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Go Back   SailNet Community > On Board > Gear & Maintenance
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  #1  
Old 04-22-2009
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Cleaning Cockpit Cushions

Is there anything that really works for cleaning white vinyl cockpit cushions?

I've got the shadow of some old mildew stains that I can't quite get rid of. Spray Nine isn't getting it done.

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 04-22-2009
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Whatever you do, don't use bleach... The whitening only works temporarily, and in the mean time it breaks down the vinyl making it more susceptible to staining in the future. It also tends to break down the thread in the seams causing it to fail prematurely too.

Specifically for spot cleaning the mildew stains, you might want to try lemon juice, a pinch of baking soda, and a toothbrush. Scrub it in with the toothbrush and then let it sit wet on the stain for 30 to 60 minutes. Afterwards, give it a final scrub and wipe it away.
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Old 04-22-2009
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Have you tried the mr. clean majic eraser?
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Old 04-22-2009
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try tilex. use it on a small test spot first.
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Old 04-23-2009
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I was afraid tilex would be too strong for vinyl. I'll try the lemon juice and baking soda. If that doesn't work I'll give the magic eraser a shot.

I wonder, is there a web site somewhere with info on all the various ways to clean different boat parts? what works, what doesn't and all the little home brew ideas that work as good as or better than the stuff that's on the shelf?

Thanks,
Jim
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Old 04-23-2009
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I just cleaned mine and I used Fantastic. It worked great. I had to hit the bad mildew area twice but it looks like new.
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Old 04-23-2009
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Often it is not the cleaner that is the problem, but the tool used to apply it. If you've got any sort of grain in your cockpit cushions, it is hard for most scrubbing pads, brushes, or cloths to penetrate to the bottom of the grain. Try using a soft nail brush or scrub brush.
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Old 04-23-2009
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimMcGee View Post
I was afraid tilex would be too strong for vinyl. I'll try the lemon juice and baking soda. If that doesn't work I'll give the magic eraser a shot.

I wonder, is there a web site somewhere with info on all the various ways to clean different boat parts? what works, what doesn't and all the little home brew ideas that work as good as or better than the stuff that's on the shelf?

Thanks,
Jim
Pratical Sailor has done some reports on different cleaners, but I don't know what issue it was in.
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