How to Clean Truck Bed Covers

How to Clean Truck Bed Covers

Truck covers come in various styles, from retractable tonneau covers to hard truck bed covers. If you are a truck owner, you are certainly aware of the many benefits this essential accessory provides.

  • Visual appeal. Almost all truck owners will agree that truck bed covers provide a classy element to the image of any truck. It is a sleek accessory that can cover up the dirty bed that is otherwise visible.
  • Safe transport. One of the most obvious benefits of truck bed covers is the protection from loss, theft, and even from the natural elements. First, by keeping all items securely fastened, truck owners can avoid losing objects along the way. It also keeps precious cargo out of sight and out of mind from would-be thieves, especially during pitstops. Lastly, as the weather is always unpredictable, the covers guarantee that the haul is not at the mercy of whatever element that crosses your path.
  • Improved gas mileage. This is one of the major benefits of owning a truck bed cover that it is oftentimes overlooked. A truck bed cover provides an aerodynamic design that results in significantly less air drag during travel. This works to save truck owners as much as 5% to 10% more gas mileage compared to an open bed. Over time, the savings this cover provides will pay for itself.

With all the benefits a truck bed cover provides, protecting them is very important. Knowing how to clean and maintain it will help extend its life and ensure that it continues to operate smoothly year after year. Here we outlined general guidelines for cleaning truck bed covers.

Preparation Before Cleaning

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This is highly important to avoid triggering any problem when scrubbing the covers clean. Inspect for wear outs, rubbishes, and looseness in construction. Do not overlook even the smallest ones as these can contribute to a very costly replacement. Ensure that all bolts, clamps, and mounting hardware are secured in place. Also, add a small amount of oil to lubricate any hard-to-move side rail latches or locks.

What You Will Need  

  • Source of water and hose with a fire hose nozzle
  • A bucket filled with warm water
  • Mild soap
  • Car washing solution
  • Microfiber scrubber or sponge

What You Will Need to Do

  • Find a shaded area, such as in an open garage.
  • Using water and some mild soap, start rinsing the cover to remove any grit that may have accumulated. Use a fire hose to do this. Avoid wiping with rough and abrasive cleaning pads or brushes to avoid scratches and pores that will allow unwanted particles to stick later on.
  • Wash the cover and effectively remove all traces of soap. Use a microfiber scrubber or sponge to wipe off excess water.
  • Prepare the cleaning solution by taking a bucket filled with warm water and pouring half a cup of the car cleaning solution. For vinyl covers, make sure to use a quality vinyl cleaner. There are several tonneau cover cleaners in the market with UV protection and conditioner to keep covers in good shape. Avoid using harsh detergents and strong cleaners as these are often loaded with harmful chemicals, like petroleum distillate and dimethyl silicone oils that can contribute to the breakdown of the covers.
  • Dip the scrubber or sponge into the solution and start scrubbing the cover. Scrub in a smooth motion without applying too much pressure. Again, we want to avoid unnecessary scratches that can damage the cover.
  • If the dirt is not coming off right away, let it soak for a few minutes in the solution before trying to scrub again.
  • Once done, rinse the cover with clean water using the fire hose and allow it to dry completely.

Truck bed covers can be pretty expensive. Therefore, they require proper care and maintenance to ensure their tip-top condition for years to come and to avoid unnecessarily spending hundreds of dollars for a replacement. Regular inspection will help prevent having to face worse conditions and costly solutions.

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