Many people are divided as to how to care for their Ute tonneau covers but the majority just seem to go along with the practice of giving the cover a wash at the same time as when they wash the vehicle and leave it at that. Black tonneau are fairly UV resistant anyway and will last for a decent amount of time without any specialised treatment but if you are really pedantic and like to have things just so, there are some chemicals on offer that can be used to prolong the life of the cover. So they say anyway, the thing you have to remember is that if you are adding solutions to the tonneau then when it rains there is every chance that, that solution is going to be running down the side of the utility. You need to make sure that the products you use are not going to be damaging any paint work and leaving unsightly stains.
Stitching can also become frayed and damaged if you are scrubbing at it too hard, there will be the normal amount of stretching and fraying anyway from normal use and exposure to the elements, so you don’t want to be helping that process along.
Some individuals use such things as amourall, tire shine and leather and vinyl wipes but some of these products are dressings and protectants and when exposed to the rain will leave black runs down the side of the vehicle which you will then have to clean off, so not the best solutions.
Some tonneau companies have come up with their own protective solutions and it may be just a case of trial and error, until you find the one that you are the most happy with, the good thing about these are that they are made with the whole vehicle in mind and will not damage the rest of the car, also see this roll top Ute covers. Some are even made so that the rain beads off of the cover and you only need to reapply when you notice the beading process dissipating. They have added UV protection, so it is like adding a layer of sunscreen to the tonneau and thus hopefully giving you prolonged usage out of the cover.
Not only do some of these protectants aid in rain and sun resistant but they clean and bring the cover back to a nearly new finish, so they have the added bonus of being dressings as well, making your tonneau nice and clean and black again and not a faded sad black. This is only a stop gap though to the eventual deterioration of the cover, nothing that is currently on the market is going to protect it forever, after all how are they going to continue to make sales if you never have to replace it. If you want to avoid all this hassle install a hard top tonneau and you will only have to go through the same procedure as washing the car.