Cleaning Vinyl Car Tops

by Charlotte Wood
(last updated July 4, 2016)

My first car was a 1984 Volkswagen Rabbit convertible and it was pretty awesome. The fact that it was a convertible was my favorite part, even though the car was old enough so the top didn't come down automatically. It had one of those vinyl tops that you had to manually push down to make it a convertible, and sometimes that vinyl top made for an adventure. The best part was when something gross (like bird waste or something of the like) got on the vinyl top and would just stay there because vinyl doesn't necessarily wash off that easily. If you have a vinyl car top and want to ride cool instead of lame, then here's how to clean that car top and be the coolest driver on the block!

One of the things that makes vinyl tops so hard to clean is that the vinyl is usually textured, making it hard to remove all the dirt. So, when you dive into cleaning your car top, make sure you have the proper materials. You'll need a specialized soap (ideally) that can be found in any automotive store or aisle; if you don't want to buy or cannot afford special soap, then a generic heavy duty brand should work just fine. You also want to have a stiff cleaning brush, with which you can scrub the top of your car.

You can really just wash the top of the car like you would wash the rest of your car. Prep the top by rinsing it with some clean, fresh water, and then wash it with soapy water. When you wash the vinyl top with soapy water, make sure that you use the stiff cleaning brush to dislodge the dirt that gets stuck in the textured areas. This may take a bit longer than it takes you to wash the rest of your car, but it will definitely be worth it in the end. Once you're finished scrubbing the top, rinse it off with another wave of clean, fresh water, and then check for any spots you may have missed. Now you can enjoy driving a car with a sparkling top and a great look! Have fun driving around!

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