Convertible tops range in the type of fabrics used. Most tops use a standard thick cloth, whereas other types use plastic. Caring for the top begins when the vehicle is purchased. An older vehicle with a hard cloth top is more difficult to manage than an older vehicle that was properly maintained over the years. To soften a hardened cloth top, clean and waterproof the top routinely.
303 Convertible Top Cleaner works on soft-top convertibles, marine cloths, and even cloth tonneau covers. 303 chemically engineered the cleaner to operate without harmful or caustic cleansers to thoroughly clean soft tops without damaging it. RaggTopp also makes a cleaner that works on cloth and vinyl in a similar fashion. HAARTZ (the largest manufacturer of soft-tops for convertibles) endorses RaggTopp as one of the best products for cleaning convertible tops. Use the spray bottle variety of the cleanser for easy application. Spray the chemical directly onto the surface, use a soft rag to scrub the chemical into the material, and rinse with water from a hose.
Leatherique Rejuvenator Oil works best with vinyl, but leather upholstery functions just as well at softening a vinyl top. The product introduces various proteins and collagen into the material that reconditions the vinyl. The best application of Leatherique involves rubbing the product into the material by hand and allowing it to steam (allow it to set in a moist, warm environment). Armorall produces several vinyl and cloth restorers but operates using plasticizers. Armorall provides excellent results but repeated application causes the plasticizers to build up. Before reapplying, always thoroughly clean the material using a cleanser like 303 Convertible Top Cleaner.
True fabric protectors provide waterproofing and sustain the quality of the fabric over a longer period of time. 303 manufacturers products for a variety of applications including water proofing. 303 High Tech Fabric Guard offers water, stain proofing and UV resistance for cloth tops. The product uses no silicone, which may attract dust and soil creating a stain on the cloth. Cleaning the top thoroughly with a cleanser, rag, and water and then applying a solid water proofing softens the top while protecting it from harm. Repeated cleanings with a cleanser may be necessary to remove stains before applying a water proofer. Allow top to thoroughly dry before applying a water proofing agent.
- Photo Credit side of convertible image by Christopher Nolan from Fotolia.com
How to Soften Leather Shoes
Genuine leather shoes have lots to offer, including a rich, textured and timeless look, and durability that can span lifetimes. But straight...
How to Remove Old Vinyl Floors
After years of wear and tear, it may become necessary to replace old vinyl floors. Removing worn vinyl floors can be a...
How to Repair a Convertible Top
Convertible soft tops can be easily damaged by vandals, tree branches and any type of sharp object contacting the roof. Replacing a...
How to Color a Convertible Top
Because most tops on convertible cars are made of vinyl, over time they can begin to fade and look dingy, particularly if...
How to Waterproof a Convertible Top
Owning and driving a convertible can be a lot of fun. You can get the feel for the open road with the...
How to Glue the Back Glass to the Top of a Convertible Top Car
Convertible cars are a type of luxury car in which you can lower the top of the car to allow for an...
How to Soften Vinyl
Vinyl is a synthetic, man-made material used in a wide assortment of products, including vinyl graphics and vinyl wallpaper. Vinyl can be...
How to Soften Old Vinyl
Age and grime can cause vinyl-covered seats to harden. Left in this condition, it becomes easier for the vinyl to tear. Vinyl...
The Use of Mineral Oil to Soften Vinyl
Soft vinyl fabric is typically made from canvas fibers coated in a layer of vinyl plastic. This form of faux leather is...
DIY: Convertible Top Dye
If you own a convertible and spend a lot of time with the top in the up position, where it is subject...