Best Convertible Top Cleaners: Keep Your Ride in Tip-Top Shape (2022)

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

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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

3

Raggtopp Convertible Top Care Kit Fabric

Premium Pick

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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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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

PROS

Prevents top from drying out

Works on many fabrics

Removes stains

CONS

Spray nozzle is flimsy

No vibrant shine

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.

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