Questions about cleaning and impregnating the boat cover? I would be happy to advise and support you.
For most people, maintaining their boat is not a favorite pastime. I totally get it; You bought your boat to enjoy it on the water. But yes, maintenance is necessary and regular cleaning and waterproofing of your boat cover is a must. In this article, I answer some frequently asked questions about this topic.
DOES THE COVER NEED TO BE CLEANED EVERY YEAR?
Yes, it is very important that you take care of the boat cover every year. What you should definitely do on a regular basis is:
Clean the hood with lukewarm water and a soft brush
Protect the cloth with a good waterproofing agent.
If you have a new boat cover, do not wait until you see the first stains to clean and waterproof, apply a strong waterproofing agent immediately for a good extra protection.
HOW DO I BEST CLEAN THE COVER?
Cleaning the tonneau cover is not a job to be afraid of. Cleaning the tonneau cover is a breeze if you follow my simple step-by-step plan. I urge you not to delay cleaning the tarpaulin too long; Heavy soiling shortens the life of the material. And the dirtier the extractor hood, the longer it takes to clean. Therefore, always remove dirt as quickly as possible with lukewarm water and, if necessary, Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo.
- First clean the tarpaulin with lukewarm water and a firm – but soft – brush.
- Apply the shampoo to the wet cloth using a sprayer or plant sprayer (the shampoo is allowed to get on the window panes).
- Brush off the dirt very well.
- Now leave the shampoo on and leave it on for 20 minutes (time for a cup of coffee).
- Rinse and brush dirt and shampoo off the tonneau cover with clean water.
- Now wait for the boat cover to dry completely. Only then can you really see if all dirt and stains are gone. If not, treat the hood with Ultramar power cleaner (see next question).
HOW DO I TREAT A HEAVY DIRTY COAT?
If the tarpaulin is heavily soiled, treatment with Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo may not be sufficient. The boat cover then needs additional cleaning to be completely clean. Use Ultramar Power Cleaner for this additional cleaning.
Apply the power cleaner to the boat cover. This can be done with a spray or plant sprayer. Again, use a firm - but soft - brush to brush in the cleaner well.
Power Cleaner needs time to work well, please allow an hour. If you see little change after an hour, you can apply some extra cleanser, brush it in and leave it on. Repeat this process until all dirt and stains are gone. You can have a few hours of fun with this.
- Has the Power Cleaner done its job? Then rinse the tarpaulin well.
- Give the boat cover time to dry completely.
- Don't forget to put a new protective layer on the hood. Always use a good, professional waterproofing agent, then you can be sure that the fabric will get the protection it needs.
WHAT TYPE OF BRUSH SHOULD I USE?
In the previous two questions, I told you to use a stiff - but soft - brush when cleaning your boat cover. Firm because the brush must have enough power to brush off the dirt well; soft, as the brush must not damage the cloth. Ultramar has developed a brush that meets these requirements. This Ultramar brush:
- is particularly suitable for cleaning boat covers;
- can also be used for the caravan;
- improves the properties of Ultramar cleaning products;
- absorbs a lot of shampoo and water through the split ends;
- is made of soft polyester;
- can be put in the dishwasher.
DO I NEED TO WATERPROOF MY BOAT COVERS?
In any case! Boat cover maintenance isn't just about cleaning, it's also about waterproofing. You should set aside time for this once or twice a year. The impregnation not only ensures that your boat tarpaulin is waterproof, but also gives the tarpaulin an excellent protective layer. By treating the tarpaulin you protect it from, among other things: resin, salt, weather stains, fungi, bird droppings, insects, black & green deposits and dirty water. You can easily do the impregnation yourself; use our waterproofing agent Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Protector.
- Make sure the cloth is clean and dry before treatment (so always clean the soiled cloth with Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo and/or Ultramar Power Cleaner first).
- Apply Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Protector generously and evenly to the outside and inside of the boat cover.
- Let the boat cover dry thoroughly.
- Repeat treatment if necessary.
- Please note: If the impregnating agent has gotten on the windows or on the terrace, do not let it dry, but remove it as soon as possible.
DO I ALSO HAVE TO WATERPROOF THE INSIDE OF THE COVER?
I understand that many of you think that only the outside of the boat cover needs to be waterproofed; Dirt is mostly on the outside, right? That's true, but it's still very important to also provide the inside with a protective layer. The coating on the inside is very vulnerable and it is precisely this coating that ensures that the hood is watertight. So be sure to impregnate!
HOW MUCH WATERPROOFING AGENT DO I NEED FOR MY BOAT COVERS?
I advise you to use around 2.5 liters of Sprayhood & Tent Protector for a standard sized sloop boat cover. Don't be too quick to think that you can get by with less, you'll only end up getting more expensive. Proper impregnation of the tarpaulin makes it easy to keep clean and extends its lifespan.
CAN'T I JUST USE AN ALL-PURPOSE CLEANER?
Unfortunately, many still think that it doesn't matter which product they use to clean the tarpaulin. But that's really a misconception. Green soap, for example, leaves a greasy film on the tarpaulin - perfect for trapping algae, mold and dirt. Your boat cover will be dirty again much faster. A product like Biotex can damage the coating, putting you at risk of losing your hood's watertightness. I would like to urge you not to use such cleaning products. There are many cleaners on the market that are suitable for maintaining your boat cover. With these products you can properly clean and protect the boat cover and the cover will last years longer.
HOW CAN MY COAT GET SO DIRTY?
If you've been a water sports enthusiast for a long time, you've probably noticed that boat covers get dirty faster than they used to. Mainly due to mold and green deposits. There are mutliple reasons for this:
the climate is also changing in the Netherlands;
air pollution has increased;
Certain chemical substances are currently prohibited in the manufacture of the boat cloth, which means that mold develops more quickly.
HOW CAN I PREVENT MOLD?
Without heat, moisture, food and germ cells, mold cannot develop. If you manage to disable any of these elements, mold will have a very hard time developing, let alone growing. What can you look out for?
When replacing the cowl on your boat, wipe down the pipes and cowl with a good cleaning product.
Try to schedule a little maintenance every month. In this way, the dirt is removed in good time and the germ cells hardly have a chance to multiply.
Do not fold the cloth until it is completely dry.
WHY CAN'T I GET RID OF THOSE WEIRD PINK STAINS?
Do you have weird yellow or pink stains on your spray hood that you can't get rid of with detergents? You are probably dealing with "Pink Staining". This phenomenon is caused by microorganisms contained in the PVC coating. The feces of these microorganisms are black, pink or yellow. Unfortunately, there is little you can do about these stains and cleaning them is also difficult. Sometimes only sealing the cut edges and stitch holes helps. After that, the fabric is no longer exposed and you have less chance of those pesky stains.
CAN I REMOVE GREEN DEPOSITS ON MY TOILET?
Green deposits on the boat cover are a major nuisance for many water sports enthusiasts. However, it doesn't have to be. If you are there in time, green deposits can be removed quickly. So if you spot green deposits on the boat cover, grab water and a brush as soon as possible. You will see it disappear like snow in the sun. However, if you wait too long before cleaning, things look different.
HOW CAN I CLEAN AND WATERPROOF A BOAT COVER WITH WINDOW FILM?
You can also clean a boat cover or tent with window film with Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo and Power Cleaner; and impregnate with Sprayhood & Tent Protector. It is not harmful if the shampoo, power cleaner or waterproofing agent gets on the film. You can even use the shampoo to clean windows. After the impregnation, do you still see dried droplets of the impregnation? You can remove this with a cloth and some white spirit.
WHAT DO I NEED TO CLEAN THE BOAT COVER?
Good equipment is important when maintaining your boat. Always have everything you need at hand. Then you can quickly clean when needed. Do you like to use the very best material for cleaning and impregnating your tarpaulin? Check out our product selection!
Hopefully I have answered all of your questions about boat cover cleaning and waterproofing. If not, don't hesitate to contact us!