The convertible soft top roof is either constructed of a fabric or vinyl material that requires regular maintenance. Simply washing the roof is not good enough and eventually it will become covered in dirt, moss and other defects.
The best soft top cleaner and protectant is the Raggtopp Convertible Top Care Kit that includes a cleaner, protector, brush and drying cloth for easy application.
Not only do convertible roofs require regular cleaning but they also need protecting. Acid rain, UV, tree sap, bird dropping and general dirt can damage the roof and make cleaning it in the future that much harder too.
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Soft Top Cleaner and Protectant Comparison
|Convertible Top Cleaner
|Chemical Guys HOL 995
Neglected soft tops not only look terrible but also reduce the resale value of the car quite significantly. However, most soft top cleaning kits are relatively affordable and easy to apply, which is great for restoring the roof back to factory condition.
It is recommended to purchase a dedicated horse hair brush that will work the product into the fabric or vinyl. Many people will choose to use old rags or harsh brushes that will actually cause more harm than good.
Below is a list of the best convertible soft top roof cleaner and protectors to remove heavy soiling or staining from the soft top of your vehicle.
The Best Convertible Top Cleaner
1. Raggtopp Convertible Top Cleaner
The Raggtop convertible roof car kit is very popular across the US for good reason. It is a twin package, which includes both a cleaner and protector for total all round soft top care. This means defects such as bird droppings, road salt/grit, tree sap and other types of dirt will be easily removed.
Features of the Raggtopp Convertible Top Cleaner include:
- Anti-oxidant, low pH and no bleach formula
- Leaves no residue or damage to other automotive surfaces
- Protects and repels UV, smog, acid rain, salt, tar and much more
- Can also be used for utility tops and tonneau covers
- Includes cleaner, protectant, brush and 2 cloths
- Protectant suitable for vinyl not fabric
- Cleaner can be used on both fabric and vinyl
If you want your convertible roof to bead, this will be the cleaner/protector for you. It provides the soft top fabric with the protection that causes beading but at the same time lets it breathe to prevent mold or mildew.
Overall, the whole package is the best soft top cleaner and protectant kit you can buy that will provide excellent protection against a range of defects.Check it Out
2. 303 Convertible Top Cleaning and Care Kit
303 are a popular detailing company and this convertible top cleaner is perfect for fabric roofs with stains or soiling. It is a 2-in-1 formula that not only clean but also protects against moisture and stains.
Features of the 303 (30520) Convertible Fabric Top Care Kit include:
- Suitable for fabric roofs and include no harsh chemicals
- High tech fabric guard restores oil and water repellency
- Fast acting formula that tackle tough stains
- Odorless and is residue free
- Safe for all automotive fabric
The 303 brand are that confident in their product, they claim that using this soft top cleaner and protectant will add years off additional life to your soft top.
Overall, the 303 (30520) Convertible Fabric Top Care Kit is a great all-rounder that effectively restores even the toughest of stains. They also offer a vinyl roof top alternative that provides just as powerful cleaning power our this care kit.Check it Out
3. Meguiar’s G2016 Soft Top Cleaner
Meguiar’s are one the most well known detailing companies and their convertible top cleaner may be the answer to all your troubles. If you are looking for a small, safe and effective spray that will remove tough stains and dirt, the G2016 is perfect.
Features of the Meguiar’s G2016 Convertible Top Cleaner include:
- Suitable for both fabric and vinyl convertible tops
- Penetrating formula requires no hard scrubbing
- Easy application using the spray bottle
- Removes even the toughest of stains
Overall, the Meguair’s G2016 is best soft top cleaner that can be used on both vinyl and fabric convertible tops. Its a highly rated globally and returns results every time and also provides great value for money.Check it Out
4. Autoglym Fabrichood Fabric Roof Cleaner
The Auto Glym fabric soft top kit is a highly effective cleaner and protector designed to restore all fabric soft tops. The biological formula is strong enough to break down any defects on the convertible roof but at the same time 100% safe.
Features of the Autoglym Fabrichood Fabric Hood Kit includes:
- Cleaner and protector kit
- Includes applicator for effective scrubbing
- Spray bottle application reduces wastage
- Protects against soiling and water intrusion
- Made in Great Britain
The Auto Glym product claims to clean, freshen and revive the appearance of your soft top roof with ease. You can even leave the formula on the roof overnight to remove even the toughest of dirt. We highly recommend the Auto Glym kit, which is guaranteed to return your soft top to its former glory.Check it Out
5. Chemical Guys Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit
Another excellent soft top cleaner and protectant option is by Chemical Guys with their Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit. It is not the cheapest but it does come with a high quality horse hair cleaning brush and microfiber towels.
Other features of the Chemical Guys Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit includes:
- Sprayable formula remove all dirt and stains
- Suitable for all soft top colors
- Safe for fabric, vinyl and synthetic roof materials
- Water based formula
- Restores the roof back to its factory appearance
- Includes horse hair scrub brush
The Chemical Guys convertible top cleaner is the best in its class at removing stains and tough dirt from vinyl and fabric roofs. It is safe to use on all roofs and works by lifting any dirt away from the roof to restore the roof to almost new condition.
The protector works by providing a protective layer against UV rays from direct sun light and of course dirt. This provides beading on the roof when it rains, which is a strong indicator that the product is doing its job.
Overall, it is a great all-rounder but the major drawback is that its double or triple the price of the alternatives listed within this article.Check it Out
Convertible Top Cleaner and Protectant Buying Guide
Looking at a vehicle that has a stained or soiled convertible roof isn’t very appealing. The longer you leave the roof in poor condition, the harder it will become to clean it. This is due to the dirt building up on the roof and then becoming hardened via the direct sunlight. However, cleaning the roof is far easier than you think once you are equipped with the correct cleaner and applicator brush.
The top of your convertible is subjected to the same type of environmental conditions as the rest of your car is, and this is important to remember.
Unlike paintwork however, it is made from a fabric, vinyl or other type of synthetic material. Depending upon the color, dirt can show up far more easily, which means that it is more hassle to maintain. For this reason alone, most people prefer having a black soft top than other colors.
To help you make an informed buying decision, we have produced the below buying guide to help you find the correct cleaner for your roof.
What Makes The Convertible Roof Dirty?
Keeping the convertible roof completely clean all the time is a difficult task. Below are some of the most common elements that ruins the appearance of convertible roofs.
- Bird droppings
- Tree sap
- Road debris such as salt
- Weather conditions such as wind and rain
- Mold or mildew
These defects can easily set into the roof of your convertible, make your roof top fade or develop rough spots. Therefore, keeping the roof top cleaned and maintained will help you to keep it in the best condition.
How To Apply Soft Top Roof Cleaner & Protector?
Once you have equipped yourself with a suitable cleaner that is designed for the roof top, you can begin to get to work. Some brands require certain application but as a general guide, below are the steps to cleaning your soft top:
- Vacuum the roof using soft attachment.
- Park in shade (not direct sun light).
- Rinse the rooftop off with water to remove loose dirt.
- Spray cleaner onto the roof.
- Use a scrub brush or recommended applicator to apply.
- Do not let the cleaner dry on the roof.
- Thoroughly rinse the cleaner from the top of the care with cool water.
- Dry using a towel on the top of the vehicle.
- Park in sun to completely dry out before protector application.
- Use Protector on roof (try not to get this on any other surface than the roof).
- Let the soft top adsorb the protector for at least 24 hours.
It really is that simple and having an applicator dedicated to soft tops will help remove even the toughest of stains. Trying to use a cloth can have the effect of simply rubbing the dirt into the roof, which is not what you want.
Fabric vs Vinyl
To get the best results from the cleaner and protector that you use, you will want to use a dedicated formula. Most brands will clearly state whether their products can be used with fabric, vinyl or even both in some cases.
If you are unsure of the type of soft top material, there is nothing wrong with using a universal cleaner. However, cleaners or protectants that have been specifically designed for a singular material will be far more effective.
Does The Color Matter?
Convertible roofs come in a range of colors with black being the most popular. However, other colors such as white or other light colors will require far more maintenance as they will show up dirt and debris far more easier.
Unless otherwise stated by the product, the color will not make a difference whether it be black or beige. The more important factor to consider is that you are using the correct cleaner or protectant on the correct material type.
How To Keep Your Convertible Soft Top Clean
Once you have spent all the time and effort cleaning your soft top, you will want to keep it that way. Regular use of a suitable car wash that has a low pH and avoiding areas that are bad for tree sap or bird droppings is highly recommended.
Using an appropriate soft top protector is also highly recommended too as this will provide a protective barrier. Most cleaners come as a complete kit and you should ensure that you apply the protectant once the soft top is dried for the best results.
The same process can be used for most truck tonneau covers as they are exposed to the same elements as the convertible roof.
What To Avoid
Most convertible roofs are made out of fabric and vinyl. This means that there are plenty of ingredients that you should refrain from using. Below are some of the ingredients that you will want to avoid using on your soft top.
- Glossing agents
These types of ingredients can break down the convertible material in the top of the roof. This can result in the soft top becoming non-resistant to water and deteriorate at the seams or seals. Always be sure that the convertible cleaner you choose contains natural auto shampoo and non detergent based ingredients to avoid unnecessary damage to your roof.
Keeping your soft top clean can be hard work and made even harder for lighter colored fabrics or vinyls. Therefore, you will want an easy to use cleaner and protector that will safely remove any stubborn stains or soiling with ease.
All of our recommendations within this article do exactly that and are suitable for a range of soft tops. We strongly advise purchasing an additional applicator or brush to work the product into the roof as this will make a huge difference.