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Hot Tub Cover Care

The Basics of Hot Tub Covers

Hot tub covers take their fair share of abuse over time. Whether it is consistent pounding of UV rays courtesy of the sun, natural contaminants such as tree sap or bird droppings, or even water damage and mildew, hot tub covers sacrifice themselves for the sake of keeping your hot tub clean, contaminant free, and full of fun.

Typically hot tub covers are made of fabric that is given a top coat of PVC. Plasticizers and softening agents within the coating provide the protection the cover needs, while making it soft and pleasant to the touch. This fabric is usually stretched over foam cores made out of polystyrene which give hot tub covers their energy efficiency and the ability to keep the heat trapped inside the hot tub.

In order to maximize the life of both the vinyl jacket and the foam cores, there are some preventative maintenance steps that should be followed. Proper care for your hot tub cover will keep it lasting for years, and ultimately save you money in the long run.

How to Clean and Protect Hot Tub Covers

Depending on where you hot tub is located, your cover may require a higher or lower frequency of cleaning.

Indoor hot tubs are protected from the elements and the cover usually only requires the occasional dusting.

However, outdoor hot tubs can take a ton of abuse. Exposed to the elements, you should make it a routine to wash your cover at least every couple weeks or as the dirt begins to accumulate. UV protectant should be applied to hot tub covers according to the manufacture’s specifications, but a good rule of thumb is once a month in the summer and every three to four months in the off season. Always be sure to use a product specifically intended for hot tub covers (no automotive products here folks).

Steps for cleaning your hot tub cover jacket (outside):

  • Rinse the cover with cool water (never use hot water).
  • Spray on a non-abrasive cleaner (SimpleGreen works great) and lightly wipe with a non-abrasive sponge. For more stubborn spots, it may require a bit of scrubbing with the sponge.
  • Rinse the cover thoroughly until the cleaning agent is gone.
  • Dry the cover with a soft terry or other non-abrasive towel.
  • Apply a light spray of the UV protectant and spread it around the cover with a soft cloth.

Steps for cleaning your tub cover jacket (inside):

Occasionally water can get inside the jacket and mildew may grow. It’s a good idea to periodically check the inside of the hot tub cover jacket to ensure no mildew is present. If there is mildew present, follow these steps:

  • Carefully unzip the jacket and remove the foam inserts.
  • Spray a non-abrasive cleaner (like SimpleGreen)on the inside of the jacket and lightly work it in with a soft-bristled brush.
  • Clean the vapor barrier that houses the foam inserts.
  • Rinse all areas with cool water.
  • Dry all areas with a soft towel.
  • Let the cover sit out in the sun for several hours before re-installing to ensure all moisture is gone.
  • Let the foam inserts site in a shaded, warm area to completely dry before re-installing.

Care Tips for Hot Tub Covers

  • Never set objects on your hot tub cover. Even the smallest object such as a glass can magnify the sun’s heat which can melt the foam cores.
  • Never let water or snow accumulate on the top of your cover. Water and snow is heavy, and can cause a lot of damage to not only the cover, but the hot tub itself.
  • Frequently inspect your cover inside and out. The earlier you catch an issue, the easier it will be to resolve. Discovering issues too late can often lead to having to purchase a new cover, which isn’t cheap!
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