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Old 08-08-2008, 19:07   #1
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Mildew in seat cushions and mattresses

The foam in my seat cushions and mattresses are getting full of mildew. Does anyone have a good recommendation for cleaning them, or do they just need to be replaced? If they can be cleaned is there something to keep the mildew from coming back.

Thanks,

Tim
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Old 08-08-2008, 20:44   #2
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This is not a full reply, but I can tell you never to soak foam rubber with water. It is IMPOSSIBLE to ever dry it completely again.
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Old 12-08-2008, 08:32   #3
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My mold experience isn't with rubber cushions, but with a plain jane 'full' sized mattress. The mold won't come out.

It's a long story. In my case, the mattress was stored in a known to be extremely dry basement. That winter season was especially warm and damp. Thus, the matress picked up some growth. A year later, taken out from storage, the mold easily came off the exterior surface fabric with some store bought products 'Fantastic with Bleach' and treated with some 'Fabreez'. The mattress smelled and looked fine. However sleeping on it was another deal. It was still loaded with spores. You could feel them with every single breath. We gave it a week, then it was dropped off at the recyle center.

Thus, throw it all out. And try to keep the cabin dryer. What type of ventilation is there on the boat? I'd try to make some kind of improvement towards keeping the cabin air dry, then invest in entirely new cushions.

That's my 2 cents worth of advice.
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Old 12-08-2008, 09:37   #4
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Old 12-08-2008, 10:09   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zephyr's Aura View Post
The foam in my seat cushions and mattresses are getting full of mildew. Does anyone have a good recommendation for cleaning them, or do they just need to be replaced? If they can be cleaned is there something to keep the mildew from coming back.
I think it depends on the cover materials and the foam materials and whether the covers are removable.

I assume you also gotta figure out how to ventilate the cabin better when you are not there.

Our cushions were old open core foam with cotton/poly blend zip covers. They were quite old.

I removed the covers (destroying a few nylon zips) and washed them in the washer. I soaked the foam in bleach/water solution and hung in the sun to dry.

The covers shrank and when I put them on the cushions looked like split open bananas (did I mention the wrecked zips?) - I trashed everything and spent about US$900 for new cushions.

Sunbrella type material, very firm high density foam. Went with 2 inches, shoulda been 3 ;-(

All in all very happy with the decision.
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Old 12-08-2008, 11:20   #6
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While I wish there was better news, the fact of the matter is that you need to replace the cushions.

One trick for the future is to ensure that the replacement cushions have removable, cleanable covers, with plastic mesh backings to allow air circulation, and, ideally, closed cell foam to prevent mositure entrapment.

I have also seen cushion foam wrapped entirely in cling-wrap and then covered with poly batting over which one applies the covers. Further, at least under the berths, add "DryDek" to insure air circulation under the matresses.

Good luck!

s/v HyLyte

PS: You might also want to run a small ozone generator, aka "Bilge Buster", below decks from time to time to kill mold/mildew spors but ozone is horrible stuff and I'd do that only infrequently.
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Old 12-08-2008, 20:15   #7
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Thanks for the replies. Looks like I know what I have to do.


Tim
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Old 22-09-2013, 16:23   #8
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Re: Mildew in seat cushions and mattresses

Zephyr, I have a similar problem... did you in fact replace the cushions ? I am thinking i'll use Clorox spray...
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