Boat cover Cleaning Tips (25,000 boat covers cleaned)

6 minute reading time
Bootkap Reinigen Tips  (25.000 bootkappen gereinigd)
Follow our simple step-by-step plan for cleaning and impregnating your boat cover.

Since 1998 we have cleaned more than 25,000 boat covers at Ultramar. Boat covers in all shapes, sizes and fabric types. Boat covers with all kinds of dirt you can think of. Think of insects, fire damage, ink, oil, grease, rust, resin and glue, but even human feces, blood, etc.

But no matter what kind of dirt or cloth it is, cleaning and impregnation always takes place in a few simple steps. Read on to find out how to do this and what you should pay attention to.

Do not use chlorine

An often heard tip is to use chlorine to clean your boat cover. We absolutely advise against this. Do not start yourself with chlorine, bleach.

Chlorine, bleach, etc. is very difficult to rinse with water. The result is that the chlorine residues remain in the cloth and continue to work. Particularly under the influence of heat and UV, the quality of your boat cover can go down quickly. I mean backwards :-)

It is also difficult to estimate which type of cloth can or cannot withstand chlorine. Many boat covers are coated on the inside. This coating ensures the watertightness of the cloth. And it is precisely that coating that can be discolored severely by chlorine. The result is an inside with large orange-yellow spots.

Geen chloor gebruiken

Don't use green soap

Green soap is certainly safe and does not discolor the cloth. It also cleans well in many cases. However, there is a major drawback to cleaning a boat cover with green soap. It leaves behind a greasy layer. And what you just don't want is a greasy layer on your boat cover. This layer cannot be rinsed off the cloth. This makes it very difficult to impregnate the boat cover after cleaning.

Another disadvantage: because the fat in green soap consists of vegetable oils, it is a perfect breeding ground for fungi and algae. That is the reason that a boat cover is dirty again (mold, green deposits) faster after using green soap.

What should I clean with then?

I always recommend the following:

1: Always clean with lukewarm water first.
Why use a cleaning agent when the boat cover can only be cleaned with water? That is why it is important to regularly wash your boat cover with water. By washing the cloth every month with lukewarm water and a soft brush, dirt does not get a chance to really adhere. Fungi and algae do not get a chance to penetrate deep into the canvas.

2: Is water alone no longer sufficient? Then use Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo.
Have you washed the boat cover with lukewarm water and you see that there is still dirt in the canvas? Then it's time for a thorough cleaning. Especially for the normal thorough cleaning of boat cloth and tent cloth I have Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo developed.

3: Power Cleaner
If you can still see dirt after cleaning with Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo, then proceed to the Power Cleaner. This is often the case with dirt that has been on the boat cover for a longer period of time and has been able to adhere so strongly.

Why not clean my boat cover directly with Power Cleaner?

If your boat cover is dirty, it is never 1 type of dirt. Precisely by cleaning in different steps and with different products, we at Ultramar get extremely dirty boat covers perfectly clean.

Clean the entire boat cover, including the inside!

Almost all boat covers we receive from Ultramar have dirt on the inside of the roof. And it is precisely that dirt that affects that coating. So even if there is nothing to see, clean the inside regularly with lukewarm water and a soft brush.

Cleaning the boat cover, on board or not?

The boat cover may be very large. Or you want to clean the inside and the interior should not get wet.

To properly clean a boat cover, you must be able to rinse well. The less cleaning agent remains in the cloth, the better the impregnating agent will work. And that impregnation is so important!

Is it not possible to rinse well? Then remove the boat cover once. That is possible on a nice dry day. Make sure you have a nice clean surface to place the boat cover on. This can be, for example, a construction sheet from the hardware store. That way you have a nice clean surface for a few euros. Clean the boat cover inside and out. Then rinse well.

Can or cannot the boat remain open? Then place the damp boat cover back on the boat (impregnation can then be done later when the cover is dry).

And then the most important... impregnate your boat cover!

What's the point of cleaning your boat cover and not protecting it afterwards? It sounds so logical, but a lot of people clean, brush, wash, scrub... Time and again! And again and again people complain about the canvas or those filthy moulds. Or that one has to buy a cleaning agent again and that it becomes an expensive hobby.

But impregnation with a good impregnating agent is not done. And that is SO IMPORTANT! Precisely by impregnating regularly, you ensure that you need to clean less. With good protection, fungi, algae, bird droppings and all other dirt do not get a chance to really adhere. It is better to spend a little more on a good impregnating agent than all those cleaning agents again and again. Or even worse......that new boat cover of a few thousand Euros.

By the way, here you can read my most important advice.

Bootkap schoon

Are you ready? Are you going to clean and impregnate your boat cover? Then here again all the steps of the Ultramar Step-by-step plan in a row.

Boat cover Cleaning Step-by-step plan

Cleaning your boat cover with Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo

Step 1: Warm water first
First clean with lukewarm water and a firm, but soft brush.

Step 2: Apply and brush Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo
Then spray Ultramar Sprayhood & Tent Shampoo with a spray or plant spray on the still wet cloth. The shampoo can just get on the window windows. Now brush off the dirt well.

Step 3: Leave on for about 20 minutes
Now let the shampoo do its job and act for 20 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse well with water
Rinse and brush all dirt and shampoo off the boat cover with clean water.

Step 5: Now Let the Boat Cover Dry
On a dry boat cover it is easy to see whether all contamination has been removed from the canvas. Is there still contamination to be seen? Then continue to the Ultramar Power Cleaner.

Remove heavy pollution from your boat cover with Power Cleaner

Step 1: Apply and brush in Power Cleaner
Spray Power cleaner on your boat cover with the spray or a plant sprayer. Brush in with a soft brush.

Step 2: Let it work for a long time
Power Cleaner takes time. Let Power Cleaner act for about 1 hour. Do you see little change? Spray a little extra Power Cleaner, brush in again and let it soak in again. Repeat these steps until the stains are gone. This can sometimes take several hours. Then rinse well.

Step 3: Let it dry now
Allow the boat cover to dry thoroughly.

Step 4: Finally impregnate properly again
When the boat cover is dry, you must protect the canvas again. Use a good and professional impregnating agent. You then buy less water and you can be sure that the fabric will receive the protection it needs.