The 10 Best Mildew Remover For Boat Seats

Constant boat usage creates mold and mildew on the seats and interior of the boat. Luckily, the best mildew removers can take care of that issue. 

The 10 Best Mildew Remover For Boat Seats 1

What’s the best mildew remover for boat seats?

The best mildew removers for boat seats include:

  1. Marine 31 Mildew Remover
  2. Star Brite Mildew Remover
  3. RMR-86M Mildew Remover
  4. Better Boat Mildew Remover
  5. CLR Mildew Removera
  6. Concrobium Mold Remover
  7. Gold Eagle 303 Mildew Cleaner
  8. Boater’s Edge Mildew Remover
  9. McKee’s MKRV-101 Mildew Remover
  10. Spray Nine 26932 Cleaner

We have tested and spoken to friends and family who have experience with products to handle mildew on boat seats. Every product we mention below has been reviewed carefully and ranked based on reliability, versatility, strength, etc. 

10 Best Mildew Remover For Boat Seats

As a boat owner, I know how important it is to ensure that my boat seats are clean and mildew-free. Even in the best conditions, moisture can build up between the seat cushions and cause unsightly mildew spots that look bad and harbor germs.

We need to get our hands dirty with a mildew remover to fight this problem. They are highly effective cleaning solutions that quickly remove stains from the seats and cushions inside our boat. 

Below are the ten best options we recommend.

They are all affordable and provide long-lasting protection and support for the interior and exterior of the boat. 

1. Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover & Cleaner

If stubborn stains are a recurring problem, the Marine 31 Mildew Stain Remover should be the top choice to clean the seats and make them look brand new again. I have stuck with this product for years and it has never let me down. 

Not only will it eradicate mildew stains on your boat seats, but it contains a whitening ingredient to make the seats shine again. It can also be used on other parts of the boat, like rubber fenders, fiberglass exterior, and fabric canopies. 

This powerful stain remover makes it incredibly easy to keep our boat clean all year round. It effectively removes mold and mildew from boats, cushions, and more without causing damage to your fabrics or colors.

What Sets This Product Apart

I love this mildew remover most because it can help tackle even the toughest mildew and mold stains. It will make any boat seat look brand new, from surface stains as algae bloom to deep-set discoloration after years of neglect. 

The product works quickly by penetrating fabric fibers leaving behind only a pleasant scent instead of any harsh chemicals which could be left lingering afterward. There is also no risk of discoloration from using this cleaner.

It works on all types of surfaces, including vinyl boat seats. It’s also one of the easiest-to-use cleaning and mildew-removing boat products I have found thus far. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

Depending on the complexity of the stain, it might be necessary to do some scrubbing. First, we can spray this cleaner directly on the surface infested with mold and mildew. Allow it to sit and work its magic for 1-3 minutes. 

After waiting, we can use a soft cloth to dry the surface. The seats will usually look clean, shiny, and like new again. If not, let’s try a second time and allow for up to five minutes this time. 

We also recommend a light rinsing after using this cleaner. It will help remove any excess solution and wash away any leftover debris. 

Benefits of the Marine 31 Mildew Remover & Cleaner

  • Won’t discolor, dry out, or dull the finish on a vinyl boat seat
  • Cleans stains faster than most alternatives
  • High-strength formula 
  • Excellent versatility and works on many different materials and surfaces 

Drawbacks of the Marine 31 Mildew Remover & Cleaner

  • Potent smell and fumes. Use this in an open area with ventilation only 

2. Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

I’m a big fan of the Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover because it quickly and effectively removes stubborn mold, mildew, and dirt stains from boat seating surfaces. 

Unlike other cleaning products that can leave behind residue or streaks after use, StarBrite’s stain remover dries completely clear, so we don’t have to worry about having an unpleasant film left over.

What Sets This Product Apart

One of my favorite things about this product is its fast-acting nature. It penetrates deep into all fabrics, carpets, upholstery, canvas, vinyl coatings, and more. It starts working almost instantly when we apply it to the affected area. 

Another reason I like using this product is that, unlike harsh chemical cleaners, this one takes a gentler approach when tackling tough stains caused by mold or mildew build-up on boat seats. 

The high-alkaline, triple-action is safe on vinyl seats but must be handled carefully. It also removes stains on contact, with no scrubbing required. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

Many mildew stain removers are multi-step processes, and added tools like soft cloths or scrub brushes are required. However, this is not the case when using this Star Brite product. 

To use this mildew cleaner, simply spray the dirty areas and wait a few seconds for the stains to disappear. The buffered formula won’t harm any vinyl upholstery inside the boat, either. 

After spraying the stained areas, allow the cleaner to sit until the stain is gone. Don’t wipe it away until after you see the stains fade away. Some deeper stains may require a second spray or light scrubbing. 

Benefits of the Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

  • Requires minimal effort to remove stains
  • Ideal for deep cleaning
  • A versatile cleaner that works on the exterior of the boat and in the house too
  • Available in bulk sizes for reduced pricing

Drawbacks of the Star Brite Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

  • This is a strong chemical that requires extra care when handling it
  • Potent bleach-like smell

3. RMR-86M Marine Mildew Stain Remover

One of the best mildew removers that can quickly and effectively get rid of stains from boat seats and other marine surfaces is the RMR-86M Marine Mildew Stain Remover

This powerful cleaner is designed to combat stubborn mildew stains in less time than traditional cleaners, allowing boaters to return to the open water faster and easier. It uses an advanced formula featuring a sodium hypochlorite-based solution to attack mold stains and mildew stains. 

Anybody using this product can expect it to penetrate fabric fibers and dissolve even the most challenging mildew stains without damaging delicate surfaces like vinyl. It also features a unique odor inhibitor that helps eliminate unpleasant odors after use.

What Sets This Product Apart

This product’s ability to work quickly while providing excellent results sets it apart from other cleaners. Simply spray it onto the affected area, let it sit for 30-60 seconds, then rinse and dry it with fresh water and a cloth. 

The reality is most people arrive here after trying at-home solutions and failing. When using this product, that won’t happen. It has a heavy-duty chemical design that tackles stains on all surfaces without a problem. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

It’s genuinely one of the best options available if we want to keep your boat seats looking great all season long. To use it, simply spray it on the stained areas. Don’t overspray it. 

We need a light mist for results. After spraying the seats, wait 30-60 seconds. Get fresh, cold water and rinse the seat. Then use a soft cloth and dry the seats. 

Stains should disappear. If not, the stain is likely deeper in the material, so we can respray it and allow it to sit for 2-3 minutes. Any longer than five minutes is not recommended and could ruin the vinyl. 

Benefits of the RMR-86M Marine Mildew Stain Remover

  • One of the fastest-acting mildew removers
  • Safe to use on vinyl seats, cushions, covers, dashboards, fiberglass, etc. 
  • Pairs well with other RMR products
  • Made in the USA

Drawbacks of the RMR-86M Marine Mildew Stain Remover

  • Cannot be used on fabric, clothing, carpet, wood, and painted surfaces

4. Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover

The Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover uses a non-toxic formula, so it won’t be dangerous if consumed accidentally. But we still noticed the harsher smell and wouldn’t recommend using it in a closed garage. But we can’t discount how great this mildew remover for boat seats is. 

After the first time using this product, I saw instant results. The seats looked brighter, cleaner, and newer. But deeper stains required multiple uses and left some debris behind after light scrubbing. 

This seems to be standard for most mildew removers. But I love this stain remover because of its efficacy and affordability. I highly recommend trying it because of its fast-acting properties while being gentle enough for more vulnerable surfaces. 

What Sets This Product Apart

This product has been specifically designed to tackle rigid mold and mildew stains without bleaching or damaging fabrics and surfaces. Unlike other mildew removers, this one does not require scrubbing or long wait times before it takes effect.

I can’t say enough about how nifty this product is. I tested this product and decided to keep track of how long my seats stayed mold and mildew free. It’s been over six months, and I have nothing new to report.

Not only does it remove all the stains, but it keeps the seats protected too. This is rare to find, and that is why I rank this so highly among the best mildew removers for boat seats. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

I am very conscious about the products I use. Ease of use is a significant factor, and this is another product that is simple to use. Just spray it on the stained areas and allow it to sit for up to five minutes. 

Afterward, wipe it away with a wet cloth. This should result in clean boat seats and no visible stains or discoloration. Allowing this to sit any longer could damage the material and have a bleached effect. 

Benefits of the Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover

  • Safe for both interior and exterior surfaces of your boat
  • Quickly breaks down organic matter and dirt to remove stains
  • It can be used on metal, fiberglass, vinyl, plastic, rubberized surfaces & more
  • Simple spray-on application

Drawbacks of the Better Boat Mildew Stain Remover

  • Can wear out the water-resistant sealants on the boat
  • It cannot be left on the surface too long and could cause damage if not washed properly

5. CLR Mold and Mildew Stain Remover

As a boat owner, I was fed up with the mildew stains on my seats and needed a reliable boat mold removal method. After trying many other products and never feeling completely satisfied with the results. I decided to take a chance and try CLR Mold & Mildew Stain Remover.

There are plenty of rumors and speculation about whether CLR is safe. In my experience, it has only provided amazing results with no notable downsides. This is also a bleach-free product. 

One problem I did experience was needing to apply 3-4 coats for deeper stains. I also needed a scrubbing tool to assist with the mildew stains, but my seats looked new again after a few minutes. 

What Sets This Product Apart

This is more of a household cleaning product than any other option mentioned thus far. But it’s powerful enough to handle removing mildew stains from boat seats. 

The primary reason I love this product is that it’s so fast acting and easy to use. When it gets sprayed on the seat, a heavy foam will appear. This is a sign it’s working and fighting the stains. 

Expect the same results when using it in other boat areas or the house. The trigger spray handle is a little sensitive but won’t allow us to overuse the product and damage the vinyl seating. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

I followed the instructions on the bottle, prepping the area by rinsing it off first with warm water and then using a damp cloth to apply the product directly onto each of the mold/mildew spots. 

The directions said it could be left for 10 minutes before wiping clean for heavily stained areas. So, that’s exactly what I did. CLR is also one of the popular mildew remover brands for this reason. 

Once I wiped all of them down, I must say that I was truly amazed. Not only were all of my mildew spots gone, but they were gone forever. The treated area looked brand new again, and it was like magic. 

Benefits of the CLR Mold and Mildew Stain Remover

  • Bleach-free formula
  • A fast-acting solution that fights off, removes, and prevents mildew stains
  • It acts like an effective vinyl mildew cleaner
  • Affordable

Drawbacks of the CLR Mold and Mildew Stain Remover

  • Environmental concerns because of the potent chemicals
  • It can severely damage the vinyl seats if it sits on the surface for too long

6. Concrobium 25326 Mold Control & Remover

I recently used Concrobium 25326 Mold Control & Remover to clean boat seats with mold and mildew stains, and it was a lifesaver. After months of trying to remove the persistent stains, I finally found a solution.

My experience with this product has been nothing short of amazing. Each time I’ve used it results in sparkling clean vinyl seats that have been restored to their original condition without much effort. 

I was so happy with how easily this product removed even some of the toughest stains on my terrible old-looking seating fabric. And even better, it prevents future mold growth from recurring as well. 

What Sets This Product Apart

The odorless scent is highly beneficial for many boat owners. This is the preferred choice for boats in storage indoors or enclosed areas because the fumes are not potent or toxic. 

It also has excellent mold control and prevention capabilities. After using this on boat seats, they are better protected to prevent future stains and mildew. The 32-ounce spray bottle will cover up to 100 square feet too. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

Because this is more like a household product, it works differently. First, spray the cleaning solution on the seats. Let it sit and soak in and start working on the stains.

It does not present any risk to the vinyl seating, so there is nothing to worry about. I also noticed it takes longer to work, and no wipedown is required. We can allow it to dry right on the seat because it creates a protective layer. 

Benefits of the Concrobium 25326 Mold Control & Remover

  • Presents no damage risks to the seat material
  • Easy to use with no wiping or drying required
  • Affordable for a big 32-ounce bottle
  • Contains no bleach or other harmful chemicals
  • Odorless

Drawbacks of the Concrobium 25326 Mold Control & Remover

  • It takes longer to clean because no wiping or scrubbing is needed

7. Gold Eagle 303 Mold Mildew Cleaner & Blocker

The Gold Eagle 303 Mold Mildew Cleaner & Blocker is another reliable option we stumbled on while searching for the best mildew removers. I like this product because it uses an added layer after application for future protection. 

It works quickly and efficiently to eliminate mold and mildew using its unique blend of biodegradable detergents, surfactants, solvents, and fungicides that remove even deep-set stains. It won’t cause any damage to the fabric or upholstery.

This cleaner is super convenient as no mixing or diluting is required – just spray directly onto surfaces for fast results. Best of all, it won’t harm metal surfaces like chrome or aluminum, making it the perfect option for boats. 

What Sets This Product Apart

This product can provide a lasting solution to stubborn mildew stains on nearly all boat seats. With its ability to quickly eliminate odors while leaving behind long-lasting protection against future growth, you can’t go wrong with this cleaner. 

Plus, it leaves behind an invisible protective coating that helps keep new mildew from settling in again. It also has a fresh scent with no bleach or harmful chemicals. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

Always shake up the spray bottle before using the Gold Eagle 303 cleaner. After doing so, spray it on the dirty and stained areas and allow it to sit for a few minutes. 

I also tried spraying it on a microfiber towel and directly cleaning the areas by hand. I was impressed with the results. This felt like the better solution for deep stains in vinyl boat seats or on the exterior surfaces of the boat. 

Benefits of the Gold Eagle 303 Mold Mildew Cleaner & Blocker

  • It will clean the seats within a few minutes
  • Easy application method
  • Long-lasting protective layer for mildew blocking
  • No bleach or toxic chemicals
  • Fresh scent

Drawbacks of the Gold Eagle 303 Mold Mildew Cleaner & Blocker

  • Don’t allow it to sit on the seats for too long or it could damage the material 

8. Boater’s Edge Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

The Boater’s Edge Mold & Mildew Stain Remover is an excellent product for boat seats suffering from wear, tear, and hard-to-treat mildew stains. My boat seats had acquired some stubborn, unsightly mold and mildew stains that no amount of scrubbing would remove. 

The product is straightforward to use. Simply spray it on and let it sit for 5-10 minutes before wiping or brushing it away. After using this stain remover, the smell is better than most, and it left me knowing that my boat was clean and safe to sit in again.  

It also didn’t leave any remaining residue like other chemical-based products, making cleaning up afterward easier. 

What Sets This Product Apart

I loved how fast and easy this product was to use. It took some scrubbing to remove all the dirt, but nothing too strenuous. 

After just a few minutes of work, I could already see a vast improvement in the appearance of my boat’s seating area. Our seats looked brand new, and they had a shine we hadn’t seen in years. 

Plus, I didn’t need to rinse any residue left behind because this cleaner evaporates quickly, leaving only a pleasant citrus scent behind instead. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

This stain remover can be put directly on the seat or applied with a towel. It depends on the severity of the stains, but most people spray the surface first. 

After completing this initial step, I wiped down my boat seat using a damp cloth. And boy, did it look clean. The chairs looked as good as new again, with no residues or nasty odors remaining behind either. 

If this doesn’t do the trick, try spraying a towel with the cleaner for a second time and scrubbing each area. This typically does the trick to get rid of the harsher stains. 

Benefits of the Boater’s Edge Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

  • Fast-acting cleaning ingredients
  • Completely safe to use with no harsh odor
  • Cheap pricing
  • Works better than bleach and water without the risks

Drawbacks of the Boater’s Edge Mold & Mildew Stain Remover

  • The triple-action formula is potent and needs to be wiped off faster than most cleaners to avoid permanent seat damage

9. McKee’s 37 Marine MKRV-101 Mildew Remover

A friend recently bought a second-hand boat, so he invested in some cleaning supplies to ensure it was up to standards. After researching, he chose McKee’s 37 Marine MKRV-101 Mildew Remover for the job and only had amazing things to report. 

He used the mildew remover on both the outside and inside of the boat, including the interior seats. I helped him spray the infested and stained areas on the seats to help move things along faster.

The formula was easy to use – spray it onto the affected area and let it sit briefly before scrubbing it away with a brush or rag. We were quickly able to remove even tough stains without any difficulty at all.

What Sets This Product Apart

The best part about this product is that its non-flammable chemical composition makes it safe to use indoors and outdoors. Plus, it didn’t leave any residue behind like many other cleaners do.

No offensive odor was left over either, which was impressive considering how powerful this cleaner is at removing stubborn stains and discoloration from fabric surfaces like those on our boat seats.

How To Use This Mildew Remover

This product is sold as a compact spray bottle, and the sizable 128-ounce jug is to refill the bottle. The application is similar to many other products we have discussed already. 

It can be sprayed directly onto the stained areas on the boat seats. Allow 1-3 minutes for the cleaner to soak into the material before rinsing the surface and wiping it away with a durable microfiber cloth. 

Benefits of the McKee’s 37 Marine MKRV-101 Mildew Remover

  • Removes Grime and Marine Related Stains
  • Non-Acidic with no dangerous chemicals
  • Easy To Use

Drawbacks of the McKee’s 37 Marine MKRV-101 Mildew Remover

  • More expensive than most alternatives

10. Spray Nine 26932 Marine Cleaner

As a boat owner, I know it can be challenging to keep the interior of my vessel clean and free from staining and mildew. I recently tried Spray Nine 26932 Marine Cleaner to eliminate the mold and mildew stains on my boat seats.

I was pleasantly surprised at how easy the product was to use. It sprayed directly onto the affected area without mess or fuss.

It also had a potent cleaning action on contact, so I could witness immediate results as soon as I applied it. It wasn’t the best, but it did the trick after light scrubbing. 

What Sets This Product Apart

I was thrilled with the outcome achieved by using this product. It removed years worth of grime and dirt in no time at all.

This cleaner is perfectly effective against mold and mildew stains. Its ability to remove more stubborn dirt, such as ground-in grease, means it’s suitable for almost any surface inside our vessel.

It also won’t leave any dangerous residues behind either. This incredibly versatile yet gentle cleaning solution deserves two thumbs up from anyone who uses them regularly out on their boats. 

How To Use This Mildew Remover

This cleaner gets used like a traditional household cleaning item and is a heavy-duty option for tough stains. It gets sprayed directly on the vinyl seat surface to soak and fight the stain.

After a few minutes, wipe it off and analyze the surface. If the stains are gone, we can rinse them with water as a precaution. If not, try again but use a cloth to scrub the area this time. 

This should get out deeper stains. It also helps whiten the seats again, so they look newer. 

Benefits of the Spray Nine 26932 Marine Cleaner

  • Multi-purpose cleaner and disinfectant
  • It kills germs and stains at a faster rate than most alternatives
  • Does a good job protecting and preventing future mildew stains

Drawbacks of the Spray Nine 26932 Marine Cleaner

  • Harsher smell

Factors To Consider When Looking For Best Mildew Removers

When it comes to protecting my boat seats from mildew and other damaging elements of the environment, one thing is certain – I want a mildew remover that fits what I need.

How do we narrow our choices with so many different products on the market? Here are five factors for the best mildew removers for boat seats.


The first factor to consider is the ingredients in the product. Look for natural ingredients that can be used indoors, if possible. Unfortunately, some better products are not all-natural, but some great options remain. 

We also want to steer clear of harsh chemicals and look out for any warning labels indicating potential harmful effects from using the product. It’s much easier to clean the boat when the chemicals don’t irritate our eyes or throat. 

Application Method

Next up is the application method. It can be time-consuming and difficult when a product requires wiping or scrubbing. This is especially true when cleaning the seats with difficult-to-reach areas around and underneath. 

A spray or foam solution could be easier to apply but may need more frequent treatments to stay effective long-term. Many of the top products we recommend in this guide work without scrubbing, which is the ideal solution. 


Many people prefer a scent-free solution, but if we choose one with added fragrance, it’s better to go for something pleasant rather than overpowering. 

Fragranced options will usually contain alcohol, so make sure these don’t irritate sensitive skin before choosing an option with strong scents added in. It likely won’t be an issue if there is no bleach or harsh chemical smell. 

The 10 Best Mildew Remover For Boat Seats 2

Material Compatibility

We also need to know what material our existing seat coverings are made of, as some cleaners can damage materials like vinyl and leather. If we misuse the cleaner, it can also result in permanent damage. 


Last, consider how often we will use this product and how many mildew stains have already built up on the seat covers. Stronger solutions might be needed for heavy stains and older boats. 

How to Remove Mildew Stains From Your Boat Seats

As a boating expert, I understand the importance of keeping a boat in top-notch condition. We must do the job correctly when removing mildew stains from boat seats. 

Mildew can cause permanent damage to fabrics if not treated immediately after staining occurs. Here are some tips on removing mildew stains from the boat seats. 

Address The Stain

Before we remove mildew stains, we need to determine the severity of the issue. Tough mildew stains need a deeper cleaning with some scrubbing, while light mildew stains will disappear after spraying a heavy-duty cleaner. 

Mildew growth can also lead to dark mildew stains on white vinyl boat seats, causing permanent damage. Not all mildew cleaners will work on this type of surface, so consider this factor too. 

Spray The Mildew Remover On The Seats

Next, we can start the cleaning process. Start by spraying the vinyl cleaner on the surface and allowing it to soak for 1-5 minutes. 

Check the instructions from the manufacturer to see what they recommend. Typically, they will list a maximum time to indicate how quickly the surface must be wiped clean to avoid permanent damage. 

Wipe Down the Area Well

After applying the cleaning solution, use a soft brush to work away at loosening and brushing away any dirt or mold particles left behind on the fabric’s surface. 

If needed, we can also use a pressure washer set on low-pressure settings for extra power against persistent tough spots. Expect to do some heavy scrubbing, depending on the stains’ depth. 

A good tip is to rinse twice if residual powder remains present somewhere else near where originally applied initially during this process. This will prevent future discoloration issues or mold growth. 

Check The Surface

Before finishing, check the surface for any other stains. If this cleaning worked properly, the mildew stains should have gone, and the mildew remover should have done its job. 

Can You Use CLR Remover On Vinyl Boat Seats?

Using CLR on vinyl boat seats could damage the material beyond repair, leaving discoloration, fading, or peeling in its wake. It can also strip away any protective coating that’s been applied to the seats over time, exposing them to further sun damage and wear.

But there is a way to do it without causing any damage. Apply the CLR on the mildew stains, allow it to sit for 60 seconds, and quickly scrub and wash them away. 

Allowing CLR to sit and soak into the seat for longer can lead to permanent stains and damage. In addition, the corrosive nature of CLR may also cause discoloration around metal parts like screws and hinges, which could result in further problems down the line. 

We have tested this before and saw full-strength CLR leave marks and cause peeling on the vinyl seat’s surface after five minutes. It’s an extremely powerful chemical, so proceed with caution. 

What Causes Mildew To Get Inside My Boat On The Seats?

If you own a boat, you’ve likely experienced mildew growth in the seats. This might sound like a minor inconvenience, but it can quickly become an expensive and time-consuming problem to fix.

Mildew inside a boat is caused by three main factors: humidity, temperature changes, and lack of ventilation.

Extreme Weather Changes

When the weather changes randomly, it can cause condensation to form. Condensation leads to humidity and moisture, causing mold and mildew to form. 

This is one of the more challenging things to monitor because it usually happens when the boat is in storage. We recommend cleaning the boat after a cold night as a preventive measure. 

High Humidity & Moisture

Humidity is created when warm air meets cold surfaces, such as when the outside temperatures are higher than normal during the summer months, and there’s no good way for that hot air to escape from the closed environment of a boat cabin. 

This humid air will eventually start condensing on surfaces within the cabin as water droplets, leading to mold or mildew formation if left unchecked. High humidity means mildew and mold can form much faster too. 

Regular cleaning inside the boat is necessary when the humidity is high during the winter. This is a preventive measure that will keep mildew away. 

Poor Airflow & Ventilation

Lack of ventilation can also contribute to mildew growth inside your boat since it prevents fresh air from entering or escaping. This happens when the cover gets installed incorrectly, and the interior has no airflow. 

It also means stagnant moisture will linger, providing an ideal environment for fungi such as mildew and mold spores to thrive in. Even small gaps between caulk seams can add up over time, so ensure all openings are sealed adequately before hitting the lake with your vessel. 

How Do You Prevent Mildew On Boat Seats?

Mildew on boat seats is a common issue that many boaters experience. Not only can this be an eyesore, but it also has the potential to give us and our passengers unpleasant smells and even cause skin irritation. 

To keep your seats mildew-free and ensure a safe, enjoyable boating experience for everyone, here are some tips on preventing mildew other than using a mildew remover for boat seats. 

Clean Regularly

It’s important to regularly clean any surfaces of your boat that comes into contact with moisture or water. This includes boat seats, carpets, walls, windows, and all other interior materials. 

A thorough cleaning once every couple of weeks will help minimize the risk of mildew growth by removing dirt and bacteria from the area. Make sure to use a gentle cleaning agent recommended for boats to avoid damaging any materials or coatings used for marine use. 

Allow Airflow

Allowing airflow throughout the cabin can help reduce humidity levels, preventing mold from forming in hard-to-reach areas such as crevices between seat cushions or underneath decks. 

Open up all doors during dry spells whenever possible, so fresh air can flow through freely inside the cabin when we are away from the boat. Also, try investing in dehumidifiers specifically designed for marine cabins. 

Remember, moisture is the enemy when fighting and trying to prevent mildew. It will cause serious mildew stains on vinyl surfaces. 

Choose Mold Resistant Materials

This is not as easy, but look for mold-resistant materials when shopping for new boat covers or cushions. Typically, vinyl surfaces are most common inside boats, and as boat seats, so it’s tricky. 

Apply Protective Coatings

Applying sealants such as Teflon coatings on surfaces helps create an additional barrier against unwelcome moisture buildup that might otherwise linger. 

Following these simple steps should help keep mildew away from the boat’s interior spaces so we can focus more time on enjoying life at sea instead. 

DIY Tips To Remove Mildew From Boat Seats

The harsh marine environment can take a toll on a boat, particularly the seats. Not only do they need to be durable and tough enough to withstand water, sun, and salt, but they are also prone to mildew growth due to all that moisture in the air. 

Mix Vinegar & Water

Another handy tip is to try using magic eraser sponges on white seats to clean mildew. They have special strength to wash away these stains, so our boat seats shine brightly again.

Then spray the affected area with the mixture until it is covered completely. Leave for about 20 minutes before wiping off with a clean cloth or scrubbing lightly with a soft brush if needed.

This solution works best in direct sunlight since UV rays help kill mold spores. Be sure to use safety goggles when spraying, as vinegar can cause irritation to the eyes if contact occurs directly. 

Use Dish Soap

Another great DIY tip for removing mildew from our boat seat cushions is using dish soap mixed with hot water, alcohol, and laundry detergent. 

To create this cleaning solution, fill a bucket halfway full with hot water, then add 3 tablespoons of liquid dish detergent, ½ cup rubbing alcohol, and 1 teaspoon of laundry detergent.

Use a cloth or sponge to do the scrubbing and cleaning. This should wipe away surface-level stains but lacks the potency to remove deeper ones. 


Finally, WD-40 also makes an ideal home remedy for removing stubborn spots or layers on top of mildew build-up on boat seats. It is highly strong and can help us remove mildew, mold, and other stains. 

All we need to do is spray WD-40 onto the infested area and allow it to sit there for at least 30 minutes before wiping away any excess product using either paper towels or microfiber cloths.

Magic Erasers

Another handy tip is to try using magic eraser sponges on white seats. They have special strength to wash away these stains, so our boat seats shine brightly again.

They can also be used when cleaning as a second step for touching surfaces and removing mold. Don’t scrub too hard because it could stain or damage the vinyl.

Can You Use Bleach To Remove Mildew On Boat Seats?

While it may seem like a good idea to use bleach as a DIY solution to remove mildew from boat seats, this is not the best option. It can permanently damage and stain the seats because it harms vinyl material. 

Mildew can be unwelcome on many surfaces in and around your boat. If left unchecked, mildew can cause lasting damage to upholstery and other porous materials, resulting in costly repairs.

However, using bleach is not recommended because bleaching agents are harsh chemicals that can damage any type of fabric or material they touch. In addition to damaging fabrics, bleach can cause fading and discoloration of plastics and other materials in the boat. 

Does Mold & Mildew Also Build-Up On Boat Covers?

Boats are often exposed to wet conditions, humidity, and other forms of moisture, which can cause various problems, including increased mold growth on the covers. 

This may seem minor at first glance, but if left unchecked, it could quickly become a major problem as the infestation will continue until something is done about it. 

Luckily, many of the cleaners recommended in this guide will also work on the covers. If mold and mildew are present, follow similar steps to wash them away and have the covers look new again. 

This can be avoided by storing the boat in an area with plenty of ventilation so dampness cannot accumulate. Be sure to dry out any excess water or moisture that builds up during trips. 

Key Takeaways

  • The three best mildew remover for boat seats are the Marine 31 Mildew Remover, Star Brite Mildew Remover, and RMR-86M Mildew Remover. These mildew remover brands are top-notch. 
  • We also love these mildew remover for boat seats Better Boat Mildew Remover, CLR Mildew Remover, Concrobium Mold Remover, Gold Eagle 303 Mildew Cleaner, Boater’s Edge Mildew Remover, McKee’s MKRV-101 Mildew Remover, and Spray Nine 26932 Cleaner. 
  • We prefer other solutions than using bleach as a mildew stain remover. It can be detrimental to a vinyl seat if used incorrectly.