How To Make A Tonneau Cover Look New

Last Updated on September 20, 2021

A tonneau cover can be considered among the most important and popular accessories that every truck owner would like to have installed. If you are a truck owner, then you are well aware of the advantages a tonneau cover offers.

The cover not only improves the appearance of your truck but also protects the supplies and equipment kept within from dirt and other elements such as sleet and snow.

However, since they are so useful, they come at a hefty price. So, if you’re spending a significant amount of money on an upgrade like this, it’s crucial that you give it a little extra attention.

Don’t be concerned! A tonneau cover doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, and here, we will guide you through the process of how to thoroughly clean your cover to ensure its durability.

How To Clean A Tonneau Cover – Make It Look New Again

Things To Do Before You Start Cleaning

Before you clean your cover, there are some things you should do. To be more specific, you should check and double-check a number of things, including:

  • Examine the cover for any conditions that could cause problems during cleaning with soap and other cleaners, such as debris, corrosion, scratches, dents, or bumps.
  • Remove the bolts as well as the clamps and store them somewhere safe is an important thing to do so they don’t get damaged during the cleaning process.

You can clean the cover in two ways: while it’s attached to the truck and when it’s detached and taken somewhere else to be cleaned. However, choose a place that is shaded and not immediately exposed to the sun for the cleaning process.

A tree or somewhere else that provides shade is an ideal location; this will lessen the possibility of any harmful effects from the sun’s rays. Before you begin cleaning, please ensure that the cover’s surface is cool. Allow it to cool itself down if it has been exposed to the sun.

Popular Read: Tonneau Cover for 2021 Honda Ridgeline

What To Choose As The Cleaner?

Start by cleaning your cover with a mixture of vehicle washing soap in warm water, you can use different tonneau cleaners/protectors for an in-depth clean and a good shine.

When washing the cover, never use bleaches, harsh or strong cleaners, or even detergents. Because of the dangerous ingredient in the mixture, these chemicals hold the power to ruin your cover. Almost every company that produces tonneau covers also sells tonneau cover cleaners. You can get one that is appropriate for your cover type.

Soft tonneau covers, which are typically made using vinyl, necessitate the use of specific cleansers. The vinyl cleansers are designed to protect your cover from fading, yellowing, and cracking caused by dangerous UV rays while also improving its appearance.

Tonneau Cover Cleaning Process

Before you begin cleaning, check your cover’s instruction manual and look for any specific instructions for your cover model. There might be some aspects of the cover that you are unaware of. The guidebook will assist you in learning about them.

Let’s get right to cleaning now. Follow these simple methods to clean the cover and restore it to its original sparkling condition –

  • By spraying or sprinkling cool, clean water on your cover you can get rid of surface grit. You can use a pressure washer for this. This will help to soften any trapped debris or dust, making it much easier to get rid of all of the dirt. Then use a towel to dry the cover.
  • Mix car cleaning solution and warm water to make the cleaning solution.
  • Using a visible marker, divide the total area of your cover into 2 or 4 halves. It will help to clean with greater precision.
  • Scrub the cover with a sponge bar or a scrubber brush soaked in the solution, one separated part at a time. Don’t apply too much force on the lid when doing so; instead, go slowly and gently. When scrubbing, avoid using a rough and harsh cleaning pad.
  • Wait five minutes for the solution to combine with the grime and it will start falling off. Keep repeating the procedure until the entire area is clean.
  • Use a hose to rinse your cover to ensure that all of the soapy dirt is washed away. Wipe away any surplus water with a different sponge bar.
  • Allow the cover to air dry for a bit.
  • It’s now time to clean the soft vinyl tonneau coverings with the tonneau cleaning or the vinyl cleaner. Spritz the cleaner all over the area. To spread it around, use a microfiber scrape or a bristle brush. A boar hairbrush can also be used. The long handle will reach almost anywhere. Apply no force to the lid, and scrubbing should be done gently.
  • After you’ve completed scrubbing, use a hose to rinse your cover. To remove splashed water from its body, use a soft cloth or sponge. Allow it to dry before applying the tonneau cover protectant.

You’ve completed the cleaning of the tonneau cover. Is it as new as it was when you bought it? It is, isn’t it? It’s that simple to clean. Allow the truck to enjoy the sunlight or shade now that it has been cleaned.

Some Tips To Maintain Your Cover’s Youth

A Tonneau cover is an investment you want to protect. As a result, providing proper care is essential if you want them to survive a long time and serve you for the rest of the truck’s life. The life of your cover will be extended by several folds if you take proper care of it. Here are some tanneau cover maintenance tips for keeping your cover in good working order –

1# Check Regularly

When it comes to keeping something shiny as new, a regular examination is critical. Regularly inspect the cover for any small problems such as scratches, dents, bumps, looseness, debris, corrosion, and so on. Regular inspections help you to notice the red flags (if there are any) and take action before they become an expensive problem.

2# Make Sure That The Hardware Is Securely Fastened

Regularly inspect the bolts and mounting clamps to ensure that they are securely fastened and functioning properly. When they’re not tightly fastened, they might cause serious harm to your cover.

3# Don’t Over Pressurize The Cover 

Just because your cover is made of high-quality materials, you may believe that stuffing it with heavy items is a good idea. Don’t be fooled by that thinking.

Regardless of the kind of cover you possess, it is critical that you don’t leave heavy loads on it for an extended period of time. It will ultimately droop down. You may check the manual for your cover to see how much weight it can support.

4# Other Things To Watch Out For

  • Protect your cover with a layer of protectant after regular maintenance.
  • Clean thoroughly and on a regular basis as part of your normal cleaning routine.
  • Keep it in a shady location to extend the life of your cover.


Taking good care of your tonneau cover is simple, and by adopting the above guidelines, you can secure its longevity as well as keep a stellar appearance. Cleaning your cover regularly is a good idea, and you should act quickly if you see any problems. It will astound you with many years of reliable service.

If you’ve liked this guide, then you might like to read our guide on Fixing tonneau cover leaks.

How To Make A Tonneau Cover Look New

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