How to Remove Mildew From Boat Canvas

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In nature, mildew has the important job of breaking down organic materials. Thriving in warm damp areas, this slimy substance adheres to surfaces that provide a hospitable climate and a food source. When dirt and debris collect on a dampened boat canvas, it becomes a prime location for mildew. Both unsightly and unhealthy to have around, mildew presents a problem that needs to be dealt with swiftly. With a few materials you may already have at hand, mildew can successfully and easily be removed from boat canvas.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Chlorine bleach
  • Liquid laundry or dish detergent
  • Soft bristle brush
  • Mix a weak bleach solution in a bucket by adding a cup of chlorine bleach to a gallon of water.

  • Add ¼ cup of a mild liquid or laundry detergent to the bleach solution.

  • Dampen the mildew area of the canvas with water. This helps to keep mildew spores from becoming loose in the air while cleaning.

  • Brush away as much of the mildew as possible with a soft bristle brush.

  • Rinse off the brush under running water to remove any mildew that may be stuck in the bristles.

  • Dip the brush into the solution and use it to clean the area removing the remaining mildew stain.

  • Rinse the area again with water to remove any residual soap and debris.

  • Allow the area to air dry in direct sunlight. Sunshine in itself is an effective natural mildew killer.

Tips & Warnings

  • White vinegar is an acceptable substitute for chlorine bleach.
  • Wiping down canvas afterward with a solution of white vinegar and water in equal parts after each time you take the boat out can help to prevent future mildew growth.
  • Protect yourself from mildew by wearing gloves, a face mask to cover your mouth and nose, and protective glasses.

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