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Regular boat maintenance is key to keeping your vessel in top condition. Learning how to clean boat seats is an important part of this process. In fact, it is probably the most important thing you can do to keep those seats in good shape.

Modern marine vinyls have built-in protection against mildew, mold, and stains, making them easier to keep clean. If you allow contaminants to get into the material, mold and mildew can get a foothold in the vinyl. And if you clean your seats improperly, you can scrub or chemically burn those important treatments away.

Here are five easy steps to keeping your boat seats in great condition:

  1. Keep them clean – regular cleaning with soap and water will help to remove any dirt or grime that could potentially damage the seats.
  2. Protect them from the sun – the sun can fade and damage boat seats, so it’s important to try and keep them in the shade when possible.
  3. Don’t let them get too wet – if the seats do get wet, make sure to dry them off as soon as possible to avoid any water damage.
  4. Be careful with any sharp objects – it’s easy to accidentally scratch or tear boat seats, so be careful when handling any sharp objects near them.
  5. Store them properly – when not in use, boat seats should be stored in a cool, dry place to avoid any damage from the elements.

What is the best cleaner for boat seats?

You should avoid using aftermarket treatments on your vinyl seats for as long as possible, as most seat manufacturers recommend. But, keep in mind that the treatments the manufacturer originally applied to the seats will eventually wear away over time.

Dedicated vinyl cleaners

Stains will become more difficult to remove over time, and those black dots may become permanent if not treated quickly. Be sure to check your boat regularly for any signs of wear and tear, and take action to prevent any further damage. You might need to use a dedicated vinyl cleaner at this point. Be sure to wash the seats down again after using it and let them dry completely before applying a dedicated vinyl protectant.

Stay away from caustic cleaners (including bleach)

It’s super important to stay away from harsh cleaners, no matter how tough it becomes to get those boat seats clean. Bleach in particular is a big no-no.Tough cleaners can eliminate any remaining anti-microbial, anti-fungal, and anti-stain properties, as well as damage the vinyl and make it brittle. Rips and tears in the material may occur. If the threads used to sew the vinyl seats together are damaged, the stitching won’t last long.

If you take care of your boat seats by cleaning them regularly, they will last a long time! This depends on where your boat is located, how often it is used, and how it is stored though. We can say one thing for sure: the better you take care of your boat seats, the longer they will last, and the longer your boat will look new.