for some time, rinse again, and get a brand new, clean look.
Tips: If extreme oxidation occurs, then the aluminum may need to brush scrubbing before rinsing.
Method 2: Polishing With Buffer
Cleaner used: Metal polish
Materials used: buffing polishing ball, cordless grill, white cotton towel
Step 1: Polishing In A Clockwise Direction
Set the polishing ball in a drill and always use it in forwarding or clockwise direction on the aluminum canoe.
Step 2: Place A Few Drops Of Metal Polish
Place 4/5 drops of metal polish on the surface of the aluminum canoe. You can add one or two additional drops if needed.
Step 3: Start The Drill
In this step, you need to start the drill with a polishing ball over the surface first at a slow speed in horizontal motions. When the metal polish is absorbed, you can increase the speed.
Use additional polishing ball if necessary, then clean it off with a white cotton towel.
Polishing with buffer ball may be time-consuming and somewhat costly but sure brings a very satisfying and shiny result.
Method 3: Using Vinegar
Step 1: Remove Extra Dirt
First, clean the canoe with soap water to remove any excess dirt and debris.
Step 2: Make A 50:50, Vinegar-water Solution
In this step, you need to use the vinegar water mixed solution. The solution should be in a 50:50 ratio. Use clean, warm water to make this mixture. Avoid using a lake or seawater.
Step 3: Spray The Mixture
You need to use a spray bottle to spray the mixture on the stained area of the canoe. Leave it for a few minutes to set.
Step 4: Clean Correctly
Finally, use a clean and wet cloth to wipe the vinegar and the dirt away.
Using vinegar may not bring the perfect result as the above two processes, but this is the cheapest method among the three.
Things To Consider When Cleaning An Old Aluminum Canoe
Before following any of these methods, you need to consider the expenses related to the processes. Choose the materials wisely that will both satisfy your budget and do the cleaning accurately.
Cleaning Place And Weather
Cleaning place and weather are essential factors to consider when cleaning aluminum canoe. The aluminum canoe can hit up quickly in the sun and can be very hot to touch. So you need to clean in a less warm typical day, preferably under a shed.
The first and foremost considering factor when cleaning aluminum canoe is to maintain the necessary precaution safety measures. It would be best if you use proper gloves, glasses when handling the cleaners as they contain acids. Never bring your children near the cleaning area.
Proper Cleaner And Materials
Various cleaners and polishing balls from different brands are available in the market. Before buying, make sure to check which one is the best one for your canoe and meets your price limit.
We think our article on how to clean an old aluminum canoe will help you choose the most suitable method for cleaning your kayak. Now you can clean your canoe on your own and enjoy canoeing!