5 Helpful Tips for Properly Maintaining Your Inflatables
There’s nothing better than relaxing on your inflatable pool float on a lazy summer afternoon, or going to a kayaking adventure on your inflatable kayak, or perhaps you just want to go camp outside and relax on the camping grounds on your inflatable loungers.
Depending on the activity you want to engage in, inflatables will surely give you more fun and excitement. This goes to say that in order to prolong your enjoyment with your inflatables, you have to make sure you can properly maintain them.
Below are five helpful tips which can help you prolong the lifespan of your inflatables:
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1. Clean them properly
There’s no denying the benefits you can get from cleaning your inflatable properly. Aside from the fact that you can prolong its lifespan, you can also enjoy a comfortable experience while using it. However, you have to keep in mind that most cleaning products on the market can actually damage and weaken the material of your inflatable.
Therefore, if you use cleaners that contain bleach, solvents, acetone, or those that have a pH level above 11.5, you’ll end up weakening your inflatable’s material. You should also prevent using steel wool or abrasive scrubs as it can lead to scratches which can only affect the aesthetics of your inflatable.
What you should use instead are dedicated cleaning products for giving your inflatables a thorough cleaning. A mild dish soap can work just fine too. Also, don’t leave your inflatable dirty for a long period of time. Dirt along with grime can quickly accumulate over time, leading to the degradation of your inflatable’s material. Also, dirt that’s been left unattended for a long period of time can stain your inflatable’s fabric.
Above all, make sure you clean it properly before storing it, especially if you’re not going to use it for weeks or months.
2. Make sure to dry it before storing
Among the most important things you can do to keep your inflatable functional for years is to keep it dry before storing. When you dry your inflatable before storage, it won’t suffer from the growth of mold and mildew which can end up damaging its fabric and material.
However, it doesn’t mean that you have to wipe your inflatable dry after each use. Instead, you have to make sure that it’s completely dried up before you store it away when you don’t plan to use it in weeks, months, or even years. This way, once you decide to use it again, it will still remain in the same condition that it was before you store it.
This is particularly true with an inflatable kayak. Since kayaks are generally placed above the water, they can be quite wet after using. If you leave it wet before storing it, it will highly likely become smelly and slimy, not to mention its material and fabric will deteriorate at the same time.
3. Keep it away from sharp objects
Needless to say, any inflatable doesn’t like sharp objects as they can cause it to burst and get damaged. The problem is, it’s actually a lot harder than it seems. Inflatable fishing kayaks, for example, are normally exposed to rivers and lakes which increases its risk of getting caught in sharp rocks or fish hooks. Other sharp objects may include shells, barnacles, or floating wood which can tear its fabric and material.
Inflatable loungers suffer from the same dilemma as well, particularly when camping on camping grounds with a rocky terrain.
4. Keep it protected from the sun
Even the most UV-resistant inflatables can get weakened with prolonged exposure to sunlight. Therefore, even if your inflatable has a UV-resistant feature, you should make sure not to expose it to direct sunlight for long periods of time. If it happens, it can result in irreparable damage, and you’ll have no other choice but to buy a new one instead.
To prevent that from happening, here are a few things you want to consider:
- As much as possible, keep it away from direct sunlight. Also, if you plan to take cover from the sun, don’t forget to bring your inflatable as well. Covering it with a canvas isn’t enough to keep it protected from the high temperature outside.
- When transporting your inflatable, try to use a reflective bag.
- For inflatable boats or kayaks, apply a protective layer of UV protectant which is specially designed for inflatables. Ideally, you want to apply it every 30-45 days if you use your boat out in the sun often. Meanwhile, if you only use it occasionally, applying it just once a year is fine. Don’t use a protectant that’s intended for plastic or leather as they can only harm your inflatable’s fabric and material.
5. Inflate and deflate it properly
One of the main causes of damage in an inflatable is over-inflating and improper deflating. Unfortunately, most people tend to over-inflate their inflatables, thereby leading to damage and quick deterioration.
Ideally, you want to have a bit of give – too much, and your inflatable would explode. You should also consider the temperature. Most people inflate their inflatables early in the morning. Once the temperature starts rising, the expanding air located in the tubes will result in over inflation. Fortunately, most inflatables on the market have a method which allows you to let out a little air even when they’re currently in use.
Fortunately, it’s not that hard to maintain your inflatable regardless of its type. With regular care and maintenance, you can easily maintain its quality and durability. This way, you can ensure that it will last for a long time, and you can then take it with you anytime and anywhere you want.
Just keep the above mentioned things in mind if you want to further lengthen your inflatable’s longevity and enjoy the best possible experience you can have. These five tips are applicable for all types of inflatables. Thus, whether you own an inflatable bounce house, a pool float, bathtub, kayak, or paddle board, you can certainly take care of it using these tips.