Easy 3-Step Guide On How To Remove Mildew From Boat Cover

Knowing the steps on how to remove mildew from boat cover is one thing. However, it is equally important to understand what led to the mildew growth.

The boat cover’s material is also considered in this scenario, but you’ll learn more about this below. 

how to remove mildew from boat cover


What Is Mildew?

Mildew is a type of fungus commonly seen in plants or household objects made with natural materials. It is generally referred to as a milder type of mold as it does not have dangerous health effects and does not break down the surfaces it grows on. 

It is also different from the mold concerning color and type. Mold is darker and has a slimy or fuzzy texture; on the other hand, mildew has light colors and is categorized as either powdery or downy. 

Learn more about what causes downy mildew in the linked article. 


What Is A Boat Cover?

Boat cover protects your boat from rodents, dirt, dust, and bird droppings (if you store them in your yard). It can also prolong your boat’s lifespan as it prevents your upholstery from fading, your wood from cracking, and the like. 

There are different kinds of boat covers. You can get one for storage or for trailering. 

For storage boat covers, you have to choose ones that loosely fit since they won’t be used for a long time. Something simple as a blue tarp can serve the purpose of a storage boat cover. 

You should get a more fitting cover for trailering purposes or when your boat is being pulled while on a trailer at high speeds. 

After choosing the purpose of the boat cover, you can proceed with the type of cover you want. There are three types: universal fit, semi-custom, and custom. 

Universal fits are the cheapest among the types of the boat cover. It can work for storage and short trailer trips, but they are not intended for long trips, especially at highway speeds. 

Semi-custom boat covers are the next in price after the universal fit. They are better fitting and tighter than the latter, but you have a liberal range of sizes available for different boat models. 

Lastly, the custom covers are the best among the types of boat covers as they fit according to your boat model. However, they are the most expensive out of the three because of this characteristic. 

Each custom cover considers the boat’s design, when it was made, and its accessories. Since it is better-fitting out of the three, it is more long-lasting and best for long trailering trips. 

Apart from fitting your boat covers, you can also choose which type of fabric you want. The material is essential because it may help prevent mildew and mold growth. 

The best fabrics are water-repellent and UV radiation-resistant, which are typically found in polyester materials. You can pick polyester and cotton blends; however, they are not as mildew-resistant as pure synthetic ones. 


How Does A Boat Cover Acquire Mildew?

Boat covers protect your vehicle. However, if you do not maintain it, you let dirt or moisture accumulate on your boat cover, and you may get mildew.

Mildew spores are ever-present; they just need to find a suitable environment to grow. The conditions for their growth include moisture, a food source, an appropriate temperature, and oxygen. 

The last two are easy to meet, but the first two are born from the lack of maintenance. First, moisture is a result of water damage. 

Water damage then inevitably leads to fungi growth if left unattended. You can see in this article on how to get rid of powdery mildew how essential it is to attend to the water damage first before removing the fungus. 

You will learn more about the steps of the mildew removal process on boat covers below. 


Steps In Removing Mildew From Boat Covers


Step #1. Figure out the boat cover’s material

Mildew may not be as damaging as mold, but it can still degrade fabrics like canvas. Hence, you should consider the material used for boat covers before the mildew removal process. 


Step #2. Attend to the cause of mildew growth

Before you proceed with removing the mildew, you have to fix the water damage first or clean off the organic debris that caused the fungus growth. Otherwise, it will come back again to ruin your hard work.


Step #3. Removing the mildew

To begin removing the mildew, loosen it up first by scrubbing or brushing off the mold from your boat cover. Do this in an open environment and not indoors. 

After that, get a mild cleaning solution to ensure that the boat cover’s material won’t be damaged. Then, brush the mildew off again. 

If you have a difficult time removing stubborn mildew with brushing, hose it down. This is both to rinse and wash out the mildew off the canvas cover. 

Lastly, to prevent future mildew contamination, use professional-grade fungicide and ensure that your boat is safe from water damage. 



Boat covers protect, but they also need protection from fungi. This article on how to remove mildew from boat cover perfectly encapsulates that.

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