The vinyl seats on our boat were custom made thirty years ago. We looked at how much it would cost to get them remade and we could not believe how expensive it was. We thought it would be a better idea to put that money into something more important rather than just making our vinyl seats more pleasing to look at. Keep reading to find out how to clean vinyl boat cushions.
I did quite a lot of research to figure out what types of products were okay to use on this expensive vinyl. Many sites were warning of products that would take off the waterproof coating and suggested buying fairly expensive marine vinyl cleaner.
After taking this into consideration I realized our cushions were already thirty years old and they were no longer waterproof. They were covered in years worth of mildew, dirt, sunscreen, and even some rust from an old winch that was sitting above their location on the boat.
I began cleaning the vinyl cushions with a light coat of Lysol Mold and Mildew Spray ($12) on each seat.
I gently scrubbed each cushion to ensure that it had an even coverage of the cleaner.
I let this first coat sit for about two minutes and then a rinsed each cushion with water. I repeated this step three times which helped get the many layers of “scum” built up on the cushions.
I did not want to leave the cleaner on for too long because it did have some bleach in the solution and I was worried what the chemical reaction would do to the stitching. Two minutes seemed long enough to get deep but short enough not to damage anything.
I had two cushions that were improving but still not getting as clean as I would like. I decided to experiment with a magic eraser($4). I have previously used magic erasers while cleaning paddleboards and they worked like a dream so it was worth a try.
I started on a small piece to make sure it was not going to damage the material. It worked great and got the remainder of “scum” out leaving a noticeably cleaner surface.
I was super impressed with the finished product. They are not perfect by any means but they look so much better than before! I also splurged a little bit and bought Star brite Vinyl Bright Protectant ($17) to protect them from the sun and all the adventures they are about to partake in 🙂
If your vinyl cushions are relatively new I would invest in products that are a little more gentle and made specifically for vinyl to preserve the waterproof coating. But if they are super old and pretty far gone like ours were then these items did a great job bringing them back to life:)
I spent a grand total of $33 compared to the couple hundred it would have cost to have them remade.
Let me know if you have any questions!:)