How to clean tonneau covers


If you own a truck bed or you are simply a driver, you need to know how to take care of your truck bed and all of its parts to avoid any hassles during the journey. Getting some knowledge about taking care of your vehicle will also maximise the shelf-life of your vehicle as well as the associated parts. In this aspect, we can discuss about tonneau covers. Tonneau covers help protect your truck bed as well as your cargo. Hence these are one of the most important parts of your truck. So, you need to take care if the cover fits well to your truck bed, if the cover is attached properly to the truck bed, and if the cover is clean and well-maintained. So, in this article we have discussed how to clean tonneau covers.

Tonneau covers may get damaged as they are exposed to the extreme elements, which may lead to wear out of these covers. This is the reason why you need to do regular maintenance. Maintaining and cleaning will ensure that your tonneau cover will function for a prolonged period of time. To restore its colour and keep it clean, we need to follow certain steps. Let us discuss all these steps so that you can learn how to clean a tonneau cover properly. By following these steps you can also do it yourself without taking anybody’s assistance.

 Steps on how to Clean Tonneau Covers:

Before starting the cleaning process, we recommend you to do a quick visual inspection of your tonneau cover. Make sure to check if there are any scratches, tears, and cases of wear on your cover.

SEE ALSO:  How does a flatbed tow truck work

Check if the mounting hardware, the bolts, and the clamps are secured in place; they fall off the cover during washing. Now you have to check the side rails if they can easily open and close.

If your truck is fitted with the Hard Tri-Fold cover, the check the hinges properly. If you check all these aspects before cleaning, then it will ensure that there are no cases of corrosion or possible wear.

 Step 1: Arrange the Required materials:

The first step of cleaning includes arranging the required materials that you have to use during the cleaning procedure. We have enlisted the materials so that you do not forget any of them.

Tonneau Cover Manual. This will help you throughout the cleaning process. Make sure to read the manual properly before starting the cleaning process. Some tonneau covers use specific cleaning process depending on their make and model.

 Step 2: Choose a cool place for cleaning

The second step would be to park your truck in a shady place. Doing so will let you do your work comfortably. You may replace the cover and clean it or you can clean the cover while it is still installed on the truck bed. Both the process requires a lot of time. If you choose a sunny place then it will make you feel tired and uncomfortable during cleaning process. So, we recommend to park your truck in a cool place so that you can perform all the procedure without any hassles.  

Step 3: Spraying the Tonneau Cover with Water

After you are done with deciding whether to remove the cover or wash it on your truck bed itself, you need to spray the cover with water. You can spray water with the fire hose so that it helps remove all the dust and debris accumulated on the cover over time.

SEE ALSO:  How much does it cost to Linex a truck bed

Moreover, spraying the cover with water can increase the effectiveness of the cleaners once you start the cleaning procedure.

 Step 4: Getting Ready with Your Cleaning Solution

In this step, you have to prepare the cleaning solution, which is a quite easy process. To prepare the cleaning solution, you need ½ cup of the car washing solution to which you are required to mix lukewarm water. Do this mixing process inside a bucket.

We recommend you to use a gentle car shampoo for both the soft and hard covers. If you use strong cleaning agents like detergents, solvents, and bleaches cleaning agents will corrode your cover and make it to fade.

If your tonneau cover is made of vinyl, then you need to use specialised cleaners that are only intended to clean only vinyl tonneau covers.

After preparing your cleaning solution, you need to start washing process by applying the cleaning solution on the cover. After applying the solution to the cover, use a light bristled scrub brush to scrub the cover.

You can start the cleaning procedure from the center moving outwards towards the edges for getting better results. Remember you have to keep the motion gentle without applying excessive force to avoid damaging your delicate tonneau cover.

In case you have tough stains on your tonneau cover, you have to allow the soapy cleaning solution on the affected area for about 5 minutes and then try scrubbing the stains again.

 Step 5: Rinsing the Cover Properly

So, once you finished cleaning the cover, the next step would be to rinse it properly with the help of a fire hose. With fire hose, you can easily adjust the water pressure. You can reduce the intensity of water pressure from a powerful one to a gentle mist. In this case, you have to apply a powerful spray to rinse the cover entirely. Make sure that you do not leave any soapy solution on the surface.

SEE ALSO:  How Can I Put Stuff In my Truck Bed Without Cover?

After rinsing the soapy solution thoroughly, hang the cover to dry up if you have removed it while washing. If you have not removed it from the truck bed, then simply use a microfibre cloth to dry up the excess water. However, it is a very tough process as you will need several micro fibre clothes to wipe off the excess water from the cover entirely.

 Step-6 Apply the Protectant

Before applying the protectant, you have to leave your truck for some time so that it allows the tonneau cover to cool down. Now, you can notice some sort of discolouration in your tonneau cover. You need to apply a protectant to get back its natural shine. You can choose any protectant of your choice. Moreover, you can purchase them online from

To apply the protectant, spray the protectant on the tonneau cover and then wipe it gently using a microfibre cloth. After applying the protectant, leave the product to dry for about 30 minutes. After that, gently wipe the surface of the cover again using a clean microfibre cloth to remove excess conditioner. Doing so will give the surface of the tonneau cover a shiny look.


Most of the tonneau covers that you find in the market are specially designed to withstand harsh environmental conditions. However, they are not completely damage proof. Therefore, to prevent your tonneau cover from wearing out quickly, you need to clean them regularly and maintain as per the care instructions provided by the manufacturer.

You can go through the above discussed steps to clean the tonneau cover by yourself. These steps will guide you to effectively clean your tonneau cover without ruining its integrity.So,by now you might have a clear idea on how to clean tonneau covers.

Also, know more about how to install a tonneau cover?

Related articles

Recent articles