Why You Should Clean Your Hot Tub Covers And How To Do It

Those who own a hot tub know that a lot of maintenance is required to keep one up and running. Hot tub covers are just one of the things that needs to be maintained on a regular basis. Picking a high-quality cover will go a long way toward keeping your hot tub protected, but it’s also necessary to clean the cover frequently and thoroughly.

Hot tub covers trap heat and moisture, creating a perfect environment for mold and mildew to form. Covers should be cleaned thoroughly at least once a month, and they can be conditioned afterward with a UV protection spray. Covers generally last 4-5 years, or even longer with proper care.

By keeping your hot tub cover clean, you’ll be taking an important step toward keeping the whole tub in great shape for as long as possible. Let’s take a closer look at why it’s important to keep your hot tub cover clean, as well as how to do so efficiently.

Why Is It Important to Clean Your Hot Tub Cover? 

Woman opens water hot tub cover in garden

The main reason why it’s important to keep your hot tub cover (on Amazon) clean is that if you don’t, mold and mildew can form. Dirt and grime will inevitably build up on the cover over time, and black mold can form on the underside, particularly if the water hasn’t been balanced in a while. 

Cleaning off the cover will prevent the mold from sticking and falling into the water in the hot tub — something that can make it very hard to clean.

It’s not only mold that you need to worry about though. Even just allowing that dirt and grime to build up on the cover means it can get into the water and then into the delicate parts that keep your hot tub functioning, eventually causing mechanical issues if left unchecked.

How to Clean a Hot Tub Cover 

To clean your hot tub cover effectively, follow these simple steps. You should aim to do this process at least once a month, though if the hot tub is getting a lot of use or debris often falls on the cover, then a more frequent cleaning is ideal.

1. Lay the Cover Out

Stretch the cover out as much as possible on a flat surface. Doing this near your hose will make your life easier, though try not to do it on dirty ground as this could result in it collecting more bacteria. Instead, try for a deck or lay a protective sheet down first.

2. Gently Hose Down Both Sides

Hose down both sides of the cover. Doing the underside will ensure you wash away any chemicals that have collected from the hot tub and doing the overside will wash away grass, leaves, and other yard debris that may have collected there.

3. Wash the Top Side Properly

Although the gentle rinse should be enough for the underside, you’ll have to work harder on the top side. Brush it in circular motions with a vinyl cleaner (on Amazon). Although you might be tempted to use bleach or other chemical cleaners for a quicker job, resist the urge — they’ll only damage the cover.

4. Rinse

Once you’ve done this, make sure to rinse the cover thoroughly and get rid of any vinyl cleaner still on there.

5. Condition the Cover With a UV Protection Spray

Spray the cover with a UV protection spray (on Amazon). This will prevent sun damage and help your cover last longer. If you happen to have an acrylic cover over vinyl, then you can skip this step.

What’s the Lifespan of a Hot Tub Cover?

The average lifespan of a hot tub cover is around four to five years. If you take good care of your hot tub cover (and purchase a high-quality cover in the first place), then you may be able to get even more time out of it.

On the flip side of the coin, if you purchase a poor-quality cover or don’t take care of it — or live in a place with lots of storms and potential damage — it likely won’t last as long.

Tips and Tricks for Cleaning a Hot Tub Cover 

Hot Tub

Finally, here are some tips you should remember for cleaning your hot tub cover so you can do the best job with no damage.

Don’t Lay the Cover on a Scratchy Surface

Although you shouldn’t lay the cover on a muddy surface where it can pick up more debris, you should make sure you don’t lay the cover on a surface where it might get scratched. Cement and stones are not a good idea.

Don’t Use Harsh Cleaners

You shouldn’t use any harsh cleaners on the cover — even if you feel like you’re struggling to get stains and bacteria out. Instead, have patience and make sure your scrubbing is fairly gentle. Otherwise, you could damage the cover and end up having to buy a new one.

Dry the Cover Before Putting it Back on

You should also make sure you dry the cover before putting it back on. Although many people might leave theirs out in the sun to dry, you don’t want to expose it to the harsh heat before the protectant has had time to set in.

Instead, you can get a towel and gently pat it down until it’s dry and then place it back on the hot tub.

Inspect the Cover

Before replacing the cover, you should inspect it carefully. Make sure there’s not too much wear and tear or, worse, that there are any holes in the cover. If there are, then your cover needs to be replaced.

Wipe Off the Debris Every Now and Then

Lastly, between washes, you should make sure to wipe off the debris that collects on top of the cover. Leaves, sticks, and dirt can all contribute to the cover being worn down more quickly, and wiping them off not only means it’ll last longer, but also that you might be able to go a little longer between washing the whole thing.

A visual inspection every few days is usually good enough for this, and it should only take a few moments.

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