What is Pink Stain?
Pink Stain is the by-product of a microorganism that has entered into the seat cushion through the seams, clinging to the foam, and has the ability to spread out to the visible vinyl surface. The stain color is dictated by whatever the fungi is eating, in this case, the plasticizers in the vinyl.
What is the Cause of Pink Stain?
Four elements are required for the mildew to begin its’ growth cycle that ultimately results in pink stain: Spores, Food Source, Warmth and Moisture. Dirt carried by wind or rain contains mildew spores or seeds that can penetrate down in the seat through the seems to the foam cushion. The spores start in the foam and feed on the plasticizers in the vinyl. The warm climate mixed with moisture from the water creates a utopia for mold and mildew growth. Cases reported are more frequent in geographic locations with high humidity.
Best Practices to Fight Pink Stain
If starting fresh, the following suggestions are recommended to prohibit mold and mildew growth:
• Base or Plywood – should be marine grade, treated for mildew and rot resistance*
• Polyurethane Foam – treated to inhibit fungal growth* and should pass all standard anti-fungal and anti-bacterial standards, such as ASTM G-21 (CFFA – 120), ASTM E1428 and AATCC 147 (CFFA – 300).
D21PAC – Dri Fast Firm #70 2" x 24" x 72" that meets Antibacterial Standard AATCC 147 and/or ISO 20743:2007 plus Antifungal Standard AATCC 30*
HYPER1 – HyperVent is a special material comprised of a white spun polymer woven into a large, open, 3/4" thick configuration that is bonded to a breathable white fabric layer. Stiff yet flexible, the texture of HyperVent is not felt through the thinnest of mattresses.
• Vinyl – marine grade quality treated with antifungal and antibacterial additives* to retard mildew and bacterial growth and pink mildew by-products. - Seats must be constructed so that the foam cushion does not become saturated with water and must dry out quickly if it does get wet.
• Sewing Thread – The following threads are suggested: - Guardian Anti-Microbial with Microban® Thread* - Solarfix® PTFE Thread - Sunguard Polyester Thread • Needle Size - #20 for 69 (3 ply) thread, or #22 for 92 (4 ply) thread. - Seams should be water tight
• Venting – upholstery as well as substructure, should be vented to allow any trapped moisture to escape and dissipate.
For the Boat Owner:
• Keep vinyl seats clean and clear of dirt and debris. Follow instructions for care and cleaning on the specific vinyl used on your seats.
• Keep seats dry whenever possible. Refrain from leaving wet towels, swim suits, and life vests on the seats for any extended period of time. • Remove seats, if possible, or prop them up to prevent moisture from setting in.
• Open all cabinets and doors to promote air circulation.
• Use a boat cover whenever possible, with air ventilation, to limit moisture.
For the Fabricator:
• Communicate - Discuss the issue of pink staining before starting any boat interior job.
• Educate your customer - Explain what it is and why it occurs. Have pictures on hand so customer can identify if it does develop. Most importantly, clarify that ink staining is not always avoidable.
• Put it in writing - List the precautions you are taking to protect their boat interior.
• Protect yourself - Give a list of care and cleaning suggestions to your customer.
Quick fix Solutions if Pink Stain has Set In
Below is a list of suggestions that were made by fabricators. These are merely suggestions; use at your own risk.
• Pink Away - http://www.pink-away.com/
• Acne medicine – all types were listed
• Spray Dye
• Westley’s Bleche White
• Paste solution made of bleach and baking soda
The information listed above was compiled to the best of our knowledge. While we’ve done our best to explain the facts and best practices behind Pink Staining, there is no guarantee that it won’t occur, even on seats that have been properly assembled.
Miami Corp and Marco Canvas makes no claim that these methods will work or are suitable to your application.
*Please note that while all components may be treated with biocide (regardless of the amount), it is still not 100% guaranteed to avoid Pink Staining.
One of the best ways to keep Sunbrella® fabrics looking good is to hose fabrics off on a monthly basis with clear water. This helps prevent dirt from becoming deeply embedded in the fabric and eliminates the need for more frequent vigorous cleaning. In most environments, a thorough cleaning will be needed every two to three years.
GENERAL OR LIGHT CLEANING:
To clean Sunbrella while still on a boat, follow these simple steps:
• Brush off loose dirt.
• Hose down.
• Prepare a cleaning solution of water and mild soap such as Woolite or Dawn dishwashing liquid.
• Use a soft bristle brush to clean.
• Allow cleaning solution to soak into the fabric.
• Rinse thoroughly until all soap residue is removed.
• Air dry.
• May not require re-treatment depending on the age of the fabric.
If stubborn stains persist, you can use a diluted bleach/soap mixture for spot cleaning of mildew. For roof run-off or other similar stains a strong degreaser made be required (see our Stain Chart for specific recommendations). www.sunbrella.com/stainchart
HEAVY CLEANING FOR STUBBORN STAINS AND MILDEW:
Sunbrella fabrics do not promote mildew growth, however, mildew may grow on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed from the fabric. To clean stubborn stains:
• Prepare a solution of 1 cup bleach and 1/4 cup of mild soap per gallon of clean water.
• Soak affected area in solution for 15 minutes.
• Blot stain with a sponge or clean towel. (Note: This step should be avoided when cleaning the coated side (Back side) of Sunbrella Plus, Supreme, or Clarity.)
• Rinse thoroughly to remove all soap residue.
• Air dry.
Note: Use caution when cleaning the coated (underside) of Sunbrella Plus, Supreme, or Clarity with the recommended bleach solution. The coated side of the fabric should only be sprayed with the recommended bleach solution and rinsed thoroughly. Remember to protect the area around your Sunbrella fabric if using a bleach solution. Carpet or other fabrics that are not Sunbrella may have an adverse reaction to the bleach.
RE-TREATING THE FABRIC FOR EASE OF CLEANING:
As part of the finishing process, Sunbrella fabrics are treated with a fluorocarbon finish, which enhances water repellency. This finish is designed to last for several years, but must be replenished after a thorough cleaning. Based on test results, Glen Raven® recommends 303® Fabric Guard™ as the preferred re-treatment product for Sunbrella fabrics. Fabrics should be re-treated after thorough cleaning or as needed.
So you are here for one of two reasons...
You recently got a boat and you want to keep it in great shape or the more likely option is you have some mildew or stained seats and you want to get it clean without damaging your seats. Today is your lucky day as you have come to an expert for advice.
Let’s start with prevention.
You are probably wondering why outdoor marine grade vinyl would mold in the first place. The vinyl is treated to help prevent mold and mildew. The main characteristic that separates Marine Grade Vinyl and regular vinyl is marine grade vinyl has UV protection and is Mold/Mildew resistant.
Guess What… The problem isn’t with the vinyl!
The real problem is how the material is cared for and cleaned. We are not pointing fingers, but this is usually the #1 reason marine vinyl breaks down. So now you’re probably asking, “what is the best way to prevent mold, mildew and those dreaded cracked seats?” First off, you need to cover your seats when they are not in use. The sun will damage anything left outside. This is the #1 cause of fading and cracked seats. If you want your boat seats to last, they simply need to be covered.
They don’t make boat covers because they look nice and are a pain in the butt to roll up. They help protect your boat from those harsh UV rays. Now let’s get back to the mold and mildew. Marine vinyl is porous and will stain if items are left on the seats. Here is an example where someone left a welcome mat on their seat for 2 weeks and it caused a nasty stain. Yes it only took 2 weeks for this seat to get ruined.
Mold and Mildew On Boat Seat
Lesson: don’t leave anything on your seats. That includes things you can’t see easily. Sunscreen, food, spilled drinks etc. In the ideal world its best to wipe the seats after every use, but we all know that’s not realistic. The key is to clean up any noticeable messes right away. We would suggest twice a month to wipe down the seats to catch the things you can’t see like sunscreen. It’s best to wipe your seats down with some dawn soap and warm water to prevent issues.
The example above happened because the moisture was trapped making it the perfect breeding ground for mold. This is why it’s important to think about ventilation. If you have a wet boat and place a cover over it the water gets trapped and it can easily turn into mold. This is the reason you should install vents in your boat cover. This allows the air to circulate properly drying the trapped water and preventing mold.
So what will stain your seats? Besides the sun, sunscreen, food, drinks, cardboard boxes, leaves, grass, and ink. Ok now that we have talked about prevention what do you do if you have mold, mildew or that dreaded pink stain?
As we mentioned above it’s best to use warm soapy water and scrub it with a plastic bristle brush. You can also use marine vinyl cleaner that is made specifically to clean seats. This is recommended because you don’t want harsh cleaners and scrubbing to take off the outer protective layer of he vinyl. If you’re not careful you can easily take years off the life of your vinyl simply by cleaning it with the wrong solution.
When you get a spill or other issue clean up as much as possible right away. The stain inhibitors will help prevent stains, but just like in clothes if a stain sits for a long time it can stay and may become your worst enemy.The reality is you need to treat boat seats like a small baby. You need to continuously clean and wipe them with warm soapy water on a regular basis. Anytime someone spills on them or writes on them it's important to wipe it up right away. I always recommend the following:
Do NOT and I repeat Do NOT Clean Marine Vinyl With Any Of The Following:
POWER WASHER - Some people like to use a power washer on their vinyl, but this will damage the upholstery as it can pack too much pressure into one spot and can cause a rip in the material.
MAGIC ERASER - Removes dirt, scuffmarks and most anything that will be on your material including the protective outer coating. Some people will say this the best product to use, but be careful, as it will remove more than you think.
Degreasers - This product will make your seats look very clean, but it will also wipe away layers of the protective coating weakening the material over time. Please note: degreasers might be necessary to clean up after extreme mold build up.
Bleach - Bleach may appear to clean well for a time, but they clean by removing layers of finish along with the stained material on top of the finish. Vinyl is a porous material, similar to leather. The pores must be able to breathe, so be careful not to clog your vinyl's pores with suntan lotions, oils, etc.
Goo B Gone - This product is great at removing sap, bird poop and other hard to remove messes, but this product will also remove the protective coating
409 - Many People feel 409 and other cleaners are safe, but they really do more damage.
Gasoline - Many people will use gas as a cleaner as it will clean almost anything. This product is always available, but it's flammable stinks and is also to harsh for Marine Vinyl fabric.
Household Cleaners – Most household cleaners are too strong and will hurt your marine vinyl. Only use cleaners that are made for marine vinyl.
Here is another trick we found that we have used from time to time.
Pen Marks - Many people use marine vinyl as a tablecloth in restaurants. Since most people pay with a credit card pen marks become a huge problem. The good news is SUNSCREEN works wonders and will take pen marks out. Try It! Just make sure to clean up the sunscreen with the warm soapy water to prevent other issues.
Now that you know how to prevent and clean boat seats let’s take that extra step to make sure they stay vibrant and have a long happy life. Use a marine vinyl treatment. The best products we have found to extend the life of marine vinyl are the Starbrite marine vinyl treatment and 303 Aerospace protectant. Please DO NOT use an automotive treatment with silicone. This can actually hurt your seat breaking down the vinyl. Simply spray it on and wipe it into the seats using a towel. Let it dry for 30 minutes as the treatment works itself into the pores of the marine vinyl.
We hope you found this list helpful. Remember proper vinyl cleaning and maintenance increases the life of your boats interior. It is best to clean your boat every few weeks and keep it covered when not in use. When your boat seats are covered birds can't poop on it and the sun can't harm
Plastic windows should be cleaned regularly. Be sure to hose or blow off loose dirt particles from surface and then use either plain water or mild soap and water solution.
DO NOT USE HARSH DETERGENTS.
Apply with a clean, soft cloth or microfiber towel to gently clean the window. Never use harsh brushes or abrasives when cleaning plastic windows.
The effects of sunlight combined with environmental pollution can alter the chemical structure of your plastic window, resulting in permanent discoloration and brittleness.
To maintain the clarity and extend the life of your plastic window, we recommend that you regularly wash dirt and salt off the surfaces.
Do not use products containing silicones or alcohol on your plastic window, such as typical commercial vinyl care products and glass cleaners.
O’Sullivan does not endorse a specific cleaner. We recommend that only mild soap and water be used for cleaning our windows
Do not rub the plastic window when dry as this will scratch the window. Always flood the window with water before gently wiping it with a damp, soft cloth.
Care and Cleaning:
Can You Clean WeatherMAX With Bleach Or Will It Hurt the Color Or DWR Treatment?
You can clean WeatherMAX with a solution of 50% bleach and 50% water and it will not damage the color or the DWR finish.
How Do You Remove Sewing Machine Oil From WeatherMAX?
WeatherMAx has found that Pull Out 2™, available from American Niagara Company, has proven to be the best method for removing oil spots from WeatherMAX without leaving stains or spots behind. For best results, Pull Out 2 requires two applications. To find out more, contact ANC, or your WeatherMAX distributor.
Regular cleaning can be accomplished by simply washing the mats with mild soap and water and a medium to stiff bristled brush. Boat washing soap or other mild detergent, water and hose works well. Although Marine Mat is stain resistant, certain things, such as food, wine, fish blood or grease may stain the mats if they are left in contact for an extended period of time. It is always best to clean or rinse away any spills as soon as possible, Work the cleaner into the stain with a stiff bristle brush, brushing with the grain texture, and rinse with a hose to finish.
Suggested Cleaners: Things to Avoid:
Bleach may be used, but avoid any acid-based cleaners like FSR
Remove Snap-It mats periodically to clean the underside of the mats and the deck below the mats. Water and debris may get trapped underneath and damage your deck. Simply remove the mats and set them on a driveway, dock or deck and use the same method as in the boat. Let the mats air dry by laying them flat or hanging them up. Once dry, reinstall the mats or roll them up for storage in a compartment or cabin of the boat.
MarineMat is very resistant to most weather conditions and is designed to be in the elements while being used, It is however best to keep your boat, kayak, or other vehicle covered or stored indoors while not being used to extend the life of your mats. Marinemat should be treated and cared for the same way you care for vinyl marine seats, carpet or other floor coverings. Excessive continuous exposure to sunlight and water will decrease the life of your mats.
Snap-It Series Mats should be treated like a snap in carpet. The mats are designed to be wet while in use or for cleaning, but not stored in water or on a continuously wet deck. The mats will perform best if stored snapped in place over a dry clean deck and under cover when not in use. If the boat will be stored uncovered and in the elements, remove the mats and store in a head compartment or other storage area of the boat.
Follow these simple steps:
Removing Stubborn Stains from Textilene
If stubborn stains persist, you can use a diluted chlorine bleach/soap mixture for spot cleaning of mildew, roof run-off, and other similar stains.
Prepare a special cleaning mixture:
-4 oz (half cup) of chlorine bleach
- 2 oz (one-fourth cup) of natural soap (no detergents)
1 gallon of water.
Regatta® Yacht Fabric is a polyester reinforced PVC fabric that will provide many years of satisfactory service. It is waterproof, flame, mildew, stain and dirt resistant. Herculite’s Rain Kleen® surface treatments further enhance longevity and ease of maintenance.
Regatta® is dimensionally stable. Properly tailored, it will retain its trim fit as well as its protective function and aesthetic value. Since no material is impervious to all hazards, proper maintenance is important if maximum life of the product is to be realized. The following maintenance suggestions are offered:
1. Keep clean. Occasional hosing with clear water will prevent dirt accumulation. Most dirt accumulation can be removed by mild soap, water and a soft scrub brush. Rinse thoroughly. In extreme cases, most dirt can be removed by applying half strength bleach and brushing softly to cover thoroughly the necessary area. Allow solution to remain for two or three minutes, then thoroughly rinse with clear water, protecting surrounding materials or plant growth that might be damaged by the bleach.
2. In areas particularly conductive to mildew, brush away any visible accumulation of dirt on underside. Mildew can grow on dirt, but does not grow on or attack the Regatta® vinyl.
3. Use care during installation, take down and transporting. Frictional heat, particularly at the folds, can damage the surface. Sufficient frictional heat can create holes.
4. Avoid excessive wind whip or flapping. Normally fastened sections or panels should be rolled or restrained when not in use.
The information contained in this bulletin is believed to be reliable. It is offered in good faith and intended for use as a general guide. Herculite & Marco Canvas makes no guarantee of results and assumes no obligation or liability whatsoever in connection with the possible use of this information. This bulletin, including any statements concerning the possible use of our products, is not a license to operate under, or intended to suggest infringement of any existing patents.
Stamoid composite materials have been designed to stand up to severe weather conditions. For over 25 years these fabrics have proven their durability and weather resistance all around the world. If you want your cockpit covers, bimini tops, dodgers, seat covers and solar protection screens to keep the best aspect as long as possible, it is essential to follow the cleaning instructions below.
Cleaning should be done according to frequency of use and exposure of the product. We recommend regular cleaning, at least four times a year, to clear out dirt caused by atmospheric pollution. For wooden boats, in order to avoid any migration risks, it is essential to avoid all contact between the coated side of the fabric and the boat’s protective wood varnish.
Cleaning recommendations [Flacon cleaner 500 GB]
1 – Spread the fabric out on a flat surface. Dampen the fabric with clear water. Spray on Serge Ferrari Cleaner 500 or add a diluted solution of non-agressive liquid soap.
2 – Leave to act for 2 or 3 minutes according to degree of dirt.
3 – Use a natural bristle brush to brush out to the edges.
4 – Rinse with a lot of clear water to remove all traces of the soapy solution.
If the product comes in contact with other materials, rinse immediately.
5 – In case of severe dirt and grime, repeat the cleaning process.
6 – Repeat steps 1 to 3 on the reverse side of the fabric.
7 – Hang up the Stamoid fabric and leave until completely dry.
8 – As soon as the fabric is completely dry, you can put it back in place to protect your boat.
The Pink Stain Dilemma
Cleaning Procedures & Cleaning Agents
The proprietary UV and abrasion resistant surface coating on MAKROLON® AR Sheet significantly improves long-term performance. Periodic cleaning using proper procedures and compatible cleaners is recommended to prolong service life. For general cleaning, it is recommended that the following instructions and cleaning agents be used.
1. Wash with a mild solution of soap or detergent and lukewarm water.
2. Using a soft cloth or sponge, gently wash the sheet to loosen dirt and grime and rinse well with clean water.
3. To prevent water spotting, thoroughly dry with chamois or cellulose sponge.
4. Avoid the use of abrasive cleaners, squeegees and/or other cleaning implements that may mar or gouge the coating. Agents: Cleaning agents which have been found to be compatible with MAKROLON AR Sheet under laboratory conditions
Aqueous Solutions of Soaps and Detergents Organic Solvents *
Joy® Naphtha VM&P (Turco 5042)
Palmolive Liquid® Hexcel F.O 554 (Butyl Cellosolve)
Windex D with Ammonia D® Kerosene (Neleco-Placer)
*All residual organic solvents should be removed with a secondary rinse.
Alcohols: Methanol and Isopropyl Alcohol
Joy is a registered trademark of Proctor & Gamble
Palmolive is a registered trademark of Colgate Palmolive
Windex D is a registered trademark of S.C. Johnson & Son Inc.
A. Butyl cellosolve (for removal of paints, marking pen inks, lipstick, etc). The use of masking tape, adhesive tape or lint removal tools works well for lifting off old weathered paints.
B. To remove labels, stickers, etc., the use of kerosene or VM&P naphtha are generally effective. If the solvent will not penetrate sticker material, apply heat (hair dryer) to soften the adhesive and promote removal.