For most boatowners, their boat is their summer refuge, a sanctuary to get away from the stress of daily life. It’s also an expensive vessel and requires proper maintenance and upkeep to stay in good condition.
While cleaning the exterior is obviously important, what most people don’t realize is that the interior is just as important, or even more so!
While marine vinyl is made of very durable fabric that is resistant to water, UV damage, and mildew, that doesn’t make it invincible.
Prolonged exposure to the elements of nature without regular cleaning can cause the moisture to seep into the fabric and cause the growth of smelly mold.
It can also affect the inner foam and plywood if the outer part isn’t cleaned regularly.
Here are some dos and don’ts for proper marine upholstery cleaning:
Most people use whatever cleaning products they have available at home to clean the interior of the boat; most common household cleaning solutions are bleach-based. They are quite cheap and can even be effective to a certain extent. However, they can also cause extensive damage to the fabric and stitching of the upholstery.
They can also leave behind bleach residue, which can eat away at the vinyl in the sun, causing tears and holes in the fabric.
The best thing to do is to use mild cleaning agents that have been designed specifically for marine upholstery. They are also formulated with UV protection compounds that can help reduce the damaging effects of sunlight.
The Cleaning Process
There are a few things to keep in mind during the cleaning process. The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you use non-abrasive and soft fabrics to wipe the upholstery. Avoid rubbing or scrubbing the fabric and let the marine upholstery cleaner do the hard work.
Rinse the cushions separately and make sure they are properly dried before putting them back in. Any leftover moisture will create a breeding ground for mold and bacteria, which will compromise the integrity of the fabric.
Another common issue that can reduce the life of marine upholstery is a lack of additional protection after the cleaning process. Long exposure to the sun and harsh saltwater environments can cause the upholstery to dry out and crack.
A spray-on vinyl protectant can be used to cover the upholstery, not unlike sunscreen. It blocks the sun from damaging the fabric and prevents saltwater from seeping into the vinyl.
Customized Marine Upholstery from Pelican Canvas
No matter how much care you put into maintaining the upholstery of your boat, it will need replacement at some point.
Pelican Canvas in Florida offers custom seats and upholstery designs that add class and elegance to your vessel. All the materials and fabrics used are of the highest quality and are extremely durable.
Get in touch with us today for all your marine upholstery needs!