It's always fun to drive a convertible, especially during the warm days of summer. But more than enjoying it, loving such vehicle should also mean taking good care of and maintaining all its components, especially the soft top. You see, your convertible's top is exposed to the sun's damaging UV rays as well as to other natural elements like rain, bird droppings, mildew, tree sap, and a lot more. If you fail to maintain it, your convertible top can have discolorations, cracks, tears, and other signs of damage that can make it unsightly and leas efficient. You don't want to see any of those on your soft top soon, yes? So, you might as well keep your convertible top clean all the time.
Besides keeping it clean, one way to maintain the looks and efficiency of your soft top is to apply high-quality protectant. It may come in liquid or wax form but basically, it is applied into the soft top's surface after cleaning to protect the top against the damaging effects of natural elements, and therefore help extend its service life.
What to look for in soft top protectants
If you're facing the dilemma of deciding which one to purchase among the wide range of soft top cleaners and protectants out there, you'd better go for the item that guarantees the following:
A well-maintained convertible top shouldn't be achieved at the expense of the environment. Thankfully, there are now protectants that are made with biodegradable formula, which allow you to protect your top without causing any harm to Mother Nature. Remember, if the protectant is environmentally friendly, it will be friendly on your soft top, too. It will also pose leas or no threat on your health as it doesn't contain harsh chemicals.
Make sure to read and understand the label and stay away from protectants with silicone, chlorofluorocarbons, or Freon contents. A low-PH, no-bleach formula is good as it leaves no dirt and grease residue without damaging the top. Consider also the material your soft top is made of; fabric tops need water-repellent formula while vinyl tops do not.
Convertible tops are manufactured with a layer of UV protection, but it becomes less effective each day especially if you often use the soft top. Regular washing of the top also depletes its built-in UV protection faster. The protectant will help restore the top's ability to protect itself against the effects of harmful UV rays.
You can save bucks by purchasing cleaners and protectants that are sold as a kit because kits usually includes everything you'll need to properly use and apply these solutions. Besides cleaners and protectants, most kits also include a brush that's designed for use on soft tops, as well as several pieces of microfiber detailing cloth. Another advantage of using products that are sold as a kit is that their ingredients usually complement and work well with each other, making the desired results last longer.
How to properly apply your soft top protectant
Clean the vehicle well using the cleaner provided in the kit. Once you're sure that the vehicle is thoroughly clean, park it in a covered garage or in an area with enough shade, so the protectant won't dry up before you get the chance to spread it. With a microfiber cloth, apply it in a circular or crisscross motion.