Vinyl Upholstery Care and Cleaning
Right at the top...Prevention can and does
help a lot.
Please keep seats covered when not in use! The more they are covered, the longer they will last. Old MR Sunshine will slowly eat your seats. You may have seen seats that were not covered? Dry, Cracked, Ugly.
Vinyl is porous and will take a stain if left unattended. For that reason, when you have sun bathers liying on the seats with lotion on, put a towel down or a quick cleaning when back at the dock or trailer will work. Leaves, grass, ink from cardboard boxes, or other items will also stain the vinyl if left unattended.
When you get a spill or some other small disaster, just wipe it up as soon as possible. The stain inhibitors will help keep the problem at bay. If you need some water to help out, just dip one end of a towel in the lake, and use the other end for drying.
Regular cleaning is recomended. Regular? First thing in the spring, before you have people on the boat. If you are on the boat often, every 6 weeks for a quick clean and treatment. If you use the boat every other weekend, a quick cleaning every 12 weeks if needed.
The best bet is to use warm water and a small amount of dish soap or ivory soap. A plastic bristle brush works well for scrubbing, and rinse with a hose or a wet towel. You can also use any "marine vinyl cleaner", read the bottle please.. You can really scrub the vinyl, it is strong and flexible. As long as the cleaner will not harm the vinyl, scrub till you get tired.
If by chance you have some mildew or stain from leaves. Use One (1) tablespoon ammonia, one fourth (1/4) cup hydrogen peroxide, three-fourths (3/4) cup of water. Scrub/ Rinse / Dry.
I must stress that many Household Cleaners are very powerful and can harm the vinyl composition, and can take years away from the life of your seats. Marine Vinyl has ultra-violet resistant treatment, stain inhibitors, and plasticizers (for flexibility ) added during the manufacturing process. These cleaners will also weaken the thread that is used to sew the vinyl.
And now it is clean, so now what?
Time for a 'small' amount of vinyl treatment to keep the vinyl soft, add sun screen, and additional stain barrier. PLEASE use a "Marine Vinyl Treatment", not an automotive vinyl treatment with silicone. '303 Aerospace Protectant', or 'Starbrite Marine Vinyl Treatment' works well. Note that Most marine vinyl treatments must be kept from freezing.
Applying vinyl treatment, the easy part.
I like to use a small cloth or a paper towel. Spray a light mist on the seat and rub it around with the cloth or towel, spraying more as you go. Just like putting sun tan oil on before going out. Then just let the treatment soak into the pores of the vinyl. It should be dry and ready for a boat ride in half an hour, bring the cooler please.
Thank You for reading this !
Wishing your Upholstery a very long, soft, and plush life !