How to Care for Your Ute Canopies and Lids

Whether you choose a canopy or a lid for your ute, maintenance is a big part of making it last for years. If you are still wonder what the difference is between a canopy and a lid, you’ll find more information about lids here and more information about canopies here.

Lids and canopies are pretty much cleaned and cared for the same way as you would your aluminum or powder coated steel tray.

  1. Wash your tray and lid/canopy with a clean sponge or a soft cloth and car wash detergent.
  2. If you have heavy dirt and grease, you can try sugar soap. Mild dish soap is another alternative to car wash detergent for heavily soiled accessories, but this can strip away any wax that was applied prior to cleaning.
  3. Do not use acid or any acid-based products as these can cause coating deterioration. Use cool water to clean your canopy.
  4. Warm water can be used in winter to remove snow and ice deposits without using a scraper.
  5. Stay away from harsh or abrasive cleaning tools such as steel wool or wired brushes. When you’re cleaning your canopy or lid, use a circular overlapping motion.

One of the most frequently asked questions when it comes to cleaning canopies is how to get in the small gap between the ute’s cab and the canopy. The space is about 15-50 mm wide between the canopy front windows and the cab rear windows which makes it quite the challenge for canopies with sliding glass. For those lucky enough to have a lift-up front window as seen in the Beaut Utes canopy range, cleaning the cab window shouldn’t be a problem. If not, there are some canopy brushes available out there just for the purpose of cleaning that gap. However, we found that some ute owners have gotten pretty creative and use a mop handle with a rag to get in that space. We’ve even heard someone suggest tying a sponge in the middle of a long piece of rope and with a person on each side pulling it back and forth or wrapping a ruler in a towel and having a go at it. Whatever your method, it’s a great way to get creative and have fun while cleaning.

For lids, you can remove surface grit by flooding it with cool, clean water. Then, clean it with mild soap and hose it down to remove all traces of the soap. Wipe off excess water with a towel or a sponge.

Tonneau covers take a lot of beating from the elements – rain, snow, dust and debris. Check it regularly for wear outs. Make sure the mounting hardware stay tight and locks stay lubricated. If you have a vinyl soft tonneau, check with the manufacturer for care instructions. There are some quality vinyl cleaners available in the market. Use a clean towel to wash the entire tonneau with the cleaner; don’t do spot cleaning which will cause rings and bright spots on the surface.

If you are using a canvas cover there is no need to use detergents, soaps or bleach to clean it. Gently brush it down with a soft bristled brush to remove dirt and dust. Then you simply hose it off with clean, cold water. You can also use waterproofing spray for canvas covers, following instructions from the manufacturer.

Your canvas cover also needs to be seasoned to keep its waterproof properties intact. To do this hose down the surface to allow the fabric to swell. Allow it to completely dry out so the fibre shrinks to create a tighter weave. Repeat it a few more times, making sure that it is completely dry before watering it down.

For any removable lid or tonneau, make sure it is completely dry before packing it away to prevent mould and mildew.

Servicing is also essential to the longevity of your accessories. Check if the manufacturer offers free annual service. If not, you can get it done when you have your mechanical check for your ute. Ask your mechanic to tighten all mounting points and lubricate hinges, catches and locks.

UV coating is a good option for protecting vinyl, plastic and rubber items and making them last longer. Just make sure it does not have any petrochemicals.