Easy Steps on How to Clean an Aluminum Canoe in 3 Ways!

You may be wondering how to clean an aluminum canoe.

Perhaps you have an old one that you want to restore to its great condition. Or you may have bought a second-hand aluminum canoe.

For the most part, aluminum canoes are sturdy and low-maintenance.

This is why they can last for a long time. It is typical to find these canoes for years. Some can even date back to 50 years!

But what if your aluminum canoe has lost its shine? How can you clean it and keep it looking brand new?

Here are 3 ways on how to clean an aluminum canoe. And as you keep reading, you’ll learn additional tips on how to care for it. So, let’s get started!

How to Clean an Aluminum Canoe

Aluminum canoes are great to use for recreational activities.

While many canoes last forever, they still need proper maintenance. With aluminum canoes, for instance, you need to store it properly when not in use. It is not ideal to let it sit in the water or the sun for hours.

Otherwise, this can cause the canoe’s layer to become dull. Oxidation can also form on your canoe’s material.

Unfortunately, not many canoe owners are aware of this. They do the easiest and most convenient way to clean it. Some may only use soap to wash it. Afterwards, they dry it quickly and that’s it.

However, these things do not help increase the lifespan of your aluminum canoe. Simple soap and water will not retain its shine.

This is why you need to know how to clean an aluminum canoe the right way. And here are ways you can do it.

1. Remove debris.

First things first – you need to get the debris out.

The biggest mistake people make is to scrub it without clearing off the debris.

Since it looks smooth, they assume just an old soap should suffice to clean it. But there could be grease and dust on the surface. You need to remove these first before you go ahead and start scrubbing.

Be sure to have the surface debris-free before you use the right cleaner on your canoe.

2. Apply a special aluminum canoe cleaner.

After cleaning the canoe, you need to apply the right type of cleaner.

Although soap and water help to remove the grime, these are not enough for a thorough clean. What they do is to only clean the surface.

If you want to keep it shiny, a special product is necessary to do the job.

Thus, you should use a low-micron aluminum cleaner. It helps to protect and brighten the material. At the same time, it adds shine to your boat.

You see, aluminum has unique properties. This material requires special treatment. So, you need to use the right type of product to care for it the right way.

3. Use vinegar for cleaning.

Sometimes you need a stronger solution to remove excess dirt.

In this case, vinegar can come in handy.

Vinegar is potent for removing tough dirt and grime. Mix equal parts vinegar and warm water. Put this mixture in a spray bottle.

Then, spray it directly onto the stained portion of your canoe. Let it sit for a few minutes before wiping it with a damp cloth.

This is the cheapest and easiest way to clean a canoe. And yes, it works just as well as using soap and water.

Read More: How to Remove Mold From Boat Carpet: Clean Your Equipment Well

Additional Tips You Need to Know

Proper storage is also important in ensuring your aluminum canoe’s condition.

We recommend that you cover it with a tarp when out in the sun. Better yet, put it in the shade when not in use. This will help to protect the material from damage.

Moreover, aluminum is prone to oxidized coating. You need a dedicated cleaner to remove this oxidation.

On the other hand, cleaning just the coating without the aluminum portion does not suffice.

So, to maintain that natural shine, you should prevent oxidation. This is a crucial step for aluminum maintenance. Fortunately, there are many aluminum canoe cleaners out there to help you achieve the shine you want.

Next, let’s talk about polishing the canoe with a buffer.

For this, you will need a metal polish cleaner. Additionally, a cordless drill and a buffing polishing ball can help.

Use the polishing ball in a clockwise direction on your canoe. Apply about 4 drops of the metal polish on the canoe’s surface. You may also add more drops if need be.

Then, start the drill with your polishing ball attached to it. Let it run over the surface. Start with a slow speed and move in a horizontal direction.

Once the polish has been absorbed, increase the speed. More polishing balls may be used if necessary. Afterward, just clean the surface with a cotton towel.

Although this step is a bit time-consuming – and a bit more expensive – it can truly bring out the shine on the aluminum.

Bottom Line

Cleaning an aluminum canoe is a straightforward process.

There are cheaper and more expensive ways to go about it. Ordinary cleaning soap and water can do the trick. Yet, you can also invest in a special cleaner designed specifically for aluminum boats.

Others may opt to use a water and vinegar solution that also works well.

Either way, we recommend that you consider the option that works best for your needs and budget.

We hope that these tips on how to clean an aluminum canoe have been helpful for you. Now, you can ensure the good condition of your canoe and make it last for a long time.

Be sure to apply these tips for aluminum canoe maintenance. By doing so, you will be able to prolong its lifespan and maintain its appearance for years to come.

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