5 Tips For Hot Tub Cover Care

Maintaining your hot tub cover is easy!  Cleaning your cover once every 1-3 months will keep it moisturized and looking fabulous for years. Even an older cover can benefit from a thorough cleaning and protectant treatment.

Here are a few simple tips to prevent your spa cover from fading, cracking, water log and mildew:

Clean Your Cover

  1. Rinse your hot tub cover with cool water using a garden hose.
  2. Spray with a gentle, non-foaming, ph neutral cleaner (we recommend Simple Green) and wipe clean.  For stubborn dirt, use a non-abrasive sponge.

* Never use laundry detergent, abrasives, alcohols, dish soaps or harsh cleaners. These products can actually remove some of the topcoat and cause premature vinyl failure.

TIP: Tree sap can be removed by rubbing with a little vegetable oil or margarine.

  1. Rinse again thoroughly with water and allow to dry.

Protect Your Cover

  1. Start with a dry spa cover (use a towel if it’s been raining).
  2. There are plenty of protective cleaners on the market, but the best one we’ve found is 303® Aerospace Protectant. It not only protects the vinyl, but also keeps it shiny and looking brand new. 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.

* Stay away from Oil based “protectants” (including a leading automotive line containing silicone oil). They are extremely damaging because they amplify sun rays, essentially cooking your hot tub cover.

NOTE: Covering your entire hot tub and cover in a plastic tarp will greatly increase the life of the cover. Keeping the cover dry and out of the sun is one of the best defenses against aging. If you tend to close your tub for a few months, take the time to cover it for storage. A regular tarp works best to seal out rain, snow, and damaging sun.

Keep It Dry

On very nice days, take the cover off your hot tub and unzip the zippers on the end of the cover to let it dry out for a couple of hours. This will keep your cover nice and light.

Covers can become waterlogged, and this can make your cover very heavy to take on and off your hot tub. Minimize the amount of water the cover soaks up by drying it once in a while, and you will ensure it stays nice and light as long as possible.

Repair It

Over time, vinyl can tear or seams can open. Most covers have a zipper system that allows you to quickly remove the cover and check the foam. If water, or steam from your hot tub, finds its way past this barrier, you will notice quickly that your cover will become very heavy and may need to be replaced.

Inspect your cover to make sure it’s properly sealed. Use duct tape to temporarily repair any seams or areas that may allow water to seep into the foam. I recommend doing  this a couple times a year and before storing it away for the season.

Does Your Cover Have a Mildew Smell?

When your hot tub cover becomes waterlogged, it can obtain a heavy mildew smell. This happens because stagnant water from the rain, and condensation from within your hot tub, slowly soak into the cover.

Here is how to eliminate, or at least minimize, the mildew smell from your hot tub cover:

  1. On a dry sunny day, take your hot tub cover off your spa and set it up like a tent on a fat surface. Basically make your hot tub cover look like and upside down V-shape.
  2. Unzip your cover and air-dry the foam inserts.
  3. You can use a variety of cleaners to help get rid of the smell, We recommend bleach to destroy the mildew. When using bleach, be sure to DILUTE the bleach with warm water (I feel a half-cup of bleach mixed with a gallon of water is plenty enough to kill the mildew.)
  4. Spray off surfaces with garden hose.
  5. Towel-dry all surfaces, and allow for additional air-dry time of the jacket.
  6. Let your cover stand like this for several hours to really dry it out. It will become lighter the more you do these steps.
  7. Foam core should be kept in the shade while drying.
  8. Carefully reassemble when dry.


Another major contributor to cover failure is damage caused by over-chlorination, excessive ozone contact, or imbalanced water chemistry. Imbalanced water chemistry can cause vinyl puffiness, stitching disintegration and bleaching of the cover’s underside. Prevent this by testing & balancing your water weekly.

  • Keeping Alkalinity between 80-120
  • Keeping pH between 7.2-7.8
  • Keep Chlorine between 1.5-3 or Bromine 3-5
  • Remove cover when adding spa shock

SPECIAL OFFER! IN-STORE ONLY (25098 Madison Avenue, Murrieta, California 92562)


Spruce up for Spring with our Hot Tub Cover Care Kit for only $18.99. Includes full-sized cleaning products needed to maintain and protect your hot tub cover and clean your spa shell too! 303 Protectant (16oz) shields your spa cover from damaging UV to prevent fading and cracking of the vinyl. Simple Green (32oz), a non-foaming, ph neutral, eco-friendly cleaner for hot tub shells and spa covers and a spa scrubber sponge with a Microfiber side for cleaning, and non-scratch scrubber side for safe scum and grime removal. No harsh chemicals. (While Supplies Last)

Keeping your Hot Tub Cover looking new is easy with these 5 steps![/caption]

Could you  benefit from a refresher on Water Care? Sign up for our free water care class!  Call our showroom at 951-698-3115 for the FREE CLASS schedule.

Do you have any questions about cover cleaning or hot tub maintenance? Call us anytime! Call our showroom at 951-698-3115

5 responses to “5 Tips For Hot Tub Cover Care

  1. I’m looking for a treatment for my spa cover that is not smooth vinyl. My cover in more of a tight weave nylon.

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