Washing a convertible is just as vital as cleaning a standard vehicle, in some ways even more so to properly maintain the seal when it is closed and prevent rips and tears. The most important thing to do for this process happens even before you put a microfiber cloth in your hand. Do not even attempt to give your convertible a rinsing if you do not have an appropriate car shampoo that can handle vinyl and various other top materials.
“What car owners need to keep in mind when using top cleaner is that it cannot be rubbed in by section, as you normally would wash a car… instead, long sweeping streaks with liberal pressure is necessary to keep the chemicals evenly distributed”
Ideal Conditions And Tools For The Job
To start, never wash your convertible directly under the sun, and any shaded area is preferable. Moreover, cooler days to go through this process are recommended so the soap does not dry too quickly and embed into the roof. Along with the shampoo you are planning to use, ideally it is wise to have three microfiber towels to use. Obviously not everyone will have this luxury, but numerous towels will help you get the job done to perfection for different phases of the rinsing.
Do Not Overly Shampoo The Top
When mixing warm water and car shampoo in a bucket, make sure there is more liquid than detergent that is added. The reason for this is that the last thing you want is chemical residue leftover on the top because it will dry the material and cause browning by the sun. Additionally, do not use cleaners that incorporate bleach. After you have soaked your microfiber towel or vinyl applicator pad, scrub in circular motions starting small and gradually spreading wider until the entire surface is covered in suds. If you have deep rooted dirt, a brush can be used to scrub as long as it uses soft bristles. Using a separate towel wet only from water, use the same technique until any dust is clear and the top is regaining its shine. After it has dried for 10-20 minutes, it is time to incorporate vinyl cleaner.
Apply Convertible Top Cleaner
Once the top has gone through a nice bath, it is a good idea to use another microfiber towel and spray convertible top cleaner on it. Keep in mind that these detergents are usually okay to use on materials beyond just vinyl. Their application is worthwhile because they are more adept at deeply cleaning the top as opposed to just clearing the surface. What car owners need to keep in mind when using top cleaner is that it cannot be rubbed in by section, as you normally would wash a car. Instead, long sweeping streaks with liberal pressure is necessary to keep the chemicals evenly distributed. It is not a good idea to clean the top by section (as opposed to the body of the vehicle) because it increases the risk of areas fading at different times, which will ruin its appearance.
Vinyl Protectant, Anti-Mildew, And Water Repellant
Once you are satisfied with how your top looks, you can bring various protective properties into the fold with numerous products. Vinyl protectant can help repel the sun’s rays and ensure color fading is at a minimum. Mildew resistant sprays will guarantee the vinyl or fabric will not deteriorate quickly, and water repellant will help rain roll off the top and not be absorbed to damage the covering. No matter which you choose to add to your car, always wait at least 20 minutes before applying a different layer. Finally, with your top sparkling clean and ready for the elements, the rest of the vehicle can be taken care of in small sections of circular motions of car shampoo, before being rinsed and finished off by a smooth sheepskin cloth.
Because there are so many moving parts to washing a convertible, it is a smart move to have it handled by a professional auto detailer. Not only do they perform the task with effortless expertise, they also have access to a wide array of products to address your particular top. Moreover, using a professional is recommended because a convertible requires more tools to accomplish the desired results than a standard car wash.