Your boat is made to withstand wind, weather and water, and your vinyl boat seats are no exception. However, that vinyl can take a beating, and small pores in the fabric can hold dust, mold, mildew or spills, damaging the fabric. The good news is that those imperfections are easy to remove. Vinyl fabric can be easy to care for, if done right.
For most common stains and mold spots, standard bathroom mold and mildew spray should provide excellent results. Many different brands can be found anywhere household cleaners are sold, or even under your sink already. Even window or glass cleaners can be great for removing stains without leaving a chemical scent.
These cleaners won’t damage the vinyl. Spray directly onto the dirty areas and allow the cleaner to sit for several minutes. This will ensure the spray soaks into the mold and grime. Wipe with paper towels, then hose down the seat to remove leftover residue. Voila!
Rubbing alcohol is an excellent cleaner and great for removing stubborn spots, when used correctly. Rubbing alcohol should only be used in small areas, never as an overall cleaner. DO NOT apply directly to the vinyl, or allow the alcohol to dry on the fabric. This could damage the fabric!
Instead, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a cotton ball or towel, and gently rub the stain until it has disappeared. Rinse the fabric immediately after with hot water, and allow the area to air dry after clean.
For stains that need extra attention, use a soft brush, such as horse hair, to achieve a deep clean.
Waxes or finishes:
The best way to prevent a future stain is the use of conditioners, vinyl treatments and waxes designed to keep the polymer material from breaking down, getting hard and collecting grime. These will fill pores in the vinyl, and keep dirt and grime from sticking in the first place. This should always be done after a deep clean, so as to not trap dirt particles in the fabric. Contact your boating supply dealer for the best conditioners and treatments for your specific case.
If something is really tricky, it’s always best to seek professional help. Sometimes, companies can take care of interior cleaning while doing regular maintenance on your boat, so check with your dealer about the services they provide.