Black Mildew Upholstery

ErikBerghillerErikBerghiller Posts: 110 Solid Baller
edited August 8 in Boat Talk
Hi Ballers!

The Rodics Innovation tractor had a rough summer, spending most of its time in the lake without a cover. The result is a lot of black mildew stains on the upholstery and a green-ish carpet.

What cleaning agents do you guys recommend to get rid of this?




  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 816 Crazy Baller
    edited August 8
    StarBrite makes a great mildew stain remover for just that situation. Spray on and let it sit in the sun a bit . I always keep a bottle on hand. Available at most sporting goods stores and used to be even at Walmart. Or Amazon
  • skimtbskimtb Posts: 522 Crazy Baller
    +1 on starbrite

  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 218 Baller
    Brings our SN196 back whenever we get too much rain in the summer and the cover sits wet on the rear pad.
  • thagerthager Posts: 5,374 Mega Baller
    Ditto! It will require some elbow grease though.
    Stir vigorously then leave!
  • ObrienslalomObrienslalom Posts: 85 Baller
    Apparently I needed to try starbrite. I tried Marine 31 mildew remover without much luck.

    I did have some good success with babes mildew master with their upholstery brush. Unfortunately, I don't see the brush I got listed on their site anymore. It had fair thick plastic bristles that were sort of rounded at the tip.

  • keithh2oskierkeithh2oskier Posts: 824 Crazy Baller
    You need to get an upholstery brush and a dual action polisher. You can get the polisher at harbor freight. It's well worth the investment. I use it to polish and wax the boat and cars. Way better than doing by hand.

    An upholstery attachment is super soft and I use it on my boat seats to get into the texture and clean out the sweat and dirt that a normal quick wipe down doesn't do.
  • 34mph34mph Posts: 223 Baller
    Magic eraser will take care of most of it
  • bananaronbananaron Posts: 520 Crazy Baller
    Toilet bowl cleaner that is diluted works great.Also the mildew stain remover works.I will DETAIL THE ENTIRE BOAT FOR ONE OF YOUR NEW PRODUCTS!!
    Ron Engblom Brainerd lakes,minnesota
  • MDB1056MDB1056 Posts: 816 Crazy Baller
    Agree with @keithh2oskier - don’t use magic’s an abrasive
  • BS74BS74 Posts: 167 Baller
    Just make sure whatever you use has no bleach. Bleach will eat the threads (stitching)
  • ErikBerghillerErikBerghiller Posts: 110 Solid Baller
    Thanks for all the tips!

    I will start off with a bottle of Starbrite and take it from there. B)
  • MBlohmMBlohm Posts: 17 Baller
    Erik, go with the environmental friendly alternative. Mix bicarbonate and water in to a paste. It works great on black stains.
  • LeonLLeonL Posts: 2,619 Crazy Baller
    As mentioned, gotta use a brush to get down in the texture.
    Leon Leonard Stillwater Lake KY - SR Driver SR Judge
  • Skoot1123Skoot1123 Posts: 2,110 Mega Baller
    My personal experience with black stains on my SN196 is that it required bleach and TONs of elbow grease. We used straight bleach followed up by lots of water to rinse it off. The mildew on our boat was “baked” on and very tough to get off - so we used what we had available right away (6 years ago). We did not try the starbright cleaner - so not sure how that works or what the active ingredient is. A dual action polisher might keep you from getting sore elbows and take the stains out quicker. Totally Awesome worked on another boat we have as an overall cleaning. Just be sure to rinse very well with plenty of water. Best wishes in getting that stuff off. Let us know how it goes!
  • MinelickskierMinelickskier Posts: 70 Baller
    What @keithh2oskier said!
  • BoozeBooze Posts: 460 Crazy Baller
    Starbright is good.
    But, McKee's is the best I've ever used.
  • BoozeBooze Posts: 460 Crazy Baller
    McKee's 37 N1-150 Nautical One Xtreme Remover
  • SkiBadgerSkiBadger Posts: 19 New Baller

    Spray it on with light scrubbing. BOOM DONE!
  • C5QuestC5Quest Posts: 458 Baller
    I honestly scrubbed the crap out of mine this weekend. Wasn’t as bad as yours but in the end the only thing that worked was magic eraser. Worked awesome. Jus don’t scrub really hard or the sponge will tear apart. Just a ton of light passes and all the mold came off.
  • ErikBerghillerErikBerghiller Posts: 110 Solid Baller
    edited August 10
    Thanks again for all the insight, I'll try some of the tips next weekend!
  • JordanJordan Posts: 1,272 ★★★Triple Panda Award Recipient ★★★
    Try degreaser. Dilute it with water...
    Try it in an unseem spot first.
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 291 Solid Baller
    Sprays out foamy, just let it sit for a little bit then wipe so no scrub
    Give it some Mothers VLR love afterwards

  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 291 Solid Baller
    Careful Magic eraser appears effective but also creates micro abrasions that let both the UV and mold get more purchase on the remaining vinyl
  • ReallyGottaSkiReallyGottaSki Posts: 291 Solid Baller
    edited August 10
    Carpet, with all-composite boats , just tilt the trailer, can give it a vigorous soapy scrubing and hosing. Something like simple green-D is strong/mild enough, with enough residual to inhibit new growth.
    Flush out the bilge in a responsible manner
    Then let it bake out in the sun well.
  • MinelickskierMinelickskier Posts: 70 Baller
    I have a friend that ruined all of his vinyl using magic eraser, not from scrubbing but from the ingredients, so he said. After using, and then later, in the sunshine the damage was really bad. Had to have all new vinyl.
  • S1PittsS1Pitts Posts: 337 Solid Baller
    I have used a heavy concentrate of plain old borax washing detergent and a medium scrub brush. Mold and mildew does not seem to want to grow for a very long time afterwards. My 1997 BB SN interior looks like new.
  • WindsurfnutWindsurfnut Posts: 218 Baller
    One tip with starbrite, leave it on in the sun. You’ll be shocked how much mold it removes over a few hours. Even after rinsing. We don’t scrub at all.
  • unksskisunksskis Posts: 613 Crazy Baller
    Simple Green is another option.
  • GPJGPJ Posts: 14 Baller
    The mildew in the pores of the vinyl are nearly impossible to remove. Starbrite will take the farthest. Some of the vinyl in my Nautique has pores, some not. Sad to see this is still an issue on newer boats. Mine is a 2000.
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