This subject has many opinions but today we go over what we believe to be the best marine upholstery cleaning practices.
We’ve heard about this first one many times but it still comes up quite frequently. The use of standard household cleaning products, like dish soap, to wash boats and cushions. This is potentially the most damaging practice that we see. The chemical compounds in standard dish soap can break down the cushion’s materials and, over time, will permanently damage the vinyl. It is important to use a proper marine upholstery cleaner as they are formulated with marine-grade UV protection compounds that prevent long-term sun damage. Our vinyl is protected with Nano-Block Technology from the factory which does a great job at making it easy to clean and builds a tough layer of UV protection on top of the vinyl. However, prolonged use of harsh products will start to thin out this layer until eventually, the vinyl is left unprotected which will lead to rapid deterioration.
The second most common issue we see is lack of any additional protection after a proper cleaning procedure. All of the boat’s upholstered surfaces should receive proper after wash protection, the harsh saltwater environment and long exposure to sun will dry and damage the upholstery. A spray-on, wipe-off formula will do wonders for keeping your cushions looking brand new for many years. These types of products can even restore and brighten colors on your upholstery if you have not used any products in a while. A lot like we wear sunblock for our skins, a vinyl protectant will prevent any damage by blocking damaging rays and helping to not let stains seep into the vinyl, permanently staining it.
Here are a few simple steps to cleaning and maintaining your marine upholstery.
- Rinse off all dirt and debris that may have collected on the surface of the cushion.
- Take your marine upholstery cleaner of choice and apply.
Stay away from products not formulated for marine use or bleach
- Gently brush or wipe upholstery down, letting the cleaner do the work of lifting up the grease and grim.
- Rinse cushions thoroughly, repeat step 3, if needed.
- Dry cushions with a shammy or hand towel.
- Spray marine vinyl cleaner and restorer following any manufacturer’s suggestions.
- Wipe down.
- Cover or store indoors, if possible.
Follow these simple steps to keep your boat looking new for a long time to come.