Swimming Pool Cover Care

Updated 11/20/2023

Swimming pool cover care is an often overlooked aspect of pool maintenance. In order to keep your swimming pool clear and clean of debris, which is what a pool cover is mainly for, you have to keep the cover itself clean and clear of debris. 

Here are some basic pool cover maintenance tips and ‘to dos’ to help keep your pool covers clean, secured, and ready to go.

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Types of Pool Covers

  • Solid Covers: These are typically heavy-duty vinyl or tarp-like covers designed to keep debris out of the pool. They may have a pump or drain system to remove standing water.
  • Mesh Covers: These covers allow water to pass through while keeping debris out. They are usually lighter and easier to handle.
  • Automatic or Retractable Covers: These covers are motorized and can be rolled up or retracted with the push of a button.

How to Remove a Pool Cover 

Removing a pool cover is a fairly straightforward process, but exact steps may vary depending on the type of pool cover you have. Here are general instructions that should help you remove different types of pool covers safely and efficiently. 

  • Ensure that the pool cover and the surrounding area are free of any debris or obstacles that might make the process difficult or unsafe.
  • Remove standing water (if applicable). If you have a solid cover with standing water, use a cover pump or a submersible pump to remove excess water.
  • Use a leaf blower, broom, or pool cover pump to remove any leaves or sticks on the surface of the cover.
  • Detach anchors, straps, or springs. Refer to the guide for your specific cover if need be. 
  • Fold (solid cover) or roll up (mesh cover) the cover and store or set it to the side. If you have an automatic or retractable cover, follow the manufacturer’s instructions for retracting or rolling it up.

Always refer to the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer for your particular pool cover, as they may have unique features or requirements.

How to Clean a Pool Cover

Maintaining and cleaning a pool cover can vary slightly depending on the type of pool cover you’re using. All the debris that falls onto your pool cover need to be cleaned off regularly. If you leave the leaves (or whatever else can accumulate) on the pool cover, it will just fall into the swimming pool when you move the cover. 

To clean and care for your automatic cover: 

Remove Debris

Use a leaf blower or garden hose to rinse off any loose dirt or debris from the pool cover. Start at one end and work your way across, directing the debris toward the edge of the pool cover.

SCRUB-O Pool & Spa Scrubbing Mitt


If there are stubborn stains or dirt on the pool cover, use a soft bristle brush or mit to gently scrub the surface. Avoid using abrasive brushes or materials that could damage the cover. 

If need be, use a gentle, non-abrasive cleaner mixed with water. Dish soap or a specific pool cover cleaner can work well. We recommend testing on a small, less visible section of the cover first to avoid accidental staining or damage.


After scrubbing, rinse the pool cover thoroughly with the garden hose. Make sure to remove all soap residue.


Allow the pool cover to air dry completely before folding or storing it to avoid mold and mildew.

Either leave it in your driveway or use a clothesline that can support the cover. Do not put it in the grass, as grass can impact how quickly and efficiently the cover dries.

Maintain Other Pool Cover Components

Beyond your cover, make sure you’re cleaning and maintaining other components as well. 

If you have an automatic pool cover, for example, be sure to check the tracks and mechanisms for debris or obstructions. Keep the cover system well-lubricated according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

You’ll also want to inspect cables and winches to make sure they’re not fraying or rusting. 

Clean Around the Pool Area

Take some time to remove all the leaves and other debris you just washed off your cover so they don’t blow back on. This will minimize future cleanings and prevent damage to your cover. 

How to Store Your Pool Cover

Proper storage helps ensure that your pool cover is in good condition when you are ready to use it again. Taking the time to store it correctly can save you money in the long run by preventing unnecessary wear and tear.

Here are a few tips for storing your pool cover. 

Clean and Dry

Before storing the pool cover, follow the steps above to make sure it is clean and completely dry. This will help prevent mold, mildew, and other issues. Be sure to check and follow the cleaning instructions provided by the manufacturer.

Inspect for Damage

Before storing your pool cover away, inspect it carefully for any signs of damage, such as tears, punctures, or weakened areas. If damage is significant, consider repairing or replacing the cover as soon as possible to make sure your vinyl liner is protected. 

Fold or Roll Properly

Follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for folding or rolling the pool cover. Some covers are designed to be folded, while others should be rolled. 

Avoid too many creases or overstretching, which can weaken the material over time. Also, find a nice open area that’s free of debris to avoid accidentally damaging the cover or making it dirty while folding. 

Use a Storage Bag

If your pool cover did not come with a storage bag, box, or container, consider investing in one. A storage bag helps protect the cover from dust, pests, and other environmental factors. Make sure the bag is clean and dry before placing the cover inside.

Store in a Cool, Dry Place

Choose a cool, dry location for storing the pool cover. Avoid areas that are exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, as UV rays can degrade the material. A well-ventilated space is also good for avoiding any mold or mildew growth.  

Use Rodent Deterrents

If you are storing the cover in an area where rodents may be present, such as a garage or basement, consider using rodent deterrents to protect the cover from damage.

Perform Regular Checks

Periodically check on the stored pool cover, especially during long periods of storage. Ensure it remains clean, dry, and free from damage.

How to Keep a Pool Cover On

At Linerworld, our above ground pool covers come with cable and winch systems. To secure your above ground pool cover, simply thread the cable through the grommets on the cover and use the winch to tighten it. This creates a secure fit and helps prevent the cover from being lifted by wind.

Some other ways to help you keep your pool cover on and in place include:

  • Trimming overhanging trees and plants around the pool. These can easily snag the cover or ties when the wind picks up. 
  • Getting the correct size cover. An appropriately sized cover will fit snugly, reducing the chance of it being dislodged by wind or other factors.
  • Regularly cleaning the cover. Dirt and debris can cause the pool cover to shift or weigh it down so that it falls into the pool. 

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At Linerworld, we have high-quality above ground pool covers and in-ground safety covers in a variety of sizes and colors to meet your needs.

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