Cleaning & protecting ute tonneaus

Many of our car care fans had been asking us for years to develop a product to look after their ute vinyl tonneau covers. To create something that was not greasy or sticky, that was long lasting with great protection, safe on the stitching and did not leave a black residue run off down the side of the car after it rains.

Developing something new

So back and forth we worked with the chemists, looking at new ways to make this type of product, getting literally dozens of product samples to test and evaluate over the course of a few years. Until we finally received the magic formula we have now, which met our wishes in its testing. We call it Vinyl Revival.

So what is it?

Vinyl Revival is an advanced, silicone free, water based protectant, which in itself is pretty revolutionary. Most water-based formulas that are made for tonneaus are renowned for the way they disappear in the first shower of rain; something we had to formulate out (it took some time!). Due to the wonders of modern chemistry, it has incredible longevity that, once it has set overnight, will protect for many months with outstanding durability and protection. 


It's also unique in that there are zero oil or water based silicones in it. In fact, this is the only product of its type we are aware of that can state this on the bottle. Most exterior products are a silicone oil emulsion, with a few others being the water based emulsion. Something that is not good long term for any plastics, rubber or vinyl, as the silicones build up, trapping the suns heat on the tonneau surface, thus leading to premature ageing and eventually its tragic destruction. 


There are no harsh solvents or petroleum distillates in there. These all work to slowly destroy plastics, rubber or vinyl, not to mention the nylon stitching used on so many tonneaus. 


A lot of people mention the grief they have had from using different dressings on their car and having it later run off the tonneau when it rains, onto the paint in black lines. We fixed that issue as well. Once dry, Vinyl Revival does not run; it stays on the surface it was applied to. It's also biodegradable and non toxic. A good thing for those using it. 


Importantly, it also has great rejuvenation qualities, to enrich and bring the tonneau surface back to a perfect, darkened, mid gloss finish. Just like it was when new.  


Due to the way the suns rays kill plastics and vinyl, through a process called photo-denergration, a strong UV blocker is a crucial part of the formula. 


So it can release the heat from the tonneau surface, to stop heat damage, keeping it elastic and like new. 

One thing we did find, is that the silicone based dressings, oils and embedded dirt can affect the Vinyl Revival formula. So we made a special cleaner to help remove them from the surface, nice and safely. Due to its super green colour, it's named Sublime Clean. It's always recommended to use Sublime Clean first before you treat any exterior area, to provide the cleanest possible surface that the Vinyl Revival can bond to. 

Step 1

A deep clean. 

For Vinyl Revival to work its best, the surface needs to be clean. Do this job in the shade, out of direct sunlight. Rinse the tonneau down well with water, then spray the Sublime Clean onto the area you wish to clean. You don't want the Sublime Clean to dry, so work on smaller areas on warmer days, like half the tonneau or less if its a warm day. We prefer using the Sublime Clean over our all purpose cleaner Orange Agent as it's a lot more forgiving if it dries. 

Gently clean the surface using our Plush Brush for the best clean, or even a Love Glove wash mitt, in a side to side overlapping east-west and then opposite north-south motion to ensure you clean all the undulating surface of the tonneau.

Then get our Big Boy Brett detailing brush from The Foursome round brush set, spray Sublime Clean into it and do the joins and edges where there is stitching. 

If the tonneau is really dirty or mildew infested, it may need to be cleaned twice. 

Finish by rinsing the Sublime Clean away with your hose and moving onto the next section, till you're all done. Sublime Clean will not affect paint or your waxes, sealants or coatings either, but still make sure it is rinsed from the side panels of the car before moving to drying it all down.

Wash both brushes out in fresh water as well, store both brushes (Plush Brush with the bristles facing upwards) or hang them where they won't be affected by other things leaning on the bristles. 

Step 2

Drying time

For drying we recommend our Big Green Sucker drying towel, as its so fast and easy to use. Hold it right out and slowly run it over the tonneau surface till its all done. DO NOT USE BOSS GLOSS IN THE TOWEL, as this can affect the way Vinyl Revival bonds to the vinyl material. You can use a chamois or other drying tool if you wish as well. It's important to make sure that the tonneau is dry and cool to touch for the next job of protecting as Vinyl Revival works best on a totally cool, dry surface.

Step 3

Applying the protection

Make sure the tonneau is cool and out of the sun. Spray the Vinyl Revival into a clean microfibre applicator like our Square Bear, only use it in smaller sections at a time, like 1/6th of the tonneau in the ute we are doing here. Rub it on in a side to side overlapping motion. Then while it is still wet, wipe it off with a clean and folded Dirty Deeds low pile microfibre cloth. 

Continue this method of application till the whole area is done. Turn the cloth to a clean side often as you do different sections. 

For extra protection (recommended for any tonneau), apply a second coat and leave indoors for 4 to 5 hours to totally bond onto the surface, then wipe any excess with a microfibre cloth. Any minor stickiness should disappear in the coming 4-8 hours (depending on the weather conditions, warmer is faster drying etc), as the product takes effect on the surface. As Vinyl Revival is a water-based product is has a longer cure time, it's important to not get it wet for the next 24 hours. 

We recommend to re-apply the Vinyl Revival every couple of months, or when you notice the water beading start to dissipate and you feel the tonneau appearance needs a freshen up.

Any questions?

You can find these products at our many retailers nationwide in our stockists link here.

If you have any questions about anything in this article, especially about using the Vinyl Revival or Sublime Clean, please email or call our team on 1800 351 308 during office hours.

Love your car,

Dan Bowden

The Big Green Sucker The Big Green Sucker

The Big Green Sucker

The most effective luxurious plush drying towel you will ever use.


The Square Bear The Square Bear

The Square Bear

For perfect application of all interior products. Low absorption material so you don't lose all your product.


The Foursome The Foursome

The Foursome

Made as we found one brush was never enough.


Sublime Clean Sublime Clean

Sublime Clean

Deep cleans exterior fabrics and vinyl, as well as removing silicones from plastics.


Vinyl Revival Vinyl Revival

Vinyl Revival

Revives and protects your exterior vinyl, rubber & plastics.


The Love Glove The Love Glove

The Love Glove

Super soft and safe microfibre wash mitt. Our aptly named "The Love Glove" is a pleasure to use.


Plush Brush Plush Brush

Plush Brush

A soft bristle brush for cleaning many delicate surfaces.


Dirty Deeds Dirty Deeds

Dirty Deeds

A very useful 2 cloth pack, created for all the dirtier jobs around your car and bike.