7 tips to keep an open-air vehicle's soft-top impeccable - Professional Carwashing & Detailing

7 tips to keep an open-air vehicle’s soft-top impeccable

Special cleaning techniques will ensure long life for soft-tops.

Spring is (finally) in the air for much of the country, and we know many of you are getting ready to wash, wax and detail your customers’ vehicles. Our favorite? Open-air vehicles — specifically ones with soft-tops.

As you know, proactive care will help prolong the life of any soft-top material. This means it will withstand the elements better, for longer, and leave consumers with impeccable soft-tops for many years. A program of keeping the fabric clean through regular washings, before it gets dirty, will enhance the life and beauty of the top and make successive cleanings easier. As always, the first stop for information specific to a top’s cleaning can be found in the vehicle owner manual.

However, when it comes to open-air vehicles, there’s something major to consider before the cleaning even begins: the material of the soft-top — vinyl versus cloth. Here are seven tips to ensure your customers’ vehicles will look top notch all year long for both top materials.

  1. For a cloth top, start by removing dirt and pollen from the top with a vacuum brush attachment. Airborne debris is an archenemy of soft-tops — by using a softer vacuum brush, it can be dealt with easily.
  2. Use a soft bristle brush to aid the lifting of soil out of the material during washing.
    • For cloth tops, stiff brushes can abrade the fiber, distort the weave and shorten the life of the roof.
    • For vinyl tops with a unique grain on the outer surface, we recommend gentle scrubbing to avoid abrading the embossed pattern.
  3. Hand wash the soft-top in the shade for the best results. A sunny spot won’t allow an even cleaning or drying process.
  4. Keeping the top up to air dry will help maintain the best appearance. Similarly to how you don’t recommend a customer roll down their windows right after a wash, when a soft-top gets washed, it only makes sense to let it air dry, rather than having it fold up damp.
  5. Act fast. It’s important to remove bird and tree droppings, etc. as soon as possible.
  6. Do not use top dressing cleaners or conditioners containing silicones, organic solvents, petroleum distillates or plasticizers, as these may permanently harm the top material’s vinyl coating.
  7. For all roof types, partially open the convertible top to clean below the vehicle beltline. This way, every nook and cranny can be reached. If cleaning occurs without this unfastening, it’s easy to miss out on stains from the weather elements that are concealed.

Matthew Williams, director of business development for The Haartz Corporation (Haartz) has worked in various areas of the company with multiple responsibilities, including research and development engineer; research and development manager; and now his current role as director of business development, where he oversees all sales and R&D activities for the automotive exteriors and non-automotive businesses.

You May Also Like

Tint World continues Georgia expansion with 10th location

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Tint World Automotive Styling Centers announces the opening of a new Georgia location.

Tint World Automotive Styling Centers announces the opening of a new location in Stone Mountain, Georgia.

STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. — Tint World Automotive Styling Centers announces the opening of a new location in Stone Mountain, Georgia.  

“I can’t wait to introduce Tint World’s superior styling products and services to the Stone Mountain area,” Tint World Stone Mountain owner David Dinh, said. “The franchise is known for being the best in the industry, and that passion and experience is one of the things that drew me to Tint World in the first place. They’ve got an amazing franchise system in place that will help me do what I love and be successful at it.”

Ziebart recognizes franchise owners for year of excellence

TROY, Mich. — Dealer of the Year and New Dealer of the Year honors were awarded at the conference.

ziebart celebration
Tint World and XPEL announce partnership

This collaboration will introduce the “Tint World powered by XPEL” range of co-branded products.

This collaboration will introduce the “Tint World powered by XPEL” range of co-branded products.
Ziebart International Corp. celebrates 65-year legacy

TROY, Mich. — Automotive aftercare franchise launches partnership with Born In Detroit and Mission 22 and unveils museum exhibit.

SONAX trainers lead American ‘Dream Team’ to certify El Salvadorian detailers

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. — In addition to certifying detailers in IDA specifications, the team will also SONAX-certify the detailers in paint correction — an advanced form of restoring old, faded, aging paint to its original shine.

Other Posts
Graphene glamour

How graphene products have increased in popularity and performance.

The emergence of graphene in carwashing
Clean up the confusion around carwash doors

Selecting the right carwash door is a nuanced decision with significant implications for security, functionality, and customer satisfaction.

carwash door, drawing, track, hardware, doors
Boosting customer satisfaction for car detailing services

Learn key strategies to enhance customer retention, boost client satisfaction and grow your business in car detailing.

Mobile carwash market continues to grow

Convenience and e-commerce are increasing in appeal in today’s world when it comes to mobile carwashes.

Mobile carwash market continues to grow