Cleaning, protecting and restoring clear vinyl, pvc (flexible plastic) windows on your boat

Clear vinyl is very soft and easily scratched, so avoid any abrasive or domestic cleaners or oven cleaners such as Mr Muscle.

The surface absorbs a wide range of substances, including water, acids and hydrocarbons. This means that it goes slightly cloudy when damp while unsuitable cleaners make it go yellow. Avoid oily or waxy dressings unless specifically formulated for flexible vinyl windows.

Most importantly, clear vinyl windows are made flexible by plasticisers, which are easily contaminated or leached from the surface, causing yellowing and brittleness. The deterioration is accelerated by UV in sunlight.

Rigorously avoid household glass cleaners that contain ammonia or alcohol. These strip out the plasticiser and lead to brittleness and cracking.

Avoid contact with hydrocarbon-based oils and waxes (i.e. most waxes and oils), as these cause yellowing.

Minimise use of detergents as far as possible too because they can also leach out plasticisers from the vinyl.


Use clean water with minimum detergent and a very soft cloth. Do not brush.


Spray with BoatSheen MicroGlaze which provides UV protection.


Scratched and cloudy vinyl can usually be rectified with Boatsheen Vinyl Window Restorer Kit, which is a much less expensive option than replacement. This will remove scratches, milkiness, yellowing and brittleness. Annual spray coating with the Step 3 will maintain the flexibility of the window.