How to Keep a Boat Interior Cleanby Contributor
You just bought a boat and you have already taken it out for a spin. By now, you have probably already figured out that keeping the interior of your new boat clean is not going to be an easy job. This is especially true if kids are constantly in and out of the boat. Clay, mud and sand are tracked in on the bottoms of feet and now your boat seats and carpet are covered in muck.
Plan to clean your boat interior on a regular basis. You don't have to do a major cleaning after each outing, but a good thorough cleaning after every third or fourth trip is a good idea. Spot cleaning in between major cleaning will help ensure stains from clay and mud do not set in.
Use a soft scrub product with bleach to clean WHITE areas such as seats, platforms and pads. Do NOT use bleach products on colored seats. You will be surprised at how nice your boat interior will look after using a soft scrub product. Here is a more detailed article on cleaning tough stains. http://www.ehow.com/how_5153397_remove-stains-vinyl-boat-seats.html Using a soft bristle brush along with the soft scrub on the boat floor helps keep the floor looking new.
Purchase a marine grade cleaner to clean most interior boat surfaces. There are many available on the market. Do some research to figure out which ones have the best rating.
Apply a marine grade protectant after major cleaning. Spray the seats, platforms and pads with the protectant. Never use a protectant product made for cars. These do not work well on marine material and, in fact, will break down marine material.
Be sure to keep several dry rags and a handy spray bottle full of a marine cleaner in the boats storage area. This will allows for easy cleanup while on the water and dirt will not accumulate and stain your white areas.
Once you bring your boat back to its home, be sure to remove any wet life vests and place them in the sun to dry. Do not throw wet life vests back into the holding container. Mildew will accumulate in the container and on other vests and equipment. No one likes a musty smelling boat.
Remove the boat carpet if possible. Allowing the carpet to dry in the sun will help remove the smell of mildew and will prevent mildew from forming. Don't leave carpet sitting in the sun too long. This will cause your carpet color to fade quickly.
Once a year have the boat carpeting professionally cleaned.
Purchase a boat cover. Always cover your boat after each outing and also after each cleaning. After each cleaning just make sure the boat interior is dry before putting the cover on. This prevents critters and debris from getting into your boat.