Mildew Aweigh

Q: Any help on cleaning mildew from our pontoon boat seats? Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work pretty well, but wondered if you have a better suggestion to keep the “yuck” from growing.
– Deanna Kerr, via e-mail

A: Another product you may want to try is Amazon’s Mildew Stain Away, which is available at boating stores. Household bleach is extremely effective on mildew, of course, but can discolor fabric and weaken the stitching of your seats. If the Mr. Clean product works for you, great; maybe it’s your best choice.

For keeping mildew from coming back, however, adopt vigilant anti-mildew practices in the day-to-day maintenance of your pontoon’s passenger area. Mildew grows best on damp, dirty and dark surfaces, so you need to keep your seats dry, clean and aired-out. Towel-dry the seats after boating if they’re wet from swimmers and their bathing suits. Clean the seats regularly with a mild cleansing agent – especially after fishing trips when all manner of bait detritus, fish parts and spilled beverages may have found their way onto the seats.

If you have a canopy that shades the seats at all times, put it down once you’ve docked after a wet and wild ride; the blinding light of the sun is no friend to mildew. In summary: dry it off, clean it up and air it out.

Happy pontooning!