A DIY Guide for Car Cover Care
A car cover is an invaluable accessory which does wonders for the sustained value and lifespan of your vehicle. To retain optimal function, it is important to regularly maintain your car cover. Of course, maintaining your car cover is not a difficult matter – and thus there is no need for professional intervention – this would be contrary to the money and time saving function that car covers serve. The following is a guide instructing you as to how to best take care of your care cover with ease and there is no assistance required.
Step 1: Cleaning the exterior surface of your car cover
The cleaning of the outside of the car cover is of the utmost importance when it comes to such an item. Dust, dirt, and all manners of debris will quickly build up on the cover, and this can eventually stop the breathability from inside the cover, all while obviously making the cover look quite sloppy. Here are the necessary steps to fix it:
- Wipe off loose debris: Use a tight weave cloth or gentle brush to sweep the easily removed dirt off your cover. It is best to brush with the direction of the cover's fibers, to avoid damage and forcing the buildup further into its pores.
- Spot touchup with a gentle soap or detergent: Sooner or later, you will likely have to deal with all manners of stains on your cover – be gentle as you clean so you do not damage the cover and use a mild detergent. Using a spray bottle is the best means for application, and you should dilute the detergent before spritzing it onto the problem spot. Let it soak for a few minutes, and then wipe off the stain with the cloth or brush from earlier.
- Remove the detergent: After spot cleaning all the necessary parts of the outside of your cover, use clean water and rinse the entire car cover. Use whatever implement you desire for this, but a hose or even watering can might be most useful – a bit of pressure will help to erase all the remaining detergent. Be sure to provide your cover with a thorough rinse to not leave any residue that could be harmful to the item.
- Let the cover dry: After your rinse, find a well-ventilated area (ideally the outdoors, weather and shade permitting) and let the cover dry. If you are cleaning both sides of the cover at the same time – and this isn't advised, it will slow down drying and will be more difficult to dry completely – skip this step.
Step 2: Cleaning the inside of your car cover
If not properly stored over time the inside of your cover can become soiled. This could eventually cause significant damage to the finish of your car. Here are the steps required to clean it:
- Take off the cover: While it can sometimes be easier to clean the outer cover while it is on the car, obviously you cannot do the same with the interior. Thus, you must first remove the cover and turn it inside out.
- Use a vacuum: Vacuum the inside of the cover using a soft brush attachment (most vacuum cleaners come with one of these included), otherwise you risk tearing fabric with the force of your vacuum's suction. This step differs from the process used on the exterior because of the assumed difference in material and texture between the inside and outside of your car cover.
- Spot touchup with a gentle soap or detergent: As mentioned before do not use much force in cleaning the cover as it could tear and rip. Again, a spray bottle with diluted detergent is the best means for application. Let it soak for a few minutes, and then wipe off the stain with a cloth or brush. (You can follow the same procedure to clean the outer surface)
- Remove the detergent: After spot cleaning all the necessary parts of the outside of your cover, use clean water and rinse the whole cover. You can use an old-fashioned bucket or a hose for this process – a bit of light pressure will help to erase all the remaining detergent. The cleaner could cause damage to the cover if it isn't completely removed so if you give it a proper rinse there won’t be any problems.
- Let the cover dry: Following a proper rinse of the cover you can hang it up to dry (outside is best but indoors will do as well). Now that you have cleaned both sides of your cover, you are ready to put it back on the car or store it.
Step 3: Proper car cover storage
Proper car cover storage is essential to maintaining its tidiness after cleaning and to maximize its longevity. You want to store your cover folded, in its bag (if you have one or can get one these aid in climate control), and away from sun and heat. Excessively dry and humid environments are both bad for fabrics. Folding should be done neatly – not crumpled – and a changing of fold patterns should occur regularly to prevent stress wear.
Step 4: Repairs and maintenance
Should your cover ever be damaged from neglect or just heavy use, all is not lost: repairs are often possible. These tips should help you in such a situation:
- Patches for small holes: A hole can only be repaired up to the size of the patch kits available. The larger the hole, the more likely it is that the patch will eventually fail the function of the original material will be lost. This material may differ from the one used specifically for the cover, limiting original functionality. As such, past a certain point it may be ideal to just order a replacement. Some companies offer a lifetime warranty to help with these situations.
- Re-sealing: A less likely issue is the seams of your cover breaking apart, (as many covers are single piece) in this case a seam sealer can be used. The thrifty among us may choose to manually sew or use a sewing machine if a suitably heavy-duty option is accessible.
To conclude, car cover maintenance is essential to get the desired functionality out of your product. Following this guide should extend the lifespan of your cover and improve its efficacy. Of course, by taking care of your car cover your automobile will be protected even greater than ever. While a car cover is a comparatively slight investment, don't neglect it. It should be viewed with the same seriousness as the car beneath it!