Vehicle covers are designed to protect your car or boat from dirt & dust, bird & insect droppings, tree sap as well as the effects of the elements such as the heat & UV rays from the sun. Boat covers also require the ability to protect your boat from the effects of salt spray and wave action in rough conditions. Because they are protecting your vehicle, they also absorb or are likely to be covered in the things they are designed to protect your vehicle or boat from. This causes them to become dirty and needing to be cleaned to remain effective and look presentable.
- Washing your covers
If you have a small cover it can be taken off and cleaned by hand or if the manufacture indicated it’s machine washable by using a mild detergent and the gentle cycle with a washing machine that does not have a central agitator as this can damage the cover and destroy its water resisting qualities. It’s important that you rinse all the detergent from your cover so after washing, rinse it at least twice.
For larger boat or vehicle covers, they should be cleaned while still in place on the boat or vehicle as this allows you to reach all parts of the cover and wash them evenly.
If you intend to wash the inside or back of the cover (which is often a good idea to ensure there is no build up of mould of fungi), turn your cover over and wash the inside first, rinse it off and allow it to dry to the touch before turning it back with the correct side up and secure it properly.
Use a mild detergent or a cleaner recommended by the covers manufacturer to ensure you do not damage the cover. It’s important to rinse away any remaining detergent as this can damage your cover and reduce its useful working life.
Storing your boat or vehicle cover
Before you place you cover in storage it’s advisable to properly wash it, as any contaminants it has on its surface could lead to a deterioration of the fabric and its water resistant properties. It’s also vital to allow it to dry properly, otherwise mould and mildew could form on it during storage
What else should you know about washing your boat covers?
In order to prolong the life of your boat or vehicle covers it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s care instructions and follow these simple rules:
- Never use chemical cleaners or bleach on your boat covers
- Avoid using fabric softeners when washing your boat covers as these types of products can reduce or destroy their water resistant properties
- Only use cold or just slightly warm water to wash boat covers don’t use hot water
- Do not use a dryer to dry your boat cover unless the manufacturer has specified it’s clothes dryer-safe and then only use low heat levels. Most covers are best dried in a slight breeze out of direct sunlight.
The method you should use to wash your boat covers depends on the type of fabrics, it’s made from and the chemicals that are used to ensure that it’s water resistant, but still able to breathe. Check with your boat cover’s manufacturer’s instruction on the best washing methods for your particular cover.