If you're lucky enough to live to 100, the years between 50 & 75 are your third quarter. That segment in life could be the waning of your physically agile years, so it's a good idea to stay active. It's also a good time to challenge your brain to keep things limber up there - by mastering something new. We decided to go sailing, and this is a chronicle of our journey.


Cleaning Vinyl Cockpit Cushions on a Sail Boat

The cockpit cushions on board s/v Florian, shortly after she
arrived in California
When we took delivery of Florian in April of this year, I knew she had awesome cockpit cushions, and they were in great shape. When we stay on board over the weekends, the first thing Don does in the mornings is wipe the moisture off the cushions with a terrycloth towel, so they're pretty clean. I noticed a couple of stains here and there, and some ball point pen streaks, and wondered if Mr Clean Magic erasers would work. Friends told me they do a great job on vinyl, plastic and formica, etc.
Mr Clean Magic Eraser pads... I heard from friends they work well,
but I'd never tried them till now.
I bought a box, and ran one of the pads under a little water, barely enough to fully absorb the pad, and started washing down the cushions this morning.

The pad after wiping about half of one cushion. Yowzers.
Before and after of a cockpit cushion after using Mr Clean.
The cockpit cushions still have a few stubborn, but lightened spots of ink,
and varnish drip spots, but over all, they look terrific.
I'm looking for any and all suggestions for cleaning and conditioning all parts of a sail boat, so if you've found something that works well, please share in the comments. The blogosphere has been an amazing resource of information, so I hope to share all of the tried and true (and not so true) approaches we discover.


Neophyte Cruiser said...

Great hint for cleaning cushions! Are your SS life-lines vinyl covered as well? If so, do the Mr. Clean cloths work on cleaning those, too? We've found denatured alcohol works for these, but are looking for alternatives. We'll have to try the Mr. Clean product.

Thanks again for sharing your find.

Belinda Del Pesco said...

Hi Pete,
We do have vinyl covered (stained) safety lines. I just tested the Mr Clean pads yesterday before we left to come home, so I won't get a chance to test other surfaces for a few weeks (we're traveling). I did use them on the counter tops in the galley & they removed food and ink stains very well. I didn't know about the denatured alcohol, so thanks for that tip! If the pads work on the lines, I'll let you know.

Dane said...

Hey Belinda, sounds like a sponsorship idea in the making! Thanks for the tip, that looked pretty impressive. Maybe I'll ship a box back to Polynesia when we go back, I'm sure cadence is gonna need it.

One thing I've found really useful around the boat it Mold Armor, a green-bottle spray they sell in home depot. It's basically like bleach but it doesn't affect colors nearly as much, is better at removing mildew, and leaves traces that are supposed to inhibit further growth. Your boat looks pretty neat and clean though, maybe you're blessed and don't even need it:)


Belinda Del Pesco said...

Hi Dane, No sponsorship necessary. I love a product that does what it says it'll do, and I've since used the pads through out the galley and head with the same spiffy-it-all-up results, though it takes some scrubbing.
Thanks for the tip on the Mold Armor. I may not have the same quantity of mold issues you've described on Cadence after a season on the hard in the tropics (yikes), but so far, Florian likes to cultivate the stuff in the ice box, and the cabin headliner. I'll try the Mold Armor and see if it works down here.