How to Clean a Pool Cover

Written by Michael Dean
June 9, 2023

cleaning a pool cover

A well-kept swimming pool is an excellent way to cool off during the summer, but it can also be a lot of work. One of the most important parts of pool maintenance is cleaning the cover. A dirty pool cover can harbor bacteria and algae, harming swimmers. Your pool cover keeps your swimming pool clean and free of leaves and debris, but it can get dirty over time.

Here’s my handy guide on cleaning a pool cover to keep you and your family safe.

Main Takeaways

  • The pool cover is an important part of the pool and must be cleaned regularly.
  • You can easily clean the pool cover yourself.
  • The pool cover must be completely dry before storing it for the winter.
  • Assuming you don’t want to hire a professional pool cover cleaning service, there are a few different ways you can clean your pool cover yourself.

Supplies Checklist

  • Pool cover removal/installation rod
  • Garden hose
  • Pool brush
  • Cleaning solution
  • Storage bag or container for your pool cover

Step By Step Guide: How to Clean a Pool Cover

Whether you’re looking to save on your energy bills, extend your swimming season, or keep your pool clean and sparkling all year round, a pool cover is a great way to do it. But at the beginning of the season, you’ll need to clean your pool cover before you can properly store it away.

Cleaning a pool cover is not as difficult as it may seem. Here is a step-by-step guide on cleaning a pool cover so it will be ready for next season:

Step One: Remove the Debris

Start by removing any debris from the surface of the pool cover. You can do this with a leaf blower or a broom. Use a hose to spray off any stubborn spots.

Step Two: Spray on a Cleaning Solution

The next step is to pour a diluted cleaning solution on the cover. Attach a spray-on cleaner to your hose and spray the cleaning solution on the cover. You can also mix any mild detergent with water.

Step Three: Brush the Pool Cover

Brush the pool cover using a pool brush and spread the cleaning solution evenly around the cover.

Step Four: Rinse and Drain the Cover

After scrubbing the pool cover with the brush, rinse the cover off with water and use a sump pump to pump the excess water away.

Step Five: Detach the Pool Cover

Once you have cleaned the top of the cover, it is time to detach the pool cover and remove it from the pool. Use a safety cover installation rod to detach the cover from the anchors. Use the hex key to screw down all the anchors so that they are flush with the ground.

Step Six: Remove the Pool Cover

Now that the top side of the pool cover is clean, pull the pool cover off of the pool and flip it upside down.

Step Seven: Clean the Water-Facing Side of the Cover

Once you have removed and flipped the pool cover, you will need to clean the underside. Do this as you did on the top of the cover, using a cleaning solution and a pool brush. Once that’s done, rinse it off with clean water.

Step Eight: Let the Cover Dry

This is an important step you should never miss. After thoroughly cleaning the pool cover, you must ensure it is completely dry if you are storing it. Failure to do this will result in rot and mildew over the winter.

Tips For Keeping Your Pool Cover Clean

Here are a few tips to help you keep your pool cover clean. 

Daily Maintenance

Make sure to regularly remove any debris from the surface of the pool cover. This will help prevent stains and make cleaning more manageable when it is time for a complete cleaning. If you have a mesh pool cover, hose it down regularly to prevent dirt and debris from building up. If you notice any spots or stains on the pool cover, treat them with a mild soap and water solution. You may need to research the best pool cover for your situation depending on the climate where you live; daily maintenance can be more challenging with different types of covers.

Regular Cleaning

At least once a month, give your pool cover a thorough cleaning. Do this by using a hose to wet down the cover and then using a brush to scrub away any dirt or debris. You can also use a pressure washer to clean the pool cover, but make sure to use a low setting to avoid damaging the cover.

If you have a vinyl pool cover, clean it with a mild soap and water solution. You can also use a vinyl cleaner to help keep it in good condition.

Another great way to constantly keep your pool cover clean is investing in a pool cover pump. Check out my top picks for pool cover pumps and see which fits your budget.

Deep Cleaning

Give your pool cover a deep cleaning every few months to remove any tough stains or build-up. To do this, soak the cover in a solution of water and bleach for a few hours.

Once the cover is soaked, use a brush to scrub away any remaining dirt or build-up. Be sure to rinse the cover thoroughly after cleaning it to remove any bleach residue.


When not using your pool cover, storing it in a cool, dry place is important. This will help prevent the cover from becoming damaged or warped. You can also purchase a cover storage bag to help keep your cover in good condition.

Following these tips, you can keep your pool cover clean and in good condition for many years. A pool cover may be expensive, but keeping your pool looking its best is worth it.

How to Store a Pool Cover at the End of the Season

Whether you’re taking a break from swimming for the winter or you simply want to put it away, for the time being, you’ll need to store your pool cover properly when not in use.

Here are my top tips for storing a pool cover at the end of the season:

First, before cleaning it, in most cases, you will have to remove the pool cover. Also, if you want to winterize your pool cover, come check out how to protect your pool cover during the winter.

  1. Clean the pool cover. Before storing your pool cover, it’s important to clean it well. This will help prevent mildew and mold from forming while it’s in storage.
  2. Let it dry completely. Once you’ve cleaned your pool cover, it’s important to let it dry completely. This can take a few days, depending on the weather. If you’re in a hurry, use a leaf blower to speed up the drying process. Just be sure not to use too much force, as this could damage the cover.
  3. Fold it up properly. Once your pool cover is dry, fold it properly to store it. Start by folding it in half, lengthwise. Then, fold it in half again, ensuring the pleats face up. This will help prevent creases and wrinkles from forming. Then keep folding it until you can roll it up and put it in a pool cover storage bag. This will help protect it from dirt, dust, and other damaging elements.
  4. Place it off the ground. Place it high off the ground when ready to store your pool cover. This will help prevent water from seeping in and damaging the cover. You can hang the cover over the railing if you have a second-story deck or balcony. Just be sure to use pool cover clips or ties to secure it.

My tips can be applicable to any kind of pool cover, but there are more specific tips I can give you, depending on whether you have a solar cover, an automatic cover, or a safety cover.

Solar Cover

One of the best ways to store your solar cover is on a solar cover reel. This will help prevent wrinkles and creases from forming. As always, it’s important to clean your solar cover before storing it on the reel. This will help prevent dirt and debris from building up on the cover. This is perfect for short-term storage.

If you are planning to store your solar cover away for a while, it is best to fold on the seams and roll it up to put it in a solar cover storage bag. Make sure to store the cover in a cool, dry place. If you want to find the best solar cover for you, check out my top picks for solar pool covers.

Automatic Cover

Automatic pool covers are easy to “put away” since they are attached to your pool all year. Therefore, storage isn’t an issue with these covers. However, you should still make sure that you properly clean the pool cover.

Safety Cover

A safety cover is a great way to keep your family safe when no one is swimming. It’s also easy to store. Most safety cover systems come with a storage bag that you can use to store the cover.

To store the safety cover, simply fold and roll it before storing it in the storage bag. I recommend putting the safety cover in a proper container to protect it from pests. Safety covers don’t come cheap, so the more you can do to protect them and prolong their lives, the better!

How Often Should You Clean Your Pool Cover?

It’s important to clean your pool cover regularly to keep it in optimum condition. Depending on how often you use your pool, you should aim to clean it at least once a week. If you live in an area with a lot of pollen or other debris, you should try to clean it more frequently.

Get My Free Pool Care Checklist

Download my free, printable pool maintenance checklist to help you accomplish regular pool care tasks for any type of swimming pool.

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Bottom Line

Cleaning a pool cover is an important part of pool maintenance. It’s essential to clean the cover regularly to keep it in good condition. A good and well-kept pool cover can last for many years. Proper care and installation of your pool cover can provide safety and cleanliness for your family and friends. So take the time to clean your pool cover, and enjoy many years of pool fun.

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