The best boat seat cleaners are hard to find. With many brands and methods to choose from, it can be difficult to know which is best for your particular needs. You want a cleaner that will remove dirt, grime, mold, and mildew without damaging the vinyl of your seats or the interior carpeting on your boat. There are many different types of cleaners out there that claim they're the best but only one can really be called "best". We've compiled a list of 15 top-rated boat seat cleaners along with reviews for each brand so you don't have to do all that research yourself!
With the best boat seat cleaners, you can clean your seats safely. What is the best cleaner for vinyl boat seats? How do I get my white vinyl boat seats back to looking like they're brand new? These questions and more are what we answer in this guide on cleaning upholstery properly. Whether it's mildew or just coffee stains spilled on your boat seats, these best cleaners will have the job done for you in no time.
Soap & Water
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Homemade Vinyl Cleaner
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Star Brite Vinyl Cleaner
3M Marine Vinyl Cleaner
Megiuar's Marine Vinyl Cleaner
303 Vinyl Cleaner
Lucas Slick Mist Interior Detailer
Babe's Seat Soap
Boat Bling Vinyl Sauce
Boater's Edge Clean Everything
Duragloss Marine & RV Cleaner
Better Boat Seat Cleaner
DITEC Marine Boat Soap
Chemical Guys Boat Seat Cleaner
What Is The Best Cleaner For Vinyl Boat Seats?
You may not like what I have to say is the best cleaner for boat seats, but you must understand why. The best thing you will ever use is simple Soap & Water.
Yes, I know this is FREE, but there is a reason I believe this is the best. The main reason is the fact that you need to be cleaning your boat a lot more often! Soap and water can clean just about everything on your boat. However, most people don't do the work often enough and just like stains in your house, they tend to become embedded in the surface itself.
Boat ownership is already tough on the wallet so it makes sense to take care of your hard-earned investment. A car that is not wax will have paint peeling off in 10 years. The same will happen to your boat if you neglect it.
So now that you know that simple scheduled cleaning can keep your prized possession showroom quality let's talk about what that looks like.
How To Clean A Boat
You need to basically clean two different areas of a boat after every outing if you take it out of the water. Taking it out of the water is technically better for your hull. These areas are the inside (boat carpet, cushions, vinyl, fiberglass and the head) and outside (hull and boat motor).
The techniques below will require a lot of water so please put your boat at an angle so water can drain from the boat naturally. You can hasten the process by sucking up the water with a device or using a large fan.
- Carpet - Using a strong brush with soap and water is a very necessary thing to avoid mold, staining, and discoloration over time.
- Cushions - These boat cushions are nice to have on a boat, but if they are not cleaned early and often they become nasty and usually get replaced on a yearly basis. I would suggest upgrading to vinyl seats instead of using a cushion on your boat. If you have to clean them then do the same as everything else, but use cold water to clean them. You may have to do this several times if you were negligent.
- Vinyl - Most boats have vinyl boat seats because they are easier to deal with. If you read the fine print you will notice that manufacturers prepare these with anti-microbials. This is another reason to only use soap and water! You need to clean your boat seats after every outing on the boat. If you don't cover your boat (BAD!) Then you will have to do it every couple of days!
- Fiberglass - I spent over a decade helping my friend's dad clean their 25ft, Grady White. It is almost pure fiberglass. Part of the deal of fishing with friends is that you have to help out when it is required. This is one duty that is necessary for everybody to chip in. We always used soap and water and elbow grease! Most people want to use a cleaner, but that is only required when you don't do the work regularly.
- Head - Cleaning this area takes a bit of elbow grease because it is in the most used spot. It also has hard-to-reach and clean places, but this can be maintained with regular cleaning. This is the reason those yachts always look so clean and don't have chemicals wearing through them, which require making even bigger fixes later on.
- Hull - Guess what. You can use soap and water on your hull as well. This is a great scheduled cleaning endeavor. You will need a long brush or the ability to get under the boat. Unlike the other areas, you should put a nice layer of wax on your hull at the beginning of the boating season. You can touch up this base layer throughout the year as required to keep it shining. In some scenarios, you may even have to do some bottom painting, but that is another story
- Boat Motor - Just like everything else you need to wash the outside of the motor with soap and water after every use. You obviously need to flush the cooling system with fresh water for at least 15 minutes after being in saltwater. You should hand clean the surfaces of the engine every month at least to keep it clean. This not only looks good, but it also keeps several parts of the engine working at peak condition.
Homemade Vinyl Cleaner For Boat Seats
If you have ever cleaned anything in your house before you know how well vinegar and water do on stains and mineral deposits. If you add some type of liquid soap to the mixture you have a powerful formula for safe cleaning.
This just doesn't work for boat seats, this is for almost everything! Generally, you will make the mixture be 50/50, but you can go a little more powerful if you need more cleanliness. However, you will have to give it ample aeration to get the vinegar smell out.
You might want to take small breaks unless you truly love the smell of vinegar. Too much of a good thing can become nauseating. If you have hard stains that soap and water can't get out then this is my suggestion #2 for the best cleaner!
What Is A Good Cleaner For Boat Seats
I will list in this section numbers 3 - 15 of the "good" boat seat cleaners that you can use. A lot of these will have chemicals and can be harmful to your boat over time. However, they will clean your boat and it is up to you to decide what level of cleaning you are capable of doing.
I will always promote doing the hard work of taking care of your prized possessions. If you can do this they will perform for you well beyond their normal lifespans.
#3 - Star Brite Vinyl Cleaner
The Star Brite brand has a variety of cleaners to suit your needs for all different surfaces on the boat. I personally like their vinyl cleaner. It is made specifically for cleaning upholstery and vinyl materials with ease. Many boat owners swear by it.
Star Brite Vinyl Cleaner Features:
- pH balanced formula eliminates tough stains without harsh chemicals or solvents
- Safely cleans dirt, grime; food spills, other everyday liquids from fabric; removes old wax buildup - even in hard to reach areas
- Contains no bleach so it's non-abrasive and won't harm plastics, rubbers, metals, or any finish including Aniline Leathers
- Suitable for use by kids and pets too! No irritants that can trigger health issues
- Non-toxic - biodegradable. Environmentally friendly
- Environmentally safe for the user and our shared environment, as well as non-flammable and odorless!
#4 - 3M Marine Vinyl Cleaner
This is a powerful product with excellent reviews. It's designed for use on any type of vinyl material in boats or cars, including upholstery, floors, and even headliners! The best part? It has no harmful chemicals so it will not damage the interior if used improperly.
Here are some features:
- Cleans without leaving a greasy residue behind
- Safe to use on all surfaces
- A fast-acting formula that penetrates deep into seams, corners, and tough stains on fabric seats - surface needs only one application at most
- Tough but gentle cleaning agents dissolve dirt and grime from fabrics as well as old wax buildup (even hard-to-reach areas) using just water alone! No need for toxic solvents that can damage rubber, plastic, and vinyl surfaces.
- The best thing about this product is that it's easy to use! All you have to do is spray the surface with water first before applying the cleaner
#5 - Megiuar's Marine Vinyl Cleaner
Megiuar's Marine Vinyl Cleaner is the best cleaner for boat seats because it does not have a strong odor and has natural ingredients. This cleaner can be used on any vinyl or rubber material, including your boat seat covers!
Meguiars also recommends using this product to restore faded black trim pieces around windows and other surfaces with plastic components. The company states that this cleanser "cleans without leaving behind streaks or lint" which makes cleaning easier since you don't need to wipe off excess product afterward.
Another bonus about this cleaner is that it removes mildew stains when sprayed directly onto them as well, which can be a problem with other cleaners that don't remove the mold completely after they've dried. It is not the safest thing in the world, but it still works!
#6 - 303 Vinyl Cleaner
303 is a brand that has been trusted for more than 20 years. It's the best vinyl cleaner and the best mildew remover for boat seats.
Their cleaners are made specifically to spot clean or take care of tough stains on your boat upholstery, as well as those stubborn marks left by shoes or pets walking across them. The 303 products will help restore your plastic surfaces back to look new without harsh chemicals!
The fabric in boats can be just as important because it helps insulate from temperature fluctuations which mean you'll be warmer in cold weather and cooler during hot summer days. The fabric needs cleaning too, but not every product will work - no matter how good they might make your furniture feel afterward!
#7 - Lucas Slick Mist Interior Detailer
Most people wouldn't think about Lucas's Slick Mist when it comes to cleaning boat seats. However, it is an excellent cleaner and shines enhancer for boat seats. The Slick Mist has a nice smell that is mild yet pleasant.
The best part about this product is the scent leaves behind on your boat seat which smells fresh and clean without being overpowering.
#8 - Boat Juice Interior Cleaner
This funny-named product is definitely not all fun and games. It is a citrus-based cleaner that safely cleans your vinyl boat seats. It does not contain any harmful chemicals and is safe for plastics, fabric, or carpet as well!
The best thing about "Boat Juice" is the reviews from other happy customers on Amazon. You can go there and check out the reviews from many boat owners and see what all the hype is about.
#9 - Babe's Seat Saver
Babe's Seat Soap is a cleaner for vinyl boats, fabric, and upholstery. It works great to remove stains from the seats on boats or any other watercraft. Babe's product is not only safe but also cost-effective when compared to household cleaners that are designed specifically for cleaning plastic surfaces.
This non-toxic formula can be used indoors as well as outdoors with no risk of staining carpets or hardwood floors. The best part about this particular cleaner is how easy it is to use - simply spray over your seats and let the mixture work its magic while you do something else!
Babe’s seat soap will leave your vessel looking like new again in under an hour without having to worry about harsh chemicals corroding the vinyl or the paint on your boat.
Babe’s seat soap is a must-have for any boater!
#10 - Boat Bling Vinyl Sauce
Boats are a big expense and boat owners want to get the best of everything that they can. So what better way than with vinyl seat covers? Boat Bling is a company that specializes in custom, hand-made fitting boat seats. Their upholstery materials include luxury fabrics such as leather, microfiber suede, or velvet.
They also have different color options available for your seats including black, dark brown, and white/ivory. The prices start at $150 depending on the size of your boat's seating area which isn't too expensive considering you will be getting new high-quality material!
Because they make great boat seats they also have created a great boat seat cleaner. The Boat Bling boat seat cleaner is an environmentally friendly, no-rinse formula that doesn't have any harsh solvents or chemicals to damage your vinyl upholstery. It provides a deep clean and does not leave behind any residue on the seats so you can spend more time enjoying the water rather than cleaning!
So if you want new high-quality custom-made boat seats for your vessel at a reasonable price with a company that cares about their product then check out Boat Bling!
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#11 - Boater's Edge Clean Everything
Boater's Edge Vinyl Boat Seat Cleaner is a specially formulated cleaner for vinyl boat seats. The best part of the Boater's Edge Vinyl Boat seat cleaner? It can be used in any color!
This product helps to remove dirt and stains from your upholstery without damaging or leaving behind an unpleasant odor. Spray some onto your cloth and use the brush provided to scrub away grime with ease!
#12 - Bio-Kleen
Bio-Kleen is a powerful cleaner that removes stains and dirt from many surfaces. It's made of biodegradable ingredients, so it won't harm the environment or your family when used around the house.
The Bio-Kleen company has been producing cleaners for over 80 years under strict quality standards in both their domestic and international plants to ensure you get an excellent product every time you purchase one.
This particular boat seat cleaner will remove the most difficult stains on contact while also working as a disinfectant against mold spores, bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms on hard nonporous surfaces such as vinyl seats. The best part about this waterless formula? You don't need any special equipment apart from cloths; you can just spray it
#13 - Duragloss Marine & RV Cleaner
Duragloss Vinyl Cleaning Kit is easy to use and cleans vinyl upholstery better than any other cleaning kit available. It contains a plastic razor, three pads for removing dirt, mildew stains, or tough wear marks from the boat seats (or upholstery), two quarts of cleaner with an extended life formula that will not harden in cold weather; plus a special surface-protectant spray bottle specially designed for all types of marine surfaces.
The kit's patented pad design provides the best possible contact area meaning you'll spend less time scrubbing your boat seat clean! Also included are instructions on how to remove dry rot down below."
This is Duragloss’s top-selling product because it works well for both boats and vehicles.
#14 - Better Boat Boat Seat Cleaner
Better Boat is a spray-on all-purpose cleaner that can be used for many different items on your boat. Better Boat has been around since 1998 and offers an easy-to-use, heavy-duty solution for cleaning everything in and outside of the boat including seats!
This product was designed specifically with boats in mind so it's safe to say you won't have any issues finding what you need when using this product. Cleaning the vinyl seat requires one thing - water!
The best way to clean upholstery safely is by rinsing off dirt or debris first before applying liquid soap or detergent. That will help make sure there are no streaks left behind leaving them looking brand new again. Use this method sparingly though because overuse may cause the buildup of dirt and grime.
#15 - DITEC
DITEC's boat seat cleaner is a colorless, non-aqueous, and dual-purpose product that can clean both vinyl surfaces as well as fabrics. This multipurpose solution cleans the dirtiest of materials without damaging any surface or material type.
This is important as I stated in the beginning because we want our boat seats and other surfaces to last for as long as we do!
DITEC's boat seat cleaner is 100% biodegradable and non-toxic, so it's safe for the environment. It also has no petroleum distillates which makes this product suitable for use on all boats that are equipped with a fuel system.
Other great features of DITEC leather cleaners include:
- No petroleum distillates
It does not emit any chemical fumes while cleaning either! This means you can do your work in peace without worrying about health risks or irritating smells wafting into the air around you. The best thing about this product? You don't have to rinse after using! All you need to do is wipe away any residue from applying too much pressure.
#16 - Chemical Guys Boat Seat Cleaner (BONUS!)
Arbitrary to their name the Chemical Guys are not out to ruin your boat seats. They are just one of the best of working with chemicals to help clean things. They have a boat seat cleaner that is ideal for use on vinyl and upholstery.
You will find that their clients enjoy their products and don't worry too much about any chemical problems because they follow the proper procedures for use.
The best thing about this product is that it cleans the seats without leaving any residue. You should have no problem using their products on your boat seats because they will not harm the material or leave a very strong smell behind. This means that you can clean and then use them again in a few days if necessary to get all of the dirt out.
How Do I Get My Boat Seats White Again?
The best way to clean your vinyl boat seats is with a mildew remover. Mildew removers are designed specifically to remove these types of stains and restore the original color on your boat seat. There are many different brands that offer this kind of product, but it's important you select one that is safe for use in marine settings such as the ones listed above.
I will say if you read the beginning of this article you will see the best recommendation. That is to do regularly schedule cleaning on your boat so you don't get into this situation in the first place. However, if you just bought a boat that was neglected these are your best options for boat seat cleaners.
What Is The Best Mildew Remover For Boat Seats?
You will find several mildew removers on the market. Some of the best ones for cleaning nasty boat seats are listed above. How do you know which is the best? We have done the grunt work so you don't have to make the hard choices.
Star Brite Mold Stain & Mildew Remover is definitely the best mildew remover of the choices I have selected. You will find the other mildew removers we listed to be good as well. Fortunately, Star Brite is one of the most popular boat seat cleaners to so you are in good hands.
How To Clean Vinyl Boat Seats Of Mildew
Mildew, a type of fungus that grows best in damp environments, is something you don’t want on your boat seats. Mildew can be found anywhere in the boat where it feels moist and humid; this includes carpeting as well as the vinyl seat material.
These surfaces are especially prone to mildew growth because they stay wet for long periods of time when there is humidity inside or outside the boat from rain or condensation. To clean your vinyl seats of mildew without damaging them, you will need:
- Clean white cloths (paper towels work too)
- A bucket with hot water & vinegar mix solution
- Rubber gloves
- Plastic scraper tools for scrubbing surface roughness
- A towel to dry the surface
Some other things to consider when cleaning your vinyl seats of mildew are:
- The best cleaner for white vinyl boat seats is a mix of hot water and vinegar. This will help dissolve the film on top that holds in moisture, which attracts more fungi growth. Adding salt can also be helpful as it helps clean away the excess dirt. Rinse thoroughly with clear water after you’re done scrubbing.
- To prevent future infestations, always wipe down surfaces with soapy dishwater or wet cloths from time to time (or even better use an antifungal spray). Be sure to dry surfaces well afterward—you don't want any leftover liquid attracting more fungus! It's important not just wipe down the surface, but that you dry it too.
- You can also use a premixed cleaner available at any good hardware store to clean your vinyl seats and other surfaces in your boat (such as carpeting or upholstery).
What Is Best To Clean Boat Upholstery?
The best way to clean boat upholstered surfaces is with a marine vinyl cleaner. This will remove dirt, sand, and even mildew from your boat's seats but also any of the other fabric areas inside such as curtains and cushions.
It does not contain alcohol which can dry out or damage the surface you are cleaning so it is safe for most fabrics including plastics like those found in boats!
Marine cleaners can be expensive so save money by buying them online through a retailer like Amazon who often has deals on this type of product. Most have an added bonus that they smell good too which makes them perfect for long days at sea where odors tend to set in quickly.
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Best Cleaner For White Vinyl Boat Seats?
I believe that my top picks above are the best cleaners for vinyl boat seats. I am hesitant to say what is the best one that is not just regular scheduled cleanings, but I will say what I prefer. I believe that 303 is the overall winner when it comes to vinyl boat seat cleaning.
However, Star Brite and 3M have great products for boat cleaning and they also work very well. I feel if you try a couple you will have one that meets your needs the best. Everybody always likes something particular about a cleaner over another.
Cleaning Boat Seats With Magic Eraser
If you are a regular cleaner of your home and boat then you have definitely heard of or used the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. This is a sponge-like cleaning product that will cut through dirt and grime with just water, making it great for use on boat seats. It can come in handy when you are out of other cleaners or if the stains have set in.
After using this type of cleaner, some people find that they need to apply an upholstery protectant such as 303 Protectant Spray after about 24 hours so that the moisture doesn't break down the material over time.
If you don’t want to wait 24 hours before your next outing then there is another method that uses baking soda mixed with liquid soap and hot water sprayed directly onto vinyl surfaces, scrubbed into fabric furniture, left to dry then vacuumed off for best results.
Simply put, the Magic Eraser will clean what doesn't want to be cleaned!
Vinyl Boat Seat Restorer
If your boat seats are looking old, faded, and dirty then you may want to consider a vinyl seat restorer. There is nothing worse than sitting on an old stained boat seat that has lost its color which can get extremely frustrating when it's too late in the season to do much about it because of how cold outside gets.
A vinyl seat restorer will help clean up your seats so they look like new again without having to buy any furniture replacements or spend countless hours scrubbing at them with harsh chemicals all day long.
You just have to apply the vinyl cleaner evenly onto the surface of your boat seats and let it sit for around 20 minutes before wiping off after allowing some time for drying completely. It doesn't take very long but if you don't you won't get the full effect of the restoring.
How To Get Stains Out Of Vinyl Boat Seats
Rinse the seat with warm water to loosen dirt, and then use a clean cloth or paper towel. Use soap suds if needed for stubborn stains. Rinse again after cleaning, and dry well using towels or hairdryer on low setting.
In between washings you can also use an enamel cleaner containing mild abrasives to remove surface discolorations caused by ultraviolet light exposure from long-term sun exposure. Regular gentle scrubbing will help keep your boat seats looking like new!
Best Cleaner For Pontoon Boat Seats
Do you have a pontoon boat and need the best cleaner for pontoon seats? There are many cleaners out there that say they can clean your pontoons, but nothing works like the list of cleaners I have above.
Several of them only natural ingredients to safely remove dirt from your seat covers without damaging them in any way. If you are looking for a cleaner that will clean your pontoons and keep them safe, try one of these!
I am always searching for the newest best cleaners for pontoon boat seats because I have had enough of dirt.
But now with this list, it should make things easier to find what you need. So take a look at my list of all of the best cleaners- they work wonders! Do not forget about how important it is to get stains out of the vinyl boat before anything else happens or there might be nothing left to save.
Best Cleaner For Leather Boat Seats
Working with leather in a boat is a totally different thing. It has different requirements and needs to be cleaned differently. Leather is a durable material with natural properties that makes it best for certain environments, but not all of them.
A boat is one place in which you shouldn't use leather because the heat will dry out the material too much or cause cracks from being wet so often. Of course, many boaters want them because they are comfortable and look awesome on the boat. So in an effort to help you out here is the best cleaner.
This would be the Chemical Guys! They make a leather cleaner and conditioner that has everything you need to keep your boat seat investment soft and supple, but also repellant of any water it might come into contact with.
I would suggest not to lay a fish on it unless you want to find a different cleaner to get that slime and smell out of it too!