Dealing with boat mildew is something many boat owners must do at some point. In order to remove mildew from a boat, you will have to follow a number of different steps described below.
Materials for the Job:
- Nylon scouring pad
- Scrubbing brush
- Spray bottle
Step 1 - Use Direct Sunlight
The biggest enemy of mildew is direct sunlight. When trying to eliminate boat mildew, you want to use this fact to your advantage. Many people discover mildew after they leave their boat in storage over the winter. This is usually a result of keeping the boat in a dark warehouse or storage shed. As long as the weather is good, take the boat out into the sunlight and remove the cover. Allow sunlight to get directly onto as much of the boat as possible. Exposure to sunlight will help you start to kill the mildew and prevent new boat mildew from growing.
Step 2 - Scrub With Borax
Now you need to try scrubbing the boat mildew off. Use some borax for this job. Borax is a white powder you can purchase in the cleaning section of most grocery stores or supermarkets. You can mix the borax with some water to create a thick paste. Apply the paste to the areas of boat mildew. Allow the paste to sit for a few minutes and soak in. Then use a scrubbing brush or nylon scouring pad to remove the mildew. Because borax is abrasive, it will help you scrub the boat mildew off.
Step 3 - Apply Salt and Vinegar
If the borax does not effectively remove the mildew, you can then try using a mixture of salt and vinegar. By combining salt and vinegar, you will create another paste you can apply to the mildew's surface. This acidic and abrasive compound will help you effectively eliminate mildew in many cases.
Step 3 - Directly Apply the Vinegar
Another method you can try is to apply vinegar directly to the boat mildew. You can put the vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it onto the surface if you want. Let it soak into the mildew and then try scrubbing it off with your scrubbing brush.
Step 4 - Spray a Bleach Solution
If the boat mildew is still present, you may need to resort to using bleach. Make a solution of equal parts water and bleach and put it in your spray bottle. Spray this onto the mildew and let it sit for 10 to 20 minutes. You will then need to rinse it off with water to remove the bleach.
Step 5 - Consider New Upholstery
If mildew is in the upholstery of your boat and you cannot get it out, you may have to consider replacing some of the upholstery. This option should be a last resort, as it is the most time-consuming and expensive. However, if you cannot get the mildew under control, it is best to simply replace the fabric.