Hot Tub Cover Care and Maintenance

hot tub

Hot tub cover maintenance is a popular topic among spa owners. Your spa or hot tub cover fights the weather all year long and like any marine-grade vinyl, cleaning and conditioning will make it last much longer.

Sun, rain and snow pull out the resins that keep vinyl soft and pliable. Over time, spa covers that are not cleaned and protected become brittle, and soon develop thin spots, rips and tears.

Fortunately, maintaining your hot tub cover is easy. We recommend that you clean your cover once every few months. That will keep it looking as good as the day you bought it.

How to Clean a Hot Tub Cover

Start with a dry spa cover (use a towel if it's been raining). Although you can use other vinyl cleaner and conditioner products, we have two products that are specifically meant for use with spa covers.

Just wipe the product on the surface and use a soft cloth to remove any excess. Apply more product on seams or low spots that typically puddle water. It's quick and easy to apply to both the top and the sides - but don't use these products on the inside of the spa cover.

Two of Our Favorite Hot Tub Cover Cleaners:

303 Spa Cover Wipes - These wipes make maintenance so easy! The pre-moistened towelettes meant for one time use. Wipe over the surface of your spa cover to clean and provide an instant shine.

Leisure Time Cover Care - Cleans, restores and protects spa covers. Apply it with a sponge, using the gentle-textured side if you need to remove tough stains. You can apply extra if needed, unlike the wipes.

How to Condition a Hot Tub Cover

After a cleaning of your spa cover, your vinyl is prepped to receive a protectant. Without first cleaning the spa cover, the absorption of the protectant is limited, and protection is reduced. If after cleaning your spa cover and a protectant is not used, you may be amazed at how fast your spa cover gets dirty again. This is because cleaning your spa cover "opens up the pores" of the vinyl (much like skin), and dirt can gain a quick foothold - if not sealed up again with a bit of vinyl protection.

Hot Tub Cover Conditioners:

Spa Cover Conditioner - This is our most economical spa cover protectant. Squeeze it out onto a sponge and the cream soaks into the vinyl cover. High level of UV protection - it's like sunscreen for your spa cover!

303 Vinyl Protectant - Not oily or greasy, like other spa cover protectants. Spray on, wipe off. Repels dirt and dust and stains from leaves or animals.

How to Clean the Underside of your Spa Cover

Normally, the underside of your spa cover should not need cleaning, but if you notice a moldy, musty smell, or see dirt or discoloration on the surface, here's a handy trick. Fill a small spray bottle with a 10:1 solution of water to bleach (or a 10% solution of bleach). Remove the spa cover from the spa first. After spraying the plastic undersides, hose clean with fresh water and then towel dry or allow to air dry, before putting the cover back onto your hot tub.

Don't use household cleaning chemicals on your spa cover - you may add phosphates or detergents to the spa which can contaminate the water and give you problems with algae, foaming - or both. Some cleansers can even be harmful to spa users, if it gets into the spa water.

Hot Tub Cover Maintenance

Other than cleaning and conditioning your hot tub cover every 3 months or so, there isn't usually any other maintenance or repairs needed. Using a spa cover lifter can also extend the life of your cover. Here are a few tips if you are having any current issues with your hot tub cover:

  1. Taped or patch small tears to the plastic lining under the hot tub cover- to keep moisture out.
  2. Spa cover handles or straps can be sewn on again with an awl or stapled back into place (use Stainless Steel staples).
  3. Tears or rips in your vinyl cover material can be patched with an automotive "liquid vinyl" kit.
  4. Using a Spa Cover Cap can add years of life to your spa cover and reduce the need for cleaning. You might wonder why you would have a cap when you already have a cover. The cap can be put to use over your hot tub cover when you're away or if you're not frequently using your hot tub. It can be easily removed when you want to show off the beauty of your hot tub cover.

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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.