Informational Guide

How To Clean Tonneau Covers

We show you how to clean tonneau covers the easy way, & what products to use on them in this guide.

Once you buy the best tonneau cover for your truck, you want to take care of it. By learning how to clean a tonneau cover, you can ensure it always looks its best and lasts longer.

In this guide, we cover the best way to clean the tonneau cover, no matter what kind you have.  

Before you start cleaning your tonneau cover, there are some steps to consider. By following these tips, you ensure the cleaning goes smoother, saving you more time in the end. 

  • Inspect The Cover 
    Make sure there is no debris, contaminants, corrosion, bumps, or dents that need to be dealt with first.
  • Remove The Clamps And Bolts 
    You don’t want these parts damaged during the cleaning.
  • Park Out Of Direct Sunlight 
    Even if you are taking your cover off for cleaning, you want to wash it where the sunlight isn’t shining
  • Cool The Surface 
    If the tonneau cover has gotten hot from the sun rays, allow it to cool down before washing it. 
How To Clean Tonneau Cover

What Can You Use To Clean A Tonneau Cover? 

Do you know what to use to clean a tonneau cover? If you don’t have the right products, you could damage the truck bed cover. Ideally, you want to use some simple car wash soap and warm water. Once the cover is clean, you can add some other protectors to provide a shine and keep it looking its best. 

Is ArmorAll good for tonneau covers, or can you use tire shine on tonneau covers? In some cases, this might be acceptable, but it depends on what kind of cover you have.

Most truck bed cover brands either have their own line of protectants or recommend what to use. 

Whatever you do, don’t use bleach, detergents, strong or harsh cleaners on the cover. Any of these chemicals can destroy the cover.  

How To Clean Tonneau Covers: The Easiest & Best Way 

How To Clean A Folding Tonneau Cover 

Most folding truck bed covers can be cleaned with these steps.  

  1. 1
    Spray down the tonneau cover with clean water. 
  2. 2
    Wipe away any debris or contaminants that are easy to remove. 
  3. 3
    Apply your cleaning solution with a sponge. Work on one part of the cover at a time and use gentle pressure
  4. 4
    Rinse the cover with your hose, ensuring all of the dirt gets washed away. 
  5. 5
    If you need to wash it again to remove tough stains, repeat the previous steps. 
  6. 6
    Allow the tonneau cover to air dry completely before moving on. 
  7. 7
    Apply any special protectant recommended by the manufacturer. Only use products that are compatible with your tonneau cover.  

How To Clean A Roll Up Tonneau Cover 

If you want to know how to clean a soft tonneau cover, the steps aren’t much different than the previous option. However, a special aerospace protectant is recommended for your final step.  

  1. 1
    Spray down the roll up tonneau cover with clean water. 
  2. 2
    Wipe away the debris that is easy to remove. 
  3. 3
    Use a sponge to apply the cleaning solution. Only work on one part of the cover at a time and apply gentle pressure.  
  4. 4
    Rinse the cover off with your hose until all of the dirt is washed away. 
  5. 5
    Wash it again to get rid of tough debris. 
  6. 6
    Allow the tonneau cover to air dry completely. 
  7. 7
    Generously apply the aerospace protectant to add shine to the material.  

How To Clean A Hinged Tonneau Cover 

Learning how to clean a truck tonneau cover with hinges is a little different because of the hardware you need to be aware of. You don’t want any products getting on the shocks that don’t belong.

Additionally, you will want to check with the manufacturer to determine what products work best to restore the factory-like glossy appearance.  

Aside from those stipulations, you will follow these steps. 

  1. 1
    Spray down the truck tonneau cover with clean water. 
  2. 2
    Wipe away easy-to-remove debris. 
  3. 3
    Use a sponge to apply the cleaning solution with gentle pressure. 
  4. 4
    Rinse the cover, making sure all of the dirt is removed. 
  5. 5
    Re-wash it if necessary. 
  6. 6
    Dry the tonneau cover completely. 
  7. 7
    Apply any protectant products recommended by the manufacturer.  

How To Clean A Hard Tonneau Cover 

Figuring out the best way to clean a tonneau cover with a hard surface is pretty much straightforward. In most cases, you can follow these simple steps. 

  1. 1
    Spray down the tonneau cover with clean, warm water. 
  2. 2
    With a clean microfiber cloth, wipe away the debris that is easy to remove. 
  3. 3
    With gentle pressure, apply a cleaning solution with a sponge.  
  4. 4
    Rinse the cover off liberally with your hose. 
  5. 5
    If dirt remains, repeat the previous steps until the surface is clean. 
  6. 6
    Let the tonneau cover sit in the air to dry.  
  7. 7
    Apply special protectants recommended by the manufacturer for the best results.  

How To Clean A Soft Or Vinyl Tonneau Cover 

The steps on how to clean vinyl tonneau cover often mimic that of the other types, except you want to be very careful what products you use. Check with the manufacturer before getting started.  

  1. 1
    With warm water, spray down the tonneau cover. 
  2. 2
    Using a clean microfiber cloth, try to remove any debris that sits on the surface. 
  3. 3
    You can apply the car-wash solution with your clean sponge and gentle pressure.  
  4. 4
    Rinse the truck bed cover off completely with your hose. 
  5. 5
    If there is any dirt remaining, you will need to repeat the steps again.  
  6. 6
    Allow the tonneau cover to dry.  
  7. 7
    Apply the special protectants that the manufacturer recommends.  
Best Way To Clean Tonneau Cover

Proper Maintenance Of Your Tonneau Covers (Care Tips) 

How long do soft tonneau covers last? While they won't normally have the same lifespan as a hard cover, once you've installed them you can make them last longer with the proper maintenance. 

How do you care for a soft tonneau cover? Consider these tips that are universal among truck bed covers.  

  • Inspect the truck bed cover often. Any concerns should be dealt with immediately. 
  • Keep the hardware fastened properly. Check the bolts, clamps, and clips often to verify a secure fit.  
  • Avoid putting heavy objects on the tonneau cover. If you must place something on top of it, ensure the weight is distributed evenly. 
  • Make sure you are following all cleaning procedures outlined by the manufacturer.  

With these few steps in place, you can extend the life of your truck bed cover and keep it looking its best many years later. You also ensure that the integrity remains the same as when it was new.  

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is it OK to go through a car wash with a tonneau cover? 

Although most are reasonably waterproof when fitted correctly, the truck bed cover could be easily damaged during an automatic car wash. Instead, we recommend cleaning your truck by hand frequently and learning how to detail your pickup for the best results.  

How do you clean Truxedo tonneau covers? 

If you want to know how to clean Truxedo tonneau cover, follow the recommended guidelines by the manufacturer. The company makes PRO-TEX soft tonneau protectant sprays that will protect and extend the vinyl cover’s life. You can also use these sprays on convertible tops, trims, dashboards, and tires.  

How do I make my tonneau cover shiny? 

Depending on the type of cover you are using, you could apply a special aerospace protectant that is meant to restore the shine and improve longevity. Check the owner’s manual to see if these products are compatible with your tonneau cover.  

How do you make a hard tonneau cover look new? 

By regularly washing and applying protectant to the hard tonneau cover, you can keep it looking its best. It’s important to keep dirt and debris from infiltrating the surface of your truck bed cover.  


We have covered the best way to clean a soft tonneau cover and looked at the steps for hard truck covers too. Whatever type of cover you have, it’s possible to keep it looking like new with a little time and the right products.