Updated at: 23-06-2022 - By: Helen Skeates

Boats give us numerous opportunities to enjoy the waters, but that comes with constant exposure to moisture that we need to handle. For our vessels to look their best and stay in good shape, regular cleaning and maintenance are necessary. Even with our best efforts, though, mold and mildew can start to form.

While we want to keep all areas of our boats clean from mildew, our seats are particularly susceptible to this risk. By staying aware of the dangers and wiping down damp areas before putting our boats away, we can help prevent the buildup of mildew and mold. But what do we do once our seats start to become dirty?

Thankfully, as long as you have the right tools and supplies, you can get your boat seats free of mildew. Our guide is here to get you through the process.

What Do I Need To Get Mildew Off?

Based on the conditions of your boat seats, you may need different goods and materials. However, you can find most boat seats and seat cushions constructed out of vinyl.

How to Clean Vinyl Boat Seats of Mildew [ BEST WAY to Remove Stains ]

Here’s an additional guide on how to clean mold off boat seats.

Most boat makers choose vinyl on the inside because it can tolerate a great deal of exposure to the sun and water, and it doesn’t get damaged as quickly as other materials.

Although mildew can grow on vinyl seats, boat owners will need the proper tools and supplies to remove the mildew from their vinyl seats. A mildew or mold infestation that causes an odor in your boat seats is likely to be deep-seated.

For a reasonable price, we recommend these products. To get rid of mildew stains, you’ll need:

  • UV and Marine protective spray
  • Soft brush
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Bleach-free mold and mildew stain remover
  • Sponge

Why should boaters avoid cleaning mold with bleach?

Bleach is a powerful cleaner and useful for cleaning mildew and mold off a multitude of surfaces. When used on vinyl materials, however, bleach strips the vinyl of the essential oils that are necessary to preserve its longevity and resistance to water.

As a harsh cleaner, bleach will break down the vinyl over time. Rather than retain its durability, vinyl seats cleaned with bleach will become more easily damaged from normal wear and tear. Plus, when using bleach, the boater may accidentally bleach the carpeting or nearby materials.

Although bleach is an inexpensive household solution, using it to clean vinyl boat seats is not recommended. Instead, purchase cleaners specially designed to clean vinyl, as these are better for preserving the material. Commercially made vinyl cleaners are available at all marine stores.

Use distilled water when cleaning the seats. Alternately, clean, fresh water or tap water will clean the seats without causing damage. Salt water and water from a lake or river are filled with minerals and dirt that will wear down the seats like sandpaper during cleaning.

How Do You Remove Mildew Off Boat Seats

Step #1. Make use of the mold remover

The bleach-free mold and mildew cleaning solution is the first tool you’ll need to get rid of mildew from boat seats. To prevent mildew from forming in the gaps of your seats, spray it on them.

Wait at least five minutes after spraying to ensure you’ve covered the entire area. The longer you keep the stain remover to remain on the seats, the more persistent the stains will be.

Mold and mildew stains on vinyl boat seats will be easier to replace after soaking for an extended period.

Step #2. Scrub the boat seats

Once enough time has passed, you can begin cleaning the seats with a soft brush to avoid damaging your boat seats while cleaning them. Using too much effort while scrubbing could damage or scratch the vinyl, so be careful.

To get rid of mold and mildew, you don’t have to scrub too hard if the stain remover you’ve chosen is of excellent quality and effective. However, do not neglect to clean between the gaps and the more prominent spots.

Step #3. Remove the residues

A small amount of residue will accumulate on the seats as you clean with a soft brush. Once you’ve scrubbed out the essential portions of your boat seats, you’ll need to wipe them down to remove any remaining debris.

Using a microfiber cloth is the ideal way to clean your car’s seats because it’s composed of a material type that is softer than others and less likely to rip or harm your seats.

Using circular movements, wipe the seats clean of any debris. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies.

Step #4. Rerun the same process and use erasers

You may have to redo the whole procedure a few times before you obtain the best results from cleaning your boats and removing tough mildew stains from your seats.

Some stubborn stains won’t go away, but these sponges have a chemical formula within that can get them out. You don’t have to scrape too aggressively on the surface with the sponges to remove the stain.

They’re small enough to fit into the nooks and crannies of your seat, allowing you to clean up any stains that may have remained.

Step #5. Apply vinyl protector

Adding vinyl protection to your seats will help prevent mold and mildew from growing in the future after you’ve finished cleaning them. Adding a vinyl protectant to your seats can shield them from the sun’s UV rays while restoring their original shine.

What Are The Conditions That Mildew Grow?

Here are some of the conditions for mildew growth that you should look out for:

  • Plenty of water or humidity of the surrounding air – These moist environments are ideal for the growth of mold and mildew. It is often the case if you keep your boat near water, be it a lake, river, or ocean.
  • Temperatures are rising – Mildew thrives in warm weather since your yacht gets exposed to the elements for a more extended period.
  • Temperatures fall rapidly – Mold can grow on your boat seats if there is a lot of moisture due to temperature changes.

For an additional boat care guide, here’s how to clean boat carpet mold.

Cleaning Boat Seats With Vinegar to Remove Mildew

Commercial, bleach-free mildew removers are going to get the job done on a stubborn stain or big job. However, if you just have spots of mildew here or there, you don’t need to use a commercial cleaner. You can clean these areas with a few materials in your pantry. For a homemade mildew cleaner, you need:

  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Soft scrub brush
  • Dawn dish soap
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Rubber gloves
  • Container
  • Towel
  • Vinyl protectant

Homemade Vinyl Cleaner for Boat Seats

Cleaning with baking soda and vinegar is pretty safe. But you still want to take the time to prevent your skin from drying out by throwing on a pair of rubber gloves. The rest is pretty simple.

  1. Add 1 cup of white vinegar to a tablespoon of baking soda.
  2. Allow it to fizz.
  3. Apply this mixture to your mildew spots.
  4. Allow it to sit for 1-5 hours. You can leave it overnight for a severe problem.
  5. Wet a cloth and add a drop of Dawn.
  6. Work the Dawn into the material.
  7. Scrub the spots. (Use the brush or magic eraser if the mildew is stubborn.)
  8. Rinse with clean water until all the vinegar and baking soda are gone.
  9. Towel dry.
  10. Apply the protectant to the seat to avoid a mildew infestation in the future.

Why Avoid Bleach When Cleaning Vinyl Boat Seats?

When you think mildew, your first thought might be to reach for the bleach. Erase that thought right now. While bleach is a known mildew killer, it’s not good for your vinyl seats at all. Check out the reasons you should avoid bleach on vinyl boat seats.

  1. It removes the oils in the vinyl itself, making it less resistant to water, which creates an even bigger problem in a boat. And potentially more mildew issues.
  2. It also deteriorates the stitching. The detrimental effects are even more noticeable when you combine bleach and sunlight. Mixing bleach and sunlight causes the threads that bind vinyl seat cushions to weaken and eventually disintegrate. And no boater wants that!

Other Chemicals to Avoid on Boat Vinyl

Bleach is far from the only chemical you should avoid when cleaning your vinyl seats. A few other chemicals to stay away from include:

  • Alcohol
  • Ammonia
  • Harsh chemicals

Like bleach, these chemicals can hurt the chemical makeup of your vinyl and create more of a problem than the original mildew. Some of them can also stain your vinyl.

When to Call in a Marine Professional

While a quality mildew remover can get you a long way to clean, don’t expect miracles if you have a big mildew problem. Mildew is hard to remove from boat seats. Not only does it cover the vinyl, but it sinks into the foam of the seat too. While you might be able to remove it from the surface, getting it out of the foam is impossible. So, you will need to keep up with maintenance and remove mildew at the first sign of reinfestation. And, if you notice it’s just getting worse, call in a professional marine cleaner. They can possibly remove the mildew or recover your seats.

Tips for How to Prevent Mildew on Vinyl Boat Seats

It’s great to know how to clean mold. But you know what is even better? Avoid getting mold or mildew on your seats to begin with. Enjoy a few tips for how you can make sure your vinyl seats stay glowing!

  • Make sure to wash and dry your vinyl seats regularly.
  • Use a protective sealant. A protective sealant creates a barrier on the vinyl to prevent it from getting mold or mildew in the first place. Follow the recommended maintenance for application.
  • Make sure to always completely wipe down and dry your boat seats when heading in from the water.
  • Be diligent in your cleaning and maintenance routine.
  • Store your boat properly in a dry area. You also want to make sure it’s vented well, so moisture doesn’t have a chance to create mildew.

Mold Remediation Specialists in Lancaster County, York County and Dauphin County

Mold and mildew affect boats and buildings alike. When moisture conditions are ideal, mold and mildew will invade the areas and cause serious damage. If you are faced with a mold disaster of any level, consult the mold remediation experts at ServiceMaster Fire & Water Clean Up.

Our mold cleanup technicians are IICRC-certified and experienced in eliminating mold from a variety of spaces, including residential homes, commercial businesses, and facilities of all sizes. We tackle mold infestations that are visible and those that are concealed behind walls and underneath floorboards.

When you call ServiceMaster Fire & Water Clean Up, expect top-notch mold remediation services. We’ll promptly arrive and perform an assessment of the mold damage. Black mold, if present, will be contained so that the spores do not contaminate other areas of the property.

Skilled mold cleanup specialists from ServiceMaster Fire & Water Clean Up remove all traces of mold and apply antimicrobials. Using cutting-edge cleaning products and techniques, our technicians prevent mold from returning. We also work with property owners to accelerate mold damage insurance claims.

Mold is a nuisance that must be professionally addressed. ServiceMaster Fire & Water Clean Up immediately responds to calls for emergency mold removal. We serve property owners in the Hershey, PA area 24 hours a day.

Call us at (844) 805-1107 for fast and reliable mold remediation services.

Best Mildew Remover for Boat Seat Reviews

Boat seats are the most prominent part of any boat. If your boat seats have mildew stains and bird droppings, the entire boat will look unpleasant. Therefore, cleaning and maintaining play crucial roles in preserving your craft in terms of its appearance and overall condition. Thanks to mildew removers, mold and mildew are conveniently erased from the picture.

There are several mildew removers available in the market, making it hard to choose one to buy. Hence, here are my reviews on some of the best mildew remover for boat seats that you can consider.

1. Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

The Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is the answer to my question of how to clean white vinyl boat seats. This product works like magic as it not only whitens but also removes mold and mildew stains on my boat seats. It served its purpose well without incurring any damage.

This product’s notable feature is its special bleach buffered formula, perfect for marine vinyl upholstery applications. I used this product for boat mold removal, and it didn’t disappoint. Its fast-acting formula lifted the molds from my boat seats in less than half an hour.

Needless to say, removing mildew stains on boat seats without heavy scrubbing is made simple with this product. It is easy to use as it comes in a spray bottle. All you have to do is spray it on the stained surface, wait until it absorbs, and wash it off with water.

One of my boats suffers from severe mold and mildew, which I have not been able to solve by any other stain removers. It always took me long hours of scrubbing until I discovered this product. It saved my time and effort as it worked amazingly.

However, I found that it occasionally harms any waterproofing material in my boat’s interior. Thus, I advise reapplying marine sealant, if necessary, after using it. Besides that, I also noticed it had a bleach-and-chlorine-like smell upon opening. Other than that, all is well for this mold and mildew stain remover.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Removes mildew stain without heavy scrubbing
  • Made with a special bleach buffered formula
  • Perfect for marine applications
  • Worked better than diluted bleach

What We Don’t Like

  • With bleach-and-chlorine-like smell
  • Requires reapplying of marine sealant

This product is commendable for mold and mildew stain removal. Nearly perfect, but it doesn’t prevent mold and mildew from returning. So, I recommend using this only as a cleaner and backing it up with other blocker products to achieve the best results.

2. Marine 31 M31-370 Mildew Remover

One of the best mildew removers I’ve tried is the Marine 31 M31-370 Mildew Remover. It has several remarkable features that I always look forward to when purchasing mold and mildew stain removers on boat seats.

Its usage and application are made convenient by the product’s nozzle spray bottle. I can quickly remove mildew stains from my boat’s interior with a spray of this product. What I did was spray it on my boat’s vinyl upholstery, let it dwell for fifteen minutes, and then rigorously rinse it with water.

That’s all it takes to restore the mildew-stained surfaces of my boat. It didn’t even require surface agitation to wash off severe mildew stains. This product worked wonders in bringing back the freshness and charm of my 18-years-old boat.

Moreover, several months after cleaning my boat’s interior with this Marine 31 mildew remover, I noticed that molds and mildews did not return on the treated surfaces.

Additionally, I never experienced deterioration or discoloration on my vinyl surfaces due to this product. This product also worked perfectly for mold in boat cabins.

Although this product works excellently on my boat’s interior, it still has a few disadvantages. One of its downsides is its price. I find this product slightly more expensive than other brands. However, I think its effectiveness and overall performance can justify its price.

Another disadvantage I noticed is its intense odor. I am sensitive to strong chemicals, and it smells like pure bleach and chlorine. Hence, I recommend that you work in open areas, wear protective equipment, and wash your hands after using this product. Also, thorough rinsing of any surface is advisable to avoid bleach residues.

What We Like

  • Convenient to use and apply
  • Suitable for removing mildew from boat’s interior
  • Restores mildew-stained surfaces
  • No deterioration or discoloration on vinyl surfaces
  • Prevents mildew from returning

What We Don’t Like

  • It smells like pure bleach and chlorine
  • Slightly expensive

I was impressed by its features, and I highly recommend this product for boat owners.

How to Remove Mold & Mildew From Boat Seats | BoatLIFE

3. Boater’s Edge BE1922 Mildew Stain Remover

This is convincingly one of the best mold and mildew stain removers. It is formulated with buffered bleach technology, which will not harm threads or stitches, making it perfect for use on marine-grade vinyl upholstery.

I was skeptical of using this product at first because of its smell. Although not intense, it still made me uncomfortable when exposed. Thus, I always make sure to wear protective equipment while using this product. Additionally, working in a well-ventilated space is my preference to get rid of fumes quickly.

However, I noticed that some stubborn mold and mildew stains remained after the first application. So, I had to reapply the stain remover and did some light scrubbing with soft bristles before rinsing. You may also experience multiple applications and light scrubbing when you use this product, especially for severe mold and mildew stains.

Still, I consider this product as a fast-acting solution for removing mold from boat seats. Why? It is because almost 95% of the molds and mildews on my boat seats were washed off with only one application.

Furthermore, this product is easy to use and apply. Simply spray the formula on the surface and let it dwell for a few minutes. One thing I noticed while letting it rest is how yellowish my boat seats turned, which is the mold and mildew’s reaction from being lifted off the seats by the stain remover.

After soaking, all that’s left is rinsing the seats thoroughly to wipe those molds and mildews away. The molds and mildews didn’t come back for a while after cleaning my boat seats with this product.

What We Like

  • Easy usage and application
  • Fast-acting with buffered bleach formula
  • Perfect for marine-grade vinyl upholstery
  • Prevents mold and mildew from coming back
  • Will not harm threads and stitches

What We Don’t Like

  • Stubborn mold and mildew stains require multiple applications

I strongly recommend boaters to own at least one bottle of Boater’s Edge BE1922 Mold & Mildew Stain Remover to get rid of mold and mildew stains for marine-grade vinyl upholstery.

4. Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover

I bought an old pontoon boat last year, and its upholstery is severely molded and mildewed. Fortunately, its previous owner recommended using the Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover. It was the first time I used this product, but I was impressed.

I like how easy it is to use, yet it removed the rigid mold and mildew on boat seats effectively. All I did was spray the formula, let it soak for half an hour, and then rinse with clean water.

However, there are still some black dots left on the boat seats. I repeated the routine, and gently scrubbed the dots before rinsing them with water. All the light work paid off as it restored the boat.

Three months after this, I noticed that my boat seats were still mildew-free. Thus, I am sure that this product prevents mildew stains from coming back.

This product is said to be safe for vinyl, fabric, and wood. I found it hard to believe because of its overpowering smell. Hence, I tested it on a small area first, and surprisingly, it does in fact leave no stain nor does it degrade or discolor any vinyl or fabric. It works well on wood, but you need to put multiple coatings to achieve the best result.

This product is made with powerful substances that can cause eye or skin irritation. It may also lessen the effect of your marine sealant. Therefore, I recommend applying water-resistant silicone on the treated surface after using this product.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Removes severe and old mildew stains
  • Perfect for boat seats and tops
  • Safe to use on vinyl, fabric, and wood
  • Prevents mildew stain from quickly coming back

What We Don’t Like

  • Can cause skin or eye irritation
  • May compromise water-resistant sealants

Its prevailing features made it a praiseworthy product for boat owners who want to get rid of mildew stains on boat seats.

5. Star Brite 098616 Ultimate Mildew Remover

Do you have problems finding a special boat mildew remover? If yes, worry no more, for the Star Brite 098616 Ultimate Mildew Stain Remover is here. It is ideal for removing rigid mold and mildew stains without heavy scrubbing. Let me tell you the reasons why I said so.

My boat cabin developed molds and mildews after being left idle for over a year. I tried various cleaners, but stubborn mold and mildew remained. Fortunately, our driver recommended this product to me, and I immediately purchased one. Thanks to it, my cabin looks fresh and new now.

It comes in gel form, allowing it to withstand gravity and cling on vertical surfaces. The formula is safe to use on vinyl, rubber, plastic, and other mold-and-mildew-prone surfaces. Based on my experience, it doesn’t damage any threads or stitches as well.

Furthermore, it is simple to use and apply. When I cleaned my boat cabin, all I did was spray the gel on the surfaces, rest for several minutes, lightly scrub hard-to-reach areas, and rinse it off until all mold and mildew are gone. The majority of my cabin’s upholstery didn’t require any brushing.

This product contains toxic substances and radiates a harsh bleach smell that may be harmful to people with heart and respiratory problems. It can also cause skin or eye irritation.Hence, I strongly advise wearing personal protective equipment and working in a well-ventilated area when using this product. Besides that, make sure to wash your hands after contact with this mildew stain remover to avoid any health issues.

What We Like

  • Simple usage and application
  • Ideal for removing rigid mold and mildew stains without heavy scrubbing
  • Gel formula for longer dwelling on surfaces against gravity
  • Safe to use on vinyl, rubbers, plastics, and many more
  • It doesn’t damage thread or stitches

What We Don’t Like

  • Harsh bleach smell
  • Contains toxic substances

This Star Brite mildew stain remover in gel form made significant changes to my boat cabin. I highly recommend boat owners to try this product when removing mildew stains.

6. 3M 09067 Mildew Stain Remover

I’ve been using the 3M 09067 Mildew Stain Remover for almost a year now, and I never regretted the day I bought this product. My old pontoon boat’s vinyl has serious mildew stains. Luckily, I found this mildew stain remover before it got worse.

One of its notable features is a bleach-based formula. Contrary to what others say, in my experience, it works more effectively than any other homemade and diluted bleach. It is designed to deeply penetrate the affected surface, leading to the fast removal of dark mildew stains.

Additionally, it is quick to use and apply. With its spray bottle, you can pull the trigger and directly apply it to the damaged area. Once it has been sprayed, you can let it sit for at least five minutes before gently scrubbing with a soft bristle brush. Make sure to wash it off with clean water to avoid any bleach residue.

Upon using this product, I can say that it is suitable for marine upholstery, vinyl, and seat cushions. I’ve used this product on all of the above surfaces, and it worked excellently.

What I don’t like is its intense bleach smell. Wearing a mask, thorough rinsing, and working in open spaces are the my recommended tips for when you use this product. I also noticed that mildews wouldn’t go away whenever I work under the sun. Therefore, I suggest working in shaded areas.

What We Like

  • Quick to use and apply
  • Fast removal of dark mildew stains
  • Suitable for marine upholstery, vinyl, and seat cushions
  • Bleach-based formula with deep penetration
  • Requires minimal scrubbing

What We Don’t Like

  • Intense bleach smell
  • Sun’s heat may affect its efficacy

My list of best mildew remover for boats will not be complete without this product. It exceeded my expectations, and I recommend this for any boat owner.

7. Duragloss 542 Marine and RV Cleaner

One of my pontoon boats was kept in storage for over a decade because of heavy and troublesome black molds and mildew stains on the boat seats until I found this Duragloss 542 Marine and RV Cleaner. I’ve tried many mold and mildew stain removers, including the other products included in this list, but this is the only product that worked well on this particular boat’s seats.

All I did was spray generously on the surface to be cleaned, let it sit for 10 minutes, and rinse it thoroughly with clean water. That’s all it takes for my heavily mildewed boat seats to look new again. Upon seeing the results, I believed that the formula contains Mildew Buster, which helps revive mildew-stained surfaces.

Another issue that was solved by this product is the black molds from my white boat seats. I applied the cleaner onto my boat seats, let it dwell for three minutes, scrubbed it lightly, then rinsed it with water. After that, my white seats looked brand new.

I have to say that it is easy to use and apply. You can transfer it to any spray bottle or tank sprayer, l without needing a dilution. I recommend using its full strength to achieve the best results.

The only thing about this product that concerns me is the bleach in it. Its label is noted to avoid contact with clothing, fabric, and other highly polished aluminum surfaces. Therefore, I advise you to wear your working clothes or protective equipment while using this product.

Also, the bleach in its formula is evident because of the strong odor it gives off every time I use it for cleaning. So, it is recommended to work in ventilated areas. Nonetheless, it is perfect for marine applications.

What We Like

  • Easy to use and apply
  • Gets rid of black molds
  • Spray formula with Mildew Buster
  • Perfect for marine applications
  • Revives mildew-stained surfaces to a new one

What We Don’t Like

  • Contains bleach with a strong odor

This product is beneficial for removing any mildew and black mold in boats.

8. CLR 8541813620 Mold and Mildew Remover

Many people, including me, prefer using CLR because of its proven effectiveness, and one of their products that stood out for me is the CLR 8541813620 Mold and Mildew Stain Remover. It meets the Safer Product Standards of the Design for the Environment (DfE) approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

What I like the most about this product is its easy application. Mold-and-mildew-free boat seats are a spray and wipe away. With the built-in trigger spray bottle, spillage or uneven application will not be an issue. Plus, it is a foaming solution, which prevents unnecessary splashes when in use. It also allows a maximum setting time on the affected surface, enabling deep absorption.

I used this to clean the seats of one of my pontoon boats, and it works fine. I say it was fine because, in my case, the mildew stains were not too heavy, but I still have to apply it several times. Moreover, I achieved the best results by cleaning boat seats with magic eraser sponges and this product.

I am not saying that you will also do the same as I did because in some cases, you can spray the solution onto the surface, let it absorb for a few minutes, then simply wipe all those stubborn molds and mildews away. Just like the upholstery of one of my boats, I efficiently removed the molds and mildews that developed overnight.

Another feature of this product is its bleach-free formulation. It allows users to spray it on sensitive surfaces, such as fabrics, vinyl, and upholstery, without causing damage. I enjoyed using this product for this very reason.

Strong bleach smells make me uncomfortable. Thus, as much as possible, I prefer using products with no fumes like this one.

What We Like

  • Easy application
  • Bleach-free foaming solution
  • Approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Works on fabrics, vinyl, and upholstery
  • No fumes or strong chemical smell

What We Don’t Like

  • Several applications may be necessary

This mold and mildew stain remover has its advantages and downsides. Regardless, I recommend this product over any other homemade vinyl cleaner for boat seats.

How to Clean Vinyl Boat Seats with Household Products | Pontoon Authority

9. Iosso 10900 Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

Are you looking for a quality mildew stain remover for boats? If yes, then the Iosso 10900 Mold & Mildew Stain Remover must be on top of your list. This product is specially formulated with non-chlorine and biodegradable materials for marine applications, which is beneficial for boat owners who have mold and mildew problems. It is also safe to use on colored fabrics.

I find this product interesting because of its powdered substance. It enables users to utilize it easily and adjust the mixture’s concentration depending on their preference. I mixed mine with warm water and put it in a spray bottle for an even sprinkling of formula.

However, the process after making the mixture is the real challenge. Please note that this product is not like any other mildew remover as it will test your patience while cleaning. Here’s what I did: I continuously kept the surface to be cleaned wet, then sprayed the mixture on it, let it rest for a few minutes, and sprayed another batch before leaving it until the next day.

After that, I rinsed it with water, sprayed the mixture onto the surface again, scrubbed it with a soft brush, and washed it with water. From there, the old mold and mildew stains on my boat seats have lightened. Thus, I repeated what I did several times until I saw definite changes.

From my experience, I can say that this is slightly expensive for its overall performance as it took me a long time before achieving desired results.

I think this is because the mildew on my boat seats was heavy and old. Although it requires more time and effort than most mildew stain removers, it still ultimately gives the best results.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Specially formulated for marine applications
  • Can remove aged mold and mildew stains
  • Safe to use on fabrics or colors
  • Features non-chlorine and biodegradable materials

What We Don’t Like

  • Requires extensive time and effort
  • Slightly expensive for its overall performance

If you are aiming for results, and don’t mind exerting effort to clean mildew from boat seats, then this product is for you.

10. McKee’s 37 MKRV-1001 Mildew Remover

When I first heard of McKee’s 37 MKRV-1001 Mildew Remover Kit, I thought it would be like any other mildew removers I’ve tried before, so I didn’t buy one. To my surprise, my friend bought this for me as a gift. Thanks to that, I found a product that I could consider as the best cleaner for mildew on boat seats.

What I love most about this product is its quick removal of mildew stains. This product cleaned heavy mildew stains on my boat seats with only one application. I used the product’s inclusive scrub brush and microfiber towels in cleaning the seats.

Moreover, it is convenient and straightforward to use. A mildew-free surface is in sight with a pull of the bottle’s trigger, a few minutes of resting, and a thorough wipe.

I can say that this product is formulated with a fast-acting formula because I’ve been cleaning mildew off boat seats without any hassle.

You will see the difference between the affected surface and the treated surface in just a few minutes. I also use this product for my sinks, showers, and outdoor furniture.

Although this product has many exciting qualities, I noticed that it still contains bleach instead of what others say. It gives off a mild bleach odor when in use.

The formula is not non-acidic because I experienced discoloration on one of my colored vinyl when I accidentally spilled some on it. I suggest using protective gear when you are handling this product to avoid staining your clothes. In addition to that, I recommend covering other unaffected surfaces to prevent unintentional damages.

What We Like

  • Simple mildew remover usage
  • Comes with a scrub brush and microfiber cloths
  • Quickly removes mildew stains
  • Long-lasting shelf life
  • With a fast-acting formula that works well on any surface

What We Don’t Like

  • It gives off a mild bleach odor
  • May cause discoloration

For boat owners, removing any mildew or mold on boat seats is trouble-free with this product’s instant mildew stain removal formula. The overall performance and inclusions of this product are worth the money.

11. Marine 31 Mildew Remover Gel

Like all the other Marine 31 products, this remover in gel form exceeded my expectations. I tried using it as a vinyl mildew cleaner, and it does wonder. My boat seats were heavily mildewed, but this product removed those stubborn mildew stains. It takes multiple applications, though, before I achieved my desired result.

This product’s outstanding feature is its high viscosity, enabling long setting time on the affected surfaces. It allows the gel to slowly and deeply penetrate the impacted area, leading to an effective and fast mildew stain removal. Light mildew stains are removed quickly with only one application.

Another fantastic feature of this product is that the gel formula doesn’t need to be diluted, making it easy to use. You can either put the gel in a spray bottle or directly apply the gel to the area. You should lightly scrub the surface with a soft brush or cloth before rinsing and drying for the best result.

I love using this product for cleaning my boat upholsteries. Imagine all the hassle you can save yourself from when you use this product. All you have to do is apply the gel on the damaged surface, let it sit for at least three (3) minutes, then rinse and dry it thoroughly. After that, the upholstery is good as new.

Additionally, this mildew remover can be used for household cleaning. You can use it on your showers, sinks, bathtubs, tiles, and many more. This product has a strong bleach smell, so I advise to move the affected items to an open area before cleaning. If this is not possible, try wearing a mask when cleaning. Also, make sure to use gloves or goggles to avoid eye and skin irritation.

What We Like

  • Easy to use
  • Ideal for vinyl and upholstery
  • Can quickly remove mildew stains
  • High viscous gel with no dilution needed
  • Also designed for household cleaning

What We Don’t Like

  • May sometimes require multiple applications
  • With strong bleach smell

I recommend this product for removing mildew from boat seats. With this boat upholstery cleaner mildew, stains will never be a problem again.

12. Star Brite Mildew Stain Blocker

One of my most recommended Star Brite products is the Star Brite Mildew Stain Blocker. It is perfect for protecting newly cleaned surfaces because of its Nano-Tech barrier formulation. This product is exemplary for preventing hard and non-porous surfaces against future mildew stains. However, this is not intended for suede surfaces.

At first, I was hesitant to use this product because of some reviews I read online. However, a friend of mine told me that this product worked a miracle on his lawn furniture. Thus, I took the courage and bought this stain blocker, and I didn’t regret my decision at all. I’ve been using this product on my boat seats for years now and it works satisfactorily.

What I like most about this product is its easy application. All you need to do is spray on the area to be treated and then allow it to dry. Once dry, wipe the remaining mist on the surface. Make sure that the body is already cleaned before applying this product. If there are existing mildew stains, clean the area with a stain remover before spraying this stain blocker to achieve ideal results.

Further, I’ve tested this product on my boat seats subject to premature mildews, making my seats look new again. All I did was spray it on my boat seats, rest for a few minutes, spray one more time, lightly scrub the area, and rinse with water afterward. I poured another batch for protection before letting my boat rest for the winter.

Furthermore, this stain blocker’s protection lasts up to three months for indoor use. If you are using this product on outdoor surfaces, use it monthly. Be cautious when using this product as it may damage your clothes and irritate your eyes or skin. Thus, I recommend using protective gear while using it.

What We Like

  • Easy application
  • Prevents future mildew stains
  • Works great on hard and non-porous surfaces
  • Can remove premature mildews
  • Protection lasts up to three (3) months

What We Don’t Like

  • Not intended for use on suede surfaces

If you are looking for surface protection against mildew stains, I strongly recommend this product.

Factors To Consider When Choosing Mildew Remover For Boat Seats

I believe that all boat owners experienced molds and mildew on their boat seats at a certain point. Thus, mildew remover is one of the most sought after products in boat cleaning and maintaining. However, there are factors that you must consider when choosing mildew remover for boat seats.

Eliminates Severe Mold and Mildew Stains

Eliminating severe mildew on surfaces is the main factor of using a mildew remover. Ensure that the mildew remover has an excellent reputation of eradicating severe mold and mildew stains. It is to avoid stressful situations while getting rid of the stubborn stains by your preferred mildew remover.

Easy Usage and Application

It is one of the most critical factors of a mildew remover. Boat owners buy ready-to-use mildew removers to avoid exerting longer time and effort in terminating molds and mildews. So, look for mildew removers that are easy to use and apply.

Fast-acting Formula

Another factor to consider is the product’s fast-acting formula. Not all mildew removers offer instant changes, so try to look for products with this factor. It is to quickly remove stubborn molds and mildews on your boat’s surfaces.

Safe for Marine Upholstery

Mildew removers that are safe to use on marine upholstery are the best mildew remover. You wouldn’t want it to damage your boat’s interior further. Therefore, it is best to look for mildew removers that are perfect for marine-grade upholstery materials.


Another significant factor to consider when choosing your mildew remover is the product’s versatility. It is to avoid any degradation or discoloration on your boat seats’ surrounding areas, in case they come in contact with the solution. It is vital to choose safe products on different surfaces like aluminum, painted surfaces, and wood.

Bleach-free Solutions

Most mildew removers are advertised as bleach-free, but in the end, they still contain bleach. Fumes make most people sick and uncomfortable. Hence, as much as possible, look for bleach-free solutions.

Prevents Molds and Mildews from Coming Back

Boat owners hope for mold-and-mildew-free boat seats all year. Good thing that some mildew removers offer protection against mold and mildew formation. It is to block those molds and mildews from coming back, even for at least a few months. Some offer protection for more extended periods, which is the better fit.

Requires Minimal Scrubbing

Removing mildews on boat seats without heavy scrubbing is a dream come true for any boat owner. Some scrubbed hard for years to eliminate those fungi on their boat seats. So, looking for mildew removers that require no to minimal scrubbing is a great help.

Revives Mildew-stained Surfaces

Buying mildew removers that restore mildew-stained surfaces to their original and fresh condition is essential. Many mildew removers only make boat seats look at least decent. Still, there are mildew removers that revive mildew-stained surfaces to look entirely new again.

These are the most crucial factors that I consider before purchasing mildew removers for my boat seats. These factors aid my decision every time. Thus, I recommend that you take into account these factors when choosing a mildew remover for your boat seats.

Different Types Of Mildew Remover

Being exposed to mildew on your boat seats may not only be harmful to your health but it will also cause deterioration of your boat’s surfaces in the long run. Acting fast and quickly removing patches of fungi are the keys to avoiding such. Thankfully, there are different types of mildew removers that you can select in the market.

Calcium Lime Rust

Calcium Lime Rust is also known as CLR, which helps remove mold and mildew on various surfaces. Many people have used this household cleaning product to eliminate stains. Although beneficial, it may enormously affect sensitive materials.


The most common and widely used mildew remover is bleach. Most boat owners depend on diluting bleach with water as in removing stubborn mold and mildew stain. However, bleach damages marine-grade upholstery, including its thread and stitches.

Homemade Mildew Remover

Another type of mildew remover is the homemade or DIY mildew remover. It is mostly a mixture of vinegar and water. Many proved that this combination works well in eliminating tough mildew stains. Depending on the ratio of the vinegar and water, concentration and effect may vary.

Professional Mildew Remover

The most efficient and sought after type of mildew remover is a professional mildew remover. This ready-to-use solution is specially formulated to wash off severe mildew stains without heavy scrubbing. The listed mildew removers above are included in this type of mildew remover.

Are homemade or DIY mildew removers better than professional mildew removers? I would say no, in most cases. Although there are times when homemade cleaners work better than other mildew removers, the majority of commercially-made mildew removers are more efficient and effective. All you need to do is find the most suitable mildew remover.

If your homemade or DIY mildew removers fail you at some point, buying a professional mildew remover is your best solution. Fortunately, there are various effective mildew removers available at your local hardware and supermarkets. You can also buy some of the best mildew removers at Amazon, Walmart, and Home Depot online.

Benefits and Drawbacks of Mildew Removers

As with all the other products in the market, mildew removers have various benefits and drawbacks. Let us talk first about the assistance you can get in using mildew removers.

Removes Mildew on Surfaces

It is the trickiest benefit when choosing mildew remover for boat seats. Why? It is because you will not know if the product is effective in eliminating severe mold and mildew stains unless you try it. Hence, I recommend looking for the product’s reviews before purchasing it. The best mildew remover is one that removes mildew with minimal drawbacks.

Blocks Mold and Mildew Formation

Some mildew removers not only eliminate rigid mold and mildew stains but also prevent mold and mildew from coming back to your boat seats. With that said, picking mildew removers that prevents mold and mildew formation will be of great help.

Saves Time and Effort

Using mildew removers save time and effort. Instead of making a homemade cleaner or bleach mixture, using a ready-to-use mildew remover cuts back the time and effort required in cleaning your boat seats.

Refrains from Buying New Upholstery

Another benefit of mildew remover is it refrains you from buying a new set of upholstery. There are times when your boat seats look hopeless, and all you want to do is to replace them with a new set. Fortunately, mildew removers can make your boat seats look new and fresh again without having to do that. Thereby, they avoid forcing you to incur costs.

Promotes Healthy Boat Environment

Promoting a healthy boat environment is an excellent benefit of mildew remover. Once all the molds and mildews are washed off of your boat seats. Your boat will be clean and presentable all the time. Boats that are not infested by molds and mildews are safe for your health and your passengers as well.

Mildew removers are beneficial to boat owners most of the time. However, there are specific scenarios that you can’t avoid when you are using mildew removers. Listed below are its drawbacks.


Not all mildew removers’ prices are adjusted accordingly. Many are still out in the market at a higher cost. Additionally, buying mildew removers is a trial and error process as some removers may not work well with you the way they worked for others. Therefore, it may take several purchases before you land the right product. Thus, there may be additional expenses in this sense.

Health Issues

Mildew removers contain potent and sometimes toxic substances that may cause serious health issues, including skin or eye irritation and breathing problems. For this reason, people who have heart and respiratory problems are not advised to use specific mildew removers. It is advisable to work in a well-ventilated area with proper protective equipment, such as masks, goggles, and gloves.

Fabric Deterioration or Discoloration

Most mildew removers are not safe to use on fabrics and suedes. Any contact with these mildew removers may deteriorate, discolor, and damage those fabrics or suedes. Spillage and splashbacks may come unannounced, so always be cautious when using any mildew remover.

The 12 Best Mildew Removers for Boat Seats Reviewed in 2022

Surface Damage

Most mildew removers are formulated to match mildew-prone surfaces like vinyl, wood, and painted surfaces. However, some mildew removers may damage such on contact.

For example, painted surfaces may need to be repainted after applying mildew removers, and the same goes for waterproof materials. In some cases, marine sealants must be reapplied after cleaning mildews to ensure its performance. Therefore, I advise testing on an unnoticeable part of the stained surfaces to see if there will be signs of deterioration.

These are the disadvantages I noticed while using mildew removers. These drawbacks may not be concerning for some, so my advice is to buy at your own risk. Another thing to remember is to always follow precautions to avoid future problems from arising.

How Does Mildew Remover For Boat Seats Work

Every mildew remover for boat seats works differently. Some mildew removers work instantly, and some work after several applications. Other mildew removers require minimal scrubbing, while others need heavy scrubbing. Here are the steps in removing mildew on boat seats.

  • Make sure to equip yourself with protection, such as goggles, masks, gloves, and work clothes to avoid health issues.
  • Find a well-ventilated working area to avoid prolonged exposure to fumes.
  • Some mildew removers require intermittent wetting of the surface before application of the formula. It allows the solution to absorb well on the impacted surface.
  • If the mildew remover doesn’t require a moist surface before applying, then you can directly spray the product on the affected surface.
  • Once the product has been sprayed, let it soak for a few minutes, though some may require a bit more extended time. So, adjust its dwelling time accordingly.
  • Scrub the damaged surface, if necessary.
  • After that, you can wipe with a cloth or thoroughly rinse the surface with clean water, depending on the product.
  • Let the surface dry. Use a blocker or protectant afterward for best results.

Many mildew remover brands are competing for the top spot of the best mildew remover, but only a few are worthy of the title. All of my listed mildew removers are effective in treating mildew-stained surfaces.

However, the most trusted mildew remover brands by most boat owners are Marine 31, Star Brite, CLR, and Clorox. Whichever mildew remover you choose, you still have to follow a general procedure for it to work correctly.

How Do You Remove Mildew From Vinyl Boat Seats

Aside from choosing the suitable mildew remover, there is no difference between removing mildew from vinyl boat seats and eliminating molds and mildews from boat seats made with other materials. You can use a homemade cleaner or professional mildew remover.

All you need to do is spray your preferred mildew remover onto the seats, let it soak for a few minutes, scrub the seats, if necessary, and then wipe away the formula. Other products, especially those with bleach, suggest thorough rinsing with water to avoid bleach residue or future deterioration.

Can You Use CLR On Boat Seats (Mold & Mildew Clear)

Yes, you can use CLR Mold & Mildew Clear on boat seats. I’ve used this product on one of my boat’s seat cushions to remove rigid molds and mildews; after 10 minutes of resting, all molds and mildews came off the seat cushions neatly.

Although it works perfectly, it may not work on other marine vinyl upholstery. However, one of my friends told me that it worked excellently on his vinyl boat seats. He followed the product’s instructions and lightly scrubbed his boat seats with a magic eraser.

You can try it on any vinyl surface, but don’t expect too much. If you plan to clean your vinyl boat seats with CLR, I suggest using the CLR 8541813620 Mold and Mildew Stain Remover. It is formulated to work well on marine vinyl upholstery.


Now that you know how to get mildew off boat seats, the ideal strategy for boat management is by taking preventive actions. You should use vinyl protectants regularly, and you should wipe down wet surfaces after each use.