What is the proper way to wash a convertible?

Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 10:57 pm
I used to enjoy spending a Saturday or Sunday washing, waxing, tinkering with my car. I don't anymore. I take it to a carwash whenever it needs it.

Recently though, I purchased a fire engine red convertible. A real nice one. I don't believe taking it to a carwash is a good idea. No telling what might happen to the canvas top, no telling that water shooting at a particular angle might find a way into the interior of the car either. Plus there's no telling what kind of vehicle went through the carwash before my car. No telling what kind of crap may be on the brushes that wash the car. I didn't pay the 63K plus tax this baby cost brand new but I think I might have heart failure if water got into the car or the top got damaged or the car got scratched or anything. See what I'm sayin?

How do you wash your convertible which I am sure you baby as much as I do mine? Do you do it yourself or can you recommend a place that does this work and is fussy? Like me. Smile
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Reply Fri 28 Jan, 2005 11:49 pm
I usually put her in the sink with some warm water, squeeze in a little Ivory liquid, take an old toothbrush to the chassis so I can clean all of the sand and dirt from playing outside, then put her back on the shelf with my other Matchboxes and Hot Wheels.

I don't think I have as much invested in my car collection as you do, though, so maybe our methods aren't comparable...
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Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 12:08 am
Ask the dealer in how to clean a convertible.
I don't have a convertible but I have my car handwashed
for a few bucks more than a regular carwash cost.
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Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 12:14 am
I would suggest doing it with the top UP.
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Jack Webbs
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 09:54 am
Calamity Jane, does this mean your vehicle is washed without the canvas top getting wet? I know this may sound like a foolish question but you know some guys would probably wash a convertible just as they would a steel top and that just wouldn't do with my car for reasons that I mentioned in the previous post.

I am now beginning to have a vision as to how this might work. Use a bucket filled with the soapy car wash solution, take a sponge and gently wipe down all the parts of the car that are painted red. Rinse. Leave the black canvas and the chrome alone. I could probably do this myself or even better just go to the car wash and supervise the employee there. Now that's an idea.

The car had been "detailed" when I bought it and I have not let any rain fall on her. Yesterday I checked with detailers by telephone and the detail job normally runs about $150 and it was recommended I have it done twice a year to keep the machine looking new. Of course she must be washed in between and that is my concern.

I will think more about actually doing the wash myself. You got me thinking Jane!

No Pdiddley, your suggestion is out to lunch and roger I already know the top must be UP. The top is actually the main reason for concern here.
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Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 10:12 am
Convertibles always should be handwashed Jack. Look
at your owner's manual and there you'll find recommendations in what products to use for your top.

In the meantime, I found you some Info here

How do I Clean and Protect  My Canvas Top?

A. The Haartz Corporation recommends using RAGGTOPP™ Cleaner and RAGGTOPP™ Protectant (available from World Upholstery at tel: 800-222-9577, fax: 805-921-0101.)
Thoroughly tested and endorsed by HAARTZ, the world's leading manufacturer of convertible topping fabric since 1920s. HAARTZ is the designated supplier of convertible topping fabric for virtually every U.S. automaker and most European manufacturers, and is the world's only manufacturer of both PVC and cloth combined automobile and sport utility topping.
all Solution Dyed Acrylic Topping Fabrics.

Although the fabrics do not promote mildew growth by themself, mildew may develop on dirt and other foreign substances that are not removed.  This is especially true in warm, humid, dark environments.  A program of keeping the fabric clean through regular washings, BEFORE it gets dirty, will enhance the life and beauty of the acrylic and make successive cleaning easier.

Hand washing in shade or partial shade, not direct sunlight, is best.  DO NOT USE DETERGENT.  Bird and tree droppings, as well as other loose particle soils, should be removed immediately.  Vacuum with a brush attachment and rinse thoroughly with water to remove loose particle soils.  This will also prevent the soils from being redeposited during the cleaning process.  Once the fabric has been rinsed thoroughly, spray RAGGTOPP™ Cleaner evenly over the entire surface while still wet.  Allow the cleaner to soak for 10 to 20 minutes and then scrub lightly with a soft nylon brush or terry cloth rag.  Rinse thoroughly, preferably until no remaining soap foam is observed.  Additional cleanings may be required.  It is best to determine the need for additional cleanings after the fabric has dried completely.

Once dry, cleaning must be followed by re-water repelling with RAGGTOPP™ Protectant. (This product does not contain CFC's and therefore, is not harmful to the environment.)  Failure to apply will result in rapid resoiling of the unprotected fabric.
Washing with soap (ie. Ivory or Lux) and warm water is a safe alternative to RAGGTOPP™ Cleaner, but not as effective.

For more stubborn cases, mix a solution of no more than 1/2 cup (4oz.) bleach and 1/4 cup (2oz.) RAGGTOPP™ Cleaner per gallon of water, soak for approximately 20 minutes and scrub lightly as indicated above.  (Excessive soaking with the bleach solution can deteriorate seam threads.)  Rinse thoroughly to prevent streaking on painted and chrome surfaces.  Several cleanings may be necessary.  Once again, RAGGTOPP™ Protectant water repellent must be applied to the fully dried fabric.

Seamark™, Stayfast®, Sonnenland®, Twillfast®, and Cambria® are registered trademarks of the Haartz Corporation
RAGGTOPP™ is a trademark of Wolfsteins Pro-Series

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Jack Webbs
Reply Sat 29 Jan, 2005 08:21 pm
Thank you for your help Calamity Jane. I appreciate it very much.
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