What You Should Know About Sanitizing the Interior of a Boat

What You Should Know About Sanitizing the Interior of a Boat

April 15, 2020

During the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re probably itching to get out on the water and away from the world for a few hours. So long as you abide by all the social distancing measures in place, there’s nothing wrong with this, but it would behoove you to practice good boat sanitization in Fort Lauderdale, FL just in case.

Here’s some general information about what you should know about sanitizing the interior of your boat, and any areas that see a lot of human contact:

  • Vinyl surfaces: Vinyl is one of the most prevalent materials on any boat, both in the interior and on the exterior. There may be vinyl seating, countertops, tables and more. The marine vinyl you find on boats today comes from factories having already been treated with anti-microbial substances, so that will help you provide your boat with some long-term defenses against mold and mildew. Given this existing antimicrobial nature, you should avoid using harsh chemical cleaners, as they could strip the vinyl of those properties. Instead, just focus on keeping the surfaces clean, and when they get dirty, you can wash them with a rag and gentle soapy water. If there are tough stains, you should use a cleaner that is specifically designed for marine vinyl, then follow up with a rinse and an application of a special vinyl protectant product (which you will also be able to purchase from a marine supplier).
  • Cushions: The cushions on the interior of your boat can be susceptible to mildew, stains and musty smells, and can harbor bacteria and viruses, so it’s important to regularly clean them. Remove the covers and wash in cold water. You can usually wash non-vinyl cushion covers in a machine, but make sure you don’t use hot water or put them in the dryer—otherwise, they could shrink. The foam parts of the cushions should be cleaned by sprinkling baking soda on each side, then shaking off after a few hours before misting it with a 50/50 vinegar/water mixture. Let them sit in an area with plenty of ventilation for a few days until the vinegar smell recedes, then spray down with a hose, squeeze out, spray again, squeeze out again and let dry.
  • Bathrooms: The heads can be cleaned like your toilets at home, but you may wish to take some extra steps for sanitation given the potential greater exposure to marine elements.
  • Non-slip fiberglass: Fiberglass is another material commonly used in and on boats, and the non-skid nature means it shouldn’t be cleaned like other types of fiberglass surfaces. Simple cleaning can be done with a stiff bristle brush, soap and water, but tougher stains can use a cleaner with some bleach that you then rinse right away. Make sure to finish with a special non-skid treatment.

For more information about cleaning and sanitizing frequently used surfaces and items in your boat, we encourage you to contact Starboard Yacht Group LLC today. We’d be glad to provide more details on how to sanitize a boat in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

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