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A wooden hot tub with a closed, black cover on top, perfect for relaxation. Knowing how to maintain your spa cover ensures its longevity and keeps your hot tub in pristine condition.

Simple Spa Cover Maintenance: 4 Tips for a Longer-Lasting Cover

Hot tub covers are essential for your hot tub if you are looking to extend its lifespan and enjoy its relaxing properties for a long time. However, for a hot tub cover to achieve its purpose of keeping debris out of the water, you need to keep it clean.

Hot tub owners need to clean the hot tub covers regularly in order to prevent mildew buildup and musty smells. Fortunately, hot tub cover cleaning is a fairly simple process. However, if done incorrectly, it could damage the cover or your hot tub itself.

The easiest way to keep debris from your hot tub cover is to spray it down with cold water from a garden hose and then wipe it down with a dry cloth. This will help keep off the build-up of everyday dirt and grime and help keep the shine of the vinyl.

However, a simple cleaning is not enough if you want to enjoy your hot tub cover for a long time. Follow these steps on a regular basis for proper maintenance of your hot tub cover:

Removal: detaching from the cover lifter

Removing a hot tub cover can be a difficult and dangerous task. If done improperly, it could lead to serious injuries or damage to the cover itself. While hot tub covers do an excellent job of keeping dirt, dust, and debris out of your spa, they need regular cleaning to keep them looking good and working properly.

Before you begin removing your hot tub cover, make sure you have the right supplies on hand. You will need two adults – one to hold the cover steady while the other loosens and detaches it from its mounts. It is also important that you wear protective gloves when handling the heavy material of your spa lid so that you don’t injure yourself during removal.

Cleaning: soapy water & soft brush

Cleaning a hot tub cover can be easy and efficient with the right materials. A simple soapy water solution and a brush is all that’s required to get your hot tub cover sparkling clean.

First, you will need to fill a bucket or other large container with warm water and some mild dish soap. Use a soft-bristled brush to scrub away any dirt from the surface of your cover. Begin at one corner, working in small circles until you have covered the entire surface area. Be sure to rinse it off after each section is complete.

Additionally, you can use a sponge for scrubbing hard-to-reach areas such as corners or around seams. Once your cover is thoroughly cleaned, let it dry completely before returning it to its original position on top of your hot tub.

Rinse & dry: hose & towel

After you have finished washing the cover, it’s time to rinse the soap off and dry it properly. The best way to do this is with a garden hose and a clean towel.

Start by rinsing the cover with a garden hose on a low-pressure setting; avoid using too much water pressure, as this could damage the vinyl material of the cover. Once you are done rinsing, use a clean towel to wipe away any excess moisture from the surface of your hot tub cover. Make sure you take extra care in drying all creases or folds in order to prevent mildew growth and discoloration.

Finally, lay your cleaned hot tub cover out flat on an even surface so that air can circulate around it and promote faster drying times.

Maintenance: Conditioner & protector

One of the biggest enemies of vinyl is the sun. Sunshine will break it down, wear out the stress points, such as hinges and corners, and cause them to fail. Marine grade vinyl has a UV protectant built in, but this needs regular maintenance for a prolonged lifespan.

To ensure that you can keep the cover in top shape, you should take the steps to maintain it with both conditioner and protector. The conditioner keeps the cover from drying out, while the protector helps to reduce cracking, fading, and discoloration. Once you have wiped down the entire surface of the hot tub cover, apply a quality vinyl protectant (conditioner) according to the directions on its label.

We recommend using the 303 Aerospace Protectant. This product will block most of the sun’s harmful UV rays and help against fading and cracking. Avoid alcohol-based products as they will dry out the vinyl cover and cause it to fail at a faster pace. Recommended use is to spray a light mist over the whole top and wipe down at least once a month.


Never put anything on top of the spa cover. A simple flotation device can heat up to extreme temperatures in the sun and cause the foam core to melt under it. This will happen with the majority of objects you will leave on top of the spa cover.

Let your spa cover drain every now and then. Water can get trapped between the vinyl and the foam inserts and can cause mold growth and unpleasant odors. To do this, put the spa cover with the zipper side to the ground every couple of months to allow the trapped water to drain out.

Following these simple steps will help maintain your spa cover and keep it looking its best for many years.


Post Update: The article was updated on December 29th, 2022, originally published on December 9th, 2020. It has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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A grid of 16 circular swatches showcases a diverse blend of shape and color with names: port, green, teal, light gray, ash, light blue, blue, navy, tan, almond, adobe, rust, brown, russet, walnut, charcoal.