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The Best Mildew Removers for Boat Seats of 2023

Fact checked by William Hart

Removing mildew from boat seats is always a hard task. Unfortunately, the environment and weather conditions to which boats are constantly exposed to are favorable to the growth of mold and mildew.

Generally, the materials used for boat seats are mold-resistant. On the other hand, however, they aren’t completely mold-proof, so the accumulation of moisture and exposure to other elements can still mean the growth of mildew.

best mildew remover for boat seats

With that said, I have created a list and compiled some of the best cleaners for removing mold from boat seats. I have also created a comprehensive guide for selecting the best mildew remover for boat seats to help you keep your boat in tip-top shape.

Top 3 Products

Best Overall


Star Brite Remover


Honorable Mention


WD-40 X-14


Premium Choice


CLR Stain Remover


Table of Contents

Best Mildew Remover for Boat Seats Reviews in 2021

1. Star Brite Mold and Mildew Stain Remover


Boat mold removal has been made easier with the Star Brite mold and mildew stain remover whose powerful high-alkaline and triple-action formula enables you to remove mildew stains and dirt without the need for heavy scrubbing.

Moreover, its professional-strength and concentrated formula make it perfect not only for boats but for home and commercial use as well – a feature which I loved.

Another thing which I liked about this mildew remover is that its buffered bleach technology makes it safe for marine and outdoor upholstery as well as acrylic fabrics. This makes sure that it won’t harm your precious boat’s seats. Moreover, it’s definitely more effective than your diluted supermarket brands.

Additionally, I love how it also works on different types of surfaces such as vinyl upholstery, most outdoor acrylic fabrics, awnings, tile, roofs, etc. This makes it incredibly versatile and allows you to use it not only on your boat seats but also in your home. It’s a safe alternative for cleaning mildew despite being designed for tough marine environments.

What’s more, it begins working upon contact, and most stains disappear in just 15 to 30 seconds after application, making the entire cleaning process easier and hassle-free. However, more stubborn stains may require another application and light scrubbing for them to disappear completely.

The main downside of this mildew remover is that it’s not designed for use on painted surfaces as the strong formula can damage it.
  • Instantly removes mildew stains
  • Easy to use which makes cleaning easy and hassle-free
  • Can be used on different types of surfaces, making it versatile
  • Can’t be used on painted surfaces as the formula might damage the paint
Nevertheless, the cleaner’s strong but effective formula makes it a great way for cleaning and removing mildew on boat seats. I recommend the Star Brite mold and mildew stain remover if you’re looking for an easy-to-use cleaner that removes mildew quickly and effectively.

2. WD-40 X-14 Mildew Stain Remover


The WD-40 company is widely known for their lubricants than their cleaners. This explains why not many people know that they have their own brand of mildew stain remover as well.

The good thing I found out about their X-14 mildew stain remover is that it’s extremely quick in removing mildew stains without the need for scrubbing. This is due to its powerful formula which can clean your surfaces in an instant. Furthermore, its easy-to-apply nature makes it convenient for cleaning your boat seats of mold and mildew.

With this product, your surfaces will end up looking pristine and absolutely flawless.

However, one downside I noticed is that it leaves behind a powerful odor that can be off-putting for some. This might due to its strong formula that’s surely tough on stains but can be tough on the senses too. Aside from that, I found that to get rid of really tough mildew stains, you need multiple applications which can use up your cleaner fast if you’re taking on a tough mildew job.
  • Easy to apply
  • Quickly removes mildew stains
  • Powerful formula that’s tough on stains
  • No vigorous scrubbing required
  • Leaves behind a powerful odor
  • Requires multiple applications for incredibly tough to remove stains
Nevertheless, it’s still a powerful formula that can remove your boat seats’ mildew problem in an instant.

3. CLR Mold and Mildew Stain Remover


The CLR 6 Mold and Mildew Stain Remover is an easy-to-use mildew remover that can be used on a variety of surfaces such as vinyl, tile, fiberglass, etc.

The thing about I love about the CLR mold and mildew stain remover is that it’s formulated without bleach, making it safe for use on surfaces that would otherwise be damaged by bleach. These include surfaces such as painted surfaces and fabrics. The bleach-free formula also allows it to be EPA-approved and allowed it to meet DFE Standards for Safer Products.

Moreover, I like how it has a trigger spray handle that enables me to evenly apply the mildew remover even in hard-to-reach areas, making cleaning such areas easier and more convenient. I also love how it has a foaming solution that prevents splash-back, ensuring that no amount is wasted and also ensuring that the contact time is maximized.

The only downside of the CLR mold and mildew stain remover is that it is unable to remove tougher stains which can be a disappointment to some.
  • Easy-to-use trigger spray
  • Ensures even application every time
  • Bleach-free formula that’s safe for use even on more delicate surfaces
  • Unable to remove tougher stains
Nonetheless, if you’re looking for a safer, bleach-free alternative for cleaning and removing mold on boat seats, then the CLR Mold and Mildew Stain Remover is what I would recommend. It’s easy to use, and you don’t even have to worry about it damaging your surfaces due to its bleach-free formula.

4. Boater’s EDGE Mildew Stain Remover


Next, there’s the Boater’s EDGE mildew stain remover which is a cleaner that’s designed to remove mildew from marine fabrics like vinyl and acrylic.

This mildew stain remover is great for removing mold, mildew, and even other things like moss and algae stains without the need for heavy scrubbing as it’s capable of removing stains upon contact. Moreover, its heavy-duty triple-action formula is effective and perfect for heavy-duty use.

What I love about this product is that despite its heavy-duty and powerful formula, it’s still safe to use for marine and outdoor upholstery like vinyl and acrylic. This makes it perfect for removing mildew from your boat seats.

I also love how it works on different types of surfaces, making it a versatile option for those who want to make the most of their mildew remover. Its professional-grade and concentrated cleaning formula is also perfect for use in different areas, whether at home, sea, or commercial places.

The only gripe I have about the Boater’s EDGE mildew stain remover is that despite its description stating that there’s no need for any scrubbing, I actually still need to scrub out some of the tougher stains as simply wiping them off won’t be enough to completely remove them.
  • Highly effective at removing mildew
  • Can be used on different types of surfaces
  • Easy to use
  • Versatile and can be used in different environments
  • Tougher stains require some scrubbing to be completely cleaned
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a highly-effective but easy-to-use mildew remover, then the Boater’s EDGE Mildew Stain Remover is a good option, especially if you’re looking for something versatile.

5. Marine 31 Mildew Remover


The Marine 31 Mildew Remover is specially formulated for marine surfaces such as vinyl seat cushions, fiberglass, rubber fenders, etc. Despite this, it can also be used for cleaning mold and mildew around the house, making it versatile in nature.

In addition to its versatility, what I love about this product is that it has a professional-grade formula that allows you to clean your boat seats thoroughly and effectively without discoloring or damaging your vinyl surfaces. I no longer have to worry about any potential damage to my boat seats since this cleaner is designed to be safe for use on them.

Moreover, it cleans and removes mildew and dirt from your surfaces quickly – something it does in just 3 minutes. I also love the fact that you no longer have to scrub vigorously in order to get rid of stains. Only light scrubbing is necessary; though in most cases, just wiping it off would be enough.

What I don’t like about this product is that its formula still contains bleach which means it’s not safe for your clothes.
  • Cleans and removes mildew quickly
  • Does so without dulling or damaging surfaces
  • Little to no scrubbing is required
  • Sometimes just wiping is enough
  • The formula has bleach included
Regardless, I would still recommend the Marine 31 Mildew Remover for it’s quite effective at cleaning and removing mildew stains. Moreover, its professional-grade formula is designed especially for marine surfaces, so rest assured that it will be compatible with your boat seats.

6. 3M Mildew Stain Remover (09067)


The 3M Mildew Stain Remover is a mildew stain remover that’s specially formulated to remove dark stains and dirt from light-colored surfaces. It can also be used on vinyl, making it perfect for cleaning mildew from boat seats.

The thing that I love about this mildew remover is that it doesn’t simply clean the surface. It also penetrates deeply into the material to clean it thoroughly and effectively get rid of mildew and mold. This prevents them from reoccurring, hence making your life as a boat owner a lot easier.

Additionally, it’s easy to use and quick to work so it’s efficient at cleaning as well. Moreover, it has a quick-acting formula that doesn’t require any scrubbing so you can say goodbye to vigorous scrubbing – all you need to do is spray then wipe.

It’s especially effective in removing dark mildew stains from light-colored and white vinyl, so keeping your boat seats stylish and pristine won’t be a problem at all.

However, what I didn’t like about the 3M Mildew Stain Remover is that the spray-and-wipe mechanism isn’t that great for use on tougher mildew stains.
  • Easy-to-use spray-and-wipe mechanism
  • Professional-strength formula
  • Penetrates deeply into the material to clean it thoroughly of mildew and dirt
  • Works great on light-colored and white surfaces
  • Removes mildew instantaneously
  • Not suitable for use on tougher stains
Nevertheless, the 3M Mildew Stain Remover is still a great option for a mildew remover if you want something that doesn’t clean just the surface of your boat seats but breaches and cleans it thoroughly.

7. RMR Brands Marine Mildew Stain Remover


This marine mildew stain remover from RMR Brands boasts of a powerful formula that is 5 times stronger compared to other mildew remover brands. This allows you to remove mildew from boat seats a lot easier than before.

What I like about this mildew stain remover is that it instantly cleans and removes mold and mildew stains. Moreover, it was specially designed for use on marine surfaces, hence making it effective for use on vinyl seat cushions, covers, and dashboards.

I also like how it has an easy-to-use spray bottle design which allows me and other users to clean mildew stains easily without any hassle. Furthermore, the spray bottle design is also great for efficiently targeting mildew stains on your boat seats.

This powerful product contains sodium hypochlorite in its formula which enables it to remove mildew stains quickly and effectively. It can be applied and removed in just 30 seconds. This makes it easy for me to clean my seats and other parts of my boat while still having time to take it out for a ride.

However, one downside of the RMR Brands Marine Mildew Stain Remover is that it has difficulty removing dark stains. This can be a problem if you’re trying to remove mold and mildew from light-colored or white seat cushions.
  • Effectively removes mildew stains from marine surfaces
  • Easy to use spray bottle design that targets and cleans mildew stains
  • Quickly removes mildew stains, allowing for more time to use your boat
  • Also comes in a gallon version for larger mildew removal projects
  • Less effective in removing dark stains from light-colored surfaces
Nevertheless, it’s a tough and effective formula that’s specifically designed for removing mildew on marine surfaces like your boat seats.

8. 303 Products Mold and Mildew Cleaner


Finally, mildew has a nasty tendency of reoccurring, especially in boats where the environment is conducive to their growth. To prevent this from happening, 303 Products came up with a solution in the form of this mold and mildew cleaner + blocker formula.

What I love about this product is that it not only removes mold and mildew stains quickly, it does so upon contact. Moreover, it’s designed in a way that your boat seats are thoroughly cleaned of any mildew. It’s even formulated to prevent them from reoccurring as well.

Additionally, it has a bleach-free formula which allows for cleaning delicate surfaces without the risk of damaging them. It also leaves behind a fresh scent, unlike formulas with bleach which produces a strong and harsh odor.

Another thing that I like about this mold and mildew cleaner + blocker formula is that it’s effective on all water-safe surfaces like vinyl and other fabrics, making it perfect for cleaning mildew from your boat seats.
  • uickly removes mildew stains upon contact
  • Prevents them from reoccurring, saving you from recurring cleaning
  • Features a bleach-free formula
  • Doesn’t leave behind strong odors
  • Safe for different types of surfaces – even fabrics
  • Might not effectively work on some areas
I love how of all the bleach-free formulas I have tested, this one is the most effective in cleaning and removing mildew stains. Therefore, if you’re looking for a mildew remover that can be used on a variety of surfaces without harming them, then I highly suggest this product.

What to Look for When Buying a Mildew Remover for Boat Seats


Choosing the right mildew remover for your boat seats doesn’t mean you buy any old mildew remover there is. Instead, you have to consider a number of factors to make sure that you’re not only buying an effective mildew cleaner but also one that won’t do more harm than good to your precious seats.

To help you with that, I have compiled a list of factors which you need to consider before buying a mildew remover for your boat seats. They’re as follows:

  • Composition

It’s a good idea to check out what ingredients were used for the cleaners you are planning to buy. This ensures that the ingredients used won’t be harmful to the material used for your boat seats.

It’s also ideal to choose mildew removers that contain little to no bleach, considering the fact that it can only dull and discolor the fabric of your boat seats. However, there are some cleaners with bleach as an ingredient that can be used on your boat seats without damaging them, so they would be worth checking out as well.

On the other hand, you can also find mildew removers that are specifically made for marine surfaces, making them safe for use on boat seats.

  • Ease of Application

No one wants a cleaner that would require more scrubbing than necessary. Therefore, it would be a good idea to check out mildew removers that are designed for easy application and removal.

This will make cleaning your boat seats and other areas which have mildew buildup a lot easier and hassle-free. Moreover, this will give you more time to actually enjoy your boat instead of just cleaning it.

An example of easy-to-use designs is the spray bottle which enables users to target a specific area for cleaning.

  • Response Time

Another factor you need to consider is the mildew removal’s response time. Some cleaners are quick-acting. This means that they can remove mildew stains immediately upon contact. This is convenient if you’re looking for something that will remove the stains in just a short period of time.

However, just make sure that the fast-acting cleaner you pick doesn’t just remove the stains from the surface but also cleans the material thoroughly and effectively.

  • Versatility

If you want to make the most out of your mildew remover, you might want to go for something that can clean not just boat seats but other types of surfaces as well. This will allow you to use it in different areas like your home or even your office.

A more versatile mildew remover is also a great way to ensure you get your money’s worth since you can use it even at home.

  • Formula’s Concentration

A more concentrated mildew remover formula is ideal as a little amount can go a long way in cleaning your boat seats and other areas. This also saves you money since you don’t have to go through several bottles to thoroughly clean your boat of mildew.

However, most concentrated mildew removers can be too tough on more delicate surfaces like painted ones or fabrics. If you’re not careful, they can only end up getting damaged by stronger and concentrated mildew removers.

  • Scent

Many heavy-duty cleaners can leave a really harsh smell after use, so you may want to check out mildew removers that will either leave behind a fresh scent or no odor at all. After all, you want your cleaner to be tough on mildew, not on the senses.

With all that said, the most important factor you need to consider is, of course, the effectiveness of the mildew remover you plan to get. After all, everything else will be useless if your cleaner isn’t effective at removing mildew from your boat seats.

Other Important Factors to Consider


Now that you know what are the main factors to consider when choosing the right mildew remover, it’s time to know more about them. What exactly are mildew removers? Why are they effective at removing mildew?

What is a Mildew Remover for Boat Seats?

A mildew remover for boat seats is a type of cleaning solution that is designed to clean and remove mildew, which is a type of fungus, from boat seats.

Mildew removers are a necessity for boat owners because boat seats are incredibly susceptible to mildew since they are constantly exposed to environments and weather conditions that are favorable to the growth and spread of mildew. Mildew removers help clean and remove these tough fungi which can cause potential health issues when inhaled.

How Does It Work?

Mildew removers remove and clean mildew by killing the fungi’s spores. They do this through the use of acids from which most removers are formulated. Acids are incredibly effective in killing mold and mildew spores which is why it’s a common ingredient in mildew removers.

Why Do You Need a Mildew Remover?

As mentioned before, boat seats – and boats in general – are susceptible to the growth and spread of mildew because of the environment and weather conditions to which they are constantly exposed to.

Mildew thrives on areas that have high moisture, and it tends to spread quickly, especially on surfaces like boat seats. Moreover, it can cause serious health problems when inhaled.

Due to this, having an effective mildew remover is important to boat owners everywhere. They not only keep your boat seats clean and aesthetically pleasing, but they also ensure that you’re sailing in an environment that’s not harmful to your health.

Some of the benefits of using a mildew remover on your boat seats are as follows:

  • Your boat seats will remain visually pleasing – this means you don’t have to look at unsightly mildew stains. Using a mildew remover that’s safe for your boat seats will help them look pristine and even brand new.
  • No exposure to harmful spores – using a mildew cleaner that effectively cleans and removes mildew means that you’re no longer exposing yourself to an environment which can potentially harm your health. Inhaling mildew spores can cause respiratory problems for you and your passengers.
  • Increase your boat’s value – going back to aesthetics, having those unsightly mildew stains can not only harm your health but also your boat’s value as well. After all, no one wants a boat with mildew stains on the boat seats. Being able to remove and clean those stains effectively will greatly increase your boat’s value if ever you decide to sell it.
  • Just having an overall clean environment in which to enjoy sailing – this will enable you to enjoy sailing without worrying about the harmful effects of mildew and its distracting stains. Of course, sailing on a mess-free and clean boat can certainly add to the overall allure of boat adventures.

Removing mildew is definitely something that all boat owners should know how to do as there is no shortage of mildew in an environment which is ideal for their growth.

Knowing the benefits of mildew removers and understanding what they are will help you with cleaning and removing mildew not only from your boat seats but from other parts of your boat as well. This way, you can ensure a safe and aesthetically-pleasing environment for you to sail.

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What are the most trusted mildew remover brands?

A: Some of the most trusted mildew remover brands have been mentioned in my product review section. These include brands like such RMR Brands, Marine 31, and 303 Products. Apart from being widely popular among their customers, these brands have been tried and tested to remove mildew specifically from boat seats.

Q: Can I use the mildew remover on all boat seat surfaces?

A: That really depends on the mildew remover you’re using and the type of material used for your boat seat. However, the products I have reviewed have been tested on vinyl, the most common material used for boat seats. This means that if your seats are made of that, then you can’t go wrong with any of the products I have reviewed.

Q: How to remove mildew stains from vinyl boat seats?

A: Removing mildew stains from vinyl boat seats has never been easier with the mildew cleaners I have reviewed. They have been thoroughly tested and found to be effective at cleaning and removing mildew stains from vinyl boat seats and even removing mold in boat cabin and other parts of a boat.

Most of them come in an easy-to-use spray bottle which needs minimal to no scrubbing. However, each mildew remover has different response times, so make sure you read the instructions first before use.

Q: Where to buy?

A: You can buy mildew removers from any hardware store. However, if you’re looking for something more convenient, then buying online from sites like Amazon is also an option. Sometimes, buying online can be cheaper as well. However, do take note of possible delivery fees.

Q: Are mildew removers toxic?

A: It really depends on the mildew remover you’re using. Some products have toxic chemicals in their formulation while some are not. To stay on the safe side, make sure to read the list of ingredients before purchasing. Keep in mind that inhaling or even handling such toxic chemicals may cause damage to your health.

Q: Do mildew removers clean mildew instantly?

A: Again, it depends on the mildew remover you’re using. Some are incredibly fast-acting, requiring only a few seconds for the stain to disappear, though some will need more time. In most cases, it may take a few minutes or some light scrubbing for them to work properly.

Nevertheless, if you choose from one of the products I have reviewed, you will surely get an effective mildew remover since most of them are fast-acting and require no scrubbing to work effectively. Additionally, reading other user’s reviews may also help in giving you an idea about the actual reaction time of the cleaning agent.

Q: Is it possible to use mildew removers on surfaces other than boat seats?

A: Most of the time, it’s possible to use them on other surfaces. However, this largely depends on your mildew remover. This is because some are only meant to be used on specific surfaces and might cause damage if used on other surfaces, especially the more delicate ones like painted surfaces or fabrics.

Q: Why is it important to remove mildew?

A: Mildew, whose spores can be inhaled, can cause a variety of health problems, especially respiratory issues. This can be a major problem, especially for people who are allergic to mold because their reactions to mildew inhalation can be more severe.

That said, it is important to clean mildew thoroughly and effectively to avoid any serious health issues. However, apart from health issues, there’s also the issue of cleanliness. If there’s mildew buildup in your boat seats, it can end up deteriorating the seats’ quality and appearance. If left unattended, it could end up in costly repairs and even replacements.

Q: Do I need to use a lot of mildew remover to ensure that it’s thoroughly cleaned?

A: It really depends on the formulation of the mildew remover you’re using. Some mildew removers are more concentrated, so a small amount will go a long way in cleaning your boat and its seats. On the other hand, some are more diluted and will require you to use more to clean your desired surface.

In some cases, however, you might need to use a bit more remover if there’s too much buildup in your boat seats. However, if you perform regular cleaning, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Q: What is mildew anyway?

A: Mildew is a type of fungi that releases spores which can be dangerous to one’s health when inhaled. Moreover, mildew thrives on cold, damp areas to which something boats are constantly exposed to. This makes them prone to mildew growth which is not only unsightly but potentially harmful as well.


Removing mildew from boat seats is definitely a tough job, especially since boats are constantly exposed to an environment which makes them prone to the growth and spread of mildew. Although they are made of mold-resistant materials, they are not completely impervious to them. This explains why you can sometimes notice black mold in boat parts such as the cabin and the likes.

However, with the right mildew remover, you will be able to remove unsightly stains from your seats and also prolong their lifespan at the same time. This allows you to enjoy your boat for many years to come.

Additionally, removing mildew is not just about the stains or your boat seats’ lifespan – it’s also about the health risks that come with exposure to mildew. As mentioned before, inhalation of mildew spores can cause a variety of respiratory problems, making cleaning and removing mildew from your boat all the more important.

Nevertheless, finding the best mildew remover for boat seats is no easy task as there are many factors to consider. Hopefully, with my comprehensive and detailed product review and guide, you will be able to find the right one for you and your boat.


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