How To Wash A Car Cover: Step-By-Step Cleaning Guide

To maintain the efficiency and longevity as well as the aesthetics of the car cover, it is crucial to keep your car cover clean by washing it regularly. The cover’s barrier capabilities may be weakened by the buildup of dirt, dust, and other pollutants as a result of routine exposure to the surroundings.

We’ll go through how to wash a car cover properly step-by-step in this article. Follow our instructions to keep your vehicle shielded and looking its best.

1. How To Wash A Car Cover (2 methods) 

Method 1: Washing A Car Cover Manually

how to wash a car cover
Washing A Car Cover Manually (Source: Internet)

Simple routines like washing a car cover can keep it clean and extend its lifespan. To clean effectively by hand, follow the instructions below: 

Things To Prepare: 

  • Bucket
  • Mild Detergent
  • Soft-Bristle Brush or Cloth
  • Hose or Water Source
  • Clean Space
  • Clothesline (Optional)
  • Warm or cold water (Not hot water)

Step 1: Shake off dirt, debris, and dust

Grasp the vehicle cover in your hands and shake it gently to get rid of any loose debris and dust. To make cleaning easier later, do this in an area that is large and empty. Next, hold your car cover with one hand and remove any last particles with the other.

Step 2: Spread the exterior of the car cover on your automobile and fasten it tightly.

The aim is to reduce any folds. Ensure that it is tightly strapped so that it cannot slip off while being washed.

Step3: Vacuum your car cover to remove any loose sand

Make sure you follow this step extremely carefully to avoid leaving any stubborn debris on the cover. Otherwise, as you start the cleaning, you may ruin the cover’s exterior with ugly scratches.

Step 4: Utilize a hose or water bucket to wash your car cover. 

Rinse the cover with a gentle stream of water to dislodge any remaining liquid and dust.

Step 5: Mix a soap solution, then rinse your vehicle cover with it.

The bucket can be taken out and filled with warm water. Next, to create a lather, carefully mix mild soap with the bucket of water. Apply the detergent solution to a small, inconspicuous area to ensure it doesn’t discolor or damage the fabric.

Step 6: Gently scrub your car cover 

Scrub the car cover using a soft cloth made of microfiber or a towel that has been soaked in the soap solution. Carefully move up and down while doing this. Clean in just one direction as well. Avoid circling and swirling actions. The cover should ideally be washed in parts, starting at the top. You won’t miss any portions if you do it this way.

Step 7: Use a hose for a complete rinse

Take warm water and be careful to wash it off well. There shouldn’t be any soap residue on the exterior of the car cover. If you cannot find a hose, you can use buckets of fresh water. Although it needs more effort, this is still going to be successful. Then, let it drain. 

Step 8: Repeat 1–7 steps for the interior of the car cover 

Step 9: Leave car cover to air-dry

If you’d like, you may hang it for drying on a clothesline. If not, just leave it dry while the vehicle remains covered. Make sure your automobile is parked legally, in nice sunlight, but not in a severe or extremely exposed location.

Method 2: Washing A Car Cover In A Washing Machine

how to wash a car cover
Washing A Car Cover In A Washing Machine (Source: Internet)

It may seem convenient to wash a vehicle cover in a washing machine, but you must follow the right steps to prevent harm to the cover or the washing machine.

Things to prepare: 

  • Front-loading washing machine
  • Mild Detergent 
  • Clothesline (Optional) 

Step 1: Preparation

Ensure the car cover is free from heavy debris by shaking it gently. If there are large clumps of dirt or leaves, remove them manually before washing.

Step 2: Identify compatible washing machines

Read the vehicle cover’s tags. If it is written: “machine-washable”, you can continue with the following steps 

Step 3: Wash the cover in the washing machine

Put the cover in the washing machine. Use a small amount of mild liquid detergent. Start the washing machine on a gentle cycle with cold water. Allow the cycle to complete. 

Step 4: Wash it one more time with only water, then allow it to air dry

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2. Special Cleaning Guide 

So for stubborn stains, bird droppings, and sap, which you can’t clean easily, how do you remove them? Here are our suggestions: 

2.1. Stubborn dirt

To effectively remove dirt from a car cover, start by gently shaking the cover to dislodge loose debris. Next, hose down the cover with a stream of water to further loosen dirt and dust particles. If there are stubborn spots, you can use a soft-bristle brush or a clean, damp cloth to gently scrub the affected areas. Another useful tip for removing stubborn dirt is to use a stain-removing spray before cleaning up.

2.2. Bird droppings

Before cleaning your car cover, use Poop-Off, a solution created specifically for eliminating bird droppings, or a stain removal product, and spray where there are bird droppings. A small bit of vinegar will also work if added to the detergent solution. Gently rub the bird-dropping areas with the solution until the stains are gone. 

2.3. Sap

Begin by allowing the sap to harden; this can be aided by placing ice or a freezer pack over the sap to make it brittle. Once hardened, gently scrape off the sap using a plastic scraper or a credit card, taking care not to scratch the cover. For any remaining residue, apply a small amount of rubbing alcohol to a clean cloth and blot the affected area. Test the alcohol in an inconspicuous spot first to ensure it doesn’t harm the fabric. Gently wipe the sap away, avoiding excessive rubbing. Afterward, rinse the area with water and allow the cover to air dry completely before storing it.

3. Pro Tips For Washing A Car Cover

Here are some tips for effectively washing a car cover:

  • Do not dry wash.
  • Avoid laundering in top-loading washers. 
  • Fabric softener should not be used since it may damage the cover’s ability to keep out water.
  • Be sure you’re using a detergent without bleach. 
  • When cleaning a car cover, avoid using hot water.
  • You shouldn’t use colored cloth, as it may damage your cover with stains.
  • Don’t use a dryer since the heat might cause the fabric to shrink and cause damage. 

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4. How To Fold A Car Cover

How To Fold A Car Cover (Source: Internet)
  • Ensure that the cover is completely dry to avoid the formation of fungus.
  • Place the cover’s four sides on the car’s roof. To avoid sand particles sticking to it, avoid folding it on the ground. Due to their potential for being quite abrasive, these tiny particles may ultimately harm the car’s surface.
  • Start by folding the sides of the cover towards the center. This creates a narrower strip of fabric. 
  • Fold the narrowed strip in half lengthwise. You should now have a long, rectangular shape.
  • Depending on the size of the cover, you may need to fold it in half once more to make it a more manageable size for storage.
  • If your car cover comes with a storage bag, place the folded cover inside it for added protection against dust and dirt. Store the folded cover vertically to minimize the risk of wrinkles and creases. If using a bag, hang it on a hook or hanger.

5. Why Should You Use A Car Cover?

Using a car cover will help protect your vehicle and keep it in excellent condition.

Protection from Elements: A car cover shields your vehicle from harsh elements such as rain, snow, UV rays, bird droppings, tree sap, and dust. As a result, there is less need for routine cleaning, and the external paint is protected from fading and damage.

Prevention of Scratches: The cover acts as a barrier against minor scratches, dings, and debris that can be caused by wind-blown objects or even people passing by.

Preservation of Interior: It protects not only the exterior but also the interior. The cover prevents the dashboard and seats from getting sun-faded, brittle, or discolored due to prolonged exposure to sunlight.

Security and Privacy: A car cover can deter theft and vandalism, as it conceals the vehicle’s contents from prying eyes.

All-Season Protection: Car covers are available in various materials designed for different climates. Whether it’s protecting against snow, rain, or intense sunlight, there’s a cover suited to your region’s conditions.

6. FAQs

Q: How many years does a car cover last?

The lifespan of a car cover can vary based on factors such as the quality of the cover, the materials used, environmental conditions, and how well it’s maintained. On average, a well-made car cover can last anywhere from 2 to 10 years or more.

Q: How often should my car cover be washed?

As a general guideline, washing your car cover every 4 to 6 weeks is recommended to maintain its cleanliness and effectiveness. You might need to wash the cover more frequently if your car is parked outside or in a location where dust, bird droppings, or tree sap are common. Similarly, if the cover is exposed to heavy rain, snow, or extreme sunlight, it might require more frequent cleaning. Regular inspection of the cover for dirt buildup, stains, or any other contaminants will help you determine when it’s time for a thorough cleaning.

Q: What happens if your covers aren’t washed?

Neglecting to wash your car cover can lead to a range of undesirable consequences. As dust, dirt, and debris build up on the cover’s surface over time, your car’s paint is at risk of being scratched and abraded. Stains from bird droppings, tree sap, and other contaminants can set in, becoming more challenging to remove as they age. The cover’s ability to protect your car from UV rays, rain, and severe weather can be impaired by dirt and grime. Moisture trapped within the cover can foster the growth of mold and mildew, causing damage to both the cover and your vehicle.

Q: Are car covers water-resistant?

Not all vehicle covers are waterproof, even though many of them are made to be water-resistant and offer some level of defense against rain and moisture. Some car covers are created from materials that are more efficient at keeping out water, allowing them to dissipate moisture and keep it from entering the fabric. It’s important to carefully read the manufacturer’s specifications and product descriptions to understand the water resistance level of a particular car cover.

Q: Do car covers work in the sun?

Yes, automobile covers are made to function well in the sun and offer protection from the harmful rays of the sun. The paint and interior of your car are shielded from harm caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays by high-quality car covers, which are often made from materials that offer UV protection.

Q: What are the downsides of a car cover?

Your automobile may get scratched by car covers. Your cover may rub on the vehicle, particularly when driving in windy locations, damaging the paint. Additionally, covers have a risk of building up dirt and dust on the interior, which can cause scratches and harm to your automobile’s paint, glass, and trims.

7. Conclusion 

In conclusion, keeping a car cover clean is crucial for maintaining its efficiency and durability. You can maintain your cover in excellent shape, extend its longevity, and protect your car from multiple threats by following our above instructions on how to wash a car cover. Regularly cleaning and caring for your vehicle cover will not only improve its performance but also help to keep your car looking nice and well-maintained.

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