How To Clean And Store Away Your Floating Dock For The Winter

by Grace Motley

If you have a small, plastic floating dock placed outside your river or lakeside home, you probably want to get it ready for the cold season. To do this, you need to clean it thoroughly before you store it away for the winter. If you don't, the river or lake's water may damage it in storage by forming mold or mildew on the surfaces of your floating dock. Here are three cleaning tips you may find useful when you clean and store away your floating dock.

1.  Place the Floating on a Clean, Dry Surface

Before you store your floating dock, you need to remove it from the water and place it on a clean, dry surface. A large canvas tarp is a good option because this material can help absorb the river or lake's water as it drips on to the ground. This keeps the area around you clean and dry.

The canvas material, which comes with absorbent cotton, will also protect the surfaces of your floating dock from:

  • Grass stains
  • Scratches from cement
  • Dents from hard pebbles and rocks

After you do the above, you can proceed to tip number two.

2.  Use a Soft, Microfiber Cleaning Cloth to Dry the Dock

When you're ready to clean or wipe down your floating dock, you may want to use a soft, microfiber cleaning cloth. Microfiber cloths can remove excess water without scratching or scarring your floating dock's exterior. The material also prepares your dock to the cleaning solution you need to use to remove any contaminants that can form mold and mildew on the dock.

3.  Spray Water and Vinegar on the Dock to Clean Away Dirt and Contaminants

Mold and mildew can grow on any dirty and contaminated surface, including the plastic of your floating dock. Bacteria and other tiny organisms that live in river or lake water can attract mold. These organisms may hold onto moisture, which mold needs to grow.

Eventually, the mold forms another substance called mildew. If you have dirt stuck between the indentions or crevices of your floating dock, it may trigger more mildew to grow. You can kill the organisms that form mold and mildew with these tips below:

  • Fill a spray with ½ bottle of white vinegar and ½ water – vinegar's acidic properties can destroy contaminants by dissolving them
  • Apply the solution liberally on the dock – be sure to thoroughly wet any crevices or indentations on the dock's surface
  • Allow the solution to stay on the dock for 15 minutes – this gives the vinegar time to break up the dirt and kill the organisms
  • Use a high-powered water hose to remove any dirt stuck inside the dock's crevices

Use a microfiber cloth to dry the dock, and then store it inside a covered shed for the winter.

If you need more cleaning tips for your floating dock, contact a dock supplier (such as Custom Docks).