How to Clean a Surfboard

Surfboards are our beloved weapons of choice when it comes to shredding the waves. And just like any other weapon, they demand proper care and maintenance. A clean surfboard is always ready to perform at its best, delivering the stoke that we crave. Between the salt, sand, and sunscreen, our boards can turn from immaculate to infected real quickly. But fear not, fellow surfers! Today, we’re going to walk you through the ins and outs of how to

How to Clean a Surfboard

Cleaning your surfboard is an essential part of extending its lifespan and keeping it performing at its best. The first step is to gather all the necessary supplies, including a bucket, sponge or rag, mild soap or surfboard-specific cleaner, and a soft-bristled brush. Next, remove any wax on the board’s surface with a wax comb or scraper. Then, rinse the board with fresh water and apply the soap or cleaner to the surface, using the soft-bristled brush to scrub away any grime or residue. After a thorough cleaning, rinse the board again and let it dry in a shaded area to avoid warping or damage from direct sunlight. Lastly, consider adding a fresh coat of wax or traction pad to the board to keep it performing optimally. With these simple steps, your surfboard will be clean and ready to shred in no time.

How to Clean a Surfboard

Cleaning a surfboard goes beyond just removing dirt and salt from the surface. It involves removing wax, grime, and residue that can decrease the board’s performance, lifespan, and aesthetics. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to clean your surfboard.

What You Need

Before diving into the cleaning process, you need to gather all the necessary tools and materials. Here are the must-have items:

  • A bucket
  • A sponge or rag
  • Mild soap or surfboard-specific cleaner
  • A wax comb or scraper
  • A soft-bristled brush

Some surfers prefer to use a pressure washer, but this method can damage the board’s surface or even force water into the core through the insertion holes, causing delamination or other problems.

Removing the Wax

Wax is an essential part of surfing since it provides the necessary grip and traction between the board and the surfer’s feet. However, as the wax builds up over time, it can attract dirt, sand, and other debris that can affect the board’s performance. Here’s how to remove the wax:

  1. Choose a warm day to avoid the wax hardening and becoming harder to remove.
  2. Use a scraper or wax comb to remove as much wax as possible from the board’s surface. Be gentle to avoid damaging the board’s surface, rail, or tail.
  3. With a soft, damp cloth or sponge, wipe away any remaining wax from the board.

The Cleaning Process

The cleaning process involves using a mild soap, surfboard-specific cleaner, or other cleaning products to remove dirt, grime, and residue from the board’s surface. Follow these steps:

  1. Fill a bucket with lukewarm water.
  2. Add the cleaning product of your choice and mix well until the solution creates a small lather.
  3. Dip the soft-bristled brush into the solution and scrub the board’s surface gently. Do not use a hard-bristled brush that can scratch or damage the board’s surface.
  4. Pay close attention to areas with stubborn grime or residue, such as the nose, tail, or rail. Be careful around any stickers, logos, or graphics on the board to avoid damaging them.
  5. Rinse the board thoroughly with fresh water. Hold the board upright and allow the water to flow from the nose to the tail.
  6. Inspect the board closely to make sure that it’s clean and free from any grime or remaining residue. Repeat the cleaning process if the board’s surface is still dirty.

Drying and Maintenance

After cleaning, it’s time to dry the board and apply a fresh coat of wax if necessary. Here are some tips for drying and maintaining your surfboard:

  • Avoid leaving the board under direct sunlight or extreme heat, as this can cause warping, cracking, or delamination.
  • Place the board upside down on two chairs or racks in a shaded area.
  • Allow the board to dry naturally, and avoid using a towel or cloth to dry the surface, as this can leave lint or other debris on the board.
  • Apply a fresh coat of wax or traction pad to the board’s surface to increase its grip and traction.

Cleaning your surfboard can seem like a tedious task, but it’s essential to keep your board in top shape and maintain its performance and integrity. Neglecting your board’s cleaning can leave you with a subpar surfing experience and decrease the lifespan and resale value of your board. Therefore, make cleaning your surfboard a regular part of your surfing regimen, and you’ll reap the benefits of a clean and performing board.

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How Often Should You Clean Your Surfboard?

The frequency of cleaning your surfboard varies depending on how often you use it, the water quality, and the type of waves you surf. However, as a general rule of thumb, you should clean your surfboard after every session or at least once a week if you surf frequently. This way, you can remove any dirt, grime, or salt that can accumulate and affect the board’s performance and lifespan. Besides, a clean surfboard will give you that fresh-out-of-the-box feeling every time you hit the waves.

How to Store a Surfboard After Cleaning

Storing your surfboard properly after cleaning is crucial to maintaining its performance, integrity, and aesthetics. Here are some tips for storing your surfboard:

  • Store your surfboard in a cool, dry, and shaded area, away from direct sunlight or excessive heat.
  • Keep the board flat or upright, avoiding any bent or twisted positions that can cause structural damage or warping.
  • Use a surfboard bag or cover to protect the board’s surface from scratches, dings, or UV rays.
  • If storing the board for a long time, apply a coat of wax to prevent the deck from drying out, and loosen the fin screws slightly to relieve pressure on the fin boxes.

The Benefits of Cleaning Your Surfboard

Beyond just maintaining your surfboard’s performance and lifespan, cleaning your surfboard has several other benefits:

  • It enhances your style and confidence by having a clean and well-maintained board.
  • It prevents infections or rashes caused by stagnant seawater or bacteria on the board’s surface.
  • It saves you money by reducing the frequency of repairs or replacements caused by neglect or damage from dirty and grimy surfaces.
  • It promotes environmental awareness by reducing the amount of grime, salt, and chemicals that can eventually end up in the ocean.


Cleaning your surfboard is an essential part of being a responsible and well-prepared surfer. With the right tools, materials, and techniques, you can keep your surfboard performing at its best, extend its lifespan, and maintain its aesthetics. Remember to clean your surfboard regularly, store it properly, and apply a fresh coat of wax to experience the stoke of shredding the waves on a clean and performing board. And if you’re on the market for a used surfboard, make sure to visit our website, where you can find the perfect board that matches your skill level, style, and budget.


Here are some common questions that surfers may have regarding cleaning their surfboards:

1. Can I use household cleaning products to clean my surfboard?

No, you should avoid using household cleaning products since they can contain harsh chemicals that can damage the board’s surface, rid it of its wax and even harm the environment. Instead, use mild soap, surfboard-specific cleaners or eco-friendly products that are gentle on the board and safe for the ocean.

2. Can I use a pressure washer to clean my surfboard?

It’s not recommended to use a pressure washer since it can push water into the core of the board through the insertion holes, causing delamination or damage to the board’s structure. Instead, use a rag or soft-bristled brush to clean the board gently.

3. How do I remove stubborn grime or residue from my surfboard?

You can use a soft-bristled brush along with a cleaning solution to scrub away any grime, dirt, or residue from the board’s surface. Stay away from using hard-bristled brushes, metal scrapers, or other abrasive materials that can scratch the surface or damage the board’s graphics.

4. Can I clean my surfboard with saltwater?

No, you should avoid using saltwater to clean your surfboard since it can attract salt crystals, which can be abrasive and remove the board’s wax. Instead, use fresh water to rinse the board after each surf session and wash it with a mild soap or surfboard-specific cleaner.

5. Do I need to remove the fins before cleaning my surfboard?

No, you don’t have to remove the fins, but make sure that the fin screws are tight to avoid any water entering the fin box. Be gentle when cleaning around the fins to avoid damaging them or the fin boxes.

6. Can I use vinegar to clean my surfboard?

You should avoid using vinegar since it can corrode the board’s surface, weaken the resin, or alter the board’s color. Instead, use a mild soap or surfboard-specific cleaner to wash your board.

7. Can I use a dishwasher to clean my surfboard?

No, you should never attempt to clean your surfboard with a dishwasher since it can damage the board’s surface or even cause it to break. Stick to a mild soap and soft-bristled brush.

8. How often should I apply the wax after cleaning my surfboard?

It depends on how often you surf and the water temperature. As a general guideline, you should add a new layer of wax every 1-3 surf sessions or when you feel that the traction is decreasing. However, avoid adding too much wax since it can cause the board to become slippery or dislodge the wax altogether.

9. How can I restore a yellowed surfboard to its original color?

You can try using a surfboard-specific whitening product or a surfboard polish that’s designed to remove surface stains and restore the board’s color. However, keep in mind that the yellow