How To Clean Boat Seats
Boat owners should familiarize themselves with all the various aspects of marine maintenance, including how to clean boat seats. This, sometimes overlooked, detail is only noticed when you are on the water reclining in a boat seat that smells like rotting fish smeared in brie. Boat seats are pretty bulletproof considering what we ask of them, but all that sunscreen, sweat, spilled beer and fishing goo invites a myriad of filth. The biggest culprit by far is mildew.
To clean boat seats, you will need:
- Mr. Clean Magic Eraser
- Industrial strength mildew remover
- Easy mess. To clean boat seats that are barely gross, use a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This magical sponge is the same stuff they use to soundproof music studios, and it works like super fine sandpaper combined with a sponge. Simply soak it in warm water, wring it out and wipe away the filth. It is very easy and convenient.
- Moderate mess. When the fungus colonies start to gain a foothold, the cheapest solution is a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water. This will effectively wipe away the mold. The downside is the stitching on your marine vinyl boat seats. Bleach and sunlight will slowly dissolve the stitching and cause more damage than good. If the mess is cushion based and on a small to medium scale, use the bleach mixture.
- Neglected filth. To clean boat seats on a vessel that has wallowed in a humid storage facility is never fun. The smell is god awful and the mildew is the stuff mycologists dream about. Bleach is the cheap way, but if the fungus has roots in your boat seats, it is time to spend some cash on a decent industrial strength mildew remover. Marine supply stores have products like Star Brite Mildew Remover to help you out. Follow the instructions and do not be surprised if you spend a week cleaning and repeat cleaning. Depending upon where you live, boat mold can be a tenacious hassle.
Vinegar is commonly used to prevent mold. If you use this as a deterrent, make sure there is no bleach on any of the surfaces you treat. Mixing vinegar and bleach creates deadly chlorine gas.
If you live somewhere with tropical sunlight, there are products available to protect your boat seats from both mold and the damaging UV light from the sun.