Autoblog is not affiliated with the brands featured in our articles, but when you make a purchase through links on our site we may earn a commission.
Want to keep your convertible spotless? Check out our list of the highest-rated convertible top cleaners to keep your car looking its finest! If you own a convertible, you probably enjoy driving down the highway and basking in that incredible feeling of freedom as you cruise along. But every once in a while, we all have to get down to business and apply some elbow grease to keep our vehicles in optimal condition. While the classic method of soap and water still gets the job done, there’s a product that’s specifically formulated to clean convertible tops while protecting them from future stains and damage.
A convertible top cleaner works by cutting down the grime and stains that accumulate over time. These cleaners give your entire top a revitalizing treatment and keep it looking clean, sleek, and shiny, whether it’s up or down. With many options on the market, it can be quite difficult to buy the right product. To simplify this task, we’ve reviewed the five most effective convertible top cleaners to help you choose one according to your vehicle’s needs.
Compare the highest-rated convertible top cleaners of 2022
Chemical Guys Convertible Top Cleaner: Our pick
This convertible top cleaner from Chemical Guys is a great product for all your convertible-top cleaning, maintaining, and protecting needs. It’s designed to remove contaminants, dirt, and stubborn stains and restore your vehicle to factory appearance. Made with a unique blend of non-ionic surfactants, the cleaner quickly and effectively breaks down dirt, pollution, and mildew without harming your top’s finish. The result? A squeaky-clean surface that stays protected against the elements. As a bonus, this convertible top cleaner comes with a micro-bond technology protectant and repellent that increases the longevity of your convertible soft top while protecting it from harsh UV rays. Its sprayable formula is easy to use— just apply the cleaner with a microfiber towel, let it sit for two minutes, and then rinse with water. This convertible top cleaner is safe for all colors, fabrics, and finishes, so you won’t have to invest in different cleaners.
- Easy-to-use sprayable formula
- Comes with protectant and repellent
- Work on all colors and fabrics
- Effectively removes dirt and stains without discoloration
- It may require multiple coat applications
303 Products Convertible Top Cleaner: Great value
303 Products’ convertible top cleaner is formulated to keep your top looking new, so you can enjoy the breeze in your hair and the tunes on your radio. Designed to extend the lifespan of your convertible top, this cleaner contains a formula that penetrates deep into the top’s fibers, dissolving dirt and grime to preserve its original color and texture. It also adheres well to the fabric and creates a durable barrier against tree sap, bird droppings, insects, and other contaminants that can harm your car’s finish. This convertible top cleaner also comes with a high-tech fabric guard that restores oil and water repellency while maximizing your convertible top’s weather resistance. This easy-to-use cleaner does not contain any harsh chemicals or abrasives that could damage your vehicle’s delicate fabric, and it can be used on all types of fabrics, including cotton, vinyl, canvas, and more.
- Great for both soft and hard surfaces
- Helps remove tough stains
- Hydrophobic cleaning formula
- Restores water repellency
- Must wear gloves while using cleaner
Meguiar’s G2016 Convertible Top Cleaner: Also consider
Meguiar’s G2016 convertible top cleaner is a solid choice for treating your convertible top, restoring it to its original color, and leaving your car looking new. Designed for both hard and soft surfaces, it removes grime, dust, stains, and other contaminants without leaving any streaks behind. This convertible top cleaner also eliminates mold and mildew stains while adding a protective barrier that repels water, making future cleaning easier. The cleaner also provides maximum UV resistance to protect against fading and cracking. With its gel-based formula, the convertible top cleaner works quickly and efficiently, producing impressive results. Whether you’re cleaning a fabric or vinyl top, this cleaner will help keep the material soft, supple, and water repellent. It comes in a bottle with a handy trigger sprayer for precise application.
- Easy to apply
- Removes dust and stains
- Trigger spray for precise application
- Safe for all convertible tops
- Cleaner foam might be hard to rinse
Raggtopp Convertible Top Cleaner: Another option
This convertible top cleaner from Raggtopp is great for keeping your convertible top in pristine condition without having any adverse effects on its delicate fabric. The cleaner’s special formula is designed to cut down road grime while conditioning the vinyl to keep it soft and supple. The non-abrasive formula also allows your convertible top to last even longer, saving you the hassle and cost of having to purchase a new one. The cleaner also contains a mildew inhibitor that prevents mildew and mold growth on your convertible’s soft top. This convertible top cleaner kit includes both a cleaner and a protectant for easy application. The protectant is specially formulated to restore your top’s original color and sheen and increase UV protection to help prevent fading. Just like other products, this convertible top cleaner is easy to apply and won’t leave any unsightly patches or white residual streaks on your fabric.
- Non-abrasive ingredients
- Provides UV resistance and prevents mildew growth
- Cleaner and protectant included
- Long-lasting formula
- Cleaning brush not included
Car Guys Convertible Top Cleaner: Also consider
Whether you’re looking to restore an old classic or just clean up your car’s plastic and rubber parts, the Car Guys Plastic Restorer is a convertible top cleaner that can save you time and money. It’s formulated with advanced nanotechnology, which means that every scratch, crack, and scuff is just a wipe away! This environmentally friendly convertible top cleaner is safe on all surfaces and even works on tinted windows, cloudy headlights, dull dashboards, and faded bumpers. This convertible top cleaner also contains patented additives that offer longevity and provide exceptional shine. You can use this product on plastic and vinyl surfaces of any color, including black surfaces that typically wear more easily than other colors. It’s easy to use, and its non-greasy formula has fast-drying capabilities, so you’ll never have to wait around for it to dry.
- Made with advanced nanotechnology formula
- Long-lasting UV protection
- Non-greasy, environmentally friendly formula
- Not very water-repellent
Buying guide: Convertible top cleaners
Being a convertible owner, you’re always on the lookout for the perfect car cleaning products. It’s not enough to just clean your car — you need products that will keep your convertible top from fading, cracking, and getting ripped. Convertible tops are indeed built to last, but this is only true with the right care and maintenance. This is why we created a guide that’ll help you find the highest quality convertible top cleaner. We’ll cover everything from how often to clean your car to how to get rid of tough stains, as well as what to look for when choosing a maintenance product.
Should you go with a standalone cleaner or a complete kit?
Before choosing a convertible top cleaner, you should know the available kinds:
This is the most common type of convertible top cleaner, and it typically comes in a spray bottle that can be used directly on the fabric. These cleaners are designed to remove dirt, grime, and stains from your car’s convertible top without causing any damage to the fabric, and the results are usually effective, but will often only last a short time. These products generally do not contain any kind of protective ingredients, so you might have to buy that separately to enhance protection.
Cleaner and protectant kit
Convertible top cleaners that come in a kit generally contain two products– a cleaning agent as well as a protectant and repellent spray that you can use afterward to restore or maintain your soft top’s protection level. These protectants also prevent water from penetrating through the seams of your soft top and causing mold or mildew growth between layers. They also come with UV inhibitors that create a barrier between your car top and harmful UV rays to prevent discoloration and cracks.
These kits are especially handy as they allow you to effectively clean and treat your convertible top in one go. While these kits often cost more than standalone formulas, they offer great value because they last longer and provide a greater level of protection for your car’s convertible top.
Things to look for in a convertible top cleaner
Your convertible top is exposed to ultraviolet rays from the sun every time you drive your car. Over time, those UV rays can cause significant damage, from causing the fabric to fade and discolor to degrading the material itself until it becomes brittle and cracks easily. An ideal convertible top cleaner should have UV inhibitors in it, as these cleaners will create a barrier to protect your top from UV damage and extend its life considerably.
You don’t want rain or snow seeping into the seams of your convertible top, so make sure you buy a cleaner with a hydrophobic formula that provides water repellency for extra protection during inclement weather. These cleaners cause water to bead up and roll off your convertible top instead of soaking in, and they also protect against accidental spills and stains.
Your convertible top is made of fabric, which can accumulate mildew and mold over time. If you live in a humid area or if you often leave your car out in the rain, then it’s more susceptible to mildew growth. The leading convertible top cleaners contain anti-mold ingredients that prevent this from happening.
The primary purpose of a convertible top cleaner is to remove stains and marks. Water spots, dirt, bird droppings, tree sap, and UV damage are just some of the things that can leave your car looking less than ideal. If you’re serious about convertible top care, choose a product that will tackle the toughest stains with ease.
Ease of use
You don’t want to spend more time cleaning your convertible top than driving your car around, so it’s vital that you look for a cleaner that’s easy to use and allows you to remove stubborn stains without applying any extra elbow grease. An ideal convertible top cleaner should be designed with a spray nozzle that allows you to evenly spread the cleaner on your soft top without leaving any streaks behind.
How to use a convertible top cleaner
Follow these steps to clean your convertible top:
- Before you start cleaning, wear thin latex or nitrile gloves to avoid getting any chemicals on your hands
- Remove loose dirt and debris from your convertible top with a soft brush or sponge
- Adjust the spray nozzle to a fine mist setting
- Spray the cleaner on a small area of the convertible top that’s out of direct sunlight
- Allow the cleaner to sit for about ten minutes before rinsing off
- Rinse thoroughly with clean water to remove foam and residue
- Use a large rag to dry the convertible top
- After drying, apply the repellent and protectant to condition and seal the convertible top
Things to avoid when buying and using convertible top cleaners
Here are a few things that you should keep in mind when buying and using a convertible top cleaner.
- Never buy products that contain bleach, alcohol, or ammonia, as these agents can cause permanent damage or discoloration to your convertible’s top
- Some cleaners that work well on canvas might not work on vinyl. Before buying a cleaner, make sure it’s compatible with your convertible top’s material
- Avoid using dish soap or household detergent on your convertible top, as this can strip away at protective coatings and leave the top vulnerable to UV rays
- Never spray the cleaner directly on your top’s fabric. Always use a soft cloth or applicator brush to clean it
- Avoid applying cleaner or protectant in direct sunlight
- Always read instructions carefully before applying cleaner to your convertible top
Convertible Top Cleaner FAQs
How often should I clean my convertible top?
It’s recommended that you clean your soft-top at least twice a month during the summer when it gets a lot more exposure to the elements. During the winter months, you can get away with only cleaning it once every few months.
How do I clean bird poop off my convertible top?
You can use any mildew-resistant cleaner featured in our list to clean bird droppings from your convertible top. Simply apply the cleaner and let it sit for 30 seconds or so, then gently scrub with a soft brush and rinse properly with water.
Can I use convertible top cleaner to clean out mildew?
Yes, absolutely! You can use these cleaners to clean out mildew, prevent mold growth and create a barrier against the sun’s rays.