How to Remove Dirt and Mildew from Boat Seats and Cushions


Linda asked: How do I remove dirt and mildew from boat seats and cushions?

Because they thrive on moisture, dirt, mold and mildew are almost a given in a marine environment, but these problems are also unsightly and pose a health hazard. If you keep your boat stored in the water, you may never fully eradicate the problem, but you can take major strides against it with this simple solution.

You Will Need:

Steps to Remove the Stain:

  1. Spot test your seat cushions in a hidden area before you begin.
  2. Spray Starbrite Mildew Stain Remover on the areas affected by mold or mildew.
  3. Allow it to sit for a few moments so it can work.
  4. Use a scrub brush or toothbrush for seat cracks or particularly bad areas. A cloth scouring pad will provide gentle abrasion for most other mold and mildew cleaning jobs. Do not use stiff bristles or rough cleaning techniques. You may damage the seats.
  5. Repeat if necessary.
  6. Once the dirt, mold and mildew are gone, rinse well with water. Mold will grow in any type of residue so be sure not to leave any behind.
  7. Dry thoroughly with a towel. Be sure to eliminate all moisture to reduce the likelihood of an immediate recurrence of the problem.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • Although bleach is a popular mold and mildew cleaner, you should avoid bleach or bleach products when you clean your boat seat cushions. Bleach will cause the seat stitching to deteriorate and eventually fail.
  • Do not rinse or dispose of chemicals or cleaning agents into the water. Even small quantities can harm fish and other marine wildlife.
  • For best results, stay on top of your dirt, mold or mildew problem with frequent cleanings and avoid storing your boat in a damp, dark place whenever possible.


  1. Bruce says:

    Starbrite IS bleach, just marked up 100X. Read the bottle. Sodium hypocrite.

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