Essential Cleaning and Care Tips to Maintain Your Outdoor TV Cover
Owning an outdoor TV allows you to enjoy entertainment in your backyard oasis, but exposing your expensive television to the elements comes with risks. An outdoor TV cover provides vital protection against weathering, but still requires proper maintenance and cleaning to look its best and fully safeguard your TV. Follow these essential care and cleaning tips to keep your outdoor TV cover performing optimally for years of reliable service.
Create a Strategic Cleaning Routine
Establishing a regular cleaning schedule suited to your specific climate is key for cover maintenance. Environmental factors determine optimal cleaning frequency:
- In low pollution environments, clean every 2-3 months to prevent dirt buildup and regularly check for damage.
- In high pollen areas, clean monthly before the pollen has a chance to cake on and stain the fabric.
- In industrial regions with more air pollution like soot, clean biweekly to counteract buildup.
- After heavy wind and rainstorms, always inspect and clean to remove any leaves, twigs or other debris stuck to the cover before it causes imprints or abrasions.
- In coastal areas, clean once a month to wash away salt spray accumulation which can degrade fabric.
Also examine the cover after any extended off-season storage of a month or longer. Clean away dust and grit that settled on the surface while packed away before reinstalling for the season. Refer to the manufacturer's specific care instructions for your cover's material.
Use Proper Outdoor Cleaning Agents
It's important to use cleaners specifically formulated for outdoor fabrics when washing your TV cover. Avoid toxic chemicals, bleach, or harsh detergents that could degrade specialized treatments and coatings that enhance water resistance, UV protection and longevity.
Refer to the product label's cleaning guidelines and test any new cleaners first on a small, inconspicuous area of the cover to check for discoloration or damage to water repellency. Select the appropriate cleaning solution for your cover's material:
- Vinyl - Use a specialty vinyl cleaner and protectant like 303 Aerospace Protectant
- Polyester - Opt for a mild detergent such as Woolite diluted in cool water
- Canvas - Look for a cotton and canvas cleaner made for awnings and tarps like Unger’s Cover Clean or custom canvas covers
- Acrylic - Mix up a mild soap and warm water solution avoiding harsh detergents
Treat Stains, Spills, and Grime Promptly
If you notice any new stains from sprinklers, accumulations of grime or bird droppings - address them quickly before they have a chance to set and cause stubborn staining or permanent discoloration. Mix your chosen cleaning solution according to directions and gently blot problem areas using a soft brush, sponge or microfiber towel. Allow the cover to fully air dry in a shaded spot before reinstalling.
For tough stains like mold or mildew, pre-treat the area with a stain remover made for outdoor fabric like Krud Kutter Outdoor Fabric Stain Remover before washing. Check to ensure any cleaning agents are colorfast and won’t bleed before using.
Exercise Care When Scrubbing and Rinsing
Use only light pressure and gentle motions when wiping down your cover. Aggressive scrubbing can actually damage water-resistant coatings and abrade or weaken fabric over time. After cleaning, thoroughly rinse with clean water to completely wash away all soap residue that could attract dirt. For stubborn buildup, repeated gentle applications may be needed. Pay special attention to logos, vents, zippers and fabric seams which are most vulnerable to wear.
Allow Plenty of Drying Time
It's critical to let your outdoor TV cover dry completely before putting it back on, as moisture trapped against the TV can lead to mold, mildew growth and water spots on the screen. After washing, lay the cover flat in a shaded spot or loosely hang it to dry fully over a few hours. Avoid direct sunlight which could potentially fade colors. Use a dry towel to gently blot dripping wet areas if needed.
Practice Safe Off-Season Storage
When not using your cover for an extended period, keep it clean and protected in storage:
- Ensure cover is 100% dry and clean before folding up. Spot clean if needed.
- Fold loosely over a wide rod or PVC pipe to prevent sharp creases. Never tightly bundle.
- Keep in a cool, dry place away from heat, humidity, and sunlight such as a closet or basement.
- Use breathable storage bags or sealable plastic bins to prevent dust buildup and pests. Cedar blocks also deter moths.
- Avoid stacking anything heavy on top that could misshape the cover.
Inspect Frequently for Wear and Tear
Periodically inspect the entire surface of the cover for concerning signs of damage or excessive wear and tear:
- Check for small holes, thinning fabric, or deteriorating waterproof coatings, especially along folded corners.
- Look for broken stitching, loose threads, or separating seams.
- Watch for discoloration, unusual fading or chalky areas that could indicate UV damage.
- Ensure straps, cords and grommets remain securely attached.
Address any damage promptly with repairs or cover replacement if needed to maintain protective abilities before issues worsen. Check warranty for repair coverage.
Apply Protective Treatments
Certain outdoor TV cover fabrics benefit from occasional reapplication of special coatings and treatments:
- Renew water repellency on canvas with a silicone-based waterproofer like Scotchguard. Follow product instructions carefully.
- Restore UV ray protection to faded areas using exterior fabric treatments.
- Replenish water resistance of polyester with a fabric protector spray like Scotchgard Outdoor Fabric Protector.
Always check that aftermarket treatments are specifically formulated for your cover's material. Test first on a hidden spot before full application.
Keep Your TV Cover Outdoor Looking Fresh
Caring for your outdoor TV cover takes a little extra effort, but preserves its appearance and performance. By establishing a strategic cleaning routine suited to your climate, choosing the right cleaning agents, taking care to prevent fabric damage, allowing plenty of drying time, and properly storing the cover between uses, you’ll keep your cover in optimal shape for the longest lifetime of protection. Your regular maintenance will provide great returns by reliably shielding your outdoor TV from the elements year after year.
How To Dry Your Outdoor TV Cover?
The best way to dry your outdoor TV cover is to either hang it to air dry or lay it flat in a shaded area outside. Letting it drip dry prevents high heat damage from the dryer. If the cover comes out with wrinkles after air drying, as long as it is fully dry, you can put it in the dryer temporarily at a very low temperature setting to smooth the fabric. For best results, throw in some ice cubes in the dryer along with the cover to provide moisture and steam to release the wrinkles. The ice will melt and lightly dampen the fabric so the wrinkles can relax. Use low heat only and avoid any medium, high or sanitize settings when drying covers. Air drying is ideal, and the dryer can simply be used briefly to de-wrinkle if needed.
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