With space becoming a premium commodity, especially in big cities like London, having a garage to protect your car is becoming increasingly difficult. The only option you have to protect this valuable investment is to use a car cover. But even the car cover will need cleaning every once in a while or the accumulated dirt and grime could form a hard film that will scratch the paint on your car each time the cover is put on or taken off.
Luckily car covers are designed to be easily cleaned and is not something you need to add to your home cleaning contract. Most are machine washable, but sadly, not on domestic washing machines. You will have to take your car cover to a laundromat where they have commercial washing machines with no center agitator that could cause the cover to lose its shape. Follow the cleaning instructions that came with the cover or if they are missing simply select a cold wash cycle, put in the cover and use about a quarter cup of detergent. Once the washing is completed, run an additional rinse cycle because if even a little bit of soap remains on the cover it can affect its water resistance. Do not use a dryer unless the washing instructions specifically say you may. Air drying is the best and one way of doing this is to place the cover on the car and let it dry there.
If you can't get to a Laundromat, you can clean the car cover yourself while it is on the car:
- Pull the cover tightly over the car and smooth out wrinkles as much a possible.
- Use a hose to wash off any loose mud and debris.
- Fill a bucket with water and mix in any mild detergent in the recommended proportion.
- Use a sponge to wash the cover with the water and detergent solution, scrubbing on any stained areas.
- Rinse thoroughly making sure that no detergent residue is left on the cover.
- Allow it to drip dry for about ten minutes and then remove the cover from the car, turn it inside out and place it back on the car.
- Repeat the complete cleaning process again.
- Allow the now external surface to air dry completely and once that happens, take off the cover, invert it and let the other surface dry.
- Now remove the cover and check for any soap stains that may have seeped through minute tears or cracks in the cover and wipe them off the car.