Best Convertible Top Cleaners: Keep Your Ride in Tip-Top Shape (2023)

Written By Noelle Talmon

Updated Apr 11, 2022 1:18 PM

Convertibles require special care to keep them in optimal condition. While it can be tempting to wash a convertible’s soft top with regular car soap and water, it’s more effective to use a product that’s specifically formulated to clean whatever type of fabric you have on your sports car, Jeep, or other vehicle. Over time, a convertible top can fade and accumulate stains from the road, bird droppings, and other elements. The best convertible top cleaners and protectants are designed to repel water, protect the top from damaging UV rays, and in some cases restore it so that it looks brand new. Our buying guide below contains some of the top cleansers and protectants available. We also include some tips and answers to frequently asked questions to help you make the best purchase possible.

Our Methodology

We took several factors into consideration while researching the best convertible top cleaners and protectants. First, we focused on well-known brands with a reputation for producing high-quality car-care products. We made sure to include stand-alone cleansers as well as kits that feature wash and protectants. Price was also a factor.

These products are available in a wide range of prices to suit a variety of budgets, so you’re sure to find one that fits your budgetary requirements. In addition, we looked at user feedback to see how each formula acted in real-world conditions. While we didn’t have the opportunity to personally test all of the following products, we are confident the items listed will get the job done. Read more about our methodology here.

Best Convertible Top Cleaner and Protectant Reviews & Recommendations

This potent cleaning kit will wrap your convertible top in a layer of protection, regardless of the material. If you have a fabric, synthetic, or vinyl convertible top or tonneau cover, the Chemical Guys Ultimate Convertible Top Care Kit is a great, stain-repellent option that works against bird droppings, tree sap, water spots, and road debris. The formula is non-toxic and adheres to the fabric to provide a protective layer. The protectant seals the top against dirt, liquids, stains, and UV rays. It’s safe to use on all colors and will prevent the top from fading and getting discolored. The product comes in a sprayable bottle and is designed to keep your soft top looking nearly new and can actually prolong its lifespan. It’s also easy to use. After cleaning it with a convertible top cleaner, let it dry, and apply the protectant. The company claims the results will last for several months.

The cleaner won’t harm other areas of your vehicle, such as the finish, chrome, windows, rubber, or plastic. However, you may need several coats of the protectant to receive the results you want. It also doesn’t prove as water-resistant as some other brands.

Product Specifications

  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Size 16 ounces
  • Works on Fabric, synthetic, or vinyl convertible tops

PROS

Cleaner and protector/repellent

Prevents top from fading

Easy to use

Long-lasting

CONS

May require several coats

Not very water-resistant

(Video) Top 10 Soft Top Cleaning Mistakes

2

Meguiar’s Convertible Top Cleaner

Best Value

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This effective cleaning kit lets you tackle vinyl and fabric convertible tops at the right price. If you are on a budget but still want a high-quality product, you can’t go wrong with this item from Meguiar’s. A cleaner only, it removes difficult stains and contaminants such as those created by bird droppings, hard water, mildew, and oil. It’s designed for use on vinyl and fabric convertible tops and doesn’t require too much elbow grease to be effective. The spray-on formula is easy to use and just requires that you wipe it off with a clean rag. Plus, a little bit goes a long way.

It also works on a variety of different colors, such as white, tan, and black convertible tops. One downside is that it produces a lot of foam and may require quite a bit of rinsing. You also may need a soft brush to work the formula in for the best results.

Product Specifications

  • Brand Meguiar’s
  • Size 16 ounces
  • Works on Vinyl and fabric

PROS

Budget friendly

Easy to use

Works on all colors

CONS

Cleaner only

Needs a lot of rinsing

3

Raggtopp Convertible Top Care Kit Fabric

Premium Pick

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(Video) How to CLEAN and PROTECT your CONVERTIBLE ROOF with Paul Hewitt | Day In The Bay

This convertible cleaner goes a long way and gets the job done super quickly. Even if your convertible top has been neglected for some time, the Raggtopp Convertible Top Care Kit does a good job of cleaning it up. While you may need to apply several coats of the conditioner during this type of scenario, it produces excellent results. The product acts quickly and efficiently and is simple to use. It removes dirt and grime and restores your top’s appearance. The kit includes a cleaner in a sprayable bottle as well as a protectant in a separate bottle, so you get two products to guard against the elements, including dirt, soil, UV rays. It may also restore the color to some faded convertible tops.

The products last a long time, so you don’t have to reapply them too often. However, it doesn’t come with a brush, which you need to purchase separately to get the cleaner to do its job most efficiently.

Product Specifications

  • Brand Raggtopp
  • Size 16 ounces
  • Works on Fabric and vinyl

PROS

Cleaner and protectant included

Fast-acting formula

Can restore color

CONS

May require several coats

Brush for cleaning isn’t included

4

Chemical Guys Fabric-Guard Convertible Top Protector Shield

Most Versatile

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This convertible top cleaner can do it all, from cleaning car fabrics to your household upholstery. This multipurpose cleaner by the Chemical Guys is designed for use on convertible tops, fabric, and upholstery, as well as door panels and other fabric surfaces. It boosts the fabric’s surface tension, which prevents liquid from penetrating. The hydrophobic formula is both a protectant and a repellent that adheres to the fibers and repels water and other liquids from creating stains. This shield doesn’t discolor the convertible top or fabric. It also acts as an anti-odor agent, which could be helpful for interior purposes. In addition, this product increases the fabric’s durability, blocks UV ray damage, and is ozone friendly. Finally, the overspray will not adversely affect your vehicle’s paintwork, chrome, trim, glass, viny, rubber, or plastic. However, water does not bead up on a convertible top after application, so its water repellency may be less effective than some other products.

Product Specifications

  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Size 16 ounces
  • Works on Tops, carpet, upholstery, door panels, and other fabrics

PROS

For a variety of fabric surfaces

Repel liquids

Won’t discolor fabric

(Video) 5 Best Convertible Top Cleaner and Protectant in 2022

CONS

Water doesn’t bead up

5

Blue Magic 707 Convertible Top Cleaner

Honorable Mention

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  • Best Convertible Top Cleaners: Keep Your Ride in Tip-Top Shape (10)

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This cleaner prevents brittleness caused by sun exposure while maintaining your convertible top. The Blue Magic 707 Convertible Top Cleaner is effective at keeping the vinyl roof of your convertible top supple so it doesn’t dry out due to sun exposure. You don’t need a lot of the formula to achieve a clean and brighter top. In addition, you can use this product on vinyl tops, canvas, boat curtains, and truck bed covers, making it a good, all-around option. The cleanser doesn’t have a bad odor, and it removes long-standing stains. Unfortunately, the spray nozzle is a little flimsy and can break easily. You may also need to apply at least two coats for it to be effective, and it doesn’t produce the same shine as some rival products.

Product Specifications

  • Brand Blue Magic
  • Size 16 ounces
  • Works on vinyl and canvas

6

Protex World Convertible Soft-Top Canvas Cleaner

Best Deep Clean

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If you’re dealing with stubborn stains and dirt, this convertible top cleaner can eliminate them. If restoration is your aim, the Protex World Convertible Soft Top Canvas Cleaner is a good go-to product for getting rid of bird droppings, road grime, and sap. Made in Great Britain, a bottle of Protex contains enough cleanser for the soft top on a two-seater sports car. It provides a deep clean and removes a variety of contaminants as well as mildew. The product is also easy to apply. Simply dampen the top and work your way from the middle to the edges using a paintbrush. It produces a water-resistant shield and has little to no odor during application. The water beads up, and it lasts a few months, even if you leave your car outside most of the time.

You must test a small area first to make sure the dye does not run, and it’s unadvisable to apply in full sunlight because it can dry too quickly. In addition, the manufacturer recommends following up with its Canvas Restorer and Protex Canvas Waterproofer for best results, which increase the cost.

Product Specifications

  • Brand Chemical Guys
  • Size 16 ounces
  • Works on Tops, carpet, upholstery, door panels, and other fabrics

PROS

Removes bird droppings, sap, and road debris

Deep cleaning properties

Easy to apply

Good water repellency

CONS

Don’t apply in direct sunlight

Works best with canvas restorer

Our Verdict

Our pick for the best convertible top cleaner and protectant is the Chemical Guys Convertible Top Cleaner and Convertible Top Protectant Kit. It is an excellent stain repellent and also shields against liquids, dirt, and damaging UV rays. It keeps tops from fading and is safe to use on a variety of different colors. For a more budget-friendly option, consider the Meguiar’s Convertible Top Cleaner.

What to Consider When Buying Convertible Top Cleaner and Protectant

Not all convertible top cleaners and protectants are the same. You can buy stand-alone products or kits, depending on whether you want to simply clean your top or also add a protective layer that shields it from the elements. When buying a product for your soft top, you should consider factors such as ease of use, water repellency, stain removal, and overall protection before making an investment.

Types of Convertible Top Cleaner and Protectant

Stand-Alone Formula

If you don’t want to spend a lot of money but want a high-quality product that will clean your convertible top, you can find many stand-alone products that can do the job. These cleansers are specially formulated for convertible tops, but choose one that is compatible with your particular vehicle. Check to see if it works on fabric, vinyl, canvas, or synthetic materials. These cleaners do a good job of removing stains caused by bird droppings, road grime, and other factors. They also tend to be very affordable and are typically easy to apply.

Kit

For a more thorough cleaning and added protection, you may want to invest in a kit. These packages typically include a cleanser and a separate protectant or repellent. Like the stand-alone products, they clean your top and remove dirt and stains. They also include a formula that repels liquids such as water and protects the convertible top from damaging UV rays and the elements. A kit will provide better protection than cleanser alone, but you will have to pay extra for the additional protection. You may also need to apply the formula several times to get the most effective results.

Key Features

Water Repellency

The last thing you want is a leaky convertible top. While cleaners can remove stains, they don’t typically include any properties that repel liquids. A protector and repellent, however, is designed to keep water from penetrating the convertible top. Some of these products bead up, so you know they are doing a good job of keeping water from seeping into the fabric.

Stain Removal

A variety of factors can cause stains on a convertible top. These include tree sap, bird droppings, and road grime. These types of stains, particularly ones that have been around for a while, can be difficult to remove with regular soap and water. Convertible top cleansers are specially formulated to remove dirt and debris that collects on top of your vehicle.

UV Protection

Convertible tops, particularly dark-colored ones, can fade over time. In order to keep your top looking like new, you can apply a protectant that’s designed specifically to keep this from occurring. UV rays are very damaging to a vehicle’s paint and soft top. Think of the protectant as a shield that guards it against this type of deterioration.

Ease of Use

Some convertible top cleaners are easier to use than others. The best way to assess their ease of use is by checking user feedback. Some create a lot of foam and require a lot of rinsing, which can be a hassle. Others have overspray that can be difficult to remove, particularly if it dries onto the paint, trim, or windows. Also, some work better with brushes, which you may have to purchase separately. In addition, consider how many coats are required for the product to be the most effective.

Convertible Top Cleaner and Protectant Pricing

Convertible top cleaners and protectants are available at a wide range of prices. You can purchase some items for $8-$15, but they are typically cleansers only. They will remove stains, but they won’t necessarily provide UV protection or water repellency. If you want to thoroughly clean and protect your soft top, expect to spend upwards of $45 for a kit that has both a cleanser and a protector/repellent that can potentially restore a faded, neglected top and prolong its lifespan.

FAQs

Car Bibles answers your burning questions.

What do you use to clean and protect convertible tops?

Convertible tops require special cleansers and protectants in order to remove stains and prevent factors such as UV rays from causing any damage. These products are formulated specifically for fabric, vinyl, and canvas.

How do you get mildew out of a convertible top?

Some cleansers are formulated to target mildew stains, but you can also combine two parts water and one part ammonia to get rid of mildew. Apply the mix to the affected area, let it sit for 30 seconds, and then rinse and dry it off.

What’s a good convertible top cleaner?

There are several good convertible top cleaners, and several are featured in this buying guide. We are particularly partial to the Chemical Guys Convertible Top Cleaner and Convertible Top Protectant Kit, but a little time spent looking at a variety of products will pay off for your cabriolet.

FAQs

What should I spray on my convertible top? ›

Cool. So i'll spray some onto my convertible top horse hair brush and i'll just rub it back and

What is the best way to clean a convertible roof? ›

Wash car

Wash the vehicle as normal with a good car shampoo, using hot water on the soft top. The application of a scrub brush will make inroads into any ingrained pollutants. Rinse, noting that power washers are not a good idea for convertible hoods. Allow the roof to fully dry.

How can I make my convertible top last? ›

So do your best to extend its life using the following tips.
  1. Lubricate. It's really a joy to drive your car with the convertible top down, especially during the summer. ...
  2. Wash Your Roof Properly. ...
  3. Apply A Vinyl Protectant. ...
  4. Clear The Deck Before Putting The Top Down. ...
  5. Take Advantage of Portable Car Shelter.
13 Mar 2019

How can I make my convertible top look new? ›

How to revive your convertible soft top with RENOVO - YouTube

Can you use Armor All on convertible tops? ›

Can I use Armor All® Car Wash on vinyl, including convertible tops? Armor All® Car Wash is ideal for vinyl. For tough stains on convertible tops, try Armor All® Multi-Purpose Auto Cleaner or Armor All® Cleaning Wipes for a quick and easy way to clean your car's fabric surfaces.

Is 303 fabric guard good for convertible tops? ›

The 303 Fabric Guard is a powerful protectant that will keep your fabric convertible top looking great.

How do I protect my fabric convertible top? ›

How To Clean And Protect A Canvas Cloth Convertible Top with Mike ...

How do you maintain a soft top convertible? ›

How to Care For a Convertible Top
  1. Avoid leaving a convertible top down overnight.
  2. Do not put the top down when the temperature falls below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Hand washing is preferred over using an automatic car wash.
  4. Clear areas of debris and repair all small rips, tears, and leaks before they become major repairs.

How often should you clean convertible top? ›

Convertibles should be washed on average at least every one to two weeks, especially if your convertible is not protected by a garage or covered parking structure. In the summer, it is recommended that convertibles be washed more frequently because the hot weather is difficult on the soft top.

Can you put a soft top convertible through a carwash? ›

The short answer is YES. Most soft-top convertibles can go through a car wash.

Can I wash my convertible at a carwash? ›

Most convertibles are safe for automated car washes, according to the car wash industry. Millions of convertibles are washed successfully every day, and they are designed to do so without causing damage to the vehicle.

Should you store a convertible with the top up or down? ›

Leave the top up, but crack the windows to promote ventilation and prevent moisture from building up in your interior. Storing your convertible with the top down is a bad idea. Your convertible top may stretch, crack, or rip when you put it up after a very long period of time folded.

What temperature should I set my convertible top? ›

45-50 degrees when it is sunny, slightly windy and in town. 50-55 degrees when it is sunny, in town or on the highway. 60-90 as long as it isn't raining, top is down, A/C is off.

How long do convertible roofs last? ›

A properly maintained convertible top lasts an average of 5-7 years.

How do you clean a vinyl convertible top? ›

How to clean and protect your vinyl convertible top using ... - YouTube

Can you drive a soft top convertible in the rain? ›

If the roof is up it will remain impermeable, but if the roof is down water may enter the cabin. If you drive over a certain speed with the roof down, you'll have some protection from getting wet. Convertibles are perfectly fine in the rain; the roof is unlikely to leak if it's in good condition.

How do you use Raggtopp cleaner? ›

RAGGTOPP Convertible Top Vinyl Protectant
  1. Start with a clean dry convertible top.
  2. Shake bottle and spray 8 -12 inches from convertible top.
  3. Spray on using gentle sweeping motion or spray onto clean cotton rag or towel and wipe onto vinyl convertible top.
  4. Wipe dry with clean cotton towel, rag or micro-fiber towel.

Does Armour all crack vinyl? ›

Armor All® Protectant products are safe to use on your car's dashboard, and will not cause cracking. In fact, Armor All® Protectant products are specially formulated to guard against UV damage (like cracking and discoloration).

How long does Armor All last? ›

The shelf lives of Armor All® protectant products are at least five years from date of manufacture.” Products may last longer than our shelf life.

How long does Armor All shine last? ›

Invisible coating repels brake dust, road grime, and dirt, keeping your wheels clean for up to 4 weeks. Enjoy a deep black tire shine that lasts for weeks and protects against cracking and fading.

How do you take care of a soft top convertible? ›

Always wash convertible tops in the shade, never in direct sunlight. Always wash the entire convertible top at one time, never spot clean as this will leave rings or spots. Wet convertible top thoroughly and rinse off any loose dirt.

How do you clean a VW convertible top? ›

Once your convertible top is cooled down, thoroughly wet it with cool water. Then, spray a light coat of specialty cleaner on the top. Spread the cleaner evenly across the top using a sponge or soft brush. Using the soft brush, then gently scrub out dirt.

How do you remove green algae from canvas? ›

You can spread the bleach using either a chemical sprayer or a simple spray bottle. Step 3: Take a scrubbing brush and use it to gently scrub the covering until all of the moss has been removed from the canvas. Rinse the area with the garden hose, starting at the top and working down.

How do you clean a canvas car roof? ›

How to clean and protect a cloth/canvas convertible top ...

Is 303 fabric guard good for convertible tops? ›

The 303 Fabric Guard is a powerful protectant that will keep your fabric convertible top looking great.

Should you take a convertible through a carwash? ›

However, when it comes to taking your car through the car wash, convertibles might create a few problems. Because of the high pressure power of the sprays and the delicate nature of the canvas cover that protects your convertible's interior, it's not recommended to take them through the automatic car wash.

Can a soft-top convertible go through a carwash? ›

The short answer is YES. Most soft-top convertibles can go through a car wash.

How do you clean a vinyl convertible top? ›

How to clean and protect your vinyl convertible top using ... - YouTube

How do you clean a black convertible soft top? ›

How to Clean Black Convertible Tops - YouTube

Can a VW Beetle convertible go through a carwash? ›

No limitations. Every car is quality-checked to ensure water-tightness … the top frame is very rigid to be able to handle going up and down at up to 31 mph, so a car wash brush is no issue.”

What kills algae on canvas? ›

Kill it: Spray it with distilled white vinegar. Let dry. Clean it: Scrub it lightly with a soft brush using a mixture of salt, lemon, and hot water. Avoid using detergent soaps or bleach which is harsh on canvas and tough to rinse out.

Can you use Wet & Forget on canvas? ›

Since Wet & Forget is non-acidic, phosphate-free, and bleach-free, it won't harm or discolor canvas and other outdoor fabrics.

What is good for cleaning canvas? ›

Mix a bucket full of two parts water and one part vinegar. Dip a scrub brush into the vinegar solution and scrub the mildew off the canvas. Let the canvas dry in the sun without rinsing off the vinegar. If vinegar does not work, try soap and water.

Can you pressure wash a convertible top? ›

Wash the convertible top

To properly clean a convertible top, spray it down with a hose or a pressure washer. If you use a pressure washer, just remember to hold it about a foot away so that the pressure isn't too strong. Fortunately, the water should remove about 70 percent of the dirt and dust.

How often should I clean my soft top? ›

Wash your soft top at least once a month, or when it is dusty or dirty, with a non-detergent-based auto shampoo. If your top is not dirty, rinse it thoroughly with plenty of cool water. Make sure the shampoo does not contain gloss-enhancing oils. Otherwise, the top will absorb the oil and be a dust magnet.

Can I use snow foam on a soft top? ›

It won't affect your soft top roof if you splash a bit of snow foam on it, but it's not recommended that you fully snow foam your soft top roof – especially if it's a light colour.

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