The best soft-top cleaners for your car

Keep that convertible looking as cool as you think you look with one of these soft-top cleaners.

The red convertible roof of a car

by Ryan Gilmore |

Has anyone ever told you that you should never wash a pair of jeans? That no matter what mud, spilt ketchup, or oil you get on them that they’re fine and shouldn’t be washed properly, only a quick dab down with water and simply air them out.

The same logic it seems is often applied to soft-tops, but with much worse results than a pair of smelly jeans.

Related: CAR's ultimate guide to properly cleaning your car

If you don't take proper care of your soft-top material a lot can go wrong. Not only will the fabric look awful and stained, but you'll also develop mould quicker and the fabric could even degrade and lose its waterproofing abilities.

A good soft-top cleaner is essential for any convertible owner and we've selected our favourites right here.

The best soft-top cleaner

Autoglym Convertible Soft Top Clean & Protect Complete Kit

The best soft top cleaner kit for your car
Autoglym Convertible Soft Top Clean & Protect Complete Kit
Amazon

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Our number one choice for cleaning and protecting a soft-top, Autoglym's convertible kit comes with a cleaner, protector and an applicator sponge. Suitable for use on mohair, double duck, fabric or canvas roofs, it's great for removing stains and ensuring that the roof remains as waterproof as possible.

Meguiar's ME G2016 Convertible Top Cleaner

Best soft top cleaner for quick cleaning
Meguiar's ME G2016 Convertible Top Cleaner
Amazon

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The perfect option for a quick spruce up, this soft top cleaner from Meguiar's can cut through oil, bird dirt and stains while also keeping the waterproofing elements intact. The product is biodegradable too which means you won't be harming the planet as you clean your car.

Carbusonic Convertible roof cleaner kit

Best soft top cleaner for neglected soft tops
Carbusonic Convertible roof cleaner kit
Amazon

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The perfect choice for a barn-find or a convertible that's sat neglected for a couple of years, this set of three products will totally restore any lost lustre. The mould remover is a welcome addition if the car's been sat outside, as is the black dye (use on a black roof only). The silicone waterproofer will ensure that the roof does its job of being waterproof.

Turtle Wax 51772 All In One Soft Top Soft Top Convertible Protection & Cleaning

Best soft top cleaner for value
Turtle Wax 51772 All In One Soft Top Soft Top Convertible Protection & Cleaning
Amazon

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If you're on a budget and still wanting solid results then this kit from Turtle Wax is well worth considering. The cleaner uses active detergents to dislodge dirt, remove mould, bird poo and stains while the conditioner helps the fabric to be more stain-resistant and it helps the waterproofing.

E-Tech Clear Vision

Best soft top cleaner for restoring PVC windows
E-Tech Clear Vision
Amazon

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You'll inevitably have seen some older convertibles with cloudy, yellowed PVC rear windows that don't look nice or work as windows. As replacement parts can be difficult to source and expensive to fit, restorers like this from E-Tech are a clever solution. This product will restore clarity and get rid of that yellow fade.

303 Products 30571 Tonneau Cover & Convertible Top Cleaner

best soft top cleaner for tonneau covers
303 Products 30571 Tonneau Cover & Convertible Top Cleaner
Amazon

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Also designed for cleaning pickup tonneau covers, this interesting product from 303 Products is designed to cut through oil and stains while offering better waterproofing. And if you happen to own a Dodge Dakota Convertible you can kill two birds with one stone with this product.

What you need to know about soft-top cleaners

Why should I clean a soft-top?

Not only will it keep your car looking car looking better and worth more money if you decide to sell it, but a properly maintained roof will also last longer and shouldn't be as prone to deteriorating, something which can easily do serious damage to your interior.

What about folding metal convertibles?

You shouldn't use soft-top cleaner on folding-metal roofs because they will not do anything. Instead, use regular car shampoo and wash it like any other body panel (just make sure to close the roof first).

What's the best convertible ever?

Difficult one to answer that, but the affiliate team has put its heads together and selected our favourites.

Chris Williams chose a wide range of cars ranging from the Delahaye 135 Roadster and AC Cobra to the Jeep Wrangler and Abarth 124 Spider.

Adam Binnie's top picks were the McLaren 675LT Spider, Porsche 718 Spyder and Suzuki Cappuccino.

I meanwhile champion the Porsche 918 Spyder, Ferrari F355 Spider and, rather weirdly, the Lotus Elan M100.

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