Is Bleach Too Harsh On Vinyl Boat Seats
Repeated use of bleach can be hard on the stitching and vinyl, but in the video, were not using a bleach product repeatedly. We are using it once. Like I said there are other options for cleaning severe mold from boat seats, but those products are harsh as well.
Your goal is to make your boat seats clean again. After you clean a section, you need to wipe it with a fresh wet cloth a few times to dilute out any remaining cleaning solution. Then move on to cleaning the next section.
Once you have your boat interior looking like you want it, you need to treat it with some boat vinyl conditioner. This will coat the vinyl and the treads that you hit with your cleaning product and help counteract the properties of the cleaner, to an extent.
How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats With Household Products
Boat seats can take a beating over winter storage and summer use in 2021. Cleaning and maintaining vinyl boat seats are important for you and your guests and lengthening the use of your boat furniture.
There are many boat cleaning products that you can purchase on Amazon or at your local hardware store but we recommend trying something you already have in your house dish soap.
Thank you for visiting us learning some best practices for cleaning boat seats. You may also be interested in our recent posts about bumpers, fenders, and accessories, portable toilets & privacy enclosures, replacement flooring options, and snow covers for the winter.
The 5 Best Tips For Preventing Mold And Mildew On Your Boat
Mold and mildew are a real problem for boaters. Boats live in a wet environment and have enclosed spaces where moisture in the air and condensation create the perfect conditions to keep things damp and warm, just the way mold likes it. Once mold and mildew get established, they are difficult to get rid of, and most boat insurance does not cover related damage. The key to dealing with mold and mildew is to prevent them by creating conditions adverse to their development. We’ve collected the five best tips to prevent mold and mildew on your boat.
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Removing Mildew From Unknown Brand Fabric Seats
If you arent sure what type of fabric your boat seats are made of, its safest to assume they are made of regular duck canvas or standard outdoor fabric. This a very economical choice for boat seats however, duck canvas doesnt have the same UV and stain resistance as Sunbrella and may react badly to harsh cleaning methods.
For outdoor fabric seats, you can start with the gentle soap method listed for Sunbrella canvas. Just mix dish soap, Dawn, or Woolite with warm water and gently scrub the stain.
You can also try the Borax or Vinegar methods listed for Sunbrella canvas. Mix the solution in a bucket and gently scrub the stain with a soft brush or cotton towel. Using a spray bottle is another good method of applying a cleaning solution. After the solution has soaked into the fabric, rinse thoroughly and allow to dry.
Finally, you can apply an outdoor fabric protectant. These fabric protectants will increase the cushions water and stain resistance.
M Marine Vinyl Cleaner/conditioner/protector
This is my choice for keeping your boat seats and interior looking like new. There are some conditioners that you spray on, but since you have to use a rag to wipe it anyway, I like the result that this gives me. Another nice thing is that I dont get overspray on other areas.
One more benefit of this 3M product is that when you do a treatment to your boat seats, youre also doing a touch-up cleaning. About once a month during the boating season, you just go over all your vinyl boat interior to protect it, and because of the cleaning properties, youll most likely find that you wont have any other vinyl cleaning needed. .
3M also makes a spray mildew stain remover and a mildew blocker which are all available on Amazon as well. I have not tried them yet, because I am getting great results with what I have shown you.
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A Soft Brush And Cloth
Prepare a soft bristle brush for scrubbing. The brush should be small enough to reach the folds, gaps, and seams. Avoid hard bristle brushes as they can damage the fabric or even tear the chair upholstery apart, especially old and brittle ones.
After scrubbing, you need several pieces of cloth to wipe off the surface. Any cloth will work but for optimal cleaning, we recommend microfiber cloth. Microfiber is highly moisture-absorbing and doesnt leave fabric shreds behind.
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Mildew Remover For Boats
Honestly speaking, boat cleaning is a painstaking chore that boat owners want to get away from. Sorry to say, it is a task that should not be passed up because of the repercussions it entails on the life span of boats. In particular, the seats need special attention because their tiny creases and accessible areas are prone to mold formation. Hence, frequent cleaning and maintenance with the right partner are necessary.
On that note, here are the benefits of using boat mildew removers to make you say yes to cleaning:
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Duragloss 542 Marine And Rv Cleaner
One of my pontoon boats was kept in storage for over a decade because of heavy and troublesome black molds and mildew stains on the boat seats until I found this Duragloss 542 Marine and RV Cleaner. Ive tried many mold and mildew stain removers, including the other products included in this list, but this is the only product that worked well on this particular boats seats.
All I did was spray generously on the surface to be cleaned, let it sit for 10 minutes, and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Thats all it takes for my heavily mildewed boat seats to look new again. Upon seeing the results, I believed that the formula contains Mildew Buster, which helps revive mildew-stained surfaces.
Another issue that was solved by this product is the black molds from my white boat seats. I applied the cleaner onto my boat seats, let it dwell for three minutes, scrubbed it lightly, then rinsed it with water. After that, my white seats looked brand new.
I have to say that it is easy to use and apply. You can transfer it to any spray bottle or tank sprayer, l without needing a dilution. I recommend using its full strength to achieve the best results.
The only thing about this product that concerns me is the bleach in it. Its label is noted to avoid contact with clothing, fabric, and other highly polished aluminum surfaces. Therefore, I advise you to wear your working clothes or protective equipment while using this product.
- Revives mildew-stained surfaces to a new one
How Do You Remove Black Mold From Canvas
Canvass materials are known for being tough and durable thus they are used in a variety of environments. Just like your other equipment, they also need proper maintenance to prolong their service life.
Molds are fungus. They do not require the sun to thrive but they are inclined to flourish from degrading organic matter. They help in Mother Natures recycling projects thus making them one of the essential components of our planet. They can be found everywhere and can reproduce in large numbers. This is the reason why you need to find a way to deal with them as soon as possible.
When you see the evidence of tiny black, blue or green specks on your canvas, those are molds that need to be removed. You can spray the spot with distilled vinegar to kill it. You may also use a combination of salt, lemon, and hot water with a soft scrubbing brush to clean the canvas. Avoid using bleach and detergent as they are harsh on canvas and difficult to rinse. They also can diminish the water-repellent capability of your canvas. Let your canvas dry completely.
Regular cleaning is a must yet it can take its toll on your canvas as they are exposed to the elements. After a thorough cleaning, use the 303 Marine Fabric Guard to help restore the water repellency of your canvas. Dont forget to dry your canvas before folding and storing them to avoid black molds from developing.
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Removing Mildew From Boat Carpet
I also wanted to share with you a quick tip on how you can also clean up mildew and mold from a boat carpet, where you have fabric flooring rather than vinyl.
The best method I have used in the past is to use a product called Wet and Forget carpet cleaner. Ive used it on my pontoon and also on a house boat and it gives excellent cleaning results.
This spray is a mix of hydrogen peroxide and water, but with some added elements , but it wont bleach the carpet or upholstery. From what I read, this is exactly the same approach that many people used after Hurricane Katrina and it works well on all wet environment applications.
Once you have got rid of the boat carpet mold, you want to treat it to reduce the chances of the mold coming back in the future.
The best mold treatment product I have used is called Mold Control. You can , and then using a cheap water sprayer, place it down on the affected area.
Facebook comments & feedback
After the success of my original article on the best way to clean mildew off boat seats on a pontoon, I asked for some feedback and comments on Facebook. Heres a short selection of that feedback from other boat owners.
I was really grateful when you published the vinyl boat seat cleaning mildew guide. I had tried other method, scrubbed hard, and even pressure washed but with zero results. This works perfectly and I am no longer embarrassed about inviting people on board.
Cleaning Bimini Tops Canvas
Ever wonder how to clean your Bimini in a cheap yet efficient way? Here are some simple ways to start cleaning that canvas boat covering.
Heres an additional tip: Try using a mildew stain remover while using your pressure washers to remove mold, too. You can also remove elbow grease from your sunbrella fabric by doing the same. Start with low pressure and gradually increase until mildew spores are gone. Setting your pressure washer on high during the initial cleaning stage can cause the canvas to tear especially when it hits a vulnerable spot.
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How Do You Remove Mold And Mildew From The Boat Cover
Mold and mildew are fungal infestations. They flourish in dark, damp, and warm settings. Keeping your boat covering from mold and mildew means regular cleaning of the covering and storing it completely dry. When you see patches of this starting to develop, you need to clean it as soon as possible. Mold and mildew can eat through your boats fabric protection.
Cover manufacturers recommend cleaning once a month using a soft bristle brush and cleaning solution made of soap and water. Dont use detergents as they may strip off your boats waterproof coatings. These water repellent features of your boats coverings help water accumulation to run off, just like a waxed car. Let the cleaning mix permeate the fabric then rinse it off with water.
Let it dry completely under the sun. Depending on your boats fabric material, you may opt to apply some waterproofing finish once it is mold-free and dry. This will help restore the water repellent capacity of your boats cover.
For stubborn mold and mildew spots that remain attached to your boat covers after its regular cleaning process, you may use bleach and soap solution. This is done by combining a gallon of water, a cup of bleach, and a quarter cup of mild soap. Apply this on the mildew or mold spot and let it sit for at least 15 minutes. Sponge off and rinse thoroughly. Always remember to dry off your boats cover under the sun should there be a need to store them.
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The Importance Of Proper Cleaning
Proper cleaning and care of your boat will pay off in the long run. Not only will you create a safe environment for your passengers, you will also ensure your boat is showroom set if you decide to sell it. What’s more, regular vinyl maintenance will cut down on expensive resurfacing jobs and help preserve the integrity of your boat for years to come.
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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.
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
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Use A Bleach Solution
If you are positive your fabric is Sunbrella, you can use a bleach solution to clean the mildew stain.
After youve thoroughly cleaned your Sunbrella fabric, you can re-apply 303 Fabric Guard. This fabric protectant will help your fabric resist future mildew stains. Its recommended that you clean your Sunbrella cushions and re-apply the fabric guard every year.
How To Deal With Mold And Mildew Build
Mold and mildew build-up can depreciate your boat, and it means lowering its value. A strong disinfectant can kill the spores of this unwanted presence. Half water and half vinegar mixture is the solution for this problem.
This DIY mixture will wipe away mold and mildew without a doubt. Preparing for future circumstances includes preventing build-ups with the assistance of mold and mildew blockers.
Some reliable mildew blockers are the 3M Marine Mildew Block and MOLD ARMOR Mold Blocker.
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Avoid Using Bleach Household Cleaners Or Degreasers
Harsh chemicals like bleach, household cleaners, or degreasers can affect the color of your vinyl. In addition, harsh chemicals can affect the protectant on your seats and damage the vinyls structure. Bleach can also damage the thread used to create the cushions seams. Damaging the thread could cause your seats to start to come apart.