Can Tonneau Covers Go through a Car Wash?

washing tonneau covers

Bought a new tonneau cover for your truck? You may already have installed the cover too! Whether you have a tonneau cover installed in your truck or planning to buy a cover to install on the tonneau, you will need to wash the truck periodically to keep it in a good shape.

As the cover is not like a typical car body, washing with high water pressure or abrasive cleaners can do some damage to the tonneau cover.

To give you a detailed idea about the true impact on the tonneau covers due to a car wash, we’ve written this blog post. I hope you’ll be clear about the washing process of your truck when a cover is installed.

Avoid Spinning Brush Wash

Tonneau covers can be damaged if you use a car wash with spinning brushes. As the brush spins to remove stubborn dirt, it puts so much pressure on the surface. As the car exterior can easily withstand such pressure, tonneau covers are not always made for withstanding constant pressures.

Apart from the pressure it puts, the brush is also abrasive that damages the tonneau cover.

So, avoid car washes with a spinning brush to keep using the tonneau cover for a longer period.

Go For a Touchless Wash

Although you can’t apply some car washing techniques on tonneau covers to keep them intact for long, you still need some ways to wash them. Touchless wash that washes the car by the slow flow of water is good for washing tonneau covers.

However, the touchless low-pressure wash may not provide you a shiny look on your truck. So, you can use pressure on the car surface and lower the pressure when washing the cover. This way, you’ll be able to attain good car wash as well as a safe tonneau cover wash.

Avoid Waxes on Tonneau Cover

I have got a lot of queries about this! Should a truck owner use car waxes on the tonneau cover when they are waxing the car? Don’t ever try to wax on tonneau covers as it may damage the outer layer of the cover due to the application procedure of the wax.

You need to use an orbital buffer to apply the wax on the car. But tonneau covers won’t be able to withstand the pressure an orbital put on the surface. You may be thinking what if you apply the wax by hand?

We don’t recommend applying wax on tonneau covers by any means. So, don’t spend time and money on doing this.

Hand Wash Tonneau Covers

The best way to clean the tonneau covers is handwashing them. Yes, you heard it right. Take a spray bottle full of soapy water. Spray them all over the tonneau cover and hand washes the surface with a soft microfiber cloth.

Don’t put pressure on the surface and avoid cleaning the same surface multiple times.

Avoid Dryer Fans

And finally, avoid dryer fans to dry out the tonneau covers. Dryer fans put mild air pressure on the surface but they put it consistently for a good amount of time. This will put extra tension on the tonneau cover and you may see stressed outer layer due to this.

Allow the cover to dry out naturally without anything. If you need to dry it out quickly, use a dry microfiber cloth to get rid of extra water from the cover. This will cut the drying time significantly.

Final Thoughts

Tonneau covers work great for protecting the rear open space of your truck. However, as they mostly made of aluminum panels covered with soft vinyl wrap, you may end up damaging the outer layer of the cover because of the abrasive use of the car wash. That’s what we have tried to talk about in this whole article.

However, you may have some premium quality tonneau covers that can withstand high pressure and other abrasive car washes. So, check the manufacturer website for a specific solution for your product.

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