How To Wash And Clean Your Car Cover Correctly

If we don't take good care of them, even the most beautiful car covers can end up looking like old rags. Therefore, it is important to know how to wash a car cover properly. Improper maintenance can also affect your car, as the fabric wears down and dirt penetrates the car's paint.
In this post, we will cover the basics of washing car covers and reasons why it is important. We will explore different approaches and look at tips for caring for your car cover.

Key Takeaways

  • You should avoid hot water, domestic washing machines and harsh chemicals
  • Washing your car cover can protect it against corrosives and thus extend its lifespan
  • Material, size and manufacturer-specific instructions dictate how a cover should be washed
  • You can hand wash a cover, use a commercial washing machine or go to a professional cleaning service
  • Maintenance includes air drying and correct storage of your cover
  • You should consider the washing methods as a key factor when purchasing a car cover

Read on to learn the full details.

Understanding The Basics: How To Wash A Car Cover?

A car cover is a large sheet used to cover a car. It is designed to withstand wind, rain, and frost, and is shaped to fit the proportions of a car correctly. This ensures that it remains in place and protects all sections of the vehicle from exposure to elements that may cause weathering or damage.

When it comes to washing a car cover, the cleaning method largely depends on its level of dirtiness. If the cover is dusty, you can simply brush it down. However, if it has encrusted dirt and stains, you may need to use a bucket, hose, and sponge with mild detergent. In some cases, laundering the cover may be necessary, especially if you have a machine-washable car cover. Regardless, there are a few things to avoid in order to prevent damage to the car cover:

  • Do not use hot water
  • Avoid using domestic washing machines
  • Never use aggressive detergents
  • Clothes softeners are not suitable
  • Do not put your car cover in a clothes dryer

Always read the label or check with your cover’s manufacturer before washing. This will ensure you don’t do anything that might damage it.

Importance Of Washing Your Car Cover

Your car cover diligently performs its job, protecting your car from common outdoor hazards season after season. Just as it takes care of you, it requires your care in return. Washing your car cover is essential to maintain its top condition and prolong its lifespan. Regular washing will also prevent the cover from appearing scruffy and messy over time.

Failure to regularly wash a car cover can compromise its integrity. There are certain elements it may come into contact with that can damage the material, such as:

With prolonged exposure, these elements can wear down the fabric. Once they penetrate the cover, they can cause damage to your car's paint.

Educate yourself on how to clean a car cover to prevent such issues. Regular washing will remove these harmful contaminants, ensuring the cover remains in good condition. The benefits of this include maintaining the cover's appearance, prolonging its lifespan and protecting the car underneath from the outside world when covered.

Can You Wash A Car Cover?

Contrary to popular belief, washing a car cover is indeed possible. In fact, there are various methods available to accomplish this task. With a few precautions, you can restore your cover to its original condition without compromising its integrity. Several factors come into play when determining the best approach to washing a car cover, including:

  • The material it is made from
  • Car cover size
  • Manufacturer-specific instructions

By understanding and following these guidelines, you can maintain the appearance of your cover and extend its lifespan. It is crucial to be aware of the dos and don'ts, as well as any unique instructions pertaining to your specific cover. Always make sure to read the manufacturer's instructions regarding washing, which can be found on a label or in the accompanying documentation. If you are uncertain, it is advisable to contact the manufacturer directly and exercise caution when choosing your washing methods.

Washing A Car Cover: The Different Methods

As mentioned, there are numerous approaches to washing your car cover. The choice of method is down to your discretion, but you should take all the factors into account when making your choice. The goal of car cover washing is to extend its lifespan, so it would be counterproductive to do something that damages it!

With that in mind, let’s look at hand washingmachine washing and professional cleaning services.

Hand Washing Your Car Cover

Can you wash a car cover by hand? Yes, you certainly can! In fact, hand washing is often the safest approach to prevent damage to the cover. Here is a method you can use to hand wash your car cover:

  1. Place the cover over your car.
  2. Fill a bucket with warm or cold water and add a mild soap.
  3. Use a hose to wet the cover and remove dust or bird droppings.
  4. Soak the entire cover with the soap solution from the bucket and scrub it gently with a cloth.
  5. Once the dirt is removed, thoroughly rinse the cover with the hose (2-3 times).
  6. Turn the cover inside out and repeat the entire process.
  7. Hang the cover on a clothesline to air dry.

When hand washing your car cover, it is important to avoid the following:

  • Hot water.
  • Harsh detergents.
  • Clothes softeners.
  • Colored cloths that may stain the car cover.

By following these steps and precautions, you can effectively hand wash your car cover and maintain its quality.

Machine Washing Your Car Cover

Generally, it is not recommended to use a home washing machine to clean your car cover. The machine could potentially damage the cover, or the cover itself might hinder proper drainage. However, it's worth noting that some covers are designed to be home machine washable, so it is essential to check the manufacturer's instructions beforehand.

That being said, can you wash a car cover in a washing machine? Yes, you can, but it is advisable to take it to a laundromat. The large drums of commercial washers are better suited for washing car covers, and they do not have a central agitator that could potentially damage the material. Here are some instructions for washing a car cover in a machine:

  1. Confirm that the cover is machine washable
  2. Use the cold wash setting
  3. Add a very mild detergent
  4. Choose the delicate cycle option, if available
  5. Perform an extra rinse cycle at the end
  6. Air dry the cover

It is crucial to note that using a clothes dryer for your car cover is strongly discouraged. The heat from the dryer can cause irreversible damage to the material. Therefore, it is imperative to follow this advice and allow the cover to air dry.

Professional Cleaning Services

In certain situations, you may consider utilizing a professional car cover cleaning service. However, it is important to note that not all cleaning services are suitable for this purpose. For instance, dry cleaners are not recommended for how to wash a car cover, as the solvents they use can damage the fabric. Instead, search for a professional cleaning service that specifically mentions their expertise in cleaning car covers among their offered services.

In most cases, washing car covers at home is sufficient. Even if the label indicates that machine washing is not recommended, you can still utilize the hand washing method described earlier. However, if you find it necessary to use a professional service, conducting a Google search can be helpful. When you find a service, communicate with them about the details of your car cover. Explain your reasons for seeking a professional service and inquire about the potential risks to the cover. Proceed with the service only if you are confident that they will prioritize the protection of your cover.

Special Washing Instructions

The above washing instructions are generic guidelines that apply to a broad range of car covers. However, when you own covers from certain brands, it's important to note that there may be highly specific car cover washing instructions provided by the manufacturer. These manufacturer-specific instructions are crucial and should be followed to ensure the integrity of your cover. They may include instructions on:

  • Recommended frequency of washing your cover
  • Suitable types of detergent to use
  • The temperature at which to wash the cover
  • Whether machine washing is permissible

If you own a branded car cover, it is highly likely that the washing methods mentioned earlier have already covered the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer. If none of the methods mentioned are suitable, the only remaining option would be to seek assistance from a specialist cleaner. The key guidance is to always follow the instructions to avoid any potential damage to your cover.

How Do You Maintain Your Car Cover After Washing It?

A little maintenance goes a long way in prolonging the lifespan of your car cover. Washing is an important part of this maintenance, but there are other helpful tips to incorporate as well. Follow these tips to keep your car cover in excellent condition, ensuring its longevity.

  1. Always air dry: After washing, make sure to air dry your car cover by hanging it outdoors on a washing line. This allows moisture to evaporate naturally, preventing any potential heat damage and keeping the cover fresh while avoiding mildew formation.
  2. Store it correctly: When your car cover is not in use, it is best to fold it and store it inside a bag or case. This protects it from dirt, dust, moisture, and potential insect infestation, preserving its quality.
  3. Wash regularly: Regular washing is a recommended practice, especially if you use your car cover frequently. This prevents the buildup of dirt and keeps the cover looking its best. It also removes any substances that could potentially wear down the fabric over time, ensuring the cover's integrity.

Car cover maintenance doesn't have to be complicated. This guide provides instructions on how to wash car covers, and the remaining steps are straightforward. By taking care of your car cover, you can rely on it to take care of your car effectively.

What Are Some Common Mistakes To Avoid When Washing A Car Cover?

We have discussed important factors to avoid when washing a car cover, and it is worth reiterating their significance. Unfortunately, these mistakes are quite common and often result in unintentional damage to car covers. Here are the mistakes you should avoid when washing a car cover:

  1. Using a home washing machine: Home washing machines typically have a central agitator designed for washing clothes, which can potentially harm your car cover during the wash cycle. It is not recommended to take the risk with a home washing machine.
  2. Hot water: Car cover fabrics are water-resistant and sensitive to high temperatures. Whether you are hand washing or using a laundromat, it is important to avoid using hot water to prevent damage to the cover.
  3. Strong detergents: Harsh cleaning agents like bleach and other strong chemicals can compromise the integrity of the car cover material. Opt for milder soaps that can effectively remove dirt without causing damage to the fabric.
  4. Clothes softener: Although these chemicals may provide a pleasant fragrance, they can weaken the water resistance of the car cover. The same applies to solvents used in dry cleaners. It is crucial to avoid exposing your car cover to these substances.

By avoiding these mistakes, you can ensure the proper care of your car cover. Take note of this information and keep it in mind when washing your car cover to protect its longevity and performance.

What Are Some Considerations To Keep In Mind When Purchasing A Car Cover?

When you are searching for a car cover to purchase, there are several crucial factors to consider. These considerations will help you find the right car cover that suits your requirements and provides the necessary protection for your vehicle.

  1. Material: Is the car cover made of high-quality material? Does it offer protection against common threats such as rain, wind, and bird droppings? It's important to ensure that the material is also breathable, especially for humid environments. Make sure the car cover is well-suited to meet your specific needs.
  2. UV Protection: If your car is frequently exposed to sunlight, UV protection becomes an important feature to consider. UV rays can potentially damage car paint, so look for a car cover that offers adequate protection against UV light.
  3. Indoor vs. Outdoor Covers: Consider whether you need an indoor or outdoor car cover. Indoor covers primarily protect against scratches, dings, moisture, and dust. If your car will be stored in a garage or another indoor environment, an indoor cover would be a suitable choice.
  4. Ease of Washing: Before making a purchase, check the washing instructions for the car cover. It's important to consider the long-term maintenance and ease of washing the cover to keep it clean and in good condition.

By keeping these factors in mind, you can make an informed decision and select a car cover that fits your requirements, provides adequate protection, and is easy to maintain in the long run.

Frequently Asked Questions About Washing Car Cover

Yes, washing is an important consideration for car cover maintenance. But the method of washing must be appropriate for the cover to ensure it doesn’t get damaged.

You can hand wash your car cover, take it to a laundromat or have it professionally cleaned. Be sure to follow the manufacturer instructions.

It is not recommended to use a home washing machine as the central agitator could damage the cover. Commercial machines, like those at a laundromat, might be okay, but check the instructions first.