Everybody loves convertibles, it’s you’re gateway to enjoying both the driving experience and the great outdoors, there’s nothing better than dropping the roof on a beautiful Sunday morning and going for a cruise in the sunshine while hearing and feeling everything that is going on around you.
Unfortunately though, the climate isn’t always ideal for convertibles and (most of us anyway) are forced to keep roof up during the cold months, or even the Summer months if you live in Ireland like me!
This is the time that you need to know how to clean you’re convertible soft top roof as it is horrible looking at a dreary, poorly maintained soft top roof in the cold days when you know much better it can look! So today I’ll be talking you through the steps to doing exactly that!
Different Types Of Soft Top Roof
As you may have guessed there are two types of convertible roofs; Hard Top and Soft Top, from a detailers’ perspective there are two main differences; a hard top can be clayed, polished & waxed just like any other panel of a car while soft tops cannot, this is because soft tops are made of fabric materials and if you ever put wax or polish on a soft top you would have a catastrophic mess on you’re hands.
What you may not know is that there are several types of fabric hoods used in convertibles, I’ll break them up below so you can see which category you’re car falls into;
- Old Cars – Soft Tops were originally made from Canvas
- Getting Old (10 Years) – Manufacturers then moved onto Vinyl and Latex
- Current / New Cars – Nowadays soft tops are made using Haartz Cloth
Of course, not every car is the same, different manufacturers sometimes want to use different materials but those 3 will cover the vast majority of soft tops seen on the road today.
How To Clean A Convertible Soft Top Roof
What You Will Need
- PowerWasher / Garden Hose
- Autoglym Fabric Hood Kit
- Soft Bristle Brush
Step One – Wash you’re hood as you would normally when washing you’re car.
Step Two – Use you’re power washer or garden hose to rinse away the excess shampoo and dirty water.
Step Three – Spray the fabric cleaner generously on the soft top.
Step Four – Grab Your Soft Bristle Brush and agitate the cleaner.
Step Five – Rinse off the cleaner with you’re power washer and check how you’re soft top looks now, you want to keep using the cleaner and then rinsing it off until you’re happy with you’re soft top, which should now be gleaming.
Step Six – Apply the Autoglym Protector that is included with the kit to prevent the build up of mould and ugly patches, using a Protector also allows rain beads to form on the soft top again, which looks great
Step Six – Leave you’re car to dry, after a while check on you’re roof to see if there are still patches of dirt, if there are then simply repeat the process until you’re happy with you’re results.
This video shows a clear demonstration of how to clean your soft top so check it out if you’re unsure!
- For soft tops than have begun to gather mould you can use a mixture of ammonia and water to remove this unsightly grime.
- Mix the ammonia & water at a ratio of 2:1, pour the mixture into a spray bottle for easy application and simply spray the area generously and leave the mixture to work into the fabric.
- After a few minutes just rinse it off and you should now be mould-free.
Which Products Work Best?
Of course there are many products than you can use to clean you’re soft top but my favourite is the Autoglym Fabric Hood Cleaner & Protector Kit. I like how it is very easy to use and that it comes with everything you need to clean you’re hood (Cleaner, Protector & Brush/Sponge).
This product is also a lot less expensive than similar products like Raggtopp Convertible Cleaner and Meguiar’s Soft Top Cleaner while still maintaining 2nd place in the Auto Express – Best Soft Top Cleaners of 2018.
Hope I Helped!
I hope you enjoyed reading this tutorial and hopefully you get the results you were looking for, if you have any questions or you have any experience cleaning soft tops yourself feel free to leave a comment and I’ll be sure to get back to you! Thanks for reading, that’s all for today.