Inflatable Boat Cleaner – Complete Cleaning & Finishing Guide
Inflatable Boat Cleaner & Protectors. Protect your RIB tubes or dinghies
Your Hypalon, PVC, or PU inflatable tubes are expensive items. Maintain the value of your investment by keeping them clean, serviced, and in good repair. On this page, we will discuss the use of inflatable boat cleaners, solvents and the importance of using protectors.
- Non Toxic Cleaners (For use on soiled tubes with low oxidation); or
- Solvent Cleaners (For use on soiled tubes with high oxidation) or used in conjunction with non toxic cleaners as a stain remover
- Fabric Protectors (Protect against future weathering & the damage caused by UV rays)
Cleaning With a Non-Toxic Inflatable Boat Cleaner:
Good quality inflatable boat cleaners remove stains, dirt, grease, oil, petrol deposits & light oxidation.
• Wash down your boat using either a hosepipe or bucket;
• Ensure that all sand and debris is removed from the tubes, mouldings, deck etc.
• Whilst the tubes are still wet, apply your inflatable boat cleaner. Apply in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
• Use a cloth or sponge to work the fabric cleaner into the pores of the fabric and use a non scratch scourer for stubborn marks or to clean D-rings, strake & mouldings etc.
• Leave your inflatable boat to dry.
When should I use solvent cleaners?
If your inflatable tube fabric is heavily soiled or has high levels of oxidation.
Oxidation can be an issue on fabrics, especially those constructed from Hypalon. Oxidation is a naturally occurring process which leaves your inflatable tube fabric dull and with a cloudy white complexion. Good quality inflatable boat cleaners should be able to to deal with this, however if the issue is already extensive, then a dedicated solvent should be applied. Dedicated solvents will remove the heavy oxidation and reduce or remove any other staining.
Apply solvent cleaners sparingly with a lint free mutton cloth using small circular motions. Work on small areas at a time.
A word of caution about using solvents:
These products are potentially harmful to health and are highly flammable. They must be used with care and strictly in accordance with the instructions and warning labels. Only use solvents in a well ventilated environment with no naked flames or potential sources of combustion.
Apply an inflatable tube fabric protector:
We strongly suggest that you use a protector after you have cleaned your inflatable. A protector will brighten the colour of the tube & protect against future weathering & the damage caused by UV rays. UV damage can be an issue on inflatable boats, especially those constructed from PVC. It‘s well known that the most common cause for premature boat aging is exposure to the sun and its damaging UV rays. As UV is absorbed, it starts to break chemical bonds in the materials. If the boat will be subjected to prolonged periods of direct sunlight and no measures have been taken to protect the PVC fabric, this can lead to the fabric becoming brittle, faded and discoloured.
Apply protector with a lint free mutton cloth. Using small circular motions, rub into the pores of the fabric, work on small areas at a time. No polishing is required. If you use other protectors, apply them in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
The job is complete.
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