Using bleach to clean the boat seats

keithkz

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After trying virtually everything to remove the black mildew spots on the top areas of my seats and especially the top of the stern area on my RLi model, I finally tried some bleach water.  Guess what? It fricken worked. Guess what else? It didn't stain a damn thing.


I was extremely reluctant to try it but nothing else worked...not even that Totally Awesome cleaner...not even when I used it straight. So I read some blogs on using bleach. Some people claimed it would not only stain the vinyl seating, it would also weaken the threads.  Then I read someone who said they had been in the upolstry business for over 20 years. He said you can absolutely use bleach but to mix 1 cup in a gallon of water. Then to apply it but not to leave it on forever. He said that was the key.  So I did about 7 different applications of this solution....rubbing it in with an old hand towel.  After 5 minutes of soaking in (and baking in the sun) I then used a different towel and soaked it in clean water and then went over the same areas....effectively diluting the bleached area.  I wish I would have taken before and after photos because it really was quite remarkable.


I actually did this yesterday and waited until today to post this cuz I wanted to make sure there were no stains 24 hours later.  Not a one. 


Trust me....I was very anxious about pulling the trigger on this but the mildew was so bad. I figured the worst case scenario was that I stain the hell out of everything and then I'd just pull a Derek, get P.A.D.S. and buy an entire new boat.


Cheers.
 

Spoiledrotten

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Glad it worked for you. Sounds like you didn't have a great deal to loose by trying it. You seem to have hated the looks of your seats, anyway. I've read the same about the threads being weakened by the bleach, but then using it correctly in the right amounts of water can't be a bad thing. If it were, our clothes would fall off of us, right? 
 

tcpip95

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Yes, I can speak from first-hand experience bleach will weaken the threads on the upholstery.  It's also about the only thing that will get the mildew off.  If you use a solution with bleach, immediately after wiping it off, give the stitching a thorough drenching with clean water.  Really douse it.


A product that I now use is called Marine 31 Mildew Guard.  Expensive, to be sure, but it works well and (supposedly) doesn't damage thread.
 

BigKahuna

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/monthly_2017_07/large.image.jpeg.b981fdaab5a52fe5b9866336253d7a25.jpegKeith, I've used a bleach/water mix for years on both of our boats with much success on both the seats AND the carpet. 


I have been using a product called "Bathroom cleaner /w bleach" I get at Walmart for 98 cents. Just spray it on the mildew let it sit for a second and it disappears. If it doesn't disappear after the first application spray it again. 


Just bought another bottle...........


How did the mildew get so bad under the cover?
 
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keithkz

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Don't know why I've never tried their products for the boat. I've been using them for years on my showers/tubs and then their toilet cleaner as well and swear by them. Thanks...I'll try their shower/tub cleaner the next time I have an issue.


I just noticed I had black mildew all over my bimini boot cover but I just finished spraying it with Totally Awesome and used a brush and it removed every bit of it.
 

Cjallgood

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Man I jus bought a bennington boat and has alot of mildew. Been looking online to see what's best. I specifically made an account on here just to reply to this post. I love the way you worded it!! It works! This will be the first thing I try this week. Thanks for sharing
 

lakeliving

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Man I jus bought a bennington boat and has alot of mildew. Been looking online to see what's best. I specifically made an account on here just to reply to this post. I love the way you worded it!! It works! This will be the first thing I try this week. Thanks for sharing
Hopefully you stick around as there is a lot of other good information on here as well!
 

Anthony Roberts

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Try use Marine 31. I'm also using it and I saw that it really good. It has effective cleaning ability and works fast on contact.
 

Airmousam

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It does work well, but I’d be careful of the comment on safe for threads..stuff reeks of bleach..
 

rbtnt

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You can put Vaseline on the threads to protect from bleach or Marine 31. Easy to remove after cleaning.
Before Marine 31 I would soak paper towels in a bleach mix and let them set on the mildew areas for a 5 minutes. No scrubbing and kept water and rags near by in case some of the mixture got on the threads. Wipe seats down with water after bleach and then 303 Protectant
 
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