How to Restore Convertible Tops

Written by owen e. richason iv
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Over time, convertible tops become faded and lose their lustre. Some convertible owners choose to simply pay the price and have the top recovered at a service centre, while others just ignore the problem thinking there's nothing that can be done. But convertible tops can be restored to their glory with a few supplies and some elbow grease. All else that is needed is a shady spot and the radio tuned to your favourite station.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Vacuum
  • Garden hose
  • Soft nylon brush
  • Bucket
  • Sponge
  • Mild detergent
  • Convertible top cleaner
  • Convertible fabric or vinyl protector

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  1. 1

    Lift your top from its down position and lock it into place over the roof. Using a upholstery brush attachment, vacuum the entire convertible top to pick up as much dust and dirt as possible.

  2. 2

    Squirt a mild detergent into a bucket and fill with a garden hose. Hose down the convertible top to wet it and clean the top with a sponge. Rinse the top thoroughly. Apply convertible top cleaner to a soft nylon brush and scrub over the whole top in a circular motion. Allow the cleaner to soak into the fabric for about 10 minutes, occasionally misting the top. Rinse the top and repeat at least once more.

  3. 3

    Let the convertible top dry completely after cleaning. Park the car in a sunny spot to quicken the drying process, then return to your cleaning area. Apply the first coat of fabric or vinyl protector to the convertible top following the manufacturer's instructions. Let dry and apply two more coats of protector.

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