Your spa or hot tub cover fights the weather all year long, and like any Marine grade vinyl, cleaning and conditioning will make it last much longer.
Sun, rain and snow pull out the resins that keep vinyl soft and pliable. Over time, spa covers that are not cleaned and protected become brittle, and soon develop thin spots, rips and tears.
Fortunately, maintaining your hot tub cover is easy. I clean my cover once every few months, and it looks as good as the day I bought it (from HotTubWorks, of course), 3 yrs ago.
How to Clean a Hot Tub Cover
Start with a dry spa cover (use a towel if it’s been raining). Although you can use other vinyl cleaner and conditioner products, we have two products that are specifically meant for use with spa covers.
Just wipe it on the surface, and use a soft cloth to remove any excess. Apply more on seams or low spots that puddle water. It’s quick and easy to apply to both the top and the sides – but don’t use it on the inside of the spa cover.
Hot Tub Cover Cleaners
303 Spa Cover Wipes – These are even easier. Pre-moistened towelettes meant for one time use. Wipe it on the surface of your spa cover for an instant shine and cleaning. This is the product I have at home for my hot tub cover.
Leisure Time Cover Care – Cleans, restores and protects spa covers. Apply it with a sponge, using the textured side if you need it to remove tough stains. Allows you to apply extra if needed, unlike the wipes.
How to Condition a Hot Tub Cover
After a cleaning of your spa cover, your vinyl is prepped to receive a protectant. Without first cleaning the spa cover, the absorption of the protectant is limited, and protection is reduced. And, if after cleaning your spa cover, a protectant is not used, you may be amazed at how fast your spa cover gets dirty again. This is because cleaning your spa cover “opens up the pores” of the vinyl (much like skin), and dirt can gain a quick foothold – if not sealed up again with a bit of vinyl protection.
Hot Tub Cover Conditioners
Spa Cover Conditioner – This is our own brand, and our most economical spa cover protectant. Squeeze it out onto a sponge and the cream soaks into the vinyl cover. High level of UV protection – it’s like sunscreen for your spa cover!
303 Vinyl Protectant – Not oily or greasy, like other spa cover protectants. Spray on, wipe off. Repels dirt and dust and stains from leaves or animals.
How to Clean the Underside of your Spa Cover
Normally, the underside of your spa cover should not need cleaning, but if you notice a moldy, musty smell, or see dirt or discoloration on the surface, here’s a trick from an old hot tubber. Fill a small spray bottle with a 10:1 solution of water:bleach, or a 10% solution of bleach. Do this after removing the spa cover from the spa. After spraying the plastic undersides, hose clean with fresh water.
Don’t use household cleaning chemicals on your spa cover – you may add phosphates or detergents to the spa which can contaminate the water and give you problems with algae, foaming – or both. Some cleansers can even be harmful to spa users, if it gets into the spa water.
Hot Tub Cover Maintenance
Other than cleaning and conditioning your hot tub cover every 3 months or so, there isn’t usually any maintenance or needed repairs (as long as you are using a spa cover lifter). Here’s a few tips if you have problems with your spa top.
- Small tears to the plastic lining under the cover should be taped or patched to keep moisture out.
- Spa cover handles or straps can be sewn on again with an awl, or stapled (use Stainless Steel staples).
- Tears or rips in your vinyl cover material can be patched with an automotive “liquid vinyl” kit.
- Using a Spa Cover Cap can add years of life to your spa cover, and reduce the need for cleaning.