We take a look at 8 of the best boat seat cleaner products on the market, suitable for use on vinyl, canvas or leather upholstery
So, you’ve spent the winter polishing your hull, brightening your brightwork and restoring the gleam to your handrails. Now back in the water, the engine room has been spruced up and the cabins given a spring clean.
It’s time to sit back and bask in the reflected glow of your handiwork… until, that is, you realise the seat you’re about to park yourself upon is looking a bit grubby and needs a good clean too.
Exactly how you clean your boat seats, and what cleaner you use, will depend on the material from which they are constructed. While many boats will commonly have seat fabric described as ‘marine grade vinyl’, plenty of other options such as canvas, leather and leatherette also exist, not to mention specialist products like Sunbrella. Be sure to use the product which is right for your seats.
Of course, the best way to look after the seats on your boat is to not let them get dirty in the first place. Although marine grade vinyl will have been treated with mould, mildew and UV resistant chemicals, it still needs regular care if the effects of time, sun and salt water are to be kept at bay.
Another point to bear in mind is that vinyl is porous – so if anything gets spilt on your seats mop it up right away, otherwise it will be too late.
The way in which the cleaner you select is applied is important too, so always follow the instructions on the pack. For anyone with Sunbrella fabrics, the company produces a handy guide which can be downloaded here (104Kb PDF). For more in depth information, they also offer a detailed ‘how to’ cleaning guide.
With a little love and attention, your boat seats will reward you with many years of excellent service – not just comfortable to sit on, they’ll look great too. Here’s our guide to the best boat seat cleaner products:
8 of the best boat seat cleaner products available right now
3M 09023 Marine Vinyl Cleaner
As a dedicated marine vinyl maintenance product from manufacturing giant, 3M, a pot of the snappily-named 09023 Marine Vinyl Cleaner, Conditioner & Protector claims to clean, restore lustre to old and worn surfaces and retard UV damage – this is a product which does the lot!
Versatility like this, though, comes at a cost and with a price tag just a pound shy of £30 for 250 ml, a bottle of 09023 is far from inexpensive purchase.
But this boat seat cleaner been specially formulated for the marine environment and can be used not only to clean vinyl but rubber and leather as well.
It also forms a barrier against dirt, mildew and stains while providing a shield against water, weather and wear, and as such should prove a cost-effective investment.
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Leather Care & Revive kit
Comprising 500 ml of leather cleaner, 250 ml of conditioner, a soft cleaning brush and two cloths, this two-step kit from specialist cleaning products supplier Leather Care & Repair contains everything needed to keep leather seats in top order and looking like new.
This boat seat cleaner removes dirt and grime without damaging the leather itself, while the conditioner strengthens and protects the surface to help preserve its natural beauty and flexibility.
The inclusion of a brush and a pair of cleaning cloths is a worthwhile addition, making this kit an ideal all-in-one solution.
303 Products 30207 Multi-Surface Cleaner
Like the 3M product we cover above, 303 Products Multi-Surface Cleaner is identified by a catchy five-digit number – 30207 in this case.
Do be aware that 303 markets a selection of other products with similar designations, so double-check you’re getting the correct item before you invest.
303’s multi-surface cleaner is biodegradable and can be used on vinyls and fabric. The listing featured here claims it will safely remove dirt, oil, grease, coffee, tea, wine, ink and pet stains – although we’d suggest testing on a small area before applying liberally all over.
The use of a waterproofing agent, such as 303’s High Tech Fabric Guard, is recommended after use.
Starbrite Sail & Canvas Cleaner
Designed for cleaning all types of sails and canvas fabrics, this all-in-one concentrated cleaning and brightening product has a biodegradable formula which is hard on stains but kind on the environment.
It can be used on white or coloured fabrics (including nylon and Dacron) and attacks dirt, grease and mildew stains while not weakening the fabric.
Safe and simple to use, Starbrite’s Sail & Canvas Cleaner is normally used diluted 1:4 with water, but can be employed at full strength for heavily soiled white material.
After use, the application of a waterproofing agent is recommended to maintain the material’s water tightness and resistance to soiling.
Meguiar’s 57 Vinyl & Rubber cleaner
Meguiar’s 57 Vinyl & Rubber cleaner has been formulated to clean, shine and protect marine vinyl, rubber and plastic surfaces.
A spray trigger makes the product easy to apply, and dirt and grime simply wipe away leaving a clean, rich sheen with no greasy or artificial plastic touch or feel.
Meguiar’s have blended the ingredients of its vinyl and rubber cleaner to cope with the harsh marine environment.
Included in the mix are conditioners which help prevent surfaces from drying out, fading or cracking, and a UV treatment which provides resistance against damage caused by prolonged exposure to sunlight.
Renovo RBVC 1132 Boat Vinyl Cleaner
Listed as Amazon’s Choice, Renovo’s RBVC 1132 boat vinyl cleaner is a water-based, neutral colour all-rounder intended for regular use to help keep the appearance of vinyl fresh while helping preserve its overall condition.
In addition to grime and dirt, the product has been formulated to remove leaf gum, difficult stains and bird droppings, the latter of which will be welcomed by anyone moored near a flock of seagulls!
Specifically designed for vinyls, this product is a powerful boat seat cleaner which should be tested on an inconspicuous area before use. Also note that it is not to be used on fabric.
Starbrite Vinyl Boat Seat Cleaner and Shampoo
The low offer price for 500 ml of vinyl cleaner and shampoo from Starbrite, a long-established name in the marine cleaning world, belies the fact that this is a concentrated product that’s going to go a long way.
It’s also a robust boat seat cleaner with a powerful dirt-busting formula designed to keep marine vinyl seats looking their best.
Equally useful for cleaning vinyl seats, sunpads and cockpit cushions, Starbrite’s Vinyl Cleaner and Shampoo loosens grime and dirt which can then be simply wiped away.
It also claims to restore colour, brightness and freshness, remove mildew and help prolong the softness of the vinyl it cleans.
Autoglym Leather Cleaner
Founded more than half a century ago, Autoglym has built up a formidable reputation in the automotive world as a leading supplier of car care products.
And that means when it comes to things such as keeping leather seats clean, the company certainly knows what it’s doing. Autoglym’s Leather Cleaner is part of a range of leather care products designed to safely clean and freshen leather upholstery.
Whether that’s in the back of a stretch limo or the saloon of a superyacht doesn’t really matter – what’s important is that this cleaner is free of silicones, which can leave an unpleasant feel after application, and has a pH formulation designed to leave essential oils intact.