As every sailor knows, mildew is a constant struggle when you’ve got fabric on your boat. Mildew, which is really just mold in fabric, occurs when there is a damp, dark, and musty area for it to grow. To help prevent mildew growth, you should always dry and store your boat cushions when they are not in use. In addition to proper storage, you can use these tips to help clean and care for your cushions to extend their lifespan.
The dryfast foam used in marine seating is designed to minimize how damp the cushion will get, and it is antimicrobial by nature to further reduce the chance of any growth. However, if mildew does set in your cushion, you have two options. Attempt to clean it well enough to remove the fungal growth, or to trash the cushion and purchase a new one. There are many mildew removing products on the market, but before choosing which one to use make sure that it is safe for use on your material.
Even if you find a strong mildew remover that won’t harm your cushion, depending on how bad the growth is, it may not be able to fully nullify the smell and people that use them do so with varying degrees of success. Some cushions may be able to withstand chlorine, in which case you may wish to try a chlorine-based cleaner or a water-bleach solution which will be much tougher on the mildew than your typical cleaner.
Of course, if your attempts to remove the stain are unsuccessful, replacing them with marine foam cushions is still always an option. To go this route, you will need to measure the vacant space your cushion would occupy to get the size and shape of the replacement. Don’t measure the cushions as they tend to shrink over time and you will find that your replacements don’t quite fit in the years to come.
After purchasing a replacement, redouble your efforts to keep your dry fast foam cushions from getting too wet and always remember to stow them away when they’re not in use. This will extend the lifetime of your new cushions and help keep you from having this headache again in the future.
Mold is also a respiratory concern, so it’s important for you to maintain boating cushions to prevent any breathing problems if you decide to do an overnight trip to the open waters.
The Foam Factory is Southeast Michigan’s largest manufacturer of custom-cut foam products for indoor and outdoor use.