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  1. #1
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    How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    Aftermarket automotive accessories such as premium wheels, expensive summer performance tires, chrome exhaust tips, bed liners, and tonneau covers are all investments that shouldn't be overlooked when caring for your vehicle. Just like your paint, these accessories and add-ons need to be properly maintained to ensure that they look, and perform as they should.

    One of the most popular accessories for trucks is a tonneau cover. Not only do they enhance the appearance of your truck, but they also provide protection for goods that are stored in the bed. While tonneau covers look nice from the factory, the protective coating applied at the factory does wear off over time and to keep the tonneau cover looking new and protected, it needs to be maintained just like any other aspect of your vehicle.




    Wolfsteins, the leading manufacturer of Raggtop Convertible Top Care Products that are endorsed by Haartz and Roll-N-Lock, manufactures a kit that's designed specifically for vinyl tonneau covers. The kit includes a Tonneau Cover Cleaner and a Tonneau Cover Protectant.





    The Tonneau Cover Cleaner is a non-toxic, pH balanced, biodegradable formula that's safe on all surfaces. The cleaner can safely be sprayed on paint, glass, and chrome without causing any damage. Dirt, grime, and bird droppings don't stand a chance with the Raggtop Tonneau Cover Cleaner.

    The Tonnea Cover Protectant provides excellent UV protection against fading, cracking, and hardening. This patented formula can be used on all vinyl, plastic, and rubber trim. It contains no silicone, does not streak, and will enhance the appearance that's being treated. A tonneau cover treated with the protectant will be easier to clean and maintain in the future. Each application lasts several months.




    For this demonstration I grabbed the keys to the largest truck in the parking lot with a tonneau cover. This tonneau cover has not been properly cleaned, or protected, for several months. Although each application of Raggtop Tonneau Cover Protectant lasts several months, for best results it's ideal to re-apply every 3-5 weeks. After the initial coating is applied, it takes much less product if maintained as directed.

    You can clearly see how dull and tried out the tonneau cover is. It's not pretty at all, and takes away from what is otherwise a great looking truck.







  2. #2
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    A variety of microfiber towels, applicators, and tools were used for this demonstration.




    -Wolfsteins Tonneau Cover Care Kit
    -RaggTopp Natural Horse Hair Convertible Top Brush
    -20 inch brush Montana Original Boar’s Hair Wheel Brush
    -The Ultimate Guzzler Waffle Weave By Cobra 28 x 44 inches
    -Cobra Microfiber Applicator Pads
    -Fire Hose Nozzle


    First you want to thoroughly rinse the tonneau cover to remove any loose dirt or debris. The Fire Hose Nozzle is one of my favorite wash tools because it's extremely durable, easy to hold, and can be adjusted for either a powerful spray or a fine mist.










    Once the tonneau cover is rinsed, liberally spray on the Tonneau Cover Cleaner and agitate where necessary using a soft bristle brush.




    The 20" Boar's Hair Brush works great for getting the hard to reach areas because of its long handle. The bristles are soft enough for even the most delicate surfaces, but they also provide great scrubbing ability.




    For the really tough stains, the Raggtop Natural Horse Hair Brush works great. Like the Boar's Hair Brush, this brush is super soft but provides great cleaning ability. It's ergonomically designed to fit snuggly in your hand while cleaning. This brush is also gentle enough to use on leather surfaces.




    After you're finished cleaning, spray the tonneau cover down with a strong jet of water to rinse off the cleaner.




    Check out how dirty the Boar's Hair Brush is after a good thorough scrubbing.



  3. #3
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    After rinsing, dry the tonneau cover using a soft microfiber drying towel. The Ultimate Guzzler is the last drying towel that you will ever use. Its massive size (28" x 44"), soft satin edges, amazing absorption capacity, and durable construction have made it my go-to drying towel since I started at Autogeek. I usually fold it in half, or in four ways, and pat dry.






    If you're short like me, you can throw it over the tonneau cover and drag it across to dry the hard to reach areas.




    Next, pull the truck in a garage or out of direct sunlight and let the tonneau cover cool off before applying the protecant. Vinyl tends to expand when heated up, so if the tonneau cover is not completely dry the protectant may streak.




    I taped off a section of the tonneau cover so you can clearly see how effective the Tonneau Cover Protectant is at restoring the finish.




    For this application, the Tonneau Cover Protectant was applied liberally because the tonneau cover being treated was neglected resulting in a very dry finish. For routine maintenance every 3-5 weeks, much less product is needed.




    Thoroughly work the product in using a microfiber applicator.




    A couple minutes later, here is the finished result. Take a look at how the bottom left corner of the tonneau cover is now protected and the appearance is enhanced. The difference is night and day. The protectant also dries to the touch almost immediately after being applied.




    Completed!



  4. #4
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    The tonneau cover looks new, but what about the plastic trim surrounding the bed, tail gate, and bumper? Wolfsteins’ Tonneau Cover Protectant can also be used on other plastic, vinyl, and rubber surfaces to protect and enhance their appearance.

    The right side of the bed rail has been treated, while the left side has not. The protectant dries to the touch and doesn't leave a greasy, slippery finish behind.






    Take a look at the bumper before being treated with the Tonneau Cover Protectant. It's faded and completely takes away from the appearance of the truck.




    After being treated with the Tonneau Cover Protectant.






    Once you're finished protecting the rest of the truck, pull it out in the sun. The heat of the sun will open the pores in the vinyl allowing any excess product to be absorbed. If you desire the high gloss finish that was seen earlier, simply apply more product.

    The tonneau cover no longer has a dried out, faded appearance. It is now clean and protected for several months.







    If you have an expensive tonneau cover, or any other automotive accessory that needs a little TLC, visit Autogeek.net and I'm sure that you will find the product you need.


    Wolfsteins Tonneau Cover Care Kit

  5. #5
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    great info. i use the above products from wolfsteins and have found none better. the protectant will not streak and run down the paint which is a BIG PLUS!
    2012 NISSAN XTERRA PRO 4X.
    http://www.autogeek.net/

  6. #6
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by GMC View Post
    great info. i use the above products from wolfsteins and have found none better. the protectant will not streak and run down the paint which is a BIG PLUS!
    That's a huge advantage when using any product for exterior trim. Although a lot of products will enhance the appearance of the trim, the true test is their durability.

  7. #7
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    anyone with a tonneau cover needs to give this kit a try. a really nice kit. everything you need. the cleaner and protectant. your tonneau cover will thank you!
    2012 NISSAN XTERRA PRO 4X.
    http://www.autogeek.net/

  8. #8
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by GMC View Post
    anyone with a tonneau cover needs to give this kit a try. a really nice kit. everything you need. the cleaner and protectant. your tonneau cover will thank you!
    The next project will be to restore the bed liner.


  9. #9

    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    This is GREAT. I work at a truck accessories shop. All we do is sell and install truck accessories.

    Our two biggest sellers aside from gooseneck hitches are Spray-In Bed Liners and Tonneau Covers.

  10. #10
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    Re: How To: Properly Clean & Protect a Tonneau Cover

    Quote Originally Posted by MatthewM View Post
    This is GREAT. I work at a truck accessories shop. All we do is sell and install truck accessories.

    Our two biggest sellers aside from gooseneck hitches are Spray-In Bed Liners and Tonneau Covers.
    Now you have the know-how to keep them looking good and protected.

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