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Discussion Starter #1
Hi - I am winterizing for the first time on my new 'old' boat. The process of winterizing will be aided by a buddy of mine so I think I will not create any major problems.

I do however have an issue with my cushions. The fabric appears newer and the foam inside looks good and has no apparent decay. What is the proper way of cleaning the cushions to remove the odor. It is not a bad odor, but its there. Smells musty.

I called a canvas guy and he said to remove the foam and wash the fabric. I'm concerned it may shrink and I will never get the cover back on.

This forum has helped in me in many ways before. I am hopeful I can get some advice or a direction where to go for it.

Thanks,
Alan
 

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midlife crisis member
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The fabric may shrink slightly. The foam will just be a little tighter inside. I did this in my tent trailer. It all turned out ok.

Eric
 

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SaltwaterSuzi/CapnLarry
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Odor on cushions

You can wash most fabrics, I recommend hand washing, try using your bathtub. Rinse well and air dry. Never put in a dryer. You could try just one cover first, maybe a nav station cushion that could be replaced if necessary. Dry cleaning works well also. The foam needs to totally dry out to remove any odors, then spray with Febreeze. We use this procedure at the canvas shop where I work. Be sure to label the foam and corresponding cushion cover so you know what goes where if cushions are similar in size. If you have new cushions made in the future, try using a porous material on the bottom of the cushion covers so the foam can "breathe". This may cut down on the cost of using the more expensive upholstery fabric on all sides. It is best not to store your cushions on the boat off season as they will absorb that boat smell.
 

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Try this

Put a cushion in a heavy duty plastic bag.

Use a shop vac to suck out the air.

Squeese the end of the bag tight and remove the vac hose. Spray fabreeze around the opening and open the bag slowly.
 

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Irrationally Exuberant
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I did this with our new old boat last year. I removed all the covers and washed them three times each in our washing machine (they were bulky enough that I onlly did 1 or 2 in a load). I used detergent for the first and second washings (I don't think these had ever been cleaned, so the first wash got the bulk dirt out, and the second got the rest) and used Kids N Pets Stain & Odor Remover in the last. The Kids N Pets really helped get rid of the diesel/fiberglass funk and left a real fresh scent--I found the Kids n Pets at Target.

In our case, the foam itself still smelled some, even after airing out all winter, but the overall atmosphere down below is much, much better--basic fresh boat smell to me :)
 

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When I bought my triton the cushions were nasty enouh that I wanted to toss them out, Wife said I'd already spent enough on the boat so I agreed to try and clean them first.

Pulled the covers, and washed them, air dried, NO DRYER! filled a kiddy pool with warm water and laundry soap, threw the cushions in and danced around on the cushions for a bit. changed to fresh warm water and danced around on them again to get the soap out, put them in a plastic bag and used a vacuum to pull the water out. They came out looking and smelling like new.

Best part is that since I was able to point out how much money I saved by not buying new cushions, I was 'allowed' to buy a few more toys for the boat.

When I got the Ariel, the covers were dirty, but didn't have any odor, pulled them off and carried them in the house to wash and air dry, the wife felt like being nice and washed and dried them for me. Now I have 3/4 sized cushion covers. She said she'd get the material, but I had to sew them.

Can't figure out why they don't wash and dry the material before making the cushion covers to avoid the whole shrinkage issue.

Ken.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for all the input. I can see my way through this now. Thanks.

FYI - i called a canvas shop and he said to put baby powder inside the cover to give it a fresher smell.

Alan
 

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We called in one of those folks who steam clean carpets. They brought their truck over and steam cleaned the cushions in our garage. Seemed to work. I forget the cost, but they offered a discount on cleaning the second year, which we didn't feel the need to do. We store the cushions in a cedar lined closet each winter. In the Spring, they smell fresh enough.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Odor on Cushions

I washed them once in woolite and then hung it out to dry in the basement. The smell is getting better, but I will use some odor special detergent this time around. After I did the washing i went over and compared the smell in the foam and the fabric. The foam is really the smelly part.

Can the foam be saturated in detergent, say downy or tide, or a smell remover and then let out to dry to help remove the smell?

Alan
 

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One thing that does help neutralize odors is used coffee grounds... you'd be surprised at what odors this stuff neutralizes...

Put the cushions in an enclosed room with about eight pounds of coffee grounds spread out in some big open trays... and let them sit for a few days... good way to help neutralize odors on a boat or in a house too. :)

You can usually get five to ten pounds of them from any big coffee shop... Starbucks gives the stuff away... :)
 

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Our settee cushions have vinyl bottoms with fabric top and sides. Does anyone have any suggestions for cleaning them since they can't go in the washer?
 

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What I did

I just bought a boat a couple of months ago and the cushions were in decent shape but musty smelling. I took the covers off and saw the foam was several different shades of brown and foam color. I contemplated getting new foam made but tried first to clean them. I took the covers to the laundramat. I washed them in a delicate cycle with purex with bleach. I tested an area before to see if the blue color would stay. It did so I bleached the heck out of them to get the stank off. I also dried them on a low heat untill they were dry. I was going to not dry them so much and hang em out but I got tied up at the quickmart next to the laundramat and I let them go the whole cycle. They didn't shrink or fade. That was what I was worried about.

Then I took the cushions and hosed them off in the driveway and scrubed in a bleach solution to kill as much mildew as possible and then let them bake in the Florida sun for a day and flipped them a couple of times.

Any way the cushions still smell great except my feet still stink up the cabin.

I suggest that you test to see if it can hold up to bleach and if it does use a lot of bleach.
 

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Irrationally Exuberant
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That open cell foam holds a ton of water! :eek: I washed a couple of the cushion foam pieces in a bathtub using mild bleach solution on one, a mild odor killer solution on the other--it helped some. But the workout I got was priceless--I wish I had video--like wrangling a porpoise. Didn't have the advantage of the hot Florida sun during winter here in Virginia, so it took over a week to dry them inside. I left the rest of them alone.
 

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Umm...yeah, it's basically a GIANT SPONGE... :) :laugher

That open cell foam holds a ton of water! :eek: I washed a couple of the cushion foam pieces in a bathtub using mild bleach solution on one, a mild odor killer solution on the other--it helped some. But the workout I got was priceless--I wish I had video--like wrangling a porpoise. Didn't have the advantage of the hot Florida sun during winter here in Virginia, so it took over a week to dry them inside. I left the rest of them alone.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
update on cushion odor

The musty smell in the fabric is gone. I washed one in woolite, but had to do it again as it still had a musty odor. The next one was washed in a sink with kids, pets and odors, Downy and a little Tide. I let it soak 15 minutes washed it out in cold water and put it on a line in my basement with the dehumidifier on. They smell great and no discoloration.

When i do the balance of the fabric i will put it on a soak cycle in the washer with Tide and kids pets and odors and let it go through the cycle with out wringing.

Now to finalize the foam??????????

Alan
 

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I just did this to mine. Use COLD water if you use the washer. And you can use a dryer, simply don't run it on a high heat.

The fabric on our stuff is apparently a type of cotton blend, but it didn't shrink.

I second the "Vacuum Cleaner / plastic bag" idea, been using that since I was a child to clean couch/chair cushions.

I think dad said, "Works good at removing beer farts" or something like that.

/snicker

And.. Fabreeze :)
 

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Try this

Put a cushion in a heavy duty plastic bag.

Use a shop vac to suck out the air.

Squeese the end of the bag tight and remove the vac hose. Spray fabreeze around the opening and open the bag slowly.
This worked well for me after I washed the covers, and let the foam sit out in the hot Oklahoma sun for a couple days.

David
 
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