How to Prevent Mold on Life Jackets
When you pull your life jackets out of storage, you may find them showing signs of mold or mildew. This occurs when a life jacket is stored before it is completely dried. It is a common occurrence, especially with life jackets with a lot of foam in the buoyancy compartments. For example, a life jacket with foam in the chest area is more likely to develop mold and mildew than the same life jacket without foam.
Why are Life Jackets a Prime Target for Mold?
The problem is that the chemicals in the life jacket are naturally water-repellent. When water remains in the life jacket, it begins to evaporate, leaving the chemicals behind. Evaporation is similar to a person exhaling water vapor. The water vapor leaves the body and is replaced with air. The same thing happens in a life jacket. The water vapor leaves the jacket and is replaced with air. If the life jacket is stored when there is still water inside and it is not dried properly, the air is not replaced with a dry substance. Instead, the air is replaced with moisture, which causes mold.
The life jackets can be protected against mold with proper care and the right products; however, you need to clean, rinse and dry the jackets properly first.
1. First, you need to rinse your life jacket using clean water. If your jackets are inflatable, then you need to remove the CO2 cylinder and sensor bobbins and deflate the life jacket. The idea is to rinse it gently to remove any dirt. It will make the cleaning process more manageable.
2. Take a proper cleaning solution. This is where it gets tricky. You will want a firm solution with mildew prevention ingredients. However, you don’t want to use anything that can damage your life jacket. Usually, the cleaning agents that contain vinyl cleaner are the best. Here at Xanigo Marine, we recommend using Xanigo Marine's Mold & Mildew Stain Remover for cleaning mold off life jackets.
3. Apply the cleaning solution to heavily soiled areas. Scrub those areas with a gentle brush or sponge.
4. Fill a bucket with clean lukewarm or cold water. Make sure it isn’t too hot since that can affect buoyancy.
5. Soak your life jacket into the bucket and give it a good dip.
6. Now rinse it off. Ensure that you are gentle yet firm. Don’t overdo the rinsing process or be rough about it.
7. After you have rinsed it properly, you will clearly see the difference. Now you can hang your life jacket on a safe, dry rack. Make sure that the life jacket is adequately dried up.
8. Lastly, you have to protect your life jacket from mold & mildew preventer. This is the most important step because you want to prevent life jacket mold forever. Apply Xanigo Marine Mold & Mildew Preventer on your life jackets and allow them to dry adequately. Make sure to get every surface of the life jacket and get a good even coating. The solution will create a bond to the surface and prevent life jacket mold for up to 90 days.
It is best to clean the jackets properly using the cleaning agents and then dry them well before storage. Given below are some tips for preventing mold on jackets.
Store your jacket in a cold and dry place.
Make sure that the jacket storage unit has suitable ventilation.
Store your jacket indoors or in a place where the temperature can be controlled easily. Don’t store the jacket outdoors.
For inflatable jackets, remove the CO2 cartridges and sensor bobbins before storage.
Summer or winter, ALWAYS use Xanigo Marine Mold & Mildew Preventer on your life jackets before storing them.
Xanigo Marine is on a mission to provide the best vinyl boat cleaners for the prevention of moldy boat seats, life jackets and boat canvases. We understand that mold and mildew are quite serious issues in the world of boating and need to be dealt with in as fast and efficient manner as possible. We offer a range of prevention solutions to keep your boat seats and life jackets protected from mold & mildew.