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Boats are super fun, yet messy places. 

On a given day on the lake or river, your boat encounters dirt, mud, fish, lake water, sand, and more.

For the preservation of your boat and the happiness of everyone on board, you have to be ready to clean your vessel at the end of the day.

Specifically, you must be ready to clean your boat seats! Boat seats, like the Wise Deluxe High-Back Seat (view at Amazon), can be one of the most troublesome areas to clean.

Today, we’re going to explore how to clean Bennington boat seats so that you can care for your boating equipment well.

Why clean vinyl boat seats?

As a boat owner, you have probably experienced the frustration of mildew stains aboard your boat.

Mildew stains are a part of boat ownership, but they do not make for a fun experience. 

Friends and family may not want to sit on stained seats, and guests may feel that your boat is dirty.

Mildew stains can even reduce the value of your boat, making it tougher to resale in the future. 

Plus, boat seats can be expensive to replace, especially if you are used to high quality comfort aboard your boat.

So, your goal as a boat owner is to clean your seats well enough to minimize mildew stains.

If you know how to properly clean your boat seats, you can reduce staining to preserve the life of your seats.

The key to preventing mildew stains is to stay on top of cleaning your seats. If you slack on cleaning it will show!

It really is worth taking the time to clean your boat seats thoroughly after a day on the water. 

Cleaning your boat seats, even when you’re tired after a long trip, will maintain the value of your boat and keep you comfortable long-term.

How to clean Bennington boat seats

When it comes to cleaning, quantity sometimes matters more than quality. Regular, routine cleaning helps stop mold in its tracks before it has time to become a problem.

If you wait until you can see large patches of mildew stains, it may be too late to save your Bennington boat seats.

This is why it is so important to stay on top of cleaning.

For quick cleanups, you do not have to worry about expensive cleaning products and using a lot of elbow grease.

Keeping products like alcohol wipes or baby wipes on board your boat can really help when it’s time to clean up spills during the day.

When you’re on the water, you don’t want to have to worry about spraying cleaning products and missing out on the fun because you are busy cleaning the boat.

So, keep alcohol wipes on hand so that you can quickly clean up spills and messes that may arise.

When you take a few seconds to clean your seats in such circumstances, you eliminate a lot of headaches later. 

Once the mess has had time to sit on the seat, it’s much harder to remove, and the chances of staining are much higher.

If you are out on the water and notice a smear of mud or a food smear on one of your seats, simply clean it up using an alcohol wipe. 

You can worry about more thorough cleaning when you get back to the docks.

While spot cleaning is certainly necessary, routine cleaning is also important.

Every time you dock your boat, you should take a few minutes to clean the seats. 

If it is not feasible to clean the seats every time you dock, you should at least clean them every few weeks.

For routine cleaning, mix a solution of mild cleaning soap and water. 

Use about a half cup of soap for every 2 gallons of water. You can adjust the size of the batch to the area that you are cleaning.

Before you dive in and clean all of your boat seats, it’s a good idea to test a small area. 

This helps ensure that the soap will not remove the coating on the seats or stain them.

If possible, test a small area out of sight. Let it dry for about an hour, and then observe. 

If you notice any discoloration or texture differences, use a different soap.

To clean the seats, dip a soft rag into the cleaning solution and wring it out. 

The rag should be wet, but not dripping. 

Avoid harsh, abrasive materials that could damage your seats. 

If you’re using a sponge, use the side without an abrasive coating.

Rub the cloth in a circular movement to clean the seat, applying light pressure with your entire hand.

Try to avoid collecting water in the seams or in the bowl of the seat. 

This can allow water to soak into the seat cushion, which can lead to degradation and molding in the future.

Once you are satisfied with the cleanliness of the seats, get a bucket of clean water and rinse the seats. 

To avoid soaking water into the seats, wipe them down with the clean water and a clean rag.

This process works well for routine cleaning. 

However, at the end of the season, deep clean your Bennington boat seats to preserve them well for seasons to come.

At the end of the season, complete the process described above, and then use a soft bristled brush to clean the seats with a vinyl seat cleaner.

Note: Before cleaning your boat seats, look at the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning. If they have any specific dos or don’ts, be sure to follow their recommendations. 

Sometimes cleaners have different effects on vinyl seats, and you want to be confident that the cleaning method you use will not be too harsh for your specific seats.

Featured image credit: Image ID: 1839588451 (NOTE: Image does not feature product discussed in article)