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Vinyl tonneau covers are treated during their production to ensure that they are water-resistant and also capable of repelling dust particles in the air. However, with time and regular uses, this factory provided protection wears off and that will leave your truck cover at the mercy of the elements.
To make the issue more challenging is the fact that vinyl materials are not as absorbent as they ought to be, and this makes it important for us to watch out regarding the materials we should use in giving our tonneau covers a shine.
Surely, you wouldn’t want any shine that will not be readily absorbed, and consequently will stay on the surface and attract more dirt onto your truck cover. Tonneau covers get dirty easily because of their horizontal layering, which makes it difficult or even impossible to repel dust, bird droppings and other contaminants.
They are therefore prone to becoming dirty easily. Black tonneau covers absorb sunlight rather than reflect them, which makes them get hot quickly. This is a development that makes them become hot during the day, and as a result, increases the detrimental effects of harmful substances on black tonneau covers particularly.
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Apart from washing with soap and other agents, you are still required to cover them with a protective coating that will prevent water from pooling on them by making them very supple. It should also protect the vinyl material from weather elements that may harm it. How then do we protect these truck covers?
Can I use tire shine on tonneau covers? Without mincing words, I would say you can use tire shine on them of course, but you really shouldn’t. Tire shine is not recommended because, first of all, they are not easily absorbed by the vinyl fabric of truck covers.
This allows them to stick to the surface of the tonneau thereby attracting dust and other particles which will settle on it and give it a repulsive appearance, and additionally make it become weakened through an increased rate of degradation.
Tire shine does not contain the necessary agents for the protection of the vinyl substance in truck bed covers. Furthermore, tire shine permits black ugly water to run off the sides of your truck after washing or heavy rains.
This is because water from the rain will wash the black tire shine from the surface of the tonneau cover which will now streak down the sides of your truck in a nasty and eye itching mess. Finally, it’s simply not advisable to use tire shine on your truck bed cover.
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Why Do I Need To Shine My Truck Bed Cover?
To effectively shine your tonneau covers, use branded vinyl cleaners that will not only clean your truck covers but also protect them too. These cleaners are manufactured to remove dirt, grime and also prevent the growth of mould on your truck covers.
There are inferior vinyl cleaners though, that clean without protecting the bed covers while others may clean without protecting them, but I am sure you want one that does both.
The use of poor cleaners can lead to your truck cover losing tension and pliability, which will make it sag easily, wear and tear.
Highly recommended tonneau cleaners that are guaranteed to have all these qualities are Extang’s Tonno Tonic, Access Cover, Hot Spring, Wolfsteins Cover protectant, Tuxedo Pro-Tex, Duragloss and Protex World.
Most of these products are well known, easy to use and effectively protect, clean and shine your truck bed covers.
How Much Does It Cost To Shine Tonneau Covers?
Generally speaking, cleaning a tonneau cover does not cost much more than it costs you to buy the vinyl-based tonneau cover cleaner, which is just a couple of dollars.
You simply spray these cleaners on your truck bed covers and thereafter, use a clean rag or cloth to wipe it off and that is it. Though the cost of the vinyl tonneau cover cleaner varies from one product to another and also the size of the container too.
Can I Use Armour All On Tonneau Covers?
Yes, you can, but you really shouldn’t. Some people do actually, but applying Armor All is liable to increase the rate of degradation of your truck bed cover because it is a silicon-based cleaning agent, and silicon catalyzes vinyl degradation and also damage the adhesive contained in your truck beds.
What Factors Determine A Good Tonneau Cover Cleaner?
You must keep certain factors in mind before you buy any tonneau cleaner. Let us look at some of their desirable qualities.
- Capacity: This quality has a lot to do with how long the product stays in your garage serving you. It is reputed to be very useful when it comes to cleaning several vehicles.
- Nozzle Availability: All good tonneau cleaners should be easy to apply particularly through spraying. You have the option of either applying them manually or spraying via a nozzle. Just choose that which suits you and clean in an airy or well-ventilated area, to avoid the release of injurious gases in the vicinity.
- Versatility: This term is in reference to other materials that the cleaner can work with, and the more the materials it can work with, the better for you financially too.
What Can I Use To Protect My Tonneau Cover?
There are many harmless vinyl tonneau cover cleaners you can easily use to protect your truck bed covers from harm. These chemical substances will not only give your truck bed cover a shine but also make them supple as a protection against damage by water or moisture.
They also minimize harmful radiation from degrading your truck bed covers and destroying them prematurely. Some of these chemical agents are:
- Extant’s Tonn Tonic
- TruXedo’s Pro-Tex Soft Tonneau Protectant Spray
- Access Cover Care Vinyl Cleaner
- UV Protectant, Advantage Truck Accessories
- Vyn-All RX Vinyl Conditioner and Cleaner.
These cleaners eliminate both dirt and mould, while at the same time leaving a coating of moisturizers that permeate deep into the substance of the truck cover fabric to stop drying and cracking.
Additionally, they leave a layer that protects your truck bed cover from the harmful effects of sunlight, airborne pollutants, acid rain, bird litters and in short, all sorts of contaminating agents as well.
After using these agents, the truck cover water repellence will be reverted to what it was after production, which will make your truck cover shiny and very supple, just like it was when new.
They are harmless when used on all vinyl truck bed covers, vinyl roof coverings, vinyl seats, dashboards or trim. They are also very effective on rubber and fibreglass too.
Simply apply them after washing your truck bed covers and place them to dry in any shaded area. Applying several lights and uniform coats are known to be most effective.
However, avoid saturating the vinyl material by pouring it directly from their containers onto the tonneau covers. Ensure that truck covers are always tightly in place to prevent looping which will eventually allow water to collect on truck cover surfaces.
How Do You Care For A Tonneau Cover?
There are many ways through which you can care for a tonneau cover and thus get it to serve you effectively for a long time. Make sure that you clean them regularly and also park your vehicle in a cool shaded place. You should also avoid placing heavy objects or standing on them too.
Though you are free to travel with your truck bed covers either fully opened or closed, you should nonetheless avoid travelling with fully or even partially opened truck bed covers as that is subjecting them to early damage. Use recommended tonneau cover shiners on your truck covers after washing.
This will make them to last for long in excellent conditions. Always check up on your truck bed covers to inspect for cracks, loose bolts or whatever may damage them.
Any noise from them while in transit must be checked thoroughly and the cause(s) should be promptly attended to so as to prevent worsening the problem.
All normal truck covers should open and close smoothly and noiselessly too. However, where they do so with any noise, all their joints must be lubricated without delay.
It is also highly advisable to get any colour tonneau cover but black. Black tonneau covers last shorter than those of other colours, for obvious reasons, which we have discussed earlier in the article.
How To Clean Your Truck Bed Covers – Step By Step Guide
After using your truck covers for some time, it will eventually get to a stage where you will have to wash them of stains, grime, dust and other contaminants. We shall walk you through the process in a step by step process. To do that, you need soap, water, your vinyl tonneau cleaners and a clean cloth. Here are the steps:
Before you embark on any tonneau cover cleaning, make sure you read your user manual carefully in order to acquaint yourself with what should or shouldn’t be done. Make sure you abide by any instructions given therein.
Park your truck in a garage or under a tree since cleaning shouldn’t be done in the sun. Thereafter, remove the truck cover.
Start by spreading your truck cover with water using a bucket, but spray the water and not dump it.
At this stage, you should prepare your cleaning solution before wiping the surface of the tonneau cover. To do this, pour half a cup of car-wash solution into a bucket and top it up with warm water.
You should, however, note that, if you have a soft vinyl cover or other similar material, use a specialized tonneau cover cleaner, preferably one with conditioners and protection against sun rays.
Then, with the aid of a scrub brush, begin to spread the cleaning solution onto the truck cover. Do the cleaning from the centre of the cover to its periphery.
While doing this, do not apply much pressure and also move the brush gently from one side to the other. For stubborn dirt, soak the brush for about five minutes before you resume the process.
For this stage, you need very clean water and also a place to store your tonneau cover somewhere. Then rinse off the soap covered truck cover and leave it to dry. Once it is dried, re-install it onto your truck and you are done. That’s just it.
Can I Use Tire Shine On Tonneau Cover – Conclusion
Tonneau covers are an exquisite sight to behold especially when they are washed and shined. Despite this, using them is associated with a lot of requirements, from their choice, purchase, proper use and effective maintenance.
If you hastily rush into buying them ignorantly, you risk getting the wrong one. For instance, it may not fit your truck, you may not know how to properly install them and installation may also be an issue.
This is much the reason why you are enjoined to conduct armful research before you do anything. In their cleaning, you may be tempted to use shiners that are not recommended by the manufacturers, to guard against this from happening, read the accompanying user manual very well.
In case you wish to know some of the cleaning chemical agents that are harmless, this article has given you a lot of information on that.
Certain things may not really be illegal, since the law permits them, such as driving for long distances with your tonneau cover opened, but the implications of doing so does not make it advisable.
If you do that, you stand the risk of getting your truck bed cover damaged, increasing your gas mileage and so on. Additionally, when you drive with your truck bed cover opened, there is the possibility of obstructing your rearview mirror, a development whose implications we all know.
Finally, choose your tonneau covers, after careful research, based on the uses to which you intend to put them. That is why we have several types such as hard ones, soft ones and others in-between these two. Whatever it is, choose your truck covers with absolute care.