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How to Manage Mold and Mildew on Your Boat


Summer is a notorious time for mold accumulation. The increased humidity causes mold spores to propagate quickly and extensively on your upholstery, decks, and just about every surface it can attach itself to. Remove this damaging fungi by following these steps below:


Prevention is your first line of defense against mold and mildew. It’s important to constantly protect against mold and mildew before they even start to grow. Apply a mildew/mold cleaning solution, scrub your boat thoroughly, and allow it to dry completely. If it’s a sunny day leave it in the sun for a few hours. The sun is a great mold zapper. If you’re storing your boat over the colder months, clean it thoroughly with a mildew/mold solution so nothing crops up during the winter. Use seat covers on the seats for added protection during storage.


If you already have mold buildup on your boat follow these techniques for removal.

    1. Remove immediately – As soon as you notice mold or mildew get rid of it. This fungi can wreak havoc on your boat’s surfaces and cause long term damage if not dealt with promptly.
    2. Cover your hands, nose, and mouth – Arm yourself with a respiratory mask to prevent inhalation and rubber gloves. Mold and mildew are responsible for numerous health hazards that you will want to protect yourself from.
    3. Clean the area with soap and water and rinse off – this method will eliminate the easy to remove initial mold spots. If you’re cleaning seats use a small scrub brush so you can make sure to get into all the small crevices.
    4. Apply a mildew and/or mold remover – A quality remover will expel the stubborn spots that couldn’t be removed with the soap method, as well as kill all trace elements of the fungi. Spray the area with the cleaner and let it sit for a couple minutes. Then scrub with the appropriately sized brush to remove the mold or mildew. Scrub the problem area and the surface around it to ensure that it doesn’t come back. To avoid damage to fabrics, invest in a chlorine-free solution that will be gentler on these softer surfaces.

You will have to choose your weapon depending on the surface you’re cleaning. BoatLIFE has two highly effective mildew removers.

    • Bilge Cleaner – This cleaning product is a great defense against mildew. It is a water-based degreasing, non-foaming, biodegradable formula that cleans carpets, upholstery, and concrete.
    • Mildew Remover – As its name indicates, this cleaning product eradicates mildew. It is a chlorine-free, acid-free, one-part system that is both time saving and highly effective.

Mold and mildew growth is a plaguing annoyance for just about every boat enthusiast. While it can’t be avoided completely, these steps will ensure that you can manage it easily and efficiently. What are your recommended ways for mold and mildew eradication? Please let us know!

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