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How to clean your convertible top in the car wash

Taking your convertible to the car wash? Many convertible owners are skeptical at first because they fear damage to the soft-top. But these concerns are mostly unfounded. Having your convertible's soft-top cleaned is not a problem in an automatic car wash. In this article, we will show you which points you should pay particular attention to when caring for and cleaning your convertible.

Caring for the fabric roof on a convertible

Cleaning is not complicated, but should be done as gently as possible so as to protect the fabric. Using special convertible washing programs you can make your customers aware that cleaning convertibles is an option at your car wash.

Before they come to your car wash, many people will have treated the soft-top with household products. Dishwashing detergent can also help with light soiling, and wool detergent actually helps with the first signs of verdigris. However, such detergents fail when dealing with heavy soiling or soiling that has dried for a long time. Car owners also often forget that they must carefully soak the soft-top after cleaning.

Caring for convertibles properly in automatic car washes

Thanks to modern, soft brushes such as SofTecs® and the right washing chemicals, even convertible drivers can wash their car safely in a gantry car wash or conveyor tunnel system. When choosing the right car wash, it is important to ensure that it looks clean. If you have any concerns, it is better to ask the operator of the car wash. Many car washes even offer a special washing program for convertibles.

This is how a convertible washing program works:

  • Prewash –  under high pressure, washing is mainly done in the lower area of the convertible to protect the soft-top
  • Main wash – the roof rollers run with reduced contact pressure to avoid damaging the fabric roof.
  • Drying – an additional drying cycle ensures that the soft-top seals are completely dry

How to make your convertible shine again

With a wax treatment in the automatic car wash, your convertible will also come out gleaming! Regular automatic car washing with wax protects the paintwork and soft-top of the convertible from weathering and harmful environmental influences such as UV radiation and acid rain. Nevertheless, you should follow the manufacturer's recommendation in the owner's manual to the vehicle. The sprayed-on liquid wax coats the paintwork and the soft-top with a closed protective film. This is how automatic vehicle washing helps to preserve the value of the convertible.

Things you should look out for when cleaning your convertible top

Special water drains are provided so that the water from the convertible top can run off well. When cleaning, pour in some water and check if they are working. If the water doesn't run off quickly, they're clogged. You can then clean the drains with wire strand, making sure to wrap the sharp ends with some adhesive tape.

Also take a look at the rubber joints on the convertible top. They must be supple and well-maintained so that they are waterproof and do not let water in. If necessary, clean the joints and apply a little silicone oil.

The linkage of the convertible top also deserves a closer look. The joints and hinges may suffer from the strain over time. By lubricating both of them, you ensure that they last long and function smoothly.

Summary: Soft-tops require careful cleaning

A convertible soft-top has to be treated differently than the rest of the car. Therefore, it is best to choose a special washing program for convertibles. A gentle wash with the right washing chemicals not only makes convertibles shine, but also protects the paintwork and soft-top from harmful environmental influences. If you offer other services in addition to careful washing, customers will be more than happy to come back to you. Most people forget to maintain the water drains, the silicone joints and the linkage when washing at home. All the better when your customers know that their car is in good hands with you.