April 11, 2021

How to Clean Your Boat Seats

Removing mildew from boat seats and cushions

How to Clean Your Boat Seats

The summer season is upon the horizon! The warmer weather means your boat is going to be used more and who doesn’t want to have a clean boat for the summer? Those vinyl boat seats and cushions collect mildew over time, especially for boats that are in constant use. How do you clean that stubborn mildew from those seats?

Unfortunately you are never going to be able to remove the mildew entirely because it is a fungus. The spores from the fungus can be removed and killed with disinfectant but will always grow back. Completely replacing the seats foam cushion and vinyl covering is the only way to truly eliminate mildew. In saying that, there is some temporary fixes to this problem!

(Source: Pontoon Authority)

Best Cleaners on the Market

If you are not in the market to get new seats every season there are plenty of boat seat cleaners on the market. They are formulated to attack mildew on this type of materials such as vinyl. Here is a list of the top 5 rated cleaners on the market: 

  1. Meguiar’s M5716SP Marine Vinyl Cleaner 
  • Available on Amazon for $7.92
  1. Boat Bling VS-0032 Premium Vinyl Cleaner
  • Available on Amazon for $19.95
  1. 3M 09023 Marine Vinyl Cleaner
  • Available on Walmart for $16.35
  1. 303 Products 30215 Marine Vinyl Cleaner
  • Available on Amazon for $17.99
  1. Meguiar’s M180132 Marine Vinyl Protectant
  • Available on Amazon for $15.63


Another option for those who are more DIY oriented is making a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. You save a little bit more money with this cleaner and avoid using harsh chemicals on your vinyl seats that manufacturers so often warn you not to use. Chemicals such as bleach can damage both the vinyl and the stitching that holds the cushions together. It would be in your best interest to read the ingredients on any cleaner you plan to use on your cushions to avoid unintentional damage. 

(Source: Decorative Fabrics Direct)

Replacing Cushions 

If none of the above works or it is not up to your liking, then explore your options for replacing your seat cushions and vinyl. The builder of your boat may have replacements available for you to purchase. If not there is plenty for sale on websites such as eBay that you could negotiate a deal for purchase. Oftentimes people have to research and find a local upholstery shop which is easy to do, especially with the use of Yelp nowadays. 


When purchasing vinyl for your boat seats, a good measure of high quality material is vinyl with a minimum rating of 28 ounces. Heavy duty vinyl will last longer and resists punctures more easily therefore a better investment in the long run.

(Source: Pinterest)


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