How to Clean a Paddle Board in 9 Steps

How to Clean a Paddle Board in 9 Steps

When you're a paddle board enthusiast, keeping your board clean isn't just about appearances—it's about prolonging its life and ensuring top-notch performance. Regular cleaning is essential to prevent corrosion and to protect your paddle board from the elements it encounters. But how to clean a paddle board in the right way, exactly? This guide will walk you through nine simple steps to keep your paddle board in tip-top shape.

What You'll Need to Clean a Paddle Board

Before we dive into the effective paddle board cleaning process, let's make sure we have the right tools and supplies on hand.

  • Freshwater
  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Mild soap/ a simple natural biodegradable boar cleaner, or any mild cleaner that does not contain any harsh chemicals
  • Towels
  • UV protective spray (optional)

By having these cleaning essentials readily available, you'll be well-prepared to maintain the cleanliness and longevity of your inflatable paddle board.

Now, let's get started!

How to Clean a Paddle Board: Step-by-Step

Here’s the detailed process of the best way to clean a paddle board:

Step 1: Clear Debris

Begin by removing visible debris like seaweed, sand, or small rocks from your board. This prepares it for a deeper cleaning.

Step 2: Fresh Water Rinse

Use fresh water to wash away saltwater, dirt, and grime. Saltwater can be harmful, and rinsing is the initial step in preventing potential damage from salt crystals.

fresh water rinse

Step 3: Apply Soap or Cleaner

With a soft brush or sponge, apply a mild soap or a paddle board cleaner. Avoid abrasive pads, as they can scratch the board. Gently work the cleaning solution into a lather.

Step 4: Gentle Scrubbing

Carefully use the brush or sponge to scrub the board softly. Pay extra attention to heavily soiled areas, including the fins and any handles or bungee cords. A gentle touch is essential to prevent damage.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly

Thoroughly rinse off the soap with fresh water. Ensure there are no soap residues left, as they can attract dirt.

Step 6: Towel Dry

Use a towel to dry the board and remove excess water. It's crucial to make sure the board is completely dry before storing it to prevent mildew growth.

Step 7: Optional UV Protection

Some paddlers apply a UV-protective spray to shield their boards from sun damage. This is typically only necessary for prolonged outdoor storage.

optional uv protection

Step 8: Inspection

After cleaning, take a moment to inspect the board for any dings, cracks, or damage that may require repair. Identifying issues early can save you from more extensive repairs later on.

Step 9: Proper Storage

Store the board in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight. If you have an inflatable board, follow the manufacturer's deflation and storage guidelines.

Additional Tips for Paddle Board Maintenance

While you are well-armed with the basic knowledge, these additional tips will be beneficial as well:

  • If your board has a textured deck pad, you may need to use a brush to get dirt out of the crevices.
  • Check the manufacturer's instructions for any specific cleaning and paddle board maintenance advice after every use.
  • Make cleaning a regular habit. How often you'll need to clean your board depends on how frequently you use it and the conditions in which it's used. If you paddle in salt water, a rinse after each use is highly recommended to remove salt residue. A more thorough cleaning can be done every few weeks or at least once a season.
  • To ensure proper paddle board storage, consider using a board bag or cover. This will protect it from dust, dirt, and potential damage, keeping it clean during storage.
  • When transporting your board, use padded board bags or roof racks designed for boards to prevent scratches or dust.
  • Always carry a basic cleanser kit on longer paddle board trips. This kit should include epoxy resin, a small brush, sandpaper, and materials specific to your board's construction.

By following these practical tips and taking good care of your paddle board, you can extend its lifespan and enjoy many paddling seasons.

additional tips for paddle board maintenance

Happy Paddling!

Mastering how to clean a paddle board in 9 simple steps is the key to extending its lifespan and enhancing its appearance to perform at its best. Regular cleaning and proper care are essential for preserving your investment and making the most of your paddling adventures. So, gear up and get ready for your next paddle, knowing your board is in excellent shape.

If you found these paddle board cleaning tips useful, share this article with your fellow paddlers. Let's create a community of responsible and knowledgeable paddleboard enthusiasts with iROCKER. Happy paddling and even happier cleaning!


Q: Can I use household cleaners like bleach or dish soap to clean my paddle board?

A: It's generally best to avoid using harsh chemicals like bleach, as they can damage the board's material. Mild dish soap is usually safe for most boards, but you should always check the manufacturer's recommendations.

Q: Can I use a pressure washer to clean my paddle board?

A: Using a pressure washer is generally not recommended as the high pressure can damage the board's surface or even cause delamination. Stick to a soft brush or sponge for cleaning.

Q: How do I remove stubborn stains or marks?

A: For stubborn stains, you can use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner designed for water sports equipment. Test it on a small, inconspicuous area first to make sure it won't damage the board's finish.

Q: Is it okay to let my paddle board air-dry?

A: Air-drying is generally acceptable, but make sure the board is fully dry before storing it to prevent mildew or mold. Avoid drying it in direct sunlight to minimize UV damage.

Q: What should I do if I notice cracks or dings during cleaning?

A: If you find any damage, like cracks or dings, it's essential to repair them before using the board again. Small repairs can often be done with epoxy resin, but consult professionals or the manufacturer for significant damage.

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