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  #1  
Old 08-14-2007
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Cabin cushion odor

We just bought a 1986 Hunter 23. What is the best way to tame the musty odor in the cabin? We brought the cushions home and are currently airing them out outdooors. We live in IN. Some of the covers are removable, others are not. Some appear to be a synthetic/cotton blend and the forward berth an upholstery material. Do you think they would be washable?
Karen
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Old 08-14-2007
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The musty odor is probably mildew. All of them "should" be washable, but to really get the odor out you'd want to wash throughly with hot water and let soak with a dose of bleach for a short while, then air dry really thoroughly.

If a cover is not removeable...there may be mold spores you won't be cleaning out, too. If there's a way to open a seam to open them up, explore the option. A professional "carpet cleaners" can usually pass the cushions (not the vinyl covered ones, but raw foam or cloth-covered foam) through a carpet/upholstery cleaning machine that will really do a good job on them--and then, make sure they are properly dried again afterwards.

Just airing won't get the crud out of the foam, which is usually open-cell and really needs a thorough washing.

Once they are back in the boat, a good way to keep them fresh is to tip them up on edge before you leave the boat, so they can "breathe" better than laying flat against the wood under them.
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Old 08-15-2007
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Another thing that will help get rid of the odor in the boat is leaving a few large tupperware containers of used coffee grounds out for a few days. The coffee grounds will absorb and neutralize much of the odor in the boat.

Also, there is a new spray that was developed for the marine market that is a mildew/mold inhibitor spray for surfaces...it wouldn't be a bad idea to spray down the surfaces in the boat with this stuff.
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Old 08-15-2007
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install a solar vent on that bad boy
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Old 08-15-2007
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We pulled the cushions out of our boat, removed the vinyl covers and soaked the foam in a mild solution of bleach and laundry detergent. The bleach kills the mold spores while the laundry detergent gives them that nice "spring air" scent. I have also "spot cleaned" really nasty areas on the foam with a more concentrated bleach solution and Lysol.
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I'l second what Uspirate said, get a solar vent on that boat.
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I'd third the Solar Vents... Nicros rock. BTW, solar vents are best installed in pairs, with one setup as an intake, the other as a exhaust.
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We cleaned ours by removing the covers (those went into the washing machine with Clorox Color-Safe bleach, detergent and some Febreeze fabric softener) and washing the cushions on the dock in a huge cooler (couldn't find a kiddie pool) with with the Oxy Clean and Clorox Color-Safe Bleach (seems less harmful to the foam.) It was done on a hot day with no humidity, so they dried pretty fast. Man, if you could have seen how disgusting the water was... Anyhoo, the end result was awesome- the cushions actually smelled good, and another source of boat funk was gone. It's amazing how much stink the cushions can hold!

Chris
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http://www.diysailor.com
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Old 08-15-2007
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Chris-
The "color safe bleach" simply isn't bleach. Whatever it is--I don't think it is a biocide like bleach, either, so any mold spores, etc. in the foam are probably still viable. AFAIK only bleach and peroxide really those critters.

Unless you've got a nice irradiation machine around.
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