How to clean a car cover: A step-by-step guide

By John Linden

How many times do we have car covers that end up looking like old rags? Not giving the appropriate maintenance to your car cover can affect your car too. The fabric can wear down and let rainwater, bird droppings, and dust, just to name a few enemies of your car’s paint, in. In this post, we will cover the easiest ways to wash a dirty car cover and the mistakes to avoid.

Wash a car cover in a washing machine

How to clean a car cover: A step-by-step guide
Photo by Tina Bosse on Unsplash

Step 1: Make sure your car cover is machine washable. Most are, but check the tag to be extra sure. You won’t be able to use a domestic washing machine to complete the task because those tend to have a central agitator. Instead, pay a visit to a laundromat and use a commercial washer.

Step 2: Let the washer fill with cold water.

Step 3: Add around ? c. of mild soap.

Step 4: If the washer has cycle options, press the one for delicate clothes.

Step 5: Once the cycle is over, rinse an extra time.

Step 6: Air dry the car cover.

Avoid using:

  1. Hot water.
  2. Domestic washing machine.
  3. Clothes softener.
  4. Aggressive detergents.
  5. Clothes dryer.

How to clean a dusty car cover?

In case you have already washed your car cover but you notice it gets dusty quickly, you can keep it clean by using any of these options:

Option 1: Shake the cover. Check the wind direction so you won’t get all the dust on yourself.

Option 2: Use a piece of fabric to beat the dust out. This works better if you extend the cover vertically.

Option 3: Use a vacuum cleaner.

Wash a dirty car cover at home

How to clean a car cover: A step-by-step guide
Photo by Félix Prado on Unsplash

If you are wondering “how do I clean a car cover at home?” here is the easiest way to do it:

Step 1: Put the cover on your car.

Step 2: Fill a bucket with cold or warm water and mild soap.

Step 3: Wet the cover with a hose to take off any residues, like dust or bird droppings.

Step 4: Soak a cloth with the soap solution in the bucket and then scrub the car cover.

Step 5: Once it’s clean, rinse it with the hose two or three times.

Step 6: Turn the cover inside out and repeat the previous steps.

Step 7: Let it air dry, extending it on your garden or hanging it on a clothesline.  

Avoid using:

  1. Hot water.
  2. Clothes softener.
  3. Aggressive detergents.
  4. Colorful piece of cloth since it can stain the car cover depending on the fabric.

Clean bird droppings and sap from a car cover

If you park your car under a tree, expect any of these elements to dirt your car cover. To remove them, you can use a washing machine or clean it by hand following the steps already explained before. The only extra step you should include is soaking the cover in warm water first so the particles of poop and sap will dissolve before you start washing the cover with soap.

How to clean a stained car cover?

If you haven’t cleaned your car cover in a long time, you will notice that even after washing it, the fabric looks stained. To make your car cover look as good as new, use these tips to clean: