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Dealing with Mold and Mildew in Stored Kayaks

mold and mildew in kayaks

Proper maintenance and storage of kayaks is crucial to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. When storing a kayak for long periods, it is important to ensure that it is thoroughly cleaned and dried to avoid moisture buildup. Mold and mildew can not only be unsightly but also lead to health issues. By following a few simple steps, you can effectively combat mold and mildew in stored kayaks.

Key Takeaways:

  • Thoroughly clean your kayak before storing it to remove dirt and stains.
  • Use a mild soap and water mix, or a cleaner specifically designed for inflatable kayak materials.
  • If you notice black mildew on the kayak, spray it with vinegar to kill the mold spores.
  • Ensure your kayak is completely dry before storing it to prevent moisture buildup.
  • Choose a suitable location for storage, such as indoors or in a covered area, to protect it from direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions.

Cleaning and Preparing the Kayak for Storage

Before storing your kayak, it is essential to clean it thoroughly. Use a mild soap and water mix to remove dirt and stains from the kayak’s surface. For tougher stains, consider using a cleaner specifically made for inflatable kayak materials. Additionally, if you notice any black mildew on the kayak, spray it with vinegar to kill the mold spores. After cleaning, ensure that the kayak is completely dry before storing it to prevent moisture buildup. This can be achieved by using absorbent materials or an electric air pump to remove any remaining water.

When cleaning the kayak, pay extra attention to the interior. Mold and mildew tend to thrive in dark and damp areas, making the kayak’s interior a prime breeding ground. Use a scrub brush or sponge to clean the inside, focusing on areas that are prone to moisture accumulation, such as the seating area and storage compartments. Rinse thoroughly to remove any cleaning residue, as it can attract dirt and promote mold growth.

Once the kayak is clean and dry, take preventive measures to keep it mold-free during storage. Apply a mold inhibitor or kayak protectant spray to the interior surfaces. This will create a protective barrier and discourage mold and mildew growth. Additionally, consider placing moisture-absorbing products, such as silica gel packs or moisture-absorbing buckets, inside the kayak. These products help to control humidity levels and prevent condensation. Remember to check and replace them regularly for maximum effectiveness.


Cleaning your kayak thoroughly before storage is crucial to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. Use a mild soap and water mix to remove dirt and stains, and don’t forget to tackle the interior as well. Applying a kayak protectant spray and using moisture-absorbing products will further safeguard your kayak from mold and mildew during storage.

Table: Recommended Cleaning Products

Product Name Description
Kayak Cleaner and Degreaser A powerful formula designed to remove stubborn dirt, grime, and oil from kayak surfaces.
Mold and Mildew Remover An effective solution for eliminating mold and mildew stains on kayaks, specifically formulated for marine use.
Inflatable Kayak Cleaner A gentle cleaner specially made for inflatable kayak materials, ensuring a thorough but non-damaging clean.

By following these cleaning and preparation techniques, you can ensure that your kayak remains mold and mildew-free during storage, preserving its condition and longevity for future adventures.

kayak cleaning

Proper Storage Techniques to Prevent Mold and Mildew

Now that you’ve cleaned and prepared your kayak for storage, it’s time to focus on proper storage techniques to prevent mold and mildew. By following these guidelines, you can keep your kayak in top condition and avoid any unpleasant surprises when you’re ready to hit the water again.

Choose the Right Location

When selecting a location to store your kayak, opt for an indoor area or a covered space. This will shield your kayak from direct sunlight and protect it from extreme weather conditions. If indoor storage is not an option, consider using a waterproof cover to provide additional protection from moisture.

Combat Moisture Buildup

Moisture is the enemy when it comes to preventing mold and mildew. To control dampness, you can use desiccant packets or even uncooked macaroni noodles. Place these moisture-absorbing materials inside your kayak to help prevent excess moisture and deter mildew growth.

Utilize Anti-Mold Kayak Treatments

In addition to moisture control, you can also use anti-mold treatments to further safeguard your kayak. There are various products available that are specifically designed to inhibit mold and mildew growth. These treatments can be applied to the kayak’s interior and exterior surfaces to provide an extra layer of protection.

By implementing these proper storage techniques, you can effectively prevent mold and mildew from ruining your kayak. Remember to choose a suitable storage location, control dampness with absorbent materials, and consider using anti-mold treatments for added protection. Taking these steps will ensure that your kayak remains in optimal condition, ready for your next adventure on the water.


How do I clean my kayak to prevent mold and mildew?

Thoroughly clean your kayak using a mild soap and water mix. For tough stains, use a cleaner made for inflatable kayak materials. If you see black mildew, spray it with vinegar. Ensure the kayak is completely dry before storing it.

Where should I store my kayak to avoid mold and mildew growth?

Ideally, store your kayak indoors or in a covered area away from direct sunlight and extreme weather conditions. If storing outdoors, use a waterproof cover. You can also use desiccant packets or uncooked macaroni noodles to absorb excess moisture.

Can storing my kayak on a hard surface cause damage?

Yes, storing your kayak on a hard surface for a long time can lead to warping and damage to the hull. It’s best to choose a location with a soft surface or use foam pads to protect the hull.

How often should I check my stored kayak for mold and mildew?

It is recommended to check your stored kayak periodically, especially during humid or damp seasons. If you notice any signs of mold or mildew, clean and dry the kayak immediately to prevent further growth.

Are there any treatments or products I can use to prevent mold and mildew in my kayak?

Yes, there are anti-mold treatments and kayak-specific cleaning products available in the market. These can provide additional protection against mold and mildew growth. Follow the instructions provided by the manufacturer for proper usage.