Sometimes it seems impossible how quickly can a tonneau cover get very dirty. You just washed it!
Unfortunately, tonneau covers are literally protectors of your tonneau, and naturally, they are more exposed to dirt and dust than any other part.
To make tonneau cover look new again, you need to play it by the book – there are some rules for cleaning and maintaining tonneau cover, and I’ll mention them today.
Before you embark on a cleaning trip, check out best tonneau covers recommended by Ecodriving. There is undoubtedly a pick for you that will serve you for a long time when you follow these guidelines.
How to Properly Clean Your Tonneau Cover?
Don’t worry; the whole process isn’t rocket science.
#1 How Do You Prepare for the Cleaning Process?
First things first: you cannot jump straight into cleaning your tonneau cover before you prepare all the necessary accessories and take the initial steps.
There are two things to check before you begin because it will be too late later:
- Observe the side rails to see whether the latches that can be found there are fully functional (i.e., can open and close smoothly). They are also exposed, so rust can affect them. If it has affected them, it’s better to grease them with oil before you begin with cleaning your tonneau cover (for apparent reasons; grease and clean do not go hand in hand).
- All the tiny parts that are in contact with the tonneau cover and tonneau area itself should be checked and mounted securely. By this, I mean all the bolts, clamps, etc. Otherwise, you could damage them in the process!
#2 What Accessories Do You Need?
Once you’ve completed the inspection, you’ll need to get everything required to clean your cover.
What you will need depends on the type of tonneau cover based on their construction.
There are soft tonneau covers (mostly made of vinyl), and hard tonneau covers (aluminium-powdered, metal, etc.).
Soft Tonneau Covers
To clean them, you will need:
- Soft top-brush
- Wheel brush
- Cloth (preferably microfiber)
- Drying towel (preferably microfiber)
- Garden hose
- Vinyl tonneau cover cleaner
- Vinyl tonneau cover protector (not mandatory, but crucial if you want long-lasting results)
Hard Tonneau Covers
They are less complicated and require fewer accessories:
- A bucket filled with water (preferably, warm, or at least lukewarm – never go with cold)
- Garden hose (not mandatory here, but it’s helpful if you have it)
- Microfiber scrubber (can be replaced by a microfiber towel)
#3 Making Your Tonneau Cover Look New Again
Got all the items from the list, according to your type of the tonneau cover?
Good! We’re good to go and talk about the cleaning itself.
Again, there are two ways to clean your tonneau cover, depending on its type.
How to Clean Soft Vinyl Tonneau Covers?
- Make sure that your car is parked under shade, or vinyl can expand in the sun.
- Use garden hose and water to wash the cover and remove surface dirt.
- Spray the cleaner all over the cover.
- Use a soft top-brush and scrub the whole cover. If there are some hard-to-reach spots, use a wheel brush. Do not exert too much force; light scrubbing should be enough.
- Rinse the cover with a garden hose once you’re done.
- Dry it using a microfiber towel.
- Spread the cover protector.
- Once it’s dry, use the microfiber cloth and scrub it.
- Wait around 5 minutes to make sure it’s completely dry, and that’s it!
See? It wasn’t that hard!
How to Clean Hard Tonneau Covers?
- Again, park your car under a shade.
- Wash off any surface dirt with a garden hose or water from the bucket.
- Mix soap and water in the bucket. The ratio should be 50:50.
- Dip the microfiber scrubber in the cleaning mixture, and start scrubbing lightly, without too much pressure.
- Re-apply the mixture to the most persistent spots in intervals of 5 minutes until they are clean.
- Rinse the cover with a garden hose or water from the bucket.
- Leave it to dry on its own.
Now you know all the tips and tricks on how to make tonneau cover look new.
In no time, your tonneau cover will back to its glory!
Of course, regular maintaining afterwards is equally important, so that it can REMAIN as good as new for a long time.
I am Dave McCurdy I am the content developer on the ecodrivingusa.com website. I have 6 years of experience in marketing as an automotive major.