How to Clean Boat Carpet

Boat Carpet Maintenance


Wet feet, mud, spills, saltwater splash, live bait, and fish guts will take their toll on your carpet. Regular preventative maintenance will extend the life of your carpet while keeping it looking great for longer! After all, the time, money, and effort to install your carpet is worth keeping it clean. Here are 5 basic tips you need to know for the best care of your carpet.


1. Vacuum Your Boat Carpet

Regular vacuuming will reduce the sand and sediment in your boat after every ride and between larger cleaning jobs to extend your carpet’s life. Sand and dirt can cause abrasion, wear out the fibers and possibly the adhesive. Plus, the dirt and sand just don't look good when you're out on the water when you're on the water with your wife or family. To keep your carpet fluffed up for longer, we recommend vacuuming after every boat ride. 


2. Cleaning Oil and Gas from Carpet

Oil and gas must not be allowed to stay on the carpet and are best removed within 24 hours. You don't want that stuff to settle into the carpet. It weakens the marine backing polymer, the adhesive, and the smell sticks to the carpet fibers. Use a surfactant, soap, or dishwashing detergent to emulsify and remove the oil.

Try a heavy-duty detergent or multi-purpose stain remover to emulsify and bring the oil to the surface. Remember to do a spot test in an inconspicuous area first.


3. Hard to Remove Stains

When tough ground in stains won't budge, consider trying a spot remover or a vinegar and water mixture to break down dirt and banish stains.

If you're using spot remover, be aware that some of these are quite strong and not all are compatible. So we recommend spot testing. If you have some extra scrap carpet, try a spot test there to test for compatibility. If not, test in an inconspicuous area.

Vinegar and water are well known for breaking down dirt, getting rid of stains and curbing foul, fishy odors in your boat carpet. Try this method without damaging your carpet.


4. Deep Cleaning Your Boat Carpet

The best way to keep your boat carpet looking new is a deep clean at least 2-3 times a year. If you live in a warmer climate and take the boat out often, you'll probably need to deep clean more often. We recommend once a month for frequent boaters. While this can get time-consuming, it's well worth the effort. This will keep your boat looking great and you & your passengers safe and happy.


5. Replace the Carpet

There will come a point when you know it's time to replace your boat's carpet. When that time comes, Carpet by the Foote's can provide you with top of the line selection of Marine Grade Carpet for your watercraft. We've got an awesome selection of colors and styles with bunk carpeting to match. If you don't have time to deal with the labor, check out our carpeted bunk boards!


If you have any questions, please contact us today! We'll be happy to answer your questions anytime.