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. Thats 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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Clean Your Boat Bimini Top Without Using Bleach
First, why do I hate bleach for Bimini cleaning so much? Simple the bleaching chemicals in the canvas stitches can weaken the thread and can fade the Bimini over time as well.
Bleach can be fine for countertops, but on vinyl, fabric, and cloth fabrics, anything a Bimini top may have in it can be very damaging!
This is why youre seeing so many pictures of seams in boat seats online that have begun to come apart. This is the harsh bleach that did this.
Tops from Bimini arent cheap. You can buy a patch, but youll save yourself some money if you can scrub the mold and mildew out of the canvas cover.
If You Dont Already Have A Cover
You know whats coming next- if you arent already covering your boat, you should be. Covering your boat gives you a ton of benefits, the main one being protecting it. There are of course other reasons to cover your boat, such as cutting down on cleaning time and preserving your boats value, whether you are planning on selling it one day or passing it on to your family.
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We have been equipping yours boats and vehicles!
Through the last 40 years, our enterprise equips your boats, pontoons and specialized vehicles.
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How Do You Remove Mold From Boat Canvas
Pour one gallon of water into a container with 2 tablespoons of Woolite and 2 cups of white vinegar. The use of liquid bleach on canvas is not recommended, no matter what type of canvas it is. This ingredient can cause the threads to lose their protective coating, because it will strip them of the sodium hypochlorite that is in liquid bleach.
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Applying The Protectant Spray
Finishing up, I recommend adding a thin layer of protectant spray. As the name suggests, it will ensure the seats are well-protected against new stains and UV rays. This is a preventative formula that aims at helping the vinyl last longer. If youre on a tight budget, just skip this part. A bottle will only cost you $10-15, though.
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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Professional Grade Awning And Cover Cleaner
Owataud is a cleaner and degreaser for use on sails, awnings, covers, biminis, fabric as well as seating with artificial leather and vinyl. It quickly and easily removes dirt, grease, grime, marks and even stains caused by exhaust fumes, pollution and more. Owataud restores the treated surface to its original condition without damaging or altering it.
Quick to work and easy to apply, Owataud is ready to use straight from the bottle and simply washes away with water.
Owataud is so quick and easy to use. Just follow these 6 easy steps.
Step 1 As with all of our products, we recommend you test Owataud on a small inconspicuous area first.
Step 2 Cover everything that does not require treatment and use protective clothing such as gloves and goggles.
Step 3 Remove any surface dust and dirt with a brush or broom.
Now the surface preparation is out of the way, you are ready for application.
Step 4 Apply Owataud to the surface by using a brush or sprayer. Allow it to work for up to 5 minutes.
Step Rub the surface with a clean cloth or soft scrubbing sponge.
Step 6 Rinse with copious amounts of fresh clean water, repeat the process if required and leave it dry.
And thats it!
Owataud is quick and easy to apply and you will notice a difference almost immediately!
How Often Should I Clean My Cover To Prevent Mildew
It is inevitable for your marine fabric to get wet, but this does not mean you have to succumb to a boat cover infested with mold or mildew. Westland® recommends you rinse your boat cover once a month with clear water and then air dry. Monthly maintenance will prevent dirt and other substances from getting deep into the crevices of the fabric, which can be a breeding ground for mildew. To save time and trouble in the future, make sure you prevent mold and mildew from spreading the moment you start to see spots forming. This will help make sure your cover lasts for years to come, but dont panic if you have spotted some mildew. Reverse these effects by mixing a gallon of water and bleach with some mild soap. Let this solution soak and rinse thoroughly. Westland® boat covers will keep their color even after a bleach treatment.
During monthly maintenance, it is important to remember, the elements can erode water-repellant finish overtime. Water-repellant finish adds a powerful coating that causes the water to cascade over the cover instead of soaking the canvas. Overtime water beading may diminish, which will signal it is time to invest in a new fabric guard. Adding this extra coat will ensure that the boat cover lets excess moisture roll off of the cover, instead of absorbing into the fabric, which can lead to a build-up of bacteria on the boats interior.
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Get More Boat Tips From Smooth Moves Seats
Stay connected to our blog to find more boat tips or to read stories from our pro anglers on why they love using Smooth Moves Seats. To learn about the benefits of upgrading to our advanced boat seat system, browse our website for more details on our Smooth Moves Air and Ultra. Or find a dealer near you!
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How Not To Clean Mildew From Bimini Top
In the video below you can see an example where a guy washes and cleans down the Bimini using bleach to get rid of mildew and stubborn stains.
This is the exact method I recommend you dont do.
This is what he does if you dont have time to watch the video in full.
What he uses:
- ¼ cup of mild soap
- Soft bristle brush
How he cleans the Bimini:
He then cleans the Bimini top up with a soft bristle brush, allowing the mix of bleach, soap, and water to soak into the canvas for 15 minutes.
And finally, he rinses the Bimini with water until all the soap, residue, and mildew or mold is cleaned away, before letting the canvas dry out in the sun.
Now, I wont lie to you and say that the results he gets looks good.
But thats not really the problem here, as visually it looks clean.
However, if this cleaning process is repeated regularly what youre going to find is that over time the threads will start to pull apart. The canvas can also become discolored and faded.
Watch the video now, but dont do this!
Can you machine wash a canvas boat cover or Bimini?
Ive not done this myself but have seen examples on social media where pontoon boat owners have thrown the canvas top into a washer and got great results.
Here is the best comment I read online regarding washing machine cleaning methods:
Can a laundromat clean a boat Bimini top?
Can you clean a Bimini canvas in a swimming pool?
Yes, you heard that right!
Whats the best way to clean mildew off boat seats?
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For Milder Cases Try Using Only Borax
Incidentally, if you think you can do without the vinegar, know that you can also see good results by using just borax powder. If youre worried about the vinegar leaving a lingering scent, this wont happen if you take the time to wipe it off.
Anyway, if you think your mildew problem is not that major, try using ½ cup of borax powder instead. Mix it with the same portion of 2 cups of warm water. It works for me if I wait longer before wiping it off. If you have the patience to wait for a few hours or an entire day before wiping, then I can guarantee that this will remove the mildew.
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Getting The Awning Ready
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Best Way To Clean Boat Canvas
Having your fabrics fresh and clean from any dirt or mildew build up really makes a difference in the lifespan of your boat canvas. But what is the best way to clean boat canvas?
To keep your covers and sails in top condition, it is recommended that you clean them with a dowsing of soapy water every month. Doing so will stop any surface dirt or mildew from spreading and potentially costing you a lot of time and money in the long run.
Follow these simple steps for a monthly clean:
Step 1 Using a brush or broom, remove any loose surface dirt.Step 2 Thoroughly wet the fabric with clean fresh water.Step 3 Apply a solution of mild soap and water.Step 4 Using a soft-bristled brush, gently scrub the solution into the canvas and leave it to work.Step 5 After an appropriate amount of time, thoroughly rinse away the soap solution ensuring that all residue is removed and allow to dry.
And thats it! A quick easy and cheap job that can be carried out once a month.
If, however, you have a canvas that requires something a little stronger than just soap, we recommend you use a water-based professional-grade cleaning product such as Owatrols Owataud.
Pontoon Bimini Top Replacement Canvas
Bimini Top frames almost always outlast their canvases. Many times boat owners are faced with the choice of buying a complete new top or taking the risk of buying another manufacturers canvas in hopes of a good fit. Not anymore! Carver Industries has developed a pattern for a replacement canvas that is guaranteed to fit any manufacturers frame, and it is made right here in the USA! Shop Bimini Replacement Canvases now!
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Effective Mold Cleaning Products
The first step in learning how to clean mold off marine vinyl is purchasing an effective cleaning product. While there are a variety of mold-killing products on the market, the following have been proven most effective for eliminating mildew on marine vinyl:
- Greased Lightning Marine Formula
- Mixture of bleach and water
- Mixture of ammonia and water
- Mixture of baking soda and vinegar
The Best Way To Remove Mould Is To Ensure That Mould Does Not Attach To The Fabric
Mould easily attaches to a dirty, damp boat cover. The best way to permanently remove mould is to ensure that the fabric dries quickly and stays clean longer.
So you don’t do that by cleaning your boat cover every year with all kinds of cleaning agents, but by protecting the fabric in time!
Do you protect your boat cover with a strong impregnating agent and mould nevertheless gets on the fabric? Then you can remove that with water and a soft brush.
So make sure that your expensive boat cover always has the perfect protection. This is not only better for the environment, but also better for your valuable time and your wallet.
Give your boat cover extra protection with Sprayhood & Tent Protector:
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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.
Wash The Mildew And Dirt Away With A Pressure Washer
Get one now if you dont have a pressure washer. They are perfect for pontoon boat cleaning jobs of any sort, and I use mine on the deck and pontoons regularly.
Ive got a Sun Joe. Its inexpensive and does an excellent job.
You should be able to blow away all the mildew and mold in just a couple of minutes with a few up and down strokes.
Handy Hint: Dont make use of the most efficient water setting. Start with low pressure, rising progressively until the mildew and mold are removed. If the pressure is set too high, you might tear the canvas, particularly if the jet hits a weak spot.
I know a local restaurateur from Bimini who uses this precise form. Interestingly, he did note that the water mix contains a very small amount of bleach.
However, most pressure washers claim to stay away from running bleach through them, so with my Sun Joe, its not something Ive ever done.
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