What To Do If You Already Have Mold Or Mildew
If youve already experienced a mold or mildew problem, your first priority is to get rid of it. These fungi can cause permanent damage to a boat if left alone for even a short period of time. Although it seems like theres an endless list of tasks to address on a boat, this one should be moved to the top.
Mold and mildew removal can be hazardous to your health, so youll want to follow proper procedure when youre around it. Youll also need to know effective solutions to combat it. We recommend an 8-step process.
Protecting Your Boat Seats From Uv And Dirt
Its easy to be happy and just quit after getting your nasty, moldy boat seats clean. The problem with being satisfied here, is that theyll get dirty very quickly again and be difficult to clean all over again.
After getting the results you were hoping for on you boats interior, you need to take another very important step. You need to apply some vinyl boat seat protectant/conditioner.
The conditioner will do a few things for you:
- It helps keep your boat vinyl pliable. Untreated vinyl will eventually dry out and crack.
- A boat vinyl conditioner will also protect from UV light, which will sunburn and also dry out your boat seats.
- It will also have a protective coating that is guarding against dirt and stains. If conditioned regularly, cleaning your boat seats will take nothing more than a damp cloth to wipe them clean.
So again, youll only have the one time deep cleaning to get it like new. From that point on, its all about just doing a little light cleaning and conditioning.
How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats Of Mildew And Mold
If youre wondering how to clean vinyl boat seats of mildew and mold to bring back that showroom shine, weve got all the info you need.
Vinyl has long been the material of choice for boat seat upholstery. Long lasting and durable, vinyl provides excellent protective performance that keeps cushions soft and comfortable for years. But for as resilient as vinyl might be, theyre not really impervious to the effects of mold and mildew.
Over time, those vinyl boat seats might start to look like a hot, discolored mess. Toss in a bunch of black mold freckles, and it might be tough to find the courage to take a seat. That’s why this guide will show you the right way to clean vinyl boat seats and what you will need to get the job done.
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Can I Use Bleach On Vinyl
Although it may be tempting to use bleach, this whitening agent can dry out and in turn, damage vinyl. While some recommend a diluted solution of water and bleach, there are plenty of products that are far superior reducing your risk of damage and potentially needing to reupholster.
The same is true with any other harsh compound, including but not limited to concentrated detergents, waxes, dry cleaning fluids, solvents, and acid-based cleaners.
Regardless of the issue, its best to check your vinyl seats maintenance instructions. That way, youll gain insight into suggested best practices moving forward. If your seats are removable, take them off so that you can clean them more effectively and always use soft cleaning tools.
Its best to have soft-bristled brushes handy, as well as some spare sponges and/or dishcloths. This will reduce the risk of damage.
When in doubt, always opt for a specialized cleaner. For all of your marine needs, regardless of the application, there are effective products.
Cleaning Mold And Mildew Off Boat Seats
Some people suggest using a mixture of 3 parts water and 1 part mild soap, with a soft cloth or sponge. I think youll find that to be a complete waste of time. Mold is not just sitting on the surface of the vinyl. It penetrates a little and thats why you need to use a more aggressive product and procedure.
There are several products for cleaning mold. Not many actually work, but some work really well. In the video below, youll see what most would consider an extreme case. If you didnt see the boat seat vinyl become clean, you wouldnt believe it could be done. Yet, look how simple it was.
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Star Brite 098616 Ultimate Mildew Remover
Do you have problems finding a special boat mildew remover? If yes, worry no more, for the Star Brite 098616 Ultimate Mildew Stain Remover is here. It is ideal for removing rigid mold and mildew stains without heavy scrubbing. Let me tell you the reasons why I said so.
My boat cabin developed molds and mildews after being left idle for over a year. I tried various cleaners, but stubborn mold and mildew remained. Fortunately, our driver recommended this product to me, and I immediately purchased one. Thanks to it, my cabin looks fresh and new now.
It comes in gel form, allowing it to withstand gravity and cling on vertical surfaces. The formula is safe to use on vinyl, rubber, plastic, and other mold-and-mildew-prone surfaces. Based on my experience, it doesnt damage any threads or stitches as well.
Furthermore, it is simple to use and apply. When I cleaned my boat cabin, all I did was spray the gel on the surfaces, rest for several minutes, lightly scrub hard-to-reach areas, and rinse it off until all mold and mildew are gone. The majority of my cabins upholstery didnt require any brushing.
- Ideal for removing rigid mold and mildew stains without heavy scrubbing
- Gel formula for longer dwelling on surfaces against gravity
- Safe to use on vinyl, rubbers, plastics, and many more
- It doesnt damage thread or stitches
- Harsh bleach smell
- Contains toxic substances
M Mildew Stain Remover
It is tricky to penetrate through those deep, mildew stains and bring back the color of your spotless white vinyl seats. Luckily, this powerful 3M boat mildew remover can help you eliminate those stubborn dark mold stains.
Specifically formulated for marine and outdoor use, it can clean multiple surfaces on your boat, including deck furniture, seat upholstery, and more. Additionally, it offers lasting protection because it can penetrate through layers and deeply-embedded parts from where mold can sprout again.
In detail, the incredible results of this product also go beyond the surface. It not only clears the top layer but also deters widespread mildew formation by seeping through the material to reach the source. Mainly, boat owners get a hand on this item because of its long-term effect of slowing down mold growth.
This cleaning agent is easy to use by just spraying it on and wiping it off with a cloth. Any dirty surface can be restored to back to its original fresh condition with this quick and simple stain remover.
- Deeper mildew stains need extra time for soaking and scrubbing
Ultimately, we vouch for this boat upholstery mildew cleaner for getting through tough stains. It also works well with different surfaces that may be touched with water and removes unwanted marks with just a spray.
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Mold Cleaning Product Warning
Bleach-based cleaning products are some of the most popular options when it comes to getting rid of mold from boats. Not only is bleach an effective cleaning product, it is also extremely affordable. Unfortunately, bleach deteriorates the stitching on marine vinyl. The detrimental effects are even more noticeable when you combine bleach and sunlight. Mixing bleach and sunlight will cause the threads that bind vinyl seat cushions to weaken and eventually disintegrate. For this reason experts recommend using a mixture of bleach and water exclusively for smaller mold jobs.
If you have extensive mold growth on your boat’s vinyl exteriors, then you might consider using a more expensive cleaning product specially designed for the marine market. Doing so will eliminate bleaching concerns. However, before you buy a mold-killing product make sure to read the fine print. Some vinyl cleaners are automotive formulas repackaged for use on boats. However, they do not include special ultraviolet blocking ingredients that boat owners should be using to protect marine vinyl.
What To Do If Stains And Mold Wont Come Out
Not all boat seat stains come out. There are some stubborn stains that are impossible to remove permanent marker and/or pen ink are some of those things.
If you have stains that wont come out of your vinyl boat seats, I would suggest replacing or reupholstering them. This can be very expensive, but unfortunately, there is no other option.
For mold that has sunk deep into your seats, replacing them would be the only option. Mold thats grown onto the inside of your seats can make you sick. Also, if left untreated, it can spread to other conjoining seats on your boat. Its best to treat mold when first sighted because if it spreads, your seats are garbage.
Hopefully, youll be able to keep your seats clean by following the advice and tips in this article so you wont have to replace or reupholster them.
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Different Cleaning Agents You Should Know
When it comes time to start to clean your boat, you will want to make sure you have all the supplies that you need.
Supplies needed to clean your boat can include:
- Vacuum Cleaner
- Old toothbrush
- Cleaning solution designed for your upholstery
There are different types of cleaning agents that you can use to clean the seating on your vessel. Make sure when you are selecting one, you pay special attention to any special needs that are required for your fabric.
You can figure this out by looking up exactly what grade of vinyl or other material you have and see if there is anything you need to know or look out for.
Some possible cleaning agents include:
Quickly Repair Your Boat Seat Vinyl
I have used Coconix Upholstery, Vinyl and Leather Repair Kit in the past to repair a few small tears in a boat seat. This process can be quicker than taking off the seat cover to make a new panel and sewing it back on, but it isnt as good as new vinyl. Though maybe it doesnt need to be.
Ive used other products that require heat to cure the product and pattern imprint. I prefer NOT to use heat on vinyl, because it is easy to make your problems worse, real quick. If you get used to the process, you can make some really quick vinyl repairs that are hardly noticeable .
One of the most important parts of this type of vinyl repair, is the mixing to attain the exact match color. It is a lot of trial and error. This is something you should try though. You just may be good at it. If so, you will find a lot of different applications for this. As with the other products, I am including a because this is going to most likely be your best price.
So as you can see, theres no reason to fear dirt, mold, or mildew on your boat seats. In fact if youre buying a boat that has a nasty interior, you just might be able to get a great deal on it. Though I will say, if the owner lets his boat seats get that bad, theyre most likely not properly maintaining other aspects of the boat.
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G Mold Mildew And Stain Remover
The stains coming from mildew and mold on boat seats are difficult to remove if you use just a regular stain remover. However, when you select a product like the 3G Stain Remover, you will have an easier time to not only remove but completely eradicate the fungi.
During the testing of this product, I was impressed with the fragrance that this stain remover emits. It smells like mint when being used and it will make the surface and the surroundings refresh after the application.
I am also impressed with its versatility in cleaning different types of surfaces. This stain remover has been proven to work effectively on boat seats and golf carts. Furthermore, this can also be used on other surfaces such as tiles, tubs, shower curtains, concrete, furniture, and many more.
For those people who is too lazy to clean stains, this product might work for them. This is easy to use and all you have to do is apply to the targeted area then see the stains being remove effectively. The application is so easy that it provides convenience to the cleaner.
In terms of effectivity, I was totally surprised at how effective this product is after just a few seconds of contact with the stains. Its fast-acting formulation enables this product to remove and eradicate the stains by penetration the surface the source of the stain.
How Do You Remove Mildew From Boat Seats
So, how do you remove mildew from boat seats?Most boat upholstery and seat manufacturers suggest a bleach-water combination to remove mildew from your boat seats.
In a bucket, mix a solution of 1 cup bleach and a1/4 cup mild soap per gallon of clean water. Saturate the canvas with the solution for 15 minutes and then blot or wipe off the solution. Then with clean water and let air dry.
|The Bleach Formula:|
|1 Cup Bleach1/4 Cup Mild Soap1 Gallon Water|
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Alternative Boat Seat Cleaning Options
When looking to clean boat seats, there are other options available:
- Hire an interior boat cleaning company: A boat cleaning company will come and clean the seats for you. This service costs $150 on average.
- Hire a professional to clean the seats: Find a professional on thumbtack or Craigslist to wash and clean out the vinyl seats.
These options are best for those that want to outsource the cleaning work.
SummaryHire a professional cleaning company or individual if you prefer to outsource the cleaning.
Important Tips For Cleaning Boat Seats
If you are a new boat owner, you will likely be doing everything that you can to maintain and protect your investment.
Protecting your investment includes regular maintenance and care. You should also perform regular cleaning tasks for your boat.
One of these cleaning tasks should be the proper cleaning for your boat seats.
Heres everything you need to know to get it right!
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Store Your Boat Properly
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.
How Does It Work
Weve mentioned it many times, and well confidently say it again: boat seat mildew removers are simple to use. But before anything else, wear protective clothing and gloves to prevent skin contact and possible adverse health effects.
Following the dosage recommendation in the label, start by directly spraying or wiping the mildew cleaner on small sections of the stained surface. Make sure to get into creases and folds to ensure no spots will be left behind.
Depending on instructions, you may want to soak the cleaning solution for a little time. It may take a few minutes to hours to let it set in and dissolve the stain, especially for stubborn mildew.
Some products also require scrubbing to lighten the stains. Using a soft brush or clean cloth, gently scrub the affected area. Do not apply too much pressure as it may scratch the surface or damage the delicate materials. Cleaning boat seats with a magic eraser is also an option to rub the stains off.
Afterward, rinse off the mold remover and wipe the surface dry. Repeat the whole procedure if specks are still noticeable. Dont be disappointed if you are unsuccessful with one try. Even other boaters experience the same, especially with heavy build-up. Just trust the process, and youll get those boat seats clean as brand new.
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Boaters Edge Mildew Stain Remover
This Boaters Edge product is a must-have for boat owners. It comes in handy as a sprayer that you can carry and place anywhere inside the boat. Its not complicated to use as you only need to apply it on the affected area and wait for the stain to fade before rinsing it off completely.
Many boaters invest in this item because it works with any surface on contact. It can remove black mold in boat cabins, markings on fiberglass, and footprints on the wooden deck. Its triple-action formula is specially designed for marine use, making it safe for your boat.
It is also reliable when cleaning at home. Enough with the ineffective commercial bleaches and homemade vinegar and baking soda remedies. This remover can eliminate dirt, grease, and grime straightaway. If youre bummed out about that stained shower and kitchen tiles, then this stuff is the right pick.
This mold remover is pretty powerful, so you wont have to worry about scrubbing too much. Directly spray it on the mildew and watch it do its thing without breaking a sweat. It saves a lot of work while giving you those results youve always wanted.
However, it is not advisable to use fabric and clothing as it can cause bleaching. If youre unsure about possible discoloration, test it on a small portion before applying it entirely. You also need to be careful about getting direct contact on your skin. So, always wear gloves and extra protection on yourself when using it.
- Tougher stains need a little brushing to be removed