Summer Stains to Avoid
As anyone who has owned a boat knows, keeping the upholstery clean can be a challenge. Boats are meant for having fun, so it’s no surprise when the seats are exposed to water, soft drinks, beer, sunscreen, and tanning oil. And on light boat seats, these kinds of stains can show up especially well.
Not only do you have to worry about common stains like dyed drinks, but you also have to contend with the elements. UV rays can fade the fabric, while salt water can cause it to become brittle and cracked. There’s also the matter of mold, mildew, and algae growth from exposure to water. These substances can even leave behind unsightly stains which are hard to get rid of. The good news is that there are a few simple steps you can take to keep your boat seats looking their best.
Steps for Safe Cleaning of Marine Vinyl
Whether you’re prepping your boat for a day out on the lake or getting it ready for storage, a thorough cleaning is essential. And while you may be tempted to just hose down the seats, taking the time to do a deeper clean will help to prolong the life of your boat upholstery. To restore your boat seats and remove stains, here are the proper steps to take:
Remove Loose Dirt and Dust
The first step in cleaning boat seats is removing loose dirt and debris that may be lingering on your seats. Large objects like sticks and stones will need to be removed by hand while any other dirt and dust can simply be vacuumed away. By removing loose materials first, you are prepping the seats for a deeper cleaning where they can’t interfere. Be sure to reach between the seat cracks and joints.
Use a Cleanser That’s Safe on Marine Vinyl
Fortunately, there are a number of cleaners on the market that are specifically designed for use on marine vinyl. When choosing a cleaner, be sure to read the labels carefully to ensure that it won’t damage the vinyl. To be safe, it’s always a good idea to test the cleaner in an inconspicuous area before using it on the entire surface. Once you’ve found an effective and safe cleaner, simply follow the instructions on the label to clean your marine vinyl and keep it looking its best. For boat seats, it’s worth looking into a specialized mold and mildew remover.
Regularly Wash to Upkeep Seats
Regardless of where you live, regularly cleaning outdoor surfaces is a necessary part of home maintenance. For example, washing the outside of your house or driveway helps to remove dirt, pollen, and other debris that can cause stains or discoloration. Similarly, regularly cleaning your boat and its seats helps to prevent mildew and mold growth. Not only does this keep your boat looking its best, but it also helps to extend its lifespan. Regular cleaning can also help to improve the resale value of your boat and prevent irreversible damage to the seats.