How to clean an inflatable boat? Essential tips for caring for your inflatable boat

Do you know how to clean an inflatable boat? Cleaning your inflatable boat is essential for its longevity. It helps get rid of dirt and grime build-up that can otherwise damage its material.
How to clean an inflatable boat? Essential tips for caring for your inflatable boat

How to clean an inflatable boat? Essential tips for caring for your inflatable boat

In this article, Scott Ewart will guide you on the best way to clean an inflatable boat. We also give you some essential tips for caring for your inflatable boat. With this knowledge, it certainly looks new and continues functioning optimally. Read on for the best tips and tricks to ensure a comprehensive cleaning of an inflatable vessel!

How to clean an inflatable boat?

Step 1: Making the best cleaning product selection

Step 1: Making the best cleaning product selection

Step 1: Making the best cleaning product selection

Before you start cleaning, it’s important to select the right cleaning products. It should be specifically designed for use with an inflatable boat and be free of harsh chemicals. Here are the names of some product cleaners:
An inflatable boat is provided made up of inflatable side tubes, a connecting fabric floor, inflatable aft, midship and forward thwarts between and connecting the side tubes above the fabric floor

Star Brite

This cleaner cleans PVC and Hypalon well, and it also has a UV protectant to make sure that your items are as safe as possible. With this product, you can have complete confidence in its results!

NRS Cleaner

This product is one of the most efficient cleaners for removing common dirt; however, it does not work well on mold stains.

MaryKate Cleaner

This cleaner works great at removing dirt and grime from vinyl while also adding a protective layer to the surface. This biodegradable cleaner is perfect for you because it doesn’t have any silicone in it.

MDR Cleaner and UV Coating

This product is made to clean and protect the material. It has a special UV coating that will keep your inflatable boat from getting damaged by the sun. MDR application foamed. Rinse or wipe after one minute. The powerful cleanser was rated good. It is expensive yet highly recommended for its boat section work.

Seapower Cleaner

This is a quality product that effectively removes oxidation, dirt, and grime. To use this product, you need to spray it on a towel. Then you use it to clean the boat.

Pennel & Flipo Cleaners

These are a great choice for cleaning mildew and marine growth from your boat. Simply spray it on the affected area, wait for up to five minutes, then scrub it off with a soft brush.

Spray Nine

Spray Nine is an all-purpose cleaner that can be used to clean mildew and stains as well. To use this product, first spray it onto a cloth, and then use the cloth to scrub the affected area.

DIY inflatable boat cleaners

If you don’t have access to any of the above products, a DIY cleaner can also be made. This is done by combining one part household non-abrasive cleaning product, two parts baking soda, and one part white vinegar. Mix this together until a paste forms, then use it to scrub the boat’s exterior.

Other common products:

  • West Marine inflatable boat cleaner
  • DR Amazon’s Inflatable Boat Cleaner
  • Nautical Ease Cleaner
  • Revival Ecological

NOT recommended boat cleaning products

You should avoid using any harsh chemicals:
  • Ammonia
  • Acetone and Methyl Ethyl Ketone (M.E.K.)
  • Bleach or Chlorine
  • Solvents, Toluene
Abrasive cleaners:
  • Steel Wool
  • Brillo Pads
  • Sandpaper or wire brushes
These can damage the material and cause more harm than good in the long run.

Step 2: Cleaning your inflatable boat

Step 2: Cleaning your inflatable boat

Step 2: Cleaning your inflatable boat

Once you’ve picked the right cleaning solution, you can start cleaning your inflatable boat.

 Tools and Equipment:

  • Protective eyewear and gloves (optional)
  • Mild detergent
  • Soft cloth or brush
  • Bucket
  • Water hose or pressure washer
  • Sponge
  • Towel
  • 303 UV protectant


Here are steps to cleaning an inflatable boat:

1. Start by preparing the area: Make sure it’s a well-ventilated area, and wear protective eyewear and gloves.

2. Gather the supplies: You will need a mild detergent, a soft cloth or brush, a bucket, a water hose or pressure washer, a sponge, and a towel.

3. Pre-rinse the boat: spray down the entire boat with clean water from your hose or pressure washer.

4. Apply detergent: Using a soft cloth or brush, mix some mild detergent with water in your bucket and apply it to the boat.

5. Scrub lightly: Use the sponge or soft brush to scrub away any dirt, stains, and algae from the surface.

6. Rinse the boat: Use a water hose or pressure washer to rinse away all of the detergent and any remaining dirt.

7. Dry the boat. Towel dry your boat to make sure it is completely dry before putting it away.

8. Protect: Apply 303 UV protectant to help protect your boat from sun damage and fading.

Following these steps will not only keep your boat looking its best, but it will also assist in preserving the life of your boat. If you clean and take care of your inflatable boat on a regular basis, it will last for many years.

Essential tips for caring for your inflatable boat

Essential tips for caring for your inflatable boat

Essential tips for caring for your inflatable boat

Protect from sun damage

The sun can cause fading, cracking, and other damage to your inflatable boat’s exterior. To prevent this from happening, store your boat in a shaded area and cover it with a tarp when not in use. Additionally, you may want to apply UV protectant to the boat’s surface.

For this, use 303 UV Protectant. It does a great job of stopping UV damage. This protective coating for rubber surfaces protect against harmful UV rays. Besides, it also enhances the boats’ appearance. Furthermore, it’s not greasy and is easy to apply. Simply spray on and do not rinse with water!

Rinse after use

You should rinse the boat with a hose and repair any scratches immediately. Get rid of sunscreen oils as they can plasticize your boat’s fabric. Make sure your boat is clean of sand, dirt, oil, and sea salt after use.

Inflatable boat mold and mildew removal methods

Mold and mildew can be a big problem for inflatable boats. To get rid of it, you can use a mixture of water and bleach or mild soap and water. Using a brush, scrub the affected areas with a mixture of equal parts water and vinegar. You can also use a mold and mildew cleaner made for sale. When finished, rinse the boat thoroughly with a garden hose and allow it to dry completely before storage. Knowing how long do zodiac boats last is also a way to help you can expand the lifespan of your boat. 

How to dry your inflatable boat

How to dry your inflatable boat

How to dry your inflatable boat

Once you have finished cleaning your inflatable boat, it is important to ensure that it is properly dried before storing it. This will help prevent mildew and other potential damage to the boat. Here are some steps you can take to properly dry your inflatable boat:

1. Flip it over and drain the water.

2. Use a soft, clean cloth to soak up any excess moisture from the boat’s surface.

3. Grab a second towel and mop up the water that has accumulated between the floor and the side tubes. In these concealed spaces, mold is easily propagated.

Guidelines for storing the inflatable boat correctly

Guidelines for storing the inflatable boat correctly

Guidelines for storing the inflatable boat correctly

Before you store your inflatable boat, it’s important to properly clean and dry the surface of the vessel. Here are some guidelines for storing the inflatable boat correctly:

1. Fold the inflatable in half and roll it up, letting all the air out. This will help avoid friction on the material.

2. Securely store the inflatable in a dry, climate-controlled space. If you are storing the boat outdoors, make sure to purchase a waterproof cover designed specifically for your model.

3. Bungee cords or straps can be used to keep the folded inflatable from shifting and coming apart.

4. Store the deflation and inflation pumps and accessories separately in a dry place to avoid rusting.

5. Make sure you include moisture absorbers in your dinghy for extended periods of storage.

6. Safeguard your dinghy from humidity and the chill of winter by utilizing silica gel or homemade desiccants. It can make sure your inflatable boat stays perfectly dry.

If you want to use again, this is a complete guide about how to inflate a zodiac boat. With simple and detailed steps, you can know assemble them quickly and easily!

FAQs How to clean an inflatable boat?

Do inflatables lose air under sunlight?

As your inflatable is exposed to the sun’s heat, the air inside will expand. Despite that, if you leave your float in the open air overnight, it will instead inflate and be completely deflated by morning.

Are inflatable boats a good investment?

Inflatable boats are cheap and have great performance and dependability that you won’t find in other types of boats.

What is the lifespan of the inflatable boat?

High-quality, well-maintained inflatables have a lifespan of 5–10 years. Their range depends on their use and maintenance. UV degradation still affects the inflatable material, even after the PVC has improved.

Is it possible to leave an inflatable boat inflated?

Believe it or not, the best way to keep your inflatable boat in optimal condition is by storing it inflated. It may seem like an extra hassle that takes up more space than necessary; however, this simple act can protect your vessel from various damages. For instance, if you store the tubing deflated, there is a greater chance of piercing and tearing due to sharp objects inside the storage area.


In short, how to clean an inflatable boat? It is essential to perform regular maintenance on an inflatable boat to keep it in optimal condition. By following those simple instructions, you can be certain that your craft will last for many years. We hope our guide on how to clean an inflatable boat has been helpful and has provided some useful tips for when you clean yours next. We at hope you have gained lots of valuable knowledge on how to clean Zodiac inflatable boats. Until next time, enjoy your adventures out on the water!


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