Skip the auto shop - Our mechanics make house calls

How to Keep Your Convertible’s Soft Top Looking Great

convertible top being wiped off

As you take a look outside your living room window you notice something odd - the crocuses are beginning to bloom. Ah, that means spring is around the corner, and spring means road trips. This year, in addition to the usual around-the-house spring cleaning duties, you decide to add in another chore - spend some time getting the top on the convertible looking great.

Soft top convertibles are the most common style of convertible cars. Soft tops are usually cheaper than hard tops to repair give a more authentic “convertible” look and feel. The main downsides are insulation and security. But they do provide protection from the elements and are easy to fold back when you want to feel the wind in your hair.

Convertible soft tops come in two types: vinyl and fabric (usually canvas). Although different in appearance, they are similar when it comes to cleaning. Cleaning your convertible top is no different than cleaning the rest of the car.

Part 1 of 3: Clean the top of your convertible thoroughly

Materials Needed

person using a soft brush to clean top

Step 1: Clean the soft top. Clean your vinyl or fabric top with water and gentle car shampoo such as TechCare Gentle Car Shampoo. Use a brush that has extra soft scratch free bristles. A popular brand is Mothers.

hand spraying top and cleaning it off

Step 2: Use a convertible top spray. If your top is especially greasy or has dirt that won’t come off with ordinary washing, get the top wet, and spray a convertible top cleaner such as 303 Tonneau Convertible Top Cleaner over the dirty area. Both of these products break down road grease and dirt.

Step 3: Brush the top. After you’ve sprayed the convertible top cleaner on the soiled area, use the brush to get rid of the dirt.

person rinsing down convertible

Step 4: Rinse the top. After you’ve cleaned your top completely, rinse it down to make sure all of the dirt has been removed.

Step 5: Apply a protectant. Once the top is dry, use a protectant keep the UV rays from the sun from fading the color and texture of the top. RaggTopp makes a spray that protects the look of your top.

Part 2 of 3: If you have a fabric top be sure to check for leaks

Step 1: Check for leaks. Taking care of a fabric convertible top is essentially the same as taking care of vinyl. However, fabric can crack over time and begin to leak.

  • If your top starts to leak, spray it with convertible top fabric guard, which is a water repellant.

Part 3 of 3: Make sure the window is clean

person cleaning of the rear window

Step 1: Clean the windows. It’s easy to forget that the back window also needs to cleaned. If your car is an older model, the window might have turned a bit yellow.

  • To fix the decolorization of the window, use a plastic care product such as Diamondite Plasti-Care, which is used to clear plastic surfaces such as windows, and headlights. If you keep on top of taking care of your convertible’s soft top it will extend its lifespan considerably. Chances are if you own a convertible you care about keeping it in good working order so don’t forget the fabric or vinyl top that keeps you and the inside of your car protected from the elements.
The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details
Icon-warranty_badge-02

Skip the repair shop, our top-rated mechanics come to you.

At your home or office

Choose from 600+ repair, maintenance & diagnostic services. Our top-rated mechanics bring all parts & tools to your location.

Fair & transparent pricing

See labor & parts costs upfront, so you can book with confidence.

12-month, 12,000-mile warranty

Our services are backed by a 12-month, 12,000-mile warranty for your peace of mind.

Get A Quote

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.

GET A QUOTE

Post a question and get free advice from our certified mechanics.

ASK A QUESTION

More related articles

P0052 OBD-II Trouble Code: HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1)
P0052 code definition HO2S Heater Control Circuit High (Bank 2 Sensor 1) What the P0052 code means This code is seen when the Engine Control Module (ECM) tries to control the...
Veteran and Military Driver Laws and Benefits in Idaho
The state of Idaho offers a number of benefits and perks for those Americans who have either served in an Armed Forces branch in the...
Auto Safety Tips
Driving is more than a way to get from point A to point B. Owning and driving a car can also be a highly enjoyable experience. Whether a person is driving...


Related questions

Q: Convertible top not closing all of the way

There are several things that may be causing this problem. Firstly, dirt stuck in the rails of the sun roof can jam or impede the full range of the motion of the automated top. Also, if any of the components...

Q: Car sat and now will not start

Hi there. It sounds as if you are experiencing an obstruction in the fuel delivery system. I'd suggest having a certified mechanic, such as one from YourMechanic, properly diagnose the no-start issue and perform the repairs necessary to safely get...

Q: How do I clean the engine in my truck?

The engine in your truck will perform better when it is free of grease and dirt. Grease and dirt build up over time and can be removed by a simple cleaning. To clean the engine. Cover up the electrical...