Forget what you heard about pink stains on white auto and marine vinyl. It’s not a type of mildew and there is no way to clean it. The truth is much grosser than that.
According to Thomas Robitaille of Lonza Inc., a leading chemicals and biotechnology company, that annoying pink stain is actually bacteria poop. And although cleaners may lessen its appearance, it’s permanent.
Robitaille spoke about the pink stain at Industrial Fabrics Association International‘s 2016 Expo in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Specialty Fabrics Review summarized his main points:
He says, “Everything that lives eats, and everything that eats excretes.” The bacteria that causes pink staining—streptoverticillium reticulum—excretes dye that moves throughout the vinyl.
That dye cannot be cleaned from the vinyl once it’s there, explains Robitaille. The bacteria that causes pink stain feeds on the plasticizers that impart flexibility to PVC. In addition, the seams and foam padding in marine cushions are great breeding grounds for the bacteria, because of their potential to trap moisture.
Robitaille adds, “If there’s no water, there’s no growth.” However, in the wet environments where marine fabrics are used, water is found in abundance.
According to Robitaille, the only way to prevent the pink stain is to use vinyl, foam and thread infused with antimicrobial chemicals. You must also keep them clean and dry. Otherwise, the bacteria will grow and poop all over your upholstery.
Fortunately, DLT Upholstery Supply carries a wide range of vinyls, foams and threads developed specifically for marine use. These hold up great against harmful bacteria, fungi and UV rays. They are a must-have for any project that will be regularly exposed to water.
For details, visit DLTUpholsterySupply.com or call them at (800) 458-3500.