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Your vehicle cover protects your car, bike or caravan, there are even special boat covers available, but they need to be looked after.

If you don’t look after your vehicles cover it will not only look unattractive, but could be much less effective in protecting your vehicle. The fabric can lose its water resistant properties and allow water, dirt and insect or bird dropping to get through to damage your paint work or in the case of a boat cover the upholstery or furnishings inside.

Before you wash your vehicle cover consider a few things:

What type of dirt is on your cover, if it’s mainly dust, then a through shaking followed by a wipe down with a damp cloth or a vacuum cleaner with a brush attachment may be the best option.

Bird or insect droppings

If you have bird droppings on your vehicle cover, consider soaking it for about 30 minutes plus before you start washing it to soften the droppings, so it washes better.

Tree sap

Tree sap and pollen can be removed before washing by rubbing the sap or pollen with a cloth soaked in denatured alcohol to soften then scraped away using a spoon. There are also specially made commercial preparations to remove poop and sap

  • Is your cover Machine washable

Some types of vehicle cover are machine washable while others defiantly are not so it’s vital that you check the label or read the manufactures washing instructions.

Except for a few small light covers such as motorbike and small boat covers, most vehicle covers are far too big to be washed in a domestic sized washing machine so would need to be washed in a commercial washing machine found in the larger Laundromats.

  • Vehicle covers require certain precautions when washing

If you use a washing machine be sure to use one without a central agitator as this can damage the cover and follow these instructions

  1. Use only cold or slightly warm water, never hot
  2. Fill the washing machine with water
  3. Use the minimum amount of mild soap or a detergent recommended by the manufacturer as you do not want to degrade the covers water resistant properties
  4. Do not use fabric softeners, bleach or aggressive detergents
  5. Use the gentlest cycle or one for delicate cloths
  6. Do not overcrowd the machine, wash only one cover at a time
  7. Give the cover a second or extra rinse to ensure all soap is removed
  8. Always Air dry the cover do not tumble or heat dry it unless specified by the manufacturer

To wash your vehicle cover at home

Wash your cover while it’s still on the vehicle

  1. Hose down the cover to remove any dirt or loose stuff
  2. Wash with cold or water and a mild type of soap using a soft brush or cloth
  3. When clean rinse several times to remove all soap traces
  4. Turn it and wash the inside
  5. Then air dry it

All types of covers, including boat covers need to be maintained properly. Some covers can be machine washed, but most covers are too large, so need to be washed by hand using a mild soap while the cover is on the vehicle