Posted: June 1, 2012
Here are 8 tips to get — and keep — your carpet clean.You might not notice it until you’ve been away from the boat for a while, because it happens slowly, but your boat’s carpet is probably dirty. How often have you put off vacuuming or shampooing it? Every time you do, it gets a little dirtier. Here are eight tips to get it looking good — and keep it that way.
1. Carpets on a boat tend to get a lot more sand and shell fragments on them from the various beach walks. Before using a carpet-cleaning machine, spend extra time vacuuming the carpet clean of all the grit and dirt that can settle deep into the carpet. We use a Dirt Devil, because it has a rotating brush that agitates the carpet and loosens the dirt. Whatever vacuum you use, be sure it has a rotating brush.
2. You can hire a company to shampoo the carpet, rent a carpet shampooer at a local store or use your home shampooer. Standard home shampoo liquid works fine. It is important to have a hand device that attaches to the shampooer for those hard-to-reach spots. Again, before shampooing, thoroughly clean the carpet first. Also, buy some strong stain spray to hit those really dirty spots.
3. As you decide which day is cleaning day, watch the weather. You want a breezy and dry couple of days following the shampooing. Open any windows you can. Maybe even open the engine-room hatch to get extra ventilation. Whatever heat you have — diesel furnace or electric — crank it up. Return to the boat a few days later, and all should be good.
4. Use small pieces of aluminum foil under any furniture legs.
5. Once your carpet is clean and dry, buy some throw rugs at your local hardware store or rug store if you want. Place them over any worn areas or areas that get extra wear. Then, during your boating outings, you can give the rugs a quick shake outside.
6. Place mats outside the entry areas. They don’t have to be expensive, but it’s nice to get them with a welcome message or the name of your boat. The important thing is to have one at every entrance to your boat.
7. Clean your shoes with a hose before boarding the boat. Use the dock hose or a washdown. The best solution is to take your shoes off before getting aboard; however, often when you are leaving and coming back, there is not enough time to fuss with shoes.
8. Take the time to vacuum your carpet while cruising — and all year long. If you use a hand-held machine, vacuuming takes a bit of time, but the vacuum takes little space and does a great job. If you keep a shop vacuum on board, it can act as a shampooer after a spill or even after a long cruise.