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How to remove rust stains from the inflatable tube?


Vic Hann asked:

I have a new rib. Zodiac boat. I had my boat stored in a building with a metal roof. In early spring the show was melting and the water was passing over metal roofing structure. It caused major rust staining on the tubing. I tried many cleaning materials no luck. What would you suggest? Need help.

What did you try? This will help us come up with a solution.

I tried many household cleaners. I used GOO–Gone. I used salt and baking soda. would it be wise to use a little Gas on rag or Acetone?


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Stop experimenting unless you want to ruin the tube. Below are the summarized steps on how to remove stains on inflatable tubes:

  • Spray on Inflatable Bottom Spray and use a scrub brush to spread it around.
  • Let it work for 15 minutes. Do not let it dry.
  • Rinse off.
  • Use Speed Clean and scrub well.
  • Rinse Clean.


No. Stop experimenting unless you want to ruin the tube. Petroleum based products like Goo Gone and Gasoline, even suntan lotions will damage the fabric and can cause delamination of the seams. Some of these chemicals can also convert the stain and make it permanent.

Hopefully the stain has not penetrated too deeply and you can still get it out. Use Inflatable Bottom Spray. Spray it on and use a scrub brush to spread it around. Let it work for about 15 minutes but make sure that it does not dry out. Keep an eye on it. If the stain starts to turn black rinse it off immediately. After 15 minutes rinse it off. Next use Speed Clean with a Marine Power Mitt or hand scrub brush and scrub well. If there are still minor stains, leave the boat in the sun for a few weeks. The sun can help bleach out some stain. This should get the stains out. If it doesn’t, the stains are indelible.

After you get it clean, protect it immediately with Poly Guard. It will protect it in future. If you had protected it with Poly Guard the rust would not have stained your boat. Poly Guard will also protect against UV, suntan lotion, bird poop stains etc.

Thanks for your question.

Captain Aurora
Richard Kittar

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