It's pretty easy to clean mildew off of vinyl boat seats, but it's even easier to prevent mildew from forming in the first place. If your vinyl boat seats are already splotchy with green mildew stains, some common household cleaners will help you get them clean and keep them clean. Allow about a half hour of work time and a full day of drying time to get your vinyl boat seats looking respectable again.
- Scrub brush
- Baking soda
- White vinegar (look in the ketchup/condiment section of the grocery store)
- Remove the seats: If possible, remove the vinyl boat seats. If not, anchor or dock in a sunny location. Fill the bucket with equal amounts of vinegar and water. All of the supplies you need to clean mildew off of boat seats are dirt cheap to buy, so use as much as you need for each seat.
- Wash the seat: Work on one seat at a time. Start by rinsing the seat with clean water, then sprinkle with baking soda. Scrub the seat with the scrub brush. Focus on the mildew, but scrub the entire seat—chances are it is dirty, and just cleaning the mildew spot will leave you with a very obviously dirty seat.
- Rinse the seat: Rinse the seat with the vinegar/water mixture. There will be some bubbling, since baking soda and vinegar have a chemical reaction when combined. Leave the vinyl seat in bright sunlight until it is completely dry, then reinstall. Repeat for each seat.
Using vinegar as a rinsing agent will kill any remaining mildew, and prevent new mildew from forming, Always let your vinyl boat seats dry completely before covering, and you will be able to spend more time enjoying your boat, and less time cleaning off the seats. If you spot new mildew stains forming, rinse with vinegar before they get established, and leave the seats outside on a sunny day.
- Never use bleach on your vinyl boat seats—while the bleach will kill the mildew, it will damage your vinyl as well.