Your boat is your refuge, your summer sanctuary. It’s also an expensive piece of machinery that requires constant upkeep to stay in the best condition so that it can be ready to go when you are. As a boat owner, you know all too well the mechanical chores; but it’s just as important to keep… Read More
Your boat is your refuge, your summer sanctuary. It’s also an expensive piece of machinery that requires constant upkeep to stay in the best condition so that it can be ready to go when you are. As a boat owner, you know all too well the mechanical chores; but it’s just as important to keep the outside of your boat clean as it is the inside.
While vinyl marine upholstery is engineered to resist mold, that doesn’t make it invincible. Even if you’re careful and put a cover on every time you’re done, prolonged moisture can still penetrate and cause smelly mold growth. Regular cleaning will prolong the life of your upholstery and keep your boat in re-sell condition, plus it will help you avoid extensive renovations in the future.
The most popular type of cleaning products for boats are bleach-based. Bleach is effective and cheap, but unless it’s used carefully, it can do more damage to your fabric, particularly to the stitching. In the sunlight, bleach residue will eat away at the stitching on your vinyl, causing breaks and holes. Bleach residue will also, over time, yellow and crack your fabric in the sun. If you’re going to use bleach, it’s best to only use it on small mold spots before they get too big. Always cut bleach with water, making sure to rinse it away completely.
When cleaning with a mold-killing product, don’t make a quick job of it. Let the product sit for a bit, and after the cleaner has had time to do its job, you can use a very soft-bristled brush to scrub away debris, dirt, and mold. Using a soft brush is important, especially on vulnerable spots like your seat seams. Scrubbing too hard or with particularly tough bristles can damage your vinyl and make it look worn before its time. After you’ve loosened dirt and mold, it’s important to rinse very well. This is true even if you’re not using a bleach product but something gentler like ammonia and water or vinegar and baking soda. Once you’re done rinsing, dry everything carefully. Mold spores can feed off any left behind cleaning residue, and drying your vinyl thoroughly helps prevent mold from even getting a foothold.
We’ve always loved Driven Premium Polymer Wash for the hard finishes on our boat, not only for its effectiveness but also because it’s 100% biodegradable. When it comes to vinyl and rubber, we also recommend Driven Vinyl/Leather/Rubber protector. After washing, use a soft sponge to gently rub the protector into your seats, and let it sit for thirty minutes. Then use a soft microfiber towel to buff the formula into the seats. This will help protect your seats against extreme sun and cold and stain-protect them against spilled drinks and fluids without being greasy or slippery.
Get into good boat habits this summer by adding regular cleaning into your routine. Next spring, you’ll be glad you did.
SugarHouse Industries is the largest provider of custom awnings, boat tops and specialty canvas covers in the Intermountain West. Established in 1941, our family-owned business remains committed to putting a personal touch into everything we do. That is why we custom-make every product we offer to fit the unique needs of our clients. Read our Google Reviews to see why our customers have been choosing SugarHouse for the past 75 years.