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What do you use to clean your vinyl seats?

just wondering what cleaning products people are using to clean their vinyl seats and to keep them looking like new. Mine are in good condition but could do with cleaning!

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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    A gentle soap and warm a water, toweled off with a fluffy towel. for stronger cleaning there are plenty of good choices from 303, Starbrite, Mary Kate, Simple Green - personally I have had good luck with the Starbrite who make a range of products from general purpose seat and fabric cleaners to very good mildew and spider/bird dropping removal. Most marine stores stock them and they are also available at West marine or Defender Marine. West marine has a good catalogue and shipping division.
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    planesailingplanesailing Member Posts: 173 ✭✭
    Thanks MT. I've had a lot of joy with starbrite products so think I'll try that after I've washed them with soap and water!
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    that star brite mold and mildew remover is golden... i've never used a product that works as well as that... 

    after you're done cleaning, there is nothing better I've encountered than 303 protectant.  great stuff... last season I spent a good amount of time cleaning and waxing the cockpit.. used the products above.. I was asked several times by different people and unsolicited if I had the boat professionally restored... 

    they're that good. I wish I could take credit and do it for a living instead of counting beans bandaides and bullets, but it was all on the products. 
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    LaReaLaRea Member, Moderator Posts: 7,623 mod
    +1 for the 303 Aerospace product.
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,590 mod
    +2 for 303 Aerospace

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    planesailingplanesailing Member Posts: 173 ✭✭
    Best get myself some 303 aerospace as well then!!!
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin
    ++++++++++++ 303
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    303 protectant is the best I've ever used as protectant- AFTER cleaning, but the starbrite mold and mildew cleaner is the best CLEANER i've ever used for mildew which is inevitable in my locale... other than that and if no mildew is present, just soap and water that doesn't contain any type of degreaser such that dish soap and laundry detergent has.. 
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    rasburyrasbury Member Posts: 8,283 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I used the strarbrite, but, the attwood seemed to work a lot better and it seems to be mild as well. The starbrite deck cleaner is great also..
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    craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭
    I know its abrasive but if you ever have a spot that no cleaner can touch, a magic eraser does wonders.  Use sparingly.
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin
    Sorry graigswardmtb I would not recommend magic eraser on the seats. It is abrasive and takes the "luster" of the seat and can basically ruin them.
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    No magic erasers allowed on our boat!
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    chamberbchamberb Member Posts: 265 ✭✭✭
    I have never used the 303, looking online they range from $5.88 at West Marine for 303® Marine & Recreation Aerospace Protectant to $15.99 for 303 Aerospace Vinyl Protectant.... Any thoughts on which product people are using? Thanks!
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,590 mod
    I use the 303 protectant & strongly recommend.  I also have the 303 cleaner, but not as impressed.  For cleaner I'd probably go with starbrite as mentioned.  Then finish with 303 protectant.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I purchased a gallon of the stuff (303) off amazon for $40 I think it was... bought a gallon garden sprayer for it... I also bought 303 water-proofer, and that works pretty dang good too on canvas.  also a gallon, also from amazon. it was more, though, something like $60... 
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    craigswardmtbcraigswardmtb Member Posts: 1,015 ✭✭✭
    raybo3 said:
    Sorry graigswardmtb I would not recommend magic eraser on the seats. It is abrasive and takes the "luster" of the seat and can basically ruin them.

    I agree in general.  However I had a rusty can ring on my seat that nothing could touch.  I used the eraser on the ring and it magically was gone.  I would call it a last resort.  Better to have a little less luster in a spot than an orange ring imo.
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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin
    The original question was what to use to clean vinyl seats. Magic eraser will eventually destroy the vinyl....... 
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    jme097jme097 Member Posts: 1,224 ✭✭✭
    Is that 303 Aerospace a cleaner or protector or both? lol
    Boat Name: Knot A Worry
    2007 280 Rinker Express 6.2L B3
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    212rowboat212rowboat Member Posts: 2,591 ✭✭✭✭✭
    303 is the product line... they make protectant, fabric restore (water proofer), gasket conditioner, multi-surface cleaner and something called a 'speed detailer' which sounds suspicious to me... :smile: 

    like starbrite, i've not ran into a bad product from them... I've only ran into two- the protectant and the fabric water repelancy product... :smile: 
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    Dream_InnDream_Inn Member, Moderator Posts: 7,590 mod
    Yeah, those two (protectant and water repel) are the best two they have.  I'll add, make sure you clean the vinyl real good before using the protectant.  I've found that if I put the protectant on and then think the seats aren't as clean as they should be, it takes a bit more to get the dirt off.  Probably just me as I'm a bit ocd about my vinyl seats.  My 'rumble' seat is starting to get a few marks I can't seem to remove.  I know it's because I put a towel on it with my dinghy on it, so it causes a bit of mildew.  I need to let the sun beat on it for a while to see if it goes away.

    Dream 'Inn III -- 2008 400 Express

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    raybo3raybo3 Administrator Posts: 5,469 admin
    edited March 2016
    This might be the best protector on the market............
    http://www.starbrite.com/item/vinyl-brite-protectant
    2002 342 Fiesta Vee PC Point Of Pines YC Revere MA. popyc.org     raybo3@live.com
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    Lifes GoodLifes Good Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭
    Nothing, I mean nothing, I have ever seen in 50 years of boating works better to clean your white vinyl seats.  Use a general vinyl cleaner like west marine's version, comet, potato brush and a rag with clean water. Many of my friends thought this was nuts until they did it themselves.  Yes comet!

    Work in 1x1 foot squares by spraying the area wet with the cleaner.  Sprinkle some comet and scrub the area, work the stitching too. Keep the area fairly wet with the cleaner spray as you scrub.  Wipe clean with the rag and clean water.  Repeat next section.  

    You will be amazed by how bright and new your vinyl will look!

    Then apply your favorite conditioner / protectent.   Welcome to new looking seats and sun pads.

    LG



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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Comet is great stuff as is Dutch cleaner but they both have chemicals that will rot stitches. So, if using them I'd pay particular attention to rinsing the stitches thoroughly with fresh water then make sure they were very dry before applying any final protectant. 
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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Comet has an abrading action as well. It's going to dull the seats after a while.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    Lifes GoodLifes Good Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭
    Nope,  I have never had dullness or rotted threads. Yes rinse with clean water, however the threads are nylon material not cotton. Yes, nutty idea but it works. Try a small area first.  Once you see the results you'll be hard pressed to stop because the cleaned area will stick out like a sore thumb! 
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    MarkBMarkB Member Posts: 3,969 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Lifes good, do you put the dry powder on the seat and scrub, or do you dissolve it first in water? The dry powder will definitly abrade the seat, unless you have some magic sponge.

    Boat Name: King Kong

    "Boat + Water = Fun"

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    Handymans342Handymans342 Member Posts: 10,375 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I use bar keepers friend. Wont scratch
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    Michael TMichael T Member Posts: 7,227 ✭✭✭✭✭
    In the past I have made a soupy paste of it to reduce the harshness of both the reaction and the scratch factor.
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    Lifes GoodLifes Good Member Posts: 465 ✭✭✭
    As mentioned earlier, spray the vinyl wet with a simple vinyl cleaner.  Sprinkle some comet and scrub with the potato brush.  Med bristles. Or a fingernail brush will work.  Don't use the comet dry, keep it wet not pasty. Liquid like. Wipe and continue. Your working the dirt grime and stains out of the pores of the vinyl.  Other products clean the surface, this solution pulls from the pores back to original white.  Overtime you forget what the white looks like.  Blue jeans also slowly transfer it's dye into the pores of the vinyle giving a grey worn look years later.  

    Do this once every other year and normal cleaning in between with conditioners.

    For those of you that have seen me on here for several years now may remember last year we bought a 410 2001 Sundancer.  Sea Ray at that time used bright white vinyl.  The vinyl was in great shape but the color of the Grey carpets.  Yuck!  After 5 hours of this process, everyone that sees it asked me how much was it to replace with factory new.  It's not new, it's just cleaned with a lot of elbow grease.  Now I just wipe with water and condition and spot treat when needed.  You know the drill if you have dogs!

    LG
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