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Share the best methods to keep your soft top in prestine condition. Include your favorite products for the soft top on your 124 Spider.

Soft Top Cleaning Method

Always wash convertible tops in the shade, never in direct sunlight.
Always wash the entire convertible top at one time, never spot clean as this will leave rings or spots.
Wet convertible top thoroughly and rinse off any loose dirt.
Spray Convertible Top Cleaner and apply evenly over entire roof then scrub lightly with soft bristle brush
For difficult soiled areas, spray and let stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
Gently scrub with soft bristle brush.
Rinse thoroughly with water until no remaining foam from Convertible Top Cleaner is observed.
IMPORTANT: Convertible top must be completely dry before applying protectant!
IMPORTANCE OF PROTECTING YOUR CONVERTIBLE TOP

Your car's soft convertible top is subjected to the same harsh environmental conditions as the painted surfaces of your car but your convertible top is not as durable as your painted surfaces. We all know that it is important to wax your paint to keep it protected from premature aging. The fabric/cloth or vinyl material that your convertible top is made from, although durable, is more delicate than the painted steel or fiberglass that the body of your car is made from. This is why it is vitally important to protect your convertible top and keep it protected as a part of your maintenance regimen. Unprotected convertible tops will deteriorate, leaving them looking bad and even worse, they will start to leak! The worst nightmare of a convertible owner is a leaky convertible top!

IMPORTANT NOTE! About 99% of new convertible tops have stitching along the sides and around glass or plastic window is not treated when it leaves the factory! This is what holds your convertible top together so get it protected IMMEDIATELY!

Protecting Your Soft Top

Start with a clean, completely dry convertible top.
If possible avoid applying protectant on windy days or pull your car inside the garage. Even a light breeze will cause more overspray and will also stir up dirt and dust that will be attracted to your convertible top before the protectant has a chance to dry.
Shake fabric convertible top protectant well before use and several times during application.
Hold can or bottle upright and spray evenly 16-18 inches from material and use a gentle sweeping motion. DO NOT SATURATE!
Allow to Completely Dry 10 minutes or longer between coats, preferably in the sun. Artificial heat can be used to speed drying time. Drying time may vary depending on weather conditions. Your convertible top MUST BE COMPLETELY DRY before applying the next coat of protectant.
Spray up to three light even coats of Fabric Convertible Top Protectant allowing protectant to completely dry between coats.
Use a clean microfiber towel to wipe off any excess overspray on paint, trim or glass.
Apply every 6-8 weeks for maximum UV protection and to protect against the harsh environmental elements.


2 top products on the market for convertible tops


Raggtopp Fabric Cleaner and Protectant Kit

-especially developed for the true convertible top professional and enthusiast to protect and maintain their fabric from harmful elements
-The number one factor in deteriorating convertible tops is acid rain, along with U.V. rays, smog, tree sap, bird droppings, salt, tar , dirt, grease, and grit
-All these elements contribute to the weakening and failure of convertible tops.
-RAGGTOPP Protectant is the future of convertible top protection
-Over three years of product testing has produced a polymer formula that creates a superior protective barrier that micro-bonds to the convertible top and protects it from the elements of nature and man





303 AEROSPACE Automotive Protectant

-Keeps vinyl, rubber and plastics looking like new, and lasting longer!
-Provides superior UV protection to help prevent fading and cracking
-Helps repel dust, dirt, lint and staining
*Leaves a dry, matte finish - no oily or greasy feel
-Made in the U.S.A.



Please share any tips or products that you use :)
 

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Two things I've learned recently:

1) Don't spray 303 onto your windows. It's a bear to get off.

2) I treated my top with 303 and it was amazing. The water just ran off beautifully. However when i went to clean the a small section of the top with Ragtop cleaner it was incredibly effective at removing the 303. So be aware that you will need to reapply 303 if you use ragtop as the cleaner.
 

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Thought I'd throw up a cheaper product review: So far I've tried the Auto Glym clean and protect product. (Found it at the local Canadian Tire for $25) They recommend re-application every 4-6 months depending on beading breakdown.

Application of the cleaner was easy and because of the clear white coloring you could see your coverage. The protector goes on clear but it's damp enough that you can see it go on.

I went to check my car out in storage a couple of weeks ago and for fun poured a bottle of water on the top. Beading was still there (Since July 2018 - first and last application so far). I've had terrible luck with rain storms when I'm out with the car but it's still holding up. I appreciate that they don't require taping up any surrounding glass. As long as you don't let it set and wipe it off it seems to not stain or anything.
 

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The top on my new-to-me car had no water repellency whatsoever. I just treated it with Porsche Cabriolet Top Protectant and Waterproofer. I taped off the car and covered everything beforehand. It went on colorlessly, didn't change the color of the top. It smells strongly of lacquer thinner. The only thing I noted was any little "hairs" sticking up off the surface were of course also coated and look somewhat whitish in appearance, like fuzz. I'm pretty sure once it's good and dry I can go over the top with a soft brush and these will disappear.

Follow-up: the "fuzzies" easily brushed away with a soft horse-hair brush. Top looks great. Will be interesting to see how well it repels water now.
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