Dont Create Additional Work For Yourself
Many people start out by cleaning their boat seats with a low-grade, low-intensity cleaner such as dish detergent solution to see if that does the job. Unless your problem is very minor, you may as well skip this step. If your mildew or mold problem is serious enough to cause odor, theres a good chance its already deep-set in your boat seats. Youre going to need a cleaner with a little more heft to make quick work of it.
Use A Soft Bristle Brush
In most cases, youre going to want to give that stain remover a hand. And the best way to do that would be with a soft bristle brush. Work in small areas and target places on your seats where stains are most prominent.
To protect your seats upholstery, youre going to want to make sure youre not applying too much pressure with your brush. Let the gentle motions do the work for you. Youll know its working when you get a bunch of dirt and debris rubbed off as you go.
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.
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Getting Rid Of Yellowing On Vinyl Boat Seats
It may frustrate you to see yellowing spots on your boat seats. You cant just get rid of them in a single strike of cleaning. Use a vinyl cleaner to eliminate it rather than ammonia which is recommended by some.
Its better to use a cleaner like the 303 Marine Clear Vinyl Protective Cleaner to prevent yellowing in the future. It also provides strong UV protection.
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
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Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover
I bought an old pontoon boat last year, and its upholstery is severely molded and mildewed. Fortunately, its previous owner recommended using the Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover. It was the first time I used this product, but I was impressed.
I like how easy it is to use, yet it removed the rigid mold and mildew on boat seats effectively. All I did was spray the formula, let it soak for half an hour, and then rinse with clean water.
However, there are still some black dots left on the boat seats. I repeated the routine, and gently scrubbed the dots before rinsing them with water. All the light work paid off as it restored the boat.
Three months after this, I noticed that my boat seats were still mildew-free. Thus, I am sure that this product prevents mildew stains from coming back.
This product is said to be safe for vinyl, fabric, and wood. I found it hard to believe because of its overpowering smell. Hence, I tested it on a small area first, and surprisingly, it does in fact leave no stain nor does it degrade or discolor any vinyl or fabric. It works well on wood, but you need to put multiple coatings to achieve the best result.
- Removes severe and old mildew stains
- Perfect for boat seats and tops
- Safe to use on vinyl, fabric, and wood
- Prevents mildew stain from quickly coming back
- Can cause skin or eye irritation
- May compromise water-resistant sealants
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.
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Propane And Diesel Cabin Heaters And Stoves
This direct vent mounted propane heater isolates combustion air and produces dry heat.
Many boats are equipped with a propane or diesel cabin heater or stove. Unfortunately, these appliances can increase cabin humidity, because the principal by-products of combustion are carbon monoxide and water, some of which, in the case of most heaters and nearly all stoves ends up in the cabin, where the water will tend to condense against cool interior surfaces which can result in the formation of mold and mildew.
To prevent this, when using a propane or diesel cabin heater or stove, open your boats hatch to let the combustion gasses escape, which is something you should do anyway to limit the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. One type of fueled heater that does not present these problems is Sig Marines Direct Vent P9000 Propane Heater, with an ABYC-certified design that isolates all combustion air and eliminates the possibility of oxygen depletion, dangerous combustion gas emissions or condensation.
Easy Ways To Clean Vinyl Seats On Your Boat
Have you ever had a day on the water and come back to harbor only to discover your seats have been scuffed by a big dirty shoe print? Maybe you’ve left your boat sitting for a while and didn’t clean it before docking? Cue the mildew. These problems can be unsightly and unseemly, but today we have the solutions to clean vinyl seats!
Mildew can be dissuaded a bit with a boat dehumidifier container, but it generally only works indoors and won’t help you on the deck.
Vinyl is the most popular material for any sort of seat on a watercraft. It is durable, feels nice, and is water-resistant at worst and water-proof at best. It seems like vinyl is a match made in heaven for any sort of upholstery work that needs to be done on your boat. To clean vinyl seats is pretty simple, but there are some definite don’ts.
Despite vinyl being such a tough and easy-going fabric, I’ve seen a lot of people make mistakes that can compromise the integrity of the material. This leads to a much shorter longevity and sometimes loss of color. I’ve had people complain to me about their vinyl seats, only to discover that they were making some extreme missteps in cleaning vinyl seats. This article will help you avoid making the same mistakes.
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Removing Yellowing From Vinyl
When youre cleaning your boat interior, one of the most frustrating issues can be the yellowing of vinyl. To tackle this issue, youll want to use a vinyl cleaner that is specifically made for this purpose. Although some resources suggest using ammonia, this can damage the material.
Use a cleaner that is designed to safely clean and protect against future yellowing. The same is true for cracking. For both of these issues, 303 Clear Vinyl Protective Cleaner is your best bet. It also provides superior UV protection as an added bonus.
Star Brite Ultimate Mildew Stain Remover
As much as boaters would love to go out all year and every season in the waters, winter comes, and it gets a little chilly to brave the winds. Hence, its time for the boats to sleep through the cold season in the garage, where mildew thrive in damp and dark corners. But with the Star Brite Ultimate Mildew Stain Remover, keeping molds away for a long time wont be a problem.
Similar to the original Star Brite Mildew Stain Remover, this alternative eliminates mold stains on contact with fewer muscles. It is simple to use by spraying or wiping on the surface to be treated then rinsing off with a little scrubbing.
As expected, this Start Brite remover shows impressive versatility. It can be used on boats and at home to clean almost any surface including vinyl, fiberglass, painted surfaces, upholstery, rubber, and more.
But what makes it superior is its special gel formulation. Unlike other ordinary sprays, this mold remover has a cleaning action that lasts longer on any material, even on vertical surfaces such as walls, doors, and more. If youre already impressed with the original one, wait until you see this gel spray face mildew over time, living up to its ultimate branding.
- Applicable on most types of surfaces
- Has an overpowering bleach smell
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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.
Combating Mold And Mildew On Boats
Cowl-style vents help to circulate air below decks.
Mold, mildew and the odor they create can be a problem even on boats that appear to be clean and well ventilated. This is because, apart from the visible areas in a boats cabin, there are many areas that offer the dark, moist environment that these fungi crave. Think under quarter berths, v-berths, settees, hanging lockers, lazarettes, under cockpit seats, chain lockers, and a host of other hidden areas, many of which are barely accessible, if at all.
This Advisor discusses tactics and measures you can employ in what amounts to a continuous fight. Once you get a handle on it, your cabin will smell a whole lot fresherand those itchy eyes and that mysterious cough that you may have been experiencing might just go away too.
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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.
- Mold and mildew remover
- A soft brush
- Microfiber cloth
- Magic eraser
What Youll Need For The Job
Boats are in constant contact with moisture. And, no matter how careful you are, mildew will form over time. The experts recommend wiping out the seats with a piece of dry cloth and avoiding unnecessary exposure to water. But what if youre already past that stage and the seats are messed up? Heres a list of the most useful and effective tools slash supplies that will help you deal with mold and mildew easily:
- Mildew stain remover
- A brush
- Microfiber cloth for cleaning
- A couple of sponges
- A can of protective spray
The best thing about this stuff its pretty cheap and available both at local stores and online shops. For example, a decent-quality stain remover will only cost +/- 20 US dollars. In my experience, the Marine 31 mildew remover is one of the most effective vinyl protectants on the market. You can get it for 20-40 bucks depending on the size of the boat. The rest of the supplies are even less expensive.
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Star Brite Mildew Stain Blocker
One of my most recommended Star Brite products is the Star Brite Mildew Stain Blocker. It is perfect for protecting newly cleaned surfaces because of its Nano-Tech barrier formulation. This product is exemplary for preventing hard and non-porous surfaces against future mildew stains. However, this is not intended for suede surfaces.
At first, I was hesitant to use this product because of some reviews I read online. However, a friend of mine told me that this product worked a miracle on his lawn furniture. Thus, I took the courage and bought this stain blocker, and I didnt regret my decision at all. Ive been using this product on my boat seats for years now and it works satisfactorily.
What I like most about this product is its easy application. All you need to do is spray on the area to be treated and then allow it to dry. Once dry, wipe the remaining mist on the surface. Make sure that the body is already cleaned before applying this product. If there are existing mildew stains, clean the area with a stain remover before spraying this stain blocker to achieve ideal results.
Further, Ive tested this product on my boat seats subject to premature mildews, making my seats look new again. All I did was spray it on my boat seats, rest for a few minutes, spray one more time, lightly scrub the area, and rinse with water afterward. I poured another batch for protection before letting my boat rest for the winter.
- Protection lasts up to three months
Magic Erasersthe Good And The Bad
Magic Erasers can seem truly magical and are used a lot in marine cleaning. However, they are an abrasive product and harsher than simply using soap.
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Active Vs Passive Ventilation
To prevent mold and mildew, you need to ensure that your boat is well ventilated. This can be as easy as opening hatches or portholes to create cross ventilation. But for times when you are away, you will need to rely on either active or passive ventilators to keep the moisture level down. Passive ventilators, such as cowl vents, clamshell vents, louvered vents, ventilating sails, ports and hatches provide an access path for air to enter or leave the interior of the boat. As long as either the boat or the air itself are moving, they work just fine.
Active ventilators, such as Nicros Day/Night Plus Solar Vents incorporate a fan to keep air moving even when the boat or breeze is still. Solar energy or ships power is used to power the fan, depending on the ventilator. These vents come with both intake and exhaust fan blades for flexibility in creating your ventilation system.
Day/Night Plus Solar Vents operate 24/7 to bring fresh air below decks.
When you are away from your boat, it is a good idea to leave the doors to hanging lockers and other enclosed spaces open to allow air to circulate and reduce moisture. This includes the spaces underneath your boats cushions, which can be left turned on their sides with the access covers to hull areas underneath removed.