How To Polish Polyethylene Kayak? Caring Tips – 2022

If you’re a kayaker, then you know that your boat is an essential piece of equipment. And if you take care of your kayak, it will last for many years and provide you with endless hours of fun on the water.

One way to keep your kayak looking good and performing well is to polish it regularly with a polyethylene polish.

There are many ways that you can polish your kayak made of polyethylene. You can use a variety of methods, including hand polishing, orbital polishing, and machine polishing.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how to polish polyethylene kayak and keep it looking new. We’ll also give you some tips on how to take care of your kayak so that it lasts for years.

Note: If you are also looking for a kayak made of rugged polyethylene materials so I recommend you to buy the Lifetime Tamarack Angler Sit-On-Top Kayak.

What Are Polyethylene Kayaks?

Polyethylene kayaks are made of an extremely tough plastic called polyethylene, which is the same material used to make milk jugs and grocery bags.

Polyethylene kayaks are typically durable, impact-resistant boats with high strength-to-weight ratios. While they aren’t as expensive as other types of kayaks, polyethylene kayaks can be pricey depending on the quality.

How To Clean A Polyethylene Kayak

Before polishing your polyethylene kayak, you need to clean it. The Following are the steps to clean a polyethylene kayak:

1. Rinse all the salt and dirt off your kayak with a garden hose

2. If you have a boat cover, remove it and put it in the washing machine with cold water.

3. Clean any grime from your seat with warm soapy water and a sponge or soft brush.

4. Dry your kayak using a towel or a dryer at low heat.

How To Polish Polyethylene Kayak?

To polish a polyethylene kayak, you’ll need a bucket, a sponge, and a polyethylene-specific polishing material.

If your boat is fairly new, then there’s no need to remove the old wax from its hull. But if it has been neglected for years and looks dry and faded, you’ll need to scrub the old wax off before applying fresh wax.

There are several products you can use to polish polyethylene kayaks, including:

  •  Mineral spirits (a solvent used in wood finishing and metal cleaning)
  •  Car wax or marine wax (quality car or marine waxes don’t damage plastic surfaces)
  •  Polyethylene-specific polishing compound

There are many ways to polish a polyethylene kayak, but the steps below outline the simplest and most effective method.

In this step-by-step guide, we will be using mineral spirits. This is a petroleum-based solvent that can be found in any hardware store.

What You’ll Need:

  • A couple of rags
  • Mineral Spirits
  • A Cleaning Sponge
  • Abrasive Polish (optional)
  • Protective Gloves

Without further ado, let’s a closer look at the step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Prep the Area

Before you start polishing your kayak, you need to prep the area. This involves cleaning the kayak and making sure that it is free of any dirt or debris.

You can do this by simply wiping down the kayak with a clean rag. If there is any stubborn dirt or grime, you can use a mild soap and water solution to help break it down.

Once the kayak is clean, you can move on to the next step.

Step 2: Apply the Mineral Spirits

Now that the area is prepped, you can start applying the mineral spirits.

Pour a small amount of the solvent onto a clean rag and then start wiping down the kayak. Be sure to cover the entire surface area, including any nooks and crannies.

If you find that the rag is not doing a good job of removing the dirt, you can use a cleaning sponge. Just be sure to dampen it with mineral spirits first.

Step 3: Wipe Off the Excess Solvent

Once you have gone over the entire kayak with the mineral spirits, it’s time to wipe off the excess solvent.

Grab a clean rag and start wiping down the kayak. You want to remove as much of the solvent as possible so that it doesn’t end up drying on the surface.

If you find that there are still some stubborn streaks, you can use a clean, dry rag to buff them out.

Step 4: Apply the Abrasive Polish (optional)

If you want to really make your kayak shine, you can apply an abrasive polish. This will help to remove any remaining dirt and give the kayak a nice, even finish.

Apply a small amount of polish to a clean rag and then start buffing it into the kayak. Be sure to cover the entire surface area.

Once you’re done, you can simply wipe off the excess polish with a clean, dry rag.

Step 5: Enjoy Your Polished Kayak!

That’s it! Now you have a beautiful, polished kayak that is ready to hit the water.
Just be sure to take care of it and give it a regular cleaning to keep it looking its best.

How To Take Care Of A Polyethylene Kayak

As mentioned earlier, polyethylene kayaks are typically made of tough plastic that’s impact-resistant and easy to clean. However, over time your boat can become faded or scratched. There are different  ways to take care of a polyethylene kayak, including:

1. Cleaning And Polishing

If you want your kayak to look great and perform well, then you’ll need to clean and polish it regularly. This will not only keep the boat looking good, but will also extend its life.

2. Protect Your Kayak From The Sun

When your polyethylene kayak is sitting in the sun, it will get extremely hot. To prevent your boat from cooking in the sun, cover it or store it in a cool, dark place when you’re not using it.

3. Keep It Out Of The Elements 

Polyethylene kayaks are durable and can last for many years if you take care of them properly. However, if your boat is not stored in a covered area or protected from the elements, then it will begin to fade and crack. To keep your kayak looking good for years to come, always store it indoors when you’re not using it.

4. Protect Your Kayak From Sharp Objects 

Sharp objects like thorns and rocks can damage your kayak over time. To prevent this from happening, always remove sharp objects from the bottom of your boat before heading out on the water. 

5. Clean It Before Storage

Before storing a polyethylene kayak for an extended period of time, make sure to clean it thoroughly with mild soap and water or a polyethylene-specific cleaner. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing in the boat during storage. 

6. Don’t Drag It On The Ground

To prevent damage to your kayak, never drag it on the ground when transporting it. Instead, carry it by its bowline or haul loop to keep it clean and free of scratches.


In conclusion, if you want to keep your polyethylene kayak looking new and performing well, then you need to clean and polish it regularly. If possible, store the boat indoors when it’s not in use. Also, always protect your kayak from sharp objects and the sun to prevent damage. By properly maintaining your kayak, you’ll extend its life and have endless hours of fun on the water.

So, by reading this blog post you have got some basic knowledge about how to polish a polyethylene kayak. I hope the information given here will help you in the future.


How to fix a scratch on a polyethylene kayak? 

You can use some automotive wax to get rid of minor scratches on your kayak. Apply the wax with a clean cloth and buff it off with another clean cloth.

Should you wax a polyethylene kayak?

Polyethylene kayaks are not typically waxed because they are already quite slippery. Waxing a polyethylene kayak might actually make it more difficult to paddle. If you do decide to wax your polyethylene kayak, be sure to use a non-abrasive wax and apply it sparingly.

How to repair a crack in a polyethylene kayak?

If you have a minor crack in your polyethylene kayak, then you can use some marine epoxy sealant or clear caulking compound to fix it. Apply the epoxy with a putty knife and let it dry for at least 24 hours before getting back on the water.

How to clean a polyethylene kayak? 

To keep your polyethylene kayak looking good and performing well, you need to regularly clean it with mild soap and warm water or a specialized cleaner made for cleaning marine surfaces. Let the boat air dry before storing it indoors when not in use.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top