Written by: Boating

How To Clean and Maintain Boat Carpeting

There’s no shame in wanting your boat to look nice, including your boat’s carpeting. Read on to learn how to clean and refresh your marine carpeting.

How To Clean and Maintain Boat Carpeting

The carpeting on your boat should help mitigate falls and provide a more comfortable and aesthetically pleasing atmosphere. But because your ship and its carpeting get exposed to the elements and sometimes the occasional messy passenger, it’s bound to get dirty and stained. Luckily, marine carpeting is easy to clean, but you should be aware of some dos and don’ts. To help you get your carpet back to looking brand new, here’s how to clean and maintain boat carpeting.

Vacuum Loose Dirt

Ideally, you’ll vacuum your carpet regularly to prevent dirt build-up, but if you haven’t, that’s your first step. Depending on the carpet material, you may need to use a brush attachment, so check the manufacturer’s instructions just in case. But most carpeting is sturdy, so you can use a regular carpet vacuum; you want to ensure it’s powerful and long enough to reach into crevices. In removing these loose particles, you can avoid moving around dirt and pushing it deeper into the carpet as you clean.

Clean by Section

Before tackling any stains, give the entire carpet a good cleaning first. To do this, you can take regular dish soap or marine carpet cleaner if you have it, a hose, and a long brush. While it may be tempting to wet and soap the entire carpet, it’s much easier to work in sections to keep track of what you cleaned and avoid becoming a soapy mess. After you’ve wet and applied cleaner to an area, take your brush and scrub following the grain of the carpet.

Make sure to rinse at least twice to get all the soap out of the carpet, as leftover soap can attract more dirt and debris, essentially gluing it to the carpet. Also, avoid using a pressure washer, which can damage the adhesive and break apart the material.

Spot Clean Tough Stains

Start spot-treating if giving your boat a good cleaning hasn’t worked on those tough stains. In the future, you’ll want to clean up stains as soon as possible to maintain the structural integrity of the carpeting. Spot treating with baking soda, vinegar, and water, and scrubbing with a medium-bristled brush can eliminate most stains. Avoid using hot water, especially for fish blood, as this can fuse the stain onto the carpet. Once you’ve cleaned and rinsed the product off, you’re ready for the last and the easiest step.

Let It Air Dry

Before covering your boat or putting it back into storage, you want to make sure that the carpet is completely dry. Luckily, one of the main benefits of marine-grade carpeting is that it’s UV resistant, so you can let it dry in the sun. Once your boat is dry, you’re ready to cover it and put it back into storage, knowing it will look brand new when you take it out for another spin.

Fortunately, cleaning and maintaining boat carpeting is incredibly easy. If you remember to vacuum consistently and clean up stains as soon as you can, your boat’s carpet will look better and last longer.

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Last modified: November 28, 2022
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