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How to Clean and Make a Soft Vinyl Tonneau Cover Look New?

A tonneau cover is an excellent way to protect your four-wheeled investment. It aims to increase safety and fuel efficiency and, of course, take care of your belongings. 

Tonneau covers are not just utilitarian, they are also designed to enhance the car’s road-ready image, correct?

Reasons why, if you want your Tonneau Cover to serve you well and make heads turn, you’ll need to put it to some really deep-cleaning and take care of it properly.

So, how to clean and make a tonneau cover new? There are two ways — you can either use soap and water to simply dip and wash. Or you can do deep cleaning, which requires more materials. 

We’ll discuss the methods in detail.


Can You Make Your Tonneau Cover Look New Just by Cleaning It?

The answer is — yes! Even more unexpected is that the means to accomplish your aim is not difficult at all! To get started, all you’ll need are a few simple things and some long-term observation skills.

So, cleaning and maintenance are two critical considerations when it comes to protecting and caring for the cover from the inside out.

All you will need to do is use bed-lining products that are specifically designed for this purpose. They’ll keep your tonneau cover clean, and in good shape for years to come.

But before we go into how to make your cover Tonneau Cover look all new, let’s go over the basics.


How to Clean a Soft Vinyl Tonneau Cover?

The good news is that washing your Tonneau cover is not difficult. As a result, we’ll go through the two simplest ways to make your job a lot easier.

Method 1: Soap-and-Cloth Wash

This is super affordable. You will only need to spend a few dollars or no dollars at all if you have the required tool available.

Things You Will Need:

  • Mild soap
  • Wash cloth

Step 1: Find a Good Location

While you’re preparing the soap water, find a shady spot and spritz your tonneau with water.

Step 2: Get Your Water and Soap Solution

Fill a bucket half-full of warm water and half-full of soap wash solution.

Step 3: Dip and Wash

Wash the tonneau cover using a solution-dipped scrub brush. Side to side without straining your wrists or fingers. If the dirt doesn’t come out, soak it for 5 minutes.

Step 4: Let It Dry

Allow the cover to dry completely before rinsing it with clean water. And it’s done! Next, we’ll look at a method that focuses on complete deep cleaning.


Method 2: Deep Cleaning

In this instance, you’ll need to stock up on a few essentials if you’re going to undertake a complete tonneau cleaning. Get your hands on a few necessities.

Required Tools:

  • Tonneau cleaners 
  • Microfiber rags
  • Bristle brush, and that’s all.

Step 1: Park Your Truck

In order to avoid direct sunlight, you should park your truck in a shady spot or clean it on a cloudy day before proceeding.

Step 2: Rinse the Applicator or Spray

Begin by rinsing the cover with any wash instrument, such as a sponge. Deep cleaning is necessary after removing any loose dirt or debris from the tonneau cover.

For this, we recommend using a pH-balanced non-toxic Tonneau cleanser.

After washing the tonneau cover, use a soft bristle brush to properly apply Tonneau Cleaner. Long-handled brushes are ideal for cleaning hard-to-reach locations.

Step 3: If Rags Are Required, Use Them

To remove stubborn stains, use a rag to wipe them away. Using them to remove difficult stains is a great idea. On top of that, they clean effectively while also being gentle.

Step 4: Dry With a Towel and Then Apply a Coat

Using a soft microfiber towel, dry the tonneau cover completely before applying the protective coating. 

Next, allow the tonneau cover to cool down. Because some materials expand when heated, it’s better to wait for the product to dry before applying it.

Step 5: Don’t Forget About the Plastic Trimmings

But what about the plastic trim around the tonneau cover? Protect and improve numerous surfaces with a non-greasy protectant.


How to Make a Tonneau Cover Look New?

As you want your Tonneau cover to look all new and shiny, there is nothing more you need to do than follow the instructions outlined above.

It boils down to this:

  • Keep your car out of direct sunlight
  • Get rid of the grime by cleaning
  • Rinse and dry thoroughly with a sprayer
  • Apply protectants
  • And lastly, go with consistent monitoring

What Is a Good Cleaner for a Soft Vinyl Tonneau Cover?

Before purchasing a tonneau cleaner, consider the material of the cover while purchasing. Why you ask? Because tonneaus come in a variety of forms and designs.

Before buying, you should also know that protectants for vinyl tonneau covers are available in a variety of brands, each having unique UV blockers in a non-silicone solution. 

In order to safeguard your vehicle’s tonneaus, you may want to look into the best-recommended solutions from your vehicle’s manufacturer. 

pH-balanced cleaners are amazing! They range in price from $200 to $2,000, which may be out of the reach of those on a tight budget or looking to work without spending too much money.

Here are all the factors that make a good cleaner:

  • UV-protected 
  • Excellent utility 
  • Simple to use 
  • Reasonably priced

My Recommended Tonneau Cover Cleaner

Extang Tonno Tonic can be your go-to option. It is highly effective on vinyl, leather, rubber, and even plastic. As it is also a UV ray-protected cleaner, it won’t harden the cover and won’t heat up or get damaged by the sun.

Moreover, this product has been around for quite a long time (1982 to be precise) and has proven to be effective at removing dirt and grease way easier. You just have to spray and wash, simple.

So, it’s safe to say that the Extang Tonno Tonic will add an outstanding value to your tonneau covers’ cleaning routine and will help to make it look all new and amazing! 

It has received a lot of positive feedback for its features and offerings. The reviews might also answer any other queries that you probably have. 

But if you do buy it, clean it as directed to be on the safe side. To ensure proper cleaning of your truck’s tonneau cover, be sure to read the included instructions.


Photo of author

Kevin Shaw

Editor-in-Chief at F150Lab

Kevin Shaw has a vast knowledge of pickup trucks, especially the Ford F150. He has been doing various DIY fixes, upgrades, and modifications to pickup trucks for more than five years now.

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