How To Remove Mold and Mildew Stains

How To Remove Mold and Mildew Stains

Itís hard to measure the amount of joy and pleasure boats provide. Whether you simply cruise the lake with the family and friends or prefer the thrill of catching snook, itís hard to argue that itís not worth the investment. And while many people discuss the mechanical cost of owning a boat, not many discuss maintaining the appearance. The wet nautical environment is the ideal breeding ground for mold and mildew. You can clean and dry every surface and it still seems to appear on nearly every surface in your vessel. And the worst part? It doesnít disappear as easy as it appears.

So, how can you remove mildew stains from your boat? It may feel like quite the challenge if youíve been trying the ďDIYĒ approach. You can stop here and put away the measuring cup and collection of random cleaners from under the sink; because the truth is, itís an easy process when you have the right tools. Letís wade through this process so you donít have to sit on a moldy seat!

Neglected boat seat with mildew stains Close up of second boat seat with mildew stains

The Tools Youíll Need

The first and easily the most important step is collecting the right tools youíll need for the job. Mold and mildew staining can grow in many places on your boat, but seats are the most common. Itís simply a surface that tends to collect contamination easier than others. Here weíre going to use Marine 31 products to remove stubborn staining.

Our tools for this job are:

  • Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover
  • Marine 31 Mildew Stain Guard
  • Soft bristle brush Ė Speed Master
  • Microfiber towels

How to Clean Mildew Stains

Spray Mildew Stain Remover

Donít worry, itís as simple as it sounds. Set the sprayer head to fan setting and start spraying the affected area. Personally, I prefer to use a sweeping motion as I spray the product. This helps you put an even, consistent layer of product across the surface. It will also reduce the amount of product that runs off the surface. Spray a moderate amount of product without oversaturating the surface.

Spraying mildew stains on brush Spraying mildew remover on seat

Once you have the product in place, let it work. This dwell time will allow Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover to penetrate the vinyl and lift the staining.

Scrubbing (If Needed)

Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover will do most of the work, but many cases will require light scrubbing to fully remove the stain. Weíll use our Speed Master Interior Scrub Brush for this. This brush contains thousands of tiny nylon bristles that will provide the perfect level of agitation.

Neglected boat seat with mildew stains Close up of second boat seat with mildew stains

There is no need to ďput your back into itĒ. A small amount of pressure along with a steady back and forth pattern should be more than enough. If you do have more severe staining, itís better to repeat the entire process rather than over scrubbing.

Wipe away the aftermath

Youíve sprayed and scrubbed, now itís time to revel the fruits of your labor. Use a fresh, clean microfiber towel to wipe away debris and leftover product. This is another moment where I prefer to wipe in one sweeping motion to collect the debris in the towel - donít just wipe it around in circles.

Once youíve collected everything, flip to a clean side and give it one more wipe down to collect anything that was left behind.

Neglected boat seat with mildew stains Close up of second boat seat with mildew stains

Mildew Prevention

Unfortunately, there isnít a way to permanently prevent mildew; however, there are a few ways we can keep it at bay. Using a high-quality vinyl sealant, such as Marine 31 Mildew Stain Guard, is the best recommendation. This product seals the pores of the vinyl to prevent dirt and other contamination from sticking.

Mist Marine 31 Mildew Stain Guard onto a microfiber towel or applicator pad and spread evenly. Here you can use a circular hand motion to massage the product into the surface. Allow 2 minutes for the product to set, and buff away the excess with a clean microfiber towel.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you use bleach to remove mold staining?

Bleach is effective at neutralizing mold and mildew staining to reduce it from spreading; however, it will not remove staining from the surface. An additional downside to using bleach is oxidation. Marine 31 uses sodium hypochlorite, the active ingredient in bleach, along with proprietary ingredients to eradicate mold and mildew staining with minimal scrubbing.

Whatís the best way to clean boat seats?

Using purpose driven products of course. Specialized cleaners, such as Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover, are formulated to remove these stains without harming or causing premature degradation. From there, cleaning seats is a simple 3 step process.

Can you use vinegar to clean mold stains?

Vinegar can be used to clean and neutralize mold, but that does not make it a cleaner. This is a great idea for stopping mold from spreading or becoming worse. If you want the surface clean and the stains that mold leaves behind gone, youíre going to want to reach for a specialized cleaner. A product like Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover can be used on a wide array of surfaces to remove mildew stains.

How to Remove Mildew Stains From Other Surfaces

Weather you have wood trim around the boat or fence is looking a little dingy, you can still easily remove mildew stains with the same process above! Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover can be used on wood to remove stubborn mold and mildew stains.

To Remove Mildew Stains from Wood:

  1. Spray Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover on the affected area
  2. Let dwell for 1 to 3 minutes. Scrub the area with a soft bristled brush.
  3. Use a clean microfiber or terry cloth towel to wipe away debris

To Remove Mildew Stains from Showers and Grout:

  1. Spray Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover on the affected area
  2. Let dwell for 1 to 3 minutes. Scrub the area with a soft bristled brush.
  3. Use a clean microfiber or terry cloth towel to wipe away debris

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