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jfish1288

How to clean vinyl mold stains

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jfish1288

So now that I got my new-to-me Sunsetter running again, its time tackle some of the cosmetic issues.

There are quite a few black stains on the vinyl that I assume to be mold stains. I have tried vinyl sauce (which really cleaned the non-stained areas well) and the stains faded some but are still there. I have read a lot of people saying never to use bleach because it will damage the threads, but other people saying its the only thing that will clean it. I definitely do not want to do anything that will result in long term damage.

What are some good products to try that are safer than bleach?

A friend let me borrow a steam cleaner, do you guys think that will do anything to these stains? Is it safe for the vinyl?

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NeverEnuff

On our old prostar we used starbrite mold and mildew remover. Seemed to get most of it off.

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maroon88iroc

I'm pretty sure that is the same stuff I used. Got it from academy in the marine section. Any marine place will have that stuff available its pretty common issue for boats

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Bozboat

303 fabric cleaner

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jfish1288

Sodium hypochlorite (also known as bleach) is the active ingedient in starbrite mold and mildew remove. Did you guys have any problems?

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robbennett

I would start with the most mild cleaner possible. Get more aggressive as necessary. I have used diluted bleach as a last resort before and it has been fine. Just know that it will destroy the threads and shorten the life of the vinyl. Make sure to get it all off and treat with 303 protectant after and you will be fine.

Just to be clear bleach is nothing more than a last resort. To get extra life out of skins that would otherwise have to be replaced now. You may only get a couple of years out of them after using bleach.

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maroon88iroc

I had a great experience with that stuff, I'm 98% positive it was starbrite but it could have been a 3m brand I cant remember. The cushions looked brand new after the wife cleaned them with that stuff.

I also used their mildew blocker at the end of last season & one of those mildew buckets. Just got the boat out yesterday and the interior did get a little dirty from just sitting but no mildew.

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jfish1288

I would start with the most mild cleaner possible. Get more aggressive as necessary. I have used diluted bleach as a last resort before and it has been fine. Just know that it will destroy the threads and shorten the life of the vinyl. Make sure to get it all off and treat with 303 protectant after and you will be fine.

Just to be clear bleach is nothing more than a last resort. To get extra life out of skins that would otherwise have to be replaced now. You may only get a couple of years out of them after using bleach.

I agree, I think I will save the bleach and bleach containing products for a last resort. Here is a quote from jimcartermarine

If by chance you have some mildew or stain from leaves. Use One (1) tablespoon ammonia, one fourth (1/4) cup hydrogen peroxide, three-fourths (3/4) cup of water. Scrub/ Rinse / Dry.

I must stress that many Household Cleaners are very powerful and can harm the vinyl composition, and can take years away from the life of your seats. Marine Vinyl has ultra-violet resistant treatment, stain inhibitors, and plasticizers (for flexibility ) added during the manufacturing process. These cleaners will also weaken the thread that is used to sew the vinyl.

I wonder if this is any safer than bleach.

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cjtpilot

I tried a couple years ago on our 40yr old boat this stuff I got at The Dollar Tree its called "Totally Awesome" and it is! sprayed it on and let set overnight, sprayed on again in the morning and around lunch took the boat to the car wash and just sprayed it down with pressure washer and all the mold,dirt,or whatever it was there was gone. Great stuff and cheap.

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CrystalSurf

I would avoid bleach. I would try the LA's Totally Awesome cleaner with a nylon brush...like a fingernail brush.

After your cleaning, I would use some kind of conditioner with UV like 303.

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WakeGirl

You need something that will kill the mold, not just clean the vinyl. Yes, there is a difference because simply cleaning the vinyl will not always kill the mold spores. If you don't do that, it will come back. I'd start with vinegar & work my way up from there. A combination of that & steam cleaning might do it. Heck, leaving it out in the sun on a hot day might do it.

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WABOBO

Household orange citrus cleaner worked for me. I sprayed it on and let it soak fora few minutes then scrubbed really, really hard with paper towels...I did this about 3 times, but it worked.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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DUKENO1

I just used some mold/mildew remover on mine...don't have the bottle with me so not sure of the brand but I picked it up at Lowes. It said on the bottle that it

was safe for vinyl but I tried to make sure that i kept it off the stitching as much as possible. It worked really well on mine. The white parts of my seats were

really clean afterwards. I would second the totally awesome cleaner...works great with a soft brush but not sure it would do much for mold.

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CaptOldTimer

I had the same problem! Mold is the worst. I found this article extremely helpful "How to Clean Mold from boat seats?". I used the Malco Leather Plastic Cleaner and it worked wonders. Once I had it clean it gave me tips to prevent the mold and keep my seats looking like new.  

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