How to Properly Clean Boat Seats (And When to Buy New Ones)

How to Properly Clean Boat Seats (And When to Buy New Ones)

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Comfortable and clean boat seats are a key part of ensuring a great experience out on the water. The seats themselves may be fairly durable but any marine vinyl fabric will need care and maintenance to stay looking fresh. Mould and mildew are fairly common when seats get wet and aren’t properly cleaned and cared for, and this can cause problems.

Here are some top tips on how you can clean your seats, and when it’s time to invest in a new set – whether you’re looking for foldable fishing seats or a captain's chair to take pride of place on your boat.


Preventing Boat Seat Damage:

Boat seats see a lot of wear and tear, even if they aren't used as often as a keen boat owner would like. Sunscreen, drinks and food are easily spilt and can leave lasting marks on your boat seats.

The sun can also cause wear to your seats, particularly if you don’t choose high-quality boat seats when you first install them. Leaving your boat exposed to the sun can dry out the material and cause fading and cracking.


How To Clean Your Vinyl

Soap and Water - Soap and warm water is a proven way to clean vinyl boat seats that won’t cause damage. It is a widely used and proven method and regular cleaning will help maintain the condition of your seats, and not cause damage.

3M Vinyl Cleaner - The 3M vinyl cleaner is one of the most popular specialist cleaning solutions. It will help to remove mould and leave seats looking as good as new. 

Marine RV Cleaner - This popular cleaning solution will help to restore a bit of life to your vinyl boat seats. Not only that, but it will also add some extra UV protection to fight off that sun damage!


How Not To Clean Your Vinyl

Jet Washing or Power cleaning - We recommend against using power cleaners on your boat seats. The pressure is often too much and can cause tears and rips in the material.

Bleach - While bleach won’t seem to do any immediate harm, over time it removes the finish on your boat seats. This can make the fabric more susceptible to damage and wear and tear.

Grease removers - Grease removers will leave your seats with a clean shiny finish, but in the process will remove some of the layers of protection designed to make your seats more durable.


When to Get New Boat Seats

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With regular cleaning and maintenance, you can extend the life of your boat seats. Careful and gentle cleaning will help to keep your seats free from mould and mildew, and using boat seat covers or boat covers will help to protect them from sun damage and cracking.

Unfortunately, they will likely still see a lot of use. Over time, boat seats can wear down, see damage and scratching, and see the material split. At this point, your seats will become susceptible to more mould and damage because their water resistance has been impeded. 

When this happens, it’s time to invest in some new boat seats, and there are plenty of options for high-quality and easy-to-fit boat seats that suit any style – just remember to stay on top of maintenance to make sure they last for a long time!

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