Sunday, June 16, 2024

How To Clean Boat Upholstery

Detergent Vinegar And Baking Soda Oh My

Boat Cleaning and Detailing: How to clean vinyl upholstery

Detergent Alone is Good

To begin, I tried cleaning my upholstery with a solution of water and natural laundry detergent, which definitely helped me get all the dirt out of my chair. I simply placed 2 tablespoons detergent in 2 cups of warm water and scrubbed my chair down using a microfiber cloth. By the time I was done, my water was brown and my chair was much lighter.

Since it is cooler out, I chose to open my windows and place a fan in front of the chair on high. This helped it dry much faster. As it dried, I noticed some stubborn stains still remained.

Detergent and White Vinegar is Better

To help get rid of these stains, I decided to clean the upholstery again, but this time I added some white vinegar to my cleaning solution. I always find that vinegar works really well on stubborn stains. Check out this natural homemade carpet cleaner and stain remover that also features vinegar!

After mixing up a second solution, I scrubbed down the entire chair again. I did this because my upholstered furniture often will show watermarks when I spot clean, so I didnt want to risk that. Plus, it never hurts to clean other areas again! I simply scrubbed a little harder where the stains were located.

Detergent, White Vinegar, and Baking Soda is Best

I then did one more pass of the cleaning liquid to wipe off the paste with my microfiber cloth and let the chair dry fully. Once dry, those stubborn stains are no longer there! My chair was practically new again.

Steam Cleaning Your Boats Cushions

Lots of boat owners tout the benefits of simply steam cleaning their cushions. This is likely more for basic maintenance of their freshness and in no way substitutes for a deep clean if the problem with your cushions is below the covers, but if you do it often enough from the start it might keep you satisfied.

It is recommended to test out the reverse side of a cushion before steaming everything to make sure your fabric doesnt have any adverse reaction to it and to keep the covers on the cushions when doing the procedure in case there is a shrinkage of the material.

If all goes well, steam is a great way to keep things smelling fresh and to kill bacteria on or near the surface and can be an excellent and ideal choice for cleaning the cushions up top as well! Properly applied steam with a wipe down can bring the original colors of your cockpit cushions back to life by removing stubborn mold and mildew.

M Marine 16904 Vinyl Cleaner

This 3M Marine vinyl cleaner and restorer is a top-rated interior care and all-purpose household cleaner. It is a great product that shines, conditions, and protects marine and household surfaces, such as vinyl, rubber, and plastic. It deeply cleans dirt and grime and restores natural sheen for an overall surface protection, leaving behind only a fresh lemon scent.

This superb 3M marine vinyl cleaner, conditioner and protector for boats can even rejuvenate rubber and plastic surfaces. I love gripping its uniquely-shaped bottle, which ensures an easy spray. Moreover, it features an effective formula with a neat one-step process for cleaning boat surfaces. Boat owners are fond of using it as their boat upholstery cleaner, finely cleaning and shining vinyl surfaces.

I am a bit wary, though, as its drawback is on restoring vinyl colors that have faded from sun bleaching. I have observed after several years of use, that it can clean but not restore, which seems misleading. Nonetheless, it is still the best cleaning product I have ever used, in terms of price and convenience.

  • A cleaner and restorer that rejuvenates vinyl, rubber, and plastic surfaces
  • Easy spray formula with one step process from a uniquely-shaped bottle
  • A marine vinyl cleaner and restorer with a fresh lemon scent
  • Boat owners love it as their best boat upholstery cleaner for new, richer sheen
  • Unable to restore vinyl surface colors that faded from sun bleaching.

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How To Kill Mold In Campers

Once boat upholstery has suffered the punishing rays of the sun, the damage is done. Fading colors and cracking or peeling will wear down your boat upholstery and make it appear less attractive unless you clean and preserve the material. Homemade cleaning solutions are safe and effective. After a good scrubbing, marine upholstery treatments can slow down the bleaching effects of the sun, extending the life of your boat upholstery.

Items you will need

  • Ammonia

  • Water

  • Nylon brush

Remove stains, oil and dirt from boat upholstery by mixing a solution of 2 tbsp. of ammonia, 4 tbsp. of hydrogen peroxide and 3/4 cup of water. This solution is safe for cloth, vinyl and leather, including suede.

Dip the nylon brush in the cleaning solution and scrub the upholstery on the boat. Strong stains, such as from fallen leaves or suntan oil may require several applications of the homemade cleaner and scrubbing.

Rinse the upholstery with water and air dry.

Spray a fine mist of Marine upholstery protectant directly on the material and rub it in with a cloth or old towel.

Continue spraying the protectant on the material and rubbing it into the upholstery until the material is glistening. Then allow it to air dry.


  • Avoid using soap or silicon-based products on leather. Keep boat seats covered when they are not in use. Minimize stains from suntan lotions and oils by placing towels on the seats.


Store Your Boat Properly

How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats: Even Mold And Mildew ...

Storing your boat in a humid garage invites moisture to sit on your upholstery. Inspect your storage space and check its humidity levels. If theres too much moisture in the air, then you defeat the purpose of drying your seats down in the first place. If your area is just naturally humid, you can try setting up a dehumidifier or even just a few buckets of charcoal to absorb extra moisture in the air.

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How To Remove Mildew Stains From Vinyl Boat Seats

Though removing mildew from your vinyl seats is challenging, its not impossible. To help you clear off this harmful, unsightly fungus from your boat seats, try these simple dos and donts:

Dont Treat Mildew with Bleach: Resist the urge to use a powerful chemical like bleach to remove mildew or mold from your boat seats. Will it kill the mold? Yes, but in doing so, it can also damage your seat cushions and make you have to replace them sooner!

Do Invest in a Quality Mildew Remover: As with finding the best protective sealant for your boats upholstery, make sure you do your research to find the right mildew or mold remover, too. Make sure your product is specially formulated for boat usenot home use is safe to apply to vinyl material and doesnt contain harmful chemicals like bleach.

Dont Expect Your Mildew Remover to Work Miracles: Removing mildew and mold from your vinyl seat cushions is difficult, which is why it requires regular maintenance. After youve applied the mildew remover and treated your seats, be sure to practice cleaning and drying your seats regularly to avoid further exposure to mildew.

How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats With Different Problems

1) How To Clean Mold Off Vinyl Boat Seats

Although vinyl seats used in marine areas are designed to prevent mold, they can still be the victim of some growth over time. This happens when moisture passes through its cover due to the atmosphere or constant contact with sweat.

It is better to use a commercial cleaner like CLR for cleaning molds since such mold tends to be deep and stubborn. Spray it on the seats with a soft brush and scrub off the mold buildups. Then wipe off the leftovers with a clean microfiber washcloth.

2) How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats Of Mildew

Mildew can definitely lower your boats appeal and value. Additionally, leaving this fungus undisturbed for a long time can damage the material. It tends to penetrate the cushions after prolonged exposures. So get rid of it as soon as possible with a strong disinfectant.

You can make one yourself with white vinegar and water. Mix these two in equal portions to clean up mildew stains. However, you may need to resort to commercial cleaners for preventing the stains from coming back.

3) How To Clean Sticky Vinyl Boat Seats

Vinyl is prone to forming some oily substance over time. These grimy sticky residuals can render the seats useless.

However, the good news is cleaning up sticky vinyl boat seats is a fairly simple job. All you need is some vinegar and a clean cloth.

4) How To Clean Tree Sap Stains Off Vinyl Boat Seats

5) How To Remove Rubber Feet Marks From Vinyl Boat Seats

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Cleaning Your Vinyl Seats

The simplest way to clean your seats is to use dish soap because most people have easy access to it. If youd rather use a cleaner especially made for vinyl boat seats, you can purchase a marine vinyl cleaner. There are many on the market to choose from. Here is an up to date list of the top best marine vinyl cleaners.

Most of the vinyl cleaners on the market these days are cleaning sprays. They dont require too much effort to clean your seats as would regular soap and water.

With several marine vinyl cleaners, you just spray or rub the product onto your seats and wipe off with water. The cleaner does most of the work. If youre one of those people who enjoy scrubbing your seats or dont feel like buying a cleaner, then dish soap and water should be just fine to use.

Vacuuming seats before adding your cleaning solution is highly recommended. Whichever cleaning method you decide to go with, vacuuming is an essential part of getting your seats spick and span.

A vacuum can get out all the dust and crumbs that fall in between seats and cracks. You dont want to scrub vinyl that is full of debris this can lead to scratches or scuff marks.

A quick tip to remember after cleaning your seats with soap and water is to dry them off completely. Water often gets left in the cracks of the seats and can leave residue.

How To Clean Upholstery Naturally

Mildew Remover Comparison for Boat Upholstery

Keeping upholstery stain-free is quite a challenge. This easy DIY upholstery cleaner recipe will help keep your upholstered furniture looking its best.

A few years ago we bought new furniture. I loved the light cream color because it was fresh and bright!

Little did I know what three years and two little boys could do. Food stains, drink spills, and some mystery marks left my favorite recliner a looking a little rough. So much so that Ive been covering it with a throw to hide all the marks.

I finally decided that I would do my best to get all those stains out with a little elbow grease and this simple, homemade upholstery cleaner recipe.

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How To Remove Yellowing From White Vinyl Boat Upholstery

  • Vinyl and leather scrub brush

  • Towels

  • Vinyl cleaner/stain remover

  • Mild dish detergent

Vinyl used for boat coverings and furniture is designed to be durable and to withstand the elements. Over time, however, staining and discoloring can occur. The sun, wet leaves, pollen, sun tan lotion and many other things can all produce yellow stains on your boat vinyl. Unfortunately popular whitening agents like bleach and baking soda cannot be used because they will dry out and damage the vinyl. Follow these basic steps to help remove any yellowing that is occurring on your boat vinyl.

Mix ammonia and water in a spray bottle. Use 4 tablespoons of ammonia per cup of water. Spray the upholstery evenly and scrub it down with a vinyl and leather scrub brush. A toothbrush can be used to get into crevices. Rinse the ammonia with clean water and pat dry the furniture with clean towels.

Clean the vinyl with a quality vinyl cleaner/stain remover such as Island Girl, Vinyl Sauce, Z-Care, Gel Coat, Renovo, Diamondite or Leather Magic. Spray or apply the cleaner generously and scrub with the vinyl and leather scrub brush. Use a toothbrush for crevices. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.

Finish the cleaning and remove any residue from the ammonia and vinyl cleaner by washing the vinyl with soapy warm water. Use a mild dish detergent. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry.


Can You Use Magic Eraser On A Boats Fiberglass Or Clear Coat

This is one instance where I wouldnt recommend it if you have a newly applied boat gelcoat. But its not always going to be the case

There are small amounts of a fine abrasive in the product, so for me, taking the risk of using that on newly applied gel coat or similar isnt worth it.

They can make a shiny surface duller if you apply too much pressure for example, I would never use it on my cars paintwork.

However, if your gel coat is very strong and thick, or on bumpy non-slips gels, then its not so much of an issue and can work wonders. Essentially, its very similar to wet sanding your gel coat, but can leave water spot stains you will need to polish away afterwards.

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What To Do About Stains And Mildew Issues

Stains, whether from accumulated grime or from mildew, often wont come out with standard cleaners. They require special treatment. For stains that have developed over time, try a Magic Eraser. Simply wet one of the pads and gently scrub your seat surface. Youll be surprised just how effective these little sponges are. When youre done, wipe the area with a clean, damp cloth.

For mildew stains, you may need something a little more powerful. But dont use bleach! Bleach will deteriorate the stitching on your seats. It can also fade colors, making your seats look old. The safest way to clean up a mildew problem is to use a mildew stain remover for marine vinyl. Again, each cleaner will have its own set of instructions, but generally, youll follow these steps:

  • Clean one seat or section at a time to keep the cleaner from drying out.
  • Spray the mildew stain remover onto the stain and allow it to sit for about a minute.
  • Gently brush the stain with circular motions.
  • Wipe the surface with a clean, damp cloth to remove any remaining traces of cleaner.
  • Dry the surface with a clean towel.

At this point, your seats should look much better! While not every stain will come out , you should see a significant improvement.

What To Look For When Buying A Boat Vinyl Cleaner

Boat Cleaning and Detailing: How to clean vinyl upholstery ...

If your boats interior and vinyl seats are experiencing mold and mildew stains along with sun fading, then it is time to invest in the right vinyl cleaner to enhance the appearance and value of your boat.

However, finding the right cleaner for your needs can be an intimidating task. To help you with that, Ive prepared some factors to keep in mind when shopping for your next boat vinyl cleaner:

  • Fast-Acting Ingredients

I believe that every boat owner wants a vinyl cleaner that can eliminate stains without having to put in a lot of effort. When shopping for a boat vinyl cleaner, make sure that you check the ingredients of the product and pick one that features fast-acting ingredients.

The reason why I recommend this is because once the cleaner comes into contact with the stained areas, its fast-acting ingredients will remove the dirt quickly and easily without the need for scrubbing.

  • Bottle Size

Another thing to keep in mind is the size of the bottle that the cleaning product comes in. Typically, boat vinyl cleaners are quite expensive therefore, it would be wise to invest in a size that will last you for a long period of time.

For instance, rather than buying the normal 16 oz bottle, opt for a 128 oz bottle and save a substantial amount of money in the long run.

  • Safe Formula
  • Ease of Application
  • Pleasant Smell

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Treat With Marine 31 Mildew Guard To Protect Treated Surfaces

is one of the most reviewed and highest rated vinyl seat boat cleaning products on Amazon. We suggest using if only if household soap is not working on your seat. Why spend the money?

This product does not prevent mildew or mold, only removal. Works very well on my boat upholstery, which is why I bought it. Each season I have to remove winters crud from my boat. They work well on lawn furniture as well.

-Marine 31 Review

Were an Amazon affiliate and we hope you love the products we recommend! We may collect a small share of sales from the links on this page. These images are provided by the Amazon Product Advertising API.

Meguiars M5716sp Marine Cleaner

If you are looking for a boat vinyl cleaner that offers ultimate surface protection against fading, dying, or cracking, this product from Meguiars is what you need.

One of its interesting features is the UV protection which will enhance the life of your boat vinyl and prevent any fading or cracking. It is made with convenience in mind and offers great cleaning solution while ensuring the protection of the vinyl, as what most boat vinyl protectant reviews mentioned.

This vinyl and rubber cleaner is made of a premium blend of ingredients that offers a great solution for deep cleaning, shine, and protection. What I like most about this boat vinyl cleaner is the fact it leaves a rich, natural sheen compared to most cleaners that leave an artificial or greasy look, making it the best marine vinyl cleaner in the market.

I have tested this marine cleaner and found that its very easy to use. All you need to do is spray the cleaner using the spray trigger, brush it with a medium-bristle brush, and wipe it off. You will be surprised how effectively it will remove dirt and grease spot and leave your boat vinyl sparkling clean.

  • Complex ingredients for cleaning vinyl, rubber, and plastic surfaces
  • Removes dirt within a short period of time
  • Very easy to use as it comes with a convenient spray trigger to spray on different surfaces
  • Doesnt leave an artificial or greasy/oily residue
  • Not ideal for use on clothes and clear plastic surfaces

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