How To Clean Your Convertible Top

Posted on: 19 August 2015

You may be excited about your new convertible, but if you do not take good care of your convertible top, it may not last as long as you'd like. You will usually need to clean your top once a month. The convertible top may also simply look grimy and unappealing if it is not cared for properly. To know how to clean it, you will need to consider the type of top you have.

Vinyl Tops

The downside of vinyl is that it can begin to crack or peel. When this occurs, there is no way to repair the damage. However, by keeping the top clean, this is less likely to happen.

Vinyl tops can simply be washed in a manner similar to how you wash the rest of your convertible. Use the shampoo that you use to clean your convertible body.

If the top develops mold or mildew, try to spray it off with water. Then, use a stronger vinyl cleaner if you still cannot remove the mold or mildew.

If any mud or bird droppings splash on the vinyl, you should clean your top as soon as possible. Bird droppings in particular are acidic and will begin to eat away at the vinyl.

Fabric Tops

Use the same shampoo you use for the rest of your car. While cleaning the top, scrub the shampoo into the top using a brush with medium stiffness.

Fabric tops use a repellent chemical to prevent moisture from seeping in and staining it. However, this repellent will wear away over time, so you will want to reapply it. You will know it is time to add more if moisture absorbs into the top rather than beading.

The protective chemical is simply sprayed onto the top with an aerosol can. To spray all over the entire car, use a step stool if necessary. Spray the cover thoroughly, but not so much that pools of the chemical form.

Harmful Cleaning Chemicals

Certain cleaning chemicals can cause damage to your top, including:

  • Bleaches

  • Detergents

  • Strong acids

Even if your top resists the cleaning chemical, it will be worn down over time. Also, ammonia and alcohol will change the appearance of the top, often with undesirable results.

If your vinyl top still looks terrible after cleaning it, there may be nothing you can do other than replacing it. Fortunately, there are several companies specialized in selling aftermarket convertible tops, such as Fred's Auto Interiors.


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