How To Care for Your Convertible Top

Convertible top care made easy!

Convertibles are a real pleasure to own, especially if you take care of them. Some people are hesitant to buy a convertible because they believe the top will require extraordinary upkeep, but with the appropriate timely care it’s just not the case. Here are a few products and tips that we have found that will allow you to enjoy your convertible with just a minimal of maintenance.


Vinyl Tops

Regular cleaning of your vinyl top is as easy as washing your car. Use a gentle car shampoo, like Pinnacle Bodywork Shampoo, and we recommend the OXO Feather Tip Wash Brush with its superb “hand-friendly” grip and just the right bristle strength to free the dirt from the textured vinyl of your convertible top. Wash the top just as you would the rest of the vehicle. Avoid shampoos that improve gloss. They are good for the paint, but unnecessary for the top.

If your vinyl top is particularly dirty, you can use a cleaner to break up the grease and films that can plague your vinyl top. 303 Convertible Top Cleaner can be used on both vinyl and fabric, and it contains no soaps or detergents. RaggTopp makes an equally effective convertible top cleaner that not only cleans; it also inhibits the growth of mildew. Spray the top with water and then spray with a cleaner. Use an OXO Wash Brush to gently scrub the vinyl. Rinse thoroughly.

After you’ve cleaned the vinyl, use a vinyl protectant to preserve the color and texture of your convertible top. Skipping this step leads to the faded, cracked tops you see on the road from time to time. RaggTopp Vinyl Protectant comes highly recommended from the top manufacturers of vinyl products, like Haartz and Colgan Custom Bras. It has the best UV protection of any product on the market, and it repels dirt, grease, and oil. It doesn’t make your vinyl top glossy or greasy-looking. It will have the natural matte sheen of new vinyl.

Your vinyl top will last longer if you protect it from the start. There’s not much you can do to reverse damage once it’s already been done. Proper vinyl care is as simple as weekly washes with a gentle shampoo, monthly cleanings with a vinyl top cleaner and monthly application of a vinyl top protectant.


Fabric Tops

Fabric top maintenance is essentially the same as vinyl top maintenance, except you want to select products formulated for fabric. Convertible top cleaners are usually suitable for either vinyl or fabric. Use a moderately stiff brush, like our OXO Feather Tip Wash Brush to loosen dirt from the fibers.

It’s a marvel of modern science that fabric tops repel water as well as they do, but all good things must come to an end. Fabric tops are chemically treated during manufacturing to repel water and contamination, but these chemicals diminish as time passes. Exactly how long the factory repellant will last is dependent on usage and the environment, so it’s best to keep an eye on your top. Your regular washings should reveal a gradual reduction of water repellence. You’ll want to watch carefully for signs of water puddles or wet spots where water has clearly penetrated the fabric, its time to treat your top.

We have found in our testing RaggTopp is one of the top products on the market. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard is also a quality product. Either will restore the repellence to factory specifications and keep your fabric top looking good. Be sure to apply protectant to a clean, dry top. Never saturate; light, even coats are always best. Reapply monthly to maintain an optimum level of water repellency.


Clear Vinyl Windows

The windows on convertible tops often age faster than the rest of the top. Clear vinyl is notorious for yellowing, cracking, and scratching. There is a solution, though. Treat the windows with Diamondite Plasti-Care. This is a cleaner and protectant that prevents cracking and maintains clarity. Applying Plasti-Care. from the day you buy your convertible is a great way to keep those convertible top windows clean and clear.

If you already have damaged windows, Wolfgang Plastik Lens Glaze will remove contamination, lessen the yellowing and minimize or eliminate scratches. Seal the plastic with Wolfgang Plastik Surface Sealant for UV protection and long-lasting clarity.