This spring I steam cleaned all the cushions in the boat. It was worth it though it nearly broke my will to live a clean life.
The cushions in the salon have taken some abuse. The first owners put them in not long before the boat was sold in early 2012 so that made them just over three years old this spring. However, they had survived being exposed to the elements after the 2nd owner abandoned the boat. There was a strong smell of wet dog that I aired out after we first took possession. Who knows where that came from… The delivery captain used them to wipe his oily pants on and possibly used them for a napkin.
I emptied a bottle of West Marine upholstery cleaner trying to get the ick off (West Marine because it’s a boat. No regular upholstery cleaner would work. Obviously.) The surface looked better but the ick remained inside.
Then Winston happened. Winston is a delightful pet but he drools something fierce and he’s not the most fastidious cat. He took over the couches as his own personal cat beds and the filthing intensified.
So in the interest of cleanliness, on the first weekend day that was forecast to be sunny and warmish, we rented a steam-o-matic (or something like that). We removed all the cushions from the boat and left them outside in the hopes that the sunlight would help to kill any grossness.
Peter was out running errands and I decided that a giant steam cleaning machine could possibly draw more than 30 amps, which is all our boat has in the way of electrics. I very cleverly (at least I think so) had the wherewithal to not plug it into our boat and fry our electrical panel. I used an adaptor and plugged it into the lighthouse on the dock.
So smart, me. Actually I’m terrified of doing something wrong and setting a fire, sinking the boat, or otherwise causing a catastrophe. So that’s where my smartness comes from: abject fear.
Anywhoo…I had to use hot water for the steam cleaner to work (silly me, I thought that the machine made the steam). I boiled water in our electric water boiler and on the stove in my giant stock pot.
Each cushion was brought on to the dock and steam cleaned front and back. The difference was huge!
It took all day. After all the cushions were finished we put them inside to dry (because it was night time by now) and went to the Golden Cicada where we had noodles, shots of super foul chinese liquor, Tsing-Tao beer, and sang bad karaoke.
And that, boys and girls, is how you do that.
Oh, and we now put down giant absorbent blankets for Winston whenever we aren’t using the couches. I’m not eager to re-wrestle a steam-cleaner down the dock.