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How To Clean Boat Carpet – Step by Step

How To Clean Boat Carpet Step by Step

Keeping your boat’s carpet clean not only makes it look nicer, but also extends its life. boat carpet takes a beating from wet, muddy shoes, dirt, debris, and spills. Follow this guide to learn how to clean boat carpet and keep it looking new.

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Supplies You’ll Need

  • Wet/dry shop vacuum
  • Soft bristle scrub brush
  • 5 gallon bucket
  • Boat carpet cleaner or dish soap
  • Terry cloth towels
  • Garden hose
  • Fan or shop vac to dry carpet

Tips Before You Start

  • Read cleaner labels for safety – wear gloves if using industrial cleaners
  • Vacuum first to remove loose debris
  • Work in sections for thorough cleaning
  • Scrub gently, especially on older carpet
  • Rinse away all soap residue
  • Allow carpet to dry completely before using

Step-By-Step Cleaning Process

  1. Vacuum Thoroughly – Use a wet/dry shop vacuum to pick up loose dirt, sand, and debris. This makes scrubbing easier.
  2. Mix Cleaner – For a non-toxic option, mix a few tablespoons of dish soap in a bucket of water. Or use a boat carpet cleaner diluted per instructions.
  3. Wet Section – Use a garden hose on a low setting to thoroughly wet a section of carpet.
  4. Apply Cleaner – Apply cleaner to the wet section using a scrub brush or sponge. Let it soak in for a few minutes.
  5. Scrub – Use a soft bristle scrub brush to gently agitate the carpet and lift stains.
  6. Rinse – Use the hose on a low setting to rinse away all soap residue.
  7. Blot – Use terry cloth towels to blot and absorb excess moisture.
  8. Dry Thoroughly – Allow carpet to air dry completely before using. Place a fan to speed drying.
  9. Repeat For other sections until all carpet is cleaned.
  10. Fluff Fibers – When totally dry, brush fibers up with a scrub brush.

Comparison of Boat Carpet Cleaners

Dish SoapLiquid soap$Non-toxic, inexpensiveNot a heavy duty cleaner
Sprayon DegreaserAerosol spray$$Removes tough oily stainsHarsh chemicals require protection
Tuff StuffLiquid with brush$Good for stains, built-in scrubberNot as heavy duty as sprays
Elite Series EraserLiquid$$Specialized for marine stainsOn the pricier side

Tips for Stubborn Stains

For tough grease, oil, or tar stains:

  • Try a heavy duty stain remover like Sprayon Citrus Degreaser. Spot test first.
  • Use a stain remover with a bristled scrubber like Tuff Stuff Cleaner.
  • Consider a specialty stain eraser like Elite Series Eraser.

Keeping Boat Carpet Clean

  • Vacuum after every use to prevent buildup
  • Blot spills quickly and clean ASAP
  • Deep clean monthly or as needed based on use
  • Consider carpet protectants to repel liquids
  • Park under cover to avoid UV and weathering
  • Replace carpet if it becomes excessively worn


Keeping boat carpet fresh and clean takes some elbow grease but is easy with the right supplies and techniques. Regular deep cleaning removes stains, restores fluffiness, and keeps boat carpet looking new for longer.

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Picture of Steve Momot

Steve Momot

Steve is an accomplished professional photographer and marketer who specializes in the Fishing, Yacht, and Boating industry. With a strong presence as an influencer and marketing expert in the Marine Industry, he has made a significant impact in the field. Additionally, Steve is the original creator and co-founder of Sportfishtrader. Prior to his career as a marine photographer, he gained extensive experience as a licensed boat and car dealer in South Florida.

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