Take A Proactive Approach
Controlling mold is a continuous battle that requires a multi-pronged, proactive approach. I say control because you will never entirely eliminate mold and mildew from your boat. This is because their spores are virtually everywhere, and to grow and reproduce, all they need is moisture, the right temperature, and foodwhich can be virtually any organic substance, meaning any material that contains carbon atoms. This includes running rigging, stored anchor rode, upholstery fabrics, the inner surface of a fiberglass hulleven something as subtle as the oil that your hand leaves on a piece of stainless steel.
Following is a general plan of action for removing existing mold and mildew, and once it is removed, to keep it at bay.
A mold and mildew cleaner like Star brite’s Mildew Stain Remover is a great way to tackle mold on your boat.
How Do You Remove Mildew From Vinyl Boat Seats
Aside from choosing the suitable mildew remover, there is no difference between removing mildew from vinyl boat seats and eliminating molds and mildews from boat seats made with other materials. You can use a homemade cleaner or professional mildew remover.
All you need to do is spray your preferred mildew remover onto the seats, let it soak for a few minutes, scrub the seats, if necessary, and then wipe away the formula. Other products, especially those with bleach, suggest thorough rinsing with water to avoid bleach residue or future deterioration.
Iosso Mold & Mildew Stain Remover
This option is the solution to your cleaning problem if youre concerned with discoloration. Unlike most mildew removers, the IOSSO Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is a versatile and color-safe agent that works well with the fabric, carpets, sail covers, and canvas. It doesnt only remove mold and mildew but also stains from food, algae, leaves, among others.
Another unique aspect of this product is that it comes in powder form which will be mixed with warm water to form the cleaning solution. Now, this may sound complicated but the instructions written on its packaging are pretty clear and straightforward. The container also comes with a scooper to help you mix in the adequate amount for your needs.
The packaging may seem small but this concentrated powder can make gallons of solution. Just one 12-ounce jar can make three gallons, enough to cover up to 100 square feet of dirty surfaces. It is highly useful and convenient to take along, making it a favorite cleaning agent among boaters and campers.
Best of all, it is biodegradable and contains no chlorine. This explains its weaker smell and gentler effect upon skin contact, thus minimizing potential health hazards. It is quite a relief to use an agent that is safe for you and the environment.
- Convenient to carry, use and store anywhere
- May need multiple applications and longer soaking time to remove stains
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Spray Mold And Mildew Stain Remover
Take your mold and mildew remover spray and give a liberal spritz all over your seats. Pull back cushions where the seats might fold so you can really get into those nooks and crannies. As a general rule, youre going to want to be generous with your application to really get the stuff to work.
Once everything is nice and coated in the spray, leave it to sit for 10 to 15 minutes. This should help the formula really work its magic and eat away at those stubborn stains. If your mold and mildew stains arent too old, this might be all you need to get the job done.
How To Remove Mildew From Boat Seats
Having a boat is incredible because you can enjoy numerous fun adventures on the open sea. However, having a boat also requires constant maintenance and care because they are constantly exposed to harsh natural elements like salt water, sun rays, rain, hot weather, cold weather, wind, and so on. For the boat to be in the best condition possible, you need to clean and maintain it regularly. One of the things you absolutely need to know is how to remove mildew from boat seats.
Our boat seats are very susceptible to mildew and mold which can build up over time and become an issue. You can take some measures to prevent mildew from forming like wiping down our seats after you use them to take the moisture out or cover our seats with a mildew-resistant material but water can escape our sight and penetrate even the most resistant material over time.
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Products To Avoid When Cleaning Boat Seats
When cleaning vinyl boat seats:
- Do Not Use A Pressure Washer: There is too much pressure in a power washer. This will crack and damage the vinyl seats if used.
- Do Not Regularly Clean With Bleach: Using bleach once is fine but using it regularly will remove protective layers from the seats.
- Do Not Clean With Gasoline: Gasoline will cause the seats to smell and it’s flammable.
These should be avoided when cleaning boat seats.
SummaryUsing a power washer and regular household cleaning products is not the best option when cleaning vinyl boat seats.
Wipe Down And Clean Up Immediately
If you make routine maintenance a part of your regular boating experience, youll prevent much of the build-up that results from going too long in between cleanings. After you return from each boating trip, simply wipe down your seats.
Youll also want to clean up any spills as soon as they happen. Vinyl does contain pores, and it can stain if messes arent wiped up immediately. Its smart to keep cleaning supplies onboard, so youre prepared for the inevitable.
Tree sap is especially notorious for causing damage to boat seats when the boat is parked. Once the sap gets on the seats, the sun bakes the sap in, making it extremely difficult to remove. So if any sap gets on your seats, clean them immediately. Be sure to use a boat cover whenever youre not using the boat, to protect against tree sap.
1. Gather Supplies
When youre ready to do your periodic cleaning, collect all the supplies youll need before you begin to streamline the process. Gather your vacuum, several clean cloths, a soft brush, a good-quality cleaner thats designed for marine-grade vinyl, and an old toothbrush.
2. Remove Dust and Dirt
Before you introduce cleaners, its a good idea to vacuum up any loose dust and dirt particles that may have accumulated. Dont forget to vacuum under seat covers, between joints, and in crevices.
3. Clean With a Marine-Grade Vinyl Cleaner
While each product will have its own instructions you should follow, generally youll use this process:
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Make A Cleaning Schedule
If you get into the habit of scheduling a regular deep cleaning for your seats, you will not only form a good habit but you will not forget what needs to be done and when.
How often you are out on your boat and how dirty it gets when you are using it can help determine how often you should make cleaning a priority.
You also will want to make sure that you clean it if you notice a build-up of dirt or grime, even if you are not scheduled to.
Things That You Need To Get Rid Of Mildew On Vinyl Boat Seats
There are different types of boats, but most manufacturers choose vinyl for the seats. Its because this material is tough enough to withstand wet conditions. As you know, boats are always exposed to water and other strains that are related to it.
Cleaning and getting rid of mildew on vinyl boat seats can be done manually. But you have to collect things that help you achieve a desirable result. They dont cost much so, what youll have to spend a lot is your time and effort on cleaning.
- Magic eraser
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Ongoing Boat Seat Cleaning Maintenance
Periodic cleaning throughout a month of heavy use with lots of boating activities is a wise option to ensure superior cleaning, removal of water spots and other general stain removal.Using alcohol wipes is a simple but effective way of cleaning the seats as part of ongoing maintenance.
If the seats have been damaged and cracked from excessive use and exposure to sea water and hot sun, a vinyl seat repair kit is an inexpensive solution.
You can restore faded vinyl boat seats with a vinyl paint restorer. This will ensure the seats look great on an ongoing basis.
SummaryDuring regular boat use, clean the seats at least once a month and use protective spray for protection against sun.
Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover
If your boat seats have suffered from massive mildew, then this Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover is destined for you. We personally love this product because of how easy it is to apply. Just spray it on the affected surface, leave it on for a minute, and rinse when the stain magically disappears.
Aside from saving time, you also conserve energy as mildew is removed on contact. This means that there is no need for heavy brushing, making boat mold removal less laborious.
What makes this product suitable for your boats is that it is particularly made for marine use. Moreover, you wont have to worry about your boat seats delicate threads and upholstery as this vinyl mildew cleaner, as tough as it may be, is friendly with them. If you have already used multiple items and spent a considerable time scrubbing without any satisfying outcome, then it must be time to shift to this.
In addition to vinyl, this boat mildew remover works on many surfaces, including wood, awnings, concrete, fiberglass, and other outdoor acrylic materials. Unlike other commercial brands, its buffered-bleach formula can eliminate any filth instantly. Then again, it is ideal to test it first on inconspicuous areas before use.
- Troublefree application by spraying, waiting and rinsing
- Quickly takes away mildew stain on contact
- Works on many types of surfaces
- Scientifically made for marine upholstery
- Needs second application for stubborn stains to come off
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Miracle Mist Instant Mold And Mildew Stain Remover
I used this product to clean the mold off my boat seats. I have tried other products and harsh chemicals and did not get any where close to the results of miracle mist. It is truly as close to a miracle as it gets. Test for color fastness
Shall I Use Bleach On White Vinyl Boat Seats
Bleach is considered a whitening agent. However, is it safe to use on white vinyl boat seats? Unfortunately, it dries out vinyl and even causes damage. Dont mind recommendations saying to dilute it with water for making a cleaning solution.
There are stain remover solutions that are way safer and more effective than bleach. You have to be aware of harmful substances aside from bleach. Some of them are ammonia, detergents, waxes, solvents, acid-based cleaner, and dry cleaning fluids.
Its crucial to know and avoid harsh substances so reupholstering wont be needed later on. Also, you have to be careful with what you use for scrubbing. Soft-bristle brushes are the ideal tools. You may also prepare spare sponges and dishcloths.
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Can I Use Vinegar To Clean Vinyl Seats
Vinegar is a cleaning solution used most commonly to get rid of mold. If youre wondering if you can clean mold stains with vinegar, then the answer is yes, you can!
You will need vinegar, baking soda, dish soap, a sponge, and a few towels to do this. Below is a set of instructions on how to properly get this done.
Follow these steps to get mold out of your vinyl effectively:
Some people will advise you to use bleach or ammonia on your molded vinyl. Harsh chemicals such as these will damage your seats. They can cause the stitching on your seats to deteriorate over time. Bleach can also discolor your vinyl and make them look old and worn out.
Cleaning Products For Boat Seats
After decades of playing with boats, I have found some cleaning products that I count on to do the best job for me. One might expect that you would have to spend a bunch of money on marine only cleaners. However, thats not what Ive found, and I dont just work on cheap beginner boats. I have boats that are upwards of $50,000 and I use the same products if theyre required.
On BeginBoating.com youll most often see examples of projects being done to some pretty neglected boats. This is done with purpose, because when most people begin boating, they do it with a beginner boat. Just like in the video above, Im cleaning boat seats of a boat that I most likely am going to donate . It does you no good if I demonstrate how to clean a newer semi-dirty seat.
For cleaning vinyl boat seats, these are a couple trusted ones:
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Clr Mold And Mildew Stain Remover
The CLR 6 Mold and Mildew Stain Remover is an easy-to-use mildew remover that can be used on a variety of surfaces such as vinyl, tile, fiberglass, etc.
The thing about I love about the CLR mold and mildew stain remover is that its formulated without bleach, making it safe for use on surfaces that would otherwise be damaged by bleach. These include surfaces such as painted surfaces and fabrics. The bleach-free formula also allows it to be EPA-approved and allowed it to meet DFE Standards for Safer Products.
Moreover, I like how it has a trigger spray handle that enables me to evenly apply the mildew remover even in hard-to-reach areas, making cleaning such areas easier and more convenient. I also love how it has a foaming solution that prevents splash-back, ensuring that no amount is wasted and also ensuring that the contact time is maximized.
- Ensures even application every time
- Bleach-free formula thats safe for use even on more delicate surfaces
- Unable to remove tougher stains
Rub Stains Off With Magic Eraser
Magic Eraser can work wonders to get rid of stubborn stains on vinyl upholstery, but try not to overdo it. The stuff can abrade your seats and cause micro-scratches on the surface where dirt, stains, and other contaminants can settle later on. So it pays to work as gently as possible.
Unlike your brush or spray, Magic Eraser can more effectively work into nooks and crannies to get rid of deep seated dirt. As you work it into the material, youll notice it creates a grayish debris from all the contamination on your seats. When youre done, it would help to take your microfiber cloth and wipe away the stuff to reveal the Erasers effects.
*See our guide on: how to clean boat seats with Magic Eraser
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Removing Mildew On Vinyl Seats Using Household Products
If you have some time to spare, you can DIY remove mildew on vinyl seats using household products. You need to be patient and put effort rather than just buying a mildew remover.
As long as you know the tricks, you can remove mildew on your vinyl seats with some DIY solutions. Making it on your own will ensure a non-toxic formula. The best part is that you dont have to spend more since you can find the ingredients inside your house.
Things that can help you:
White vinegar, liquid soap, club soda, and warm water
These ingredients are safe for vinyl and other sensitive surfaces. To create a solution out of them, you just commence with mix and match.
When you have white vinyl seats, make a mixture of 50% water and 50% white vinegar. This combination will also help you restore the color and shine of the vinyl.
The exact ratio can be applied with warm water and liquid soap. Spraying them on the vinyl can break mildew and stain. Club soda can be added to these two mixtures or you may use it all alone to combine with water.
The mixture that is half club soda and half water is usually for stubborn mildew. When you make this, youll end up with a paste-like substance. You may use it on colored seats and let it stay for a while before scrubbing.
Use Magic Erasers On Stubborn Stains
Magic eraser sponges come with special cleaners inside that are ready to tackle messes that stick. What’s also helpful about them is that you don’t have to scrub too hard to see results, so they make for an excellent relief if you’ve been having trouble with a problem area. All you need to do is get them wet and get to wiping.
Because of their size, too, magic erasers are more likely to be able to fit into any gaps and seams your brush can’t manage to get into because of the size. You may need to take a couple of passes with the eraser to get up all the stains, but you will start to see results.
Like with your brush, you don’t want to scrub too hard with magic erasers since they can potentially cause damage to your vinyl. Take your process easy, and you’ll be in good shape to clean up your remaining mildew mess.
You could start with magic erasers if you like, but you don’t need all that power for all stains. Save them for things you can’t get rid of with the above steps.
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