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How to Keep the Interior of a Convertible Looking Great

convertible with top down

As the top-of-the-line sports cars, convertibles offer drivers a sporty yet sophisticated vehicle option, perfect for driving with the top down in sunny weather. One issue with owning a convertible, though, is that the harsh rays of the sun and inclement weather can damage the interior. Luckily, you can easily protect the inside of your convertible by following some simple steps.

Method 1 of 3: Maintain the convertible top

Materials Needed

  • Car shampoo (formulated for the material type of your top)
  • Convertible top protectant (formulated for the material type of your top)
  • Microfiber towels
  • Plastic cleaner (for the top's vinyl window)
  • Soft-bristled brush

One of the easiest and best ways to protect the interior of a convertible is to make sure that its top stays in good shape. A leaky top, or one that is left down all of the time, can lead to a deteriorating interior as a result of damaging exterior elements, including rain and sun. Make sure to clean the convertible top properly and keep it closed when the car is not in use or when the weather is bad. You should clean your convertible top on a regular basis - at least once a week or when you wash the rest of your vehicle - to ensure that it stays in the best shape possible.

Step 1: Rinse the convertible top. Start by rinsing the top off with water while it is closed.

This helps loosen and remove any larger sections of dirt and debris.

person holding a soft bristled brush in one hand and bottle of spray in the other

Step 2: Shampoo the convertible top. Next, apply a gentle car shampoo.

Make sure it is formulated for the material of your top, either vinyl or cloth.

Avoid car shampoos that maximize shine as these are intended for use with the body of your car and not for convertible tops.

You can also scrub hard-to-remove stains, dirt, and debris using a soft-bristled brush.

person spraying off their convertible top

Step 3: Spray off the cleaner. Once you have scrubbed the convertible top with the cleaner and a brush, rinse it off.

Once all of the shampoo has been cleaned off, allow the top to dry.

Step 4: Spray on convertible top protector. This helps ensure that the top is protected from the harsh rays of the sun and doesn't become cracked.

You should apply the convertible top protector at least once a month to provide maximum protection.

Method 2 of 3: Keep the interior clean

Materials Needed

  • Cleaner (formulated for the material of the interior of your vehicle)
  • Conditioner (formulated for the material of the interior of your vehicle)
  • Microfiber towels
  • Soft-bristled brush
  • Vacuum

In addition to keeping the convertible top clean and in good shape, you should also clean the interior of your convertible on a regular basis. While cleaning the inside of your vehicle keeps it sanitary and smelling good, it also helps protect it from damage. You should clean your vehicle's interior at least once a week or whenever you wash the outside.

Step 1: Clean out the garbage. Remove any trash at least once a week.

This keeps the inside of your car from smelling and helps prevent dirt and debris from building up.

microfiber cloth in one hand and a bottle of spray in the other

Step 2: Wipe down all surfaces. Wipe down surfaces such as the seats, dash, console, and doors with a damp microfiber cloth.

Leather surfaces should be OK as long as the microfiber towel is not too wet.

Step 3: Apply cleaner to the interior. If needed, apply cleaner to the inside surfaces.

You may not have to do this every week depending on how dirty your interior gets.

Step 4: Shake out the floor mats. Remove and shake out the floor mats.

The floor mats help keep dirt and debris from getting to your carpet.

Step 5: Vacuum the car. While the floor mats are out, take the opportunity to vacuum your carpet and other surfaces, such as the seats.

Tip: Make it a habit to vacuum out your car when you clean it every week. This keeps any dirt and debris from becoming ingrained in the carpet, making it harder to remove in the long term.

Step 6: Apply conditioner. Depending on the material of your interior, apply an applicable conditioner.

Many conditioners provide UV protection and can keep surfaces like vinyl and leather from cracking. Just make sure to clean the surfaces before applying the protector.

Method 3 of 3: Purchase a sunshade

You can also use a sunshade to keep the sun's rays from damaging your convertible's interior surfaces. With the top up and the sunshade in place, few rays can get through to do any damage in the first place.

sunshade somewhat folded

Step 1: Unfold the sunshade. Your first step is to fully unfold the sunshade while you sit in the front seat.

Most sunshades are folded and held in place with elastic straps.

Step 2: Position the sunshade. Place the bottom of the sunshade against the bottom of the front windshield.

Next, lift the sunshade up. If positioned properly, it should have a section that fits around the rearview mirror.

Step 3: Lower the sun visors. Finally, lower the sun visors on each side.

The sun visors should help hold the sunshade in place.

To remove the sunshade, just reverse the above instructions.

Protecting your convertible interior is just a matter of cleaning both the convertible top and the inside of your vehicle on a regular basis, applying the appropriate protector solutions, and using devices such as a sunshade to keep UV rays out. If you ever have problems with your convertible top, you can always Ask a Mechanic to find quick and helpful answers.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

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