How to Clean Vinyl Boat Seats


Have you recently acquired a boat and you’re looking for the best ways to keep it sparkly clean? Or are you starting to see traces of mildew form on your beloved boat seats?

The things we love about being on our boats, namely sunshine and water, are also the culprits behind damaging boat seats and growing mildew. But there are ways to prevent and clean boat seats.

If you’re wondering how to clean vinyl boat seats and keep your boat in tip-top shape, you’ve come to the right place. These tips and tricks will have your boat looking flawless.

Prevention and Maintenance for Boat Seats

First things first are tips for keeping vinyl seats clean because prevention is easier than a cure for ruined seats.

We’re not pointing any fingers, but if your vinyl boat seats are starting to mold the likely culprit is poor prevention and maintenance.

Sun damage is the main cause of faded and cracked seats, so you should keep your seats covered whenever they’re not in use. Go for covers that have a vent cap to support air circulation.

Don’t leave anything on your seats. No really….nothing. Not your sunglasses or a towel or even a small blob of sunscreen. Because vinyl is porous, stains will form if things are left lying on the seats.

Try to remember to give your seats a wipe down after every use and install vents in your boat over to prevent mold. Set out a regular cleaning schedule where you deep clean your boat seats around twice a month.

Cleaning Mold and Mildew

Uh oh, you’ve spotted mold and mildew forming on your boat seats and you’re wondering “how do I properly clean vinyl?”

It’s fairly difficult, but not impossible, to remove the fungus from your seats.

You may be tempted to use bleach, and while this works to kill the mildew it also damages the outer protective layer of your seats. Rather invest in a quality mildew remover that is specially formulated for boat use and is safe for vinyl.

After applying the mildew remover it’s important that you keep up with regular vinyl boat seat maintenance and store your boat in a dry, ventilated area.

General Cleaning Vinyl Seats

The best cleaning method for the seats is simply dish soap and warm water. It’s the safest method and works well if you regularly clean your seats. Use a cloth to scrub the seats with the dish soap solution, making sure to get rid of all the dirt and debris.

Most importantly, dry dry dry! Don’t let your seats air dry as this will encourage mildew to form. Wipe them down with a dry towel to get them as dry as possible.

After cleaning you should apply a protective sealant to prevent mildew and mold.

Now You Know How to Clean Vinyl Boat Seats

Now that you know how to clean vinyl boat seats you’ll be able to protect your boat from the dreaded mildew and deal with it if it arises. Remember to keep your boat dry and allow for ventilation when storing it to keep it in mint condition.

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