Once in a while and before putting your boat in storage, give it a thorough cleaning.
Never use strong detergents (acid, trichloroethylene, mineral spirits) or silicone-based products. Cleaners that contain silicones may cause the seams to separate. Do not use clorox, Windex or any other household cleaners. These chemicals will eventually make the fabric sticky. Armor-all and other oil-based products can damage the fabric and prevent patches from sticking.
Mild dish soap is best for cleaning your inflatable boat. There are also several cleaners designed specifically for inflatable boats.
The Cleaning Process
1. Spread a plastic tarp on a driveway or another flat surface.
2. Deflate and disassemble the boat.
3. Reinflate the stripped boat- without floorboards-with just enough air to keep its shape.
4. Thoroughly vacuum the inside of the boat, paying extra attention to the seam
between the tubes and the floor fabric. You may find a lot of imbedded grit, but don’t worry about that now, just get the loose stuff out.
5. Pour a few capfuls of liquid dish soap (or shampoo) into a bucket of hot water. [NOTE: adding a few ounces of ammonia will aid in cutting grease] and soak a medium scrub brush in the water.
6. Gently scrub the outside of the boat, then flip the boat over and scrub the inside. This time, concentrate on getting out all the embedded grime.
7. After thoroughly scrubbing the entire boat, rinse it well with a garden hose and turn it over a few times to let all the pockets of trapped water drain out.
8. Give the boat a good rubdown with a towel or chamois and you’re done.