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How to Wash a Boat Cover

how to wash a boat cover

Boat covers are essential to protect your boat from harsh weather conditions, UV radiation, and other outdoor elements that can damage the boat’s interior or exterior. But over time, they can become dirty and stained, which makes washing essential to prolong their longevity.

So, how to wash a boat cover? Proper cleaning ensures that your boat covers stay in good condition and protect your boat for years to come. This article will discuss the steps you need to take to wash and clean your boat cover.

Step 1: Preparation

Before you begin washing your boat cover, you will want to prepare the area where you want to do the washing. In this step, you must remove any debris or object that can damage the cover, such as sharp tools, fishing equipment, or rocks. You should also choose a location with plenty of space to work in and well-ventilated.

Another part of the preparation is to check the label on your boat covers for any specific washing instructions. Different materials require different cleaning methods or detergents. So, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s recommendation.

Step 2: Removing Any Debris

Before washing the boat cover, removing any debris, dirt, or leaves that may have accumulated on the cover is essential. This can be done by using a broom or a soft-bristled brush to sweep the surface of the boat cover.

Be careful not to use a brush with hard bristles as it may damage the materials. Start at the top and work your way down, brushing back and forth. Avoid using a stiff brush or scrubbing too hard, which can damage the cover.

Once you have brushed off as much dirt and debris as possible, hose down the cover with a garden hose. Use a gentle stream of water to avoid damaging the cover. Make sure you rinse off any remaining dirt or debris.

Step 3: Preparing and Testing the Cleaning Solution

The next step is to prepare a cleaning solution for your boat cover. It is essential to choose a cleaning solution compatible with the material of the boat cover you own. I suggest testing it in a small area of your boat cover to ensure the cleaning solution does not cause discoloration or damage to the materials.

Once you have tested the cleaning solution and determined it is safe to use, apply it to the boat cover. Use a soft-bristled brush or a sponge to scrub the surface of the cover gently. Be careful not to use too much pressure as it may damage the material. Pay attention to any stains or areas with heavy dirt buildup and apply more solutions if necessary.

Step 4: Rinse and Dry the Boat Cover

dry the boat cover

After scrubbing the surface of the boat cover, it is important to rinse it thoroughly with clean water. Use a hose to rinse the cover, starting from the top and working your way down. Be sure to remove all soap residue to avoid leaving any steaks or stains.

After rinsing the boat cover, it is essential to dry it thoroughly. You can use a soft towel or a clean cloth to absorb any excess water, then hang the cover up to air dry. Avoid using a dryer or any other heat source, as it may damage the materials.

Additional Tips When Washing a Boat Cover

tips when washing a boat cover

  • Avoid using a pressure washer to clean the boat cover, as it may damage the material.
  • Always store the boat cover in a dry, cool place when not in use to prevent mold or mildew growth.
  • Never fold or store the boat cover while wet; this may also cause mold or mildew growth.
  • If the boat cover has mildew or mold growth, cleaning it immediately using a mildew remover or a mixture of vinegar or water is essential.
  • If you want to know how to clean a canvas boat cover, you can also use a waterproofing fabric spray to restore the cover’s waterproofing properties. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully when using the spray.
  • If the boat cover has any tears or damage, it must be repaired immediately to prevent further damage. You can use a patch kit or take the cover to a professional for repairs.
    Regularly cleaning and maintaining your boat cover will help extend the lifespan and protect your boat from outdoor elements.


Learning how to wash a boat cover is essential to maintaining your boat and protecting it from harsh weather conditions. By following the steps outlined above and taking care of the boat cover, you can ensure that it lasts longer and provide optimal protection for your boat. Always check the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintenance while using mild cleaning solutions.

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