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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Another thread went off topic so I thought I would start one on this subject
I hope this helps some novice convertible owners.
I got this info from this web site http://www.autopia-carcare.com/inf-cabrio.html
I deleted the parts about vinyl rear windows

SOFT-TOP MATERIALS
The first thing to understand about your soft top is its materials. Without this understanding, it's hard to appreciate its maintenance requirements.

Most modern convertibles and roadsters have soft tops made of a durable polyacrylic/polyester canvas or vinyl. The fabric-like canvas tops feel nice and look great, while the vinyl tops are more economical and easier to maintain. Fabric tops have a tight weave, but they breathe. Unlike vinyl tops, a canvas top is not waterproof, it is only water resistant. To make the canvas top waterproof, it must be treated. Without protection, the canvas top is susceptible to leaking and stains. Likewise, vinyl tops need protection from the sun and pollutants. If you're not sure whether your top is fabric or vinyl, check with your dealer.


HARMFUL AGENTS
Common cleaning products can be very harmful to your soft top. Chemicals you should not use on or near your top include ammonia, bleach, detergent, alcohol and vinegar.

Detergents, bleach and harsh acids will quickly deteriorate canvas, whereas ammonia and alcohol will dry and cloud vinyl. Take my word for it, you don't want to know what it will cost to replace your soft top. It makes for a really, really bad day. So please, know the chemicals you use before you apply them to your top.

CLEANING YOUR SOFT TOP
Your car's soft top is subjected to the same environmental conditions as the rest of your car. However, although it is easy to see when your car's body is dusty and dirty, it is not always easy to see when your top is dirty, especially if it's black or navy blue.

Fabric tops, should be washed using a soft brush and a soap that does not contain detergents or conditioners. If the top is properly protected and conditioned, the water will bead.

One of the biggest wear factors for canvas tops is dust in the canvas. Dust settles into the weave of the fabric and begins to act like sandpaper. Vinyl tops will also experience premature wear from dirt, but not as readily. In general, you should care for your top each time you wash your car. This does not mean you need to scrub it each time, but a good stiff rinsing is necessary. The following steps are recommended:

Wash your soft top at least once a month (or when it is dusty or dirty) with a non-detergent-based auto shampoo. If your top is not dirty, rinse it thoroughly with plenty of cool water. Make sure the shampoo you use does not contain gloss-enhancing oils. If the shampoo contains oil, the top will absorb the oil and become a dust magnet. The recommended product is Wolfstein's RaggTopp Cleaner. It is the only cleaner recommend by the Haartz Corporation, which supplies convertible topping material for virtually every convertible manufactured throughout the world. Haartz has performed exhaustive testing on almost every product in the industry used for cleaning and protecting fabric convertible tops.



The recommended tool for washing is a soft scrub brush. Do not use a cloth, chenille-covered sponge or lamb's wool mitt, as they will leave lint. If your top has soil marks, stains or bird droppings, use a small, stiff upholstery scrub brush. If you can rub the brush across the back of your hand without scratching your skin, it's safe to use on your soft top. Do not, however, use a scrub brush on the vinyl window. It will scratch. Make sure you rinse the top thoroughly with a stiff stream of water to remove all of the shampoo and dirt.

On canvas tops, dry using a synthetic chamois or microfiber towel. The best method is to use the towel or chamois to blot up the water. Don't wipe. Do not use a terry cloth towel or diaper to dry your canvas top, as they will leave lint. On vinyl tops, a synthetic chamois or microfiber towel will also work well, as will cotton towels.
Soft-top Stains
Sooner or later, your top will be inflicted with a stain that will not come out with regular shampoo. Common stains include bird droppings, tree sap and grease. For these occasions, you will need to use a stronger cleaner that can penetrate and release the foreign matter.

Your first inclination will be to scrub the stain with the regular shampoo. DON'T! All scrubbing will do is spread it around. To remove stains from your canvas or vinyl top, use ****** Cleaner in full concentration. Spray it liberally on the stain before washing the whole top. Let it soak in, but don't let it dry. After it has soaked for 3 to 5 minutes, rinse your top and wash as usual. Rinse the stained area with a stiff stream of water.


PROTECTING YOUR SOFT TOP
As I mentioned earlier, canvas tops are not waterproof. To make a canvas top waterproof and stain resistant, it is necessary to treat it with a protective spray. The only treatment I recommend is Wolfstein's RaggTopp Protectant. This is the only product endorsed by Haartz, and the only fabric protectant that contains an antifungus agent to prevent mold and mildew. I have previously recommended Porsche Tequipment Convertible Top Conditioner and 303 High Tech Fabric Guard, however, these products do not offer the same level of protection as RaggTopp and they are not recommended by the manufacturer of the fabric top material.

Although vinyl doesn't need waterproofing, vinyl tops do need protection. Using a good vinyl top protectant, you can prevent discoloration damage from road grime, pollution, salt deposits, leaf gum and bird droppings. The two products I recommend for vinyl top protection are Raggtopp Vinyl Protectant and 303 Aerospace Protectant. Both offer excellent UV protection. Vinyl tops should be treated monthly.

Before you spray your soft top with protectant, it must be clean and dry. Use a scrub brush and a full .75-ounce dose of top or car shampoo to deep-clean the top. Applying the canvas top protectant is best done in conjunction with waxing. Your prewax cleaner or polish will remove any potential overspray.

Canvas Top Protectant Instructions

Mask completely around your top and vinyl window with tape and newspaper. Once dry, the overspray from the protectant is difficult to remove from paint, vinyl and glass. Lift the top slightly, and slip newspaper between the top and windshield frame. Do the same between the top and side windows. Use masking tape and newspaper to mask the areas where the top and rear panels meet. Use masking tape and newspaper again to completely mask the rear window (do not leave any vinyl showing).


Shake the top protectant for 30 to 60 seconds.


Spray two light coats from a distance of about 7" to 9" on the whole top. Start in the center on one side, and work toward your body in even, back-and-forth sprays, releasing your finger at the end of each pass. Repeat on the other side. Spray a third light coat on the seams.


Remove masking materials.


Check for overspray on paint. Remove overspray with prewax cleaner or polish.

Vinyl Top Protectant Instructions

Shake the top protectant for a few seconds.


Do not spray directly onto the top. Spray or pour the protectant on a foam applicator or sponge, and use the applicator to apply the protectant to your top. Start in the center on one side, and work toward your body in even, back-and-forth wipes. Repeat on the other side.


Allow the protectant to soak in for 3 to 5 minutes, and then buff dry with a clean microfiber towel or terry cloth detailing towel.


OTHER TIPS & HINTS
Proper care of your soft top goes beyond regular maintenance. You can also extend its life and beauty by providing a little extra care when lowering and raising your top.

While the engineers have done a wonderful job of designing a top that folds into a small space, canvas and vinyl tops do not always fold flat. It is best to lower the top halfway, and then smooth the canvas or vinyl to ensure it does not bunch, gather or buckle.


SUMMARY
Your soft top can provide many years of beautiful service, but only if you give it the proper care and handling. Keep your top clean, and protect it as needed. When water stops beading on your canvas top, its protection from the sun and water are gone. Vinyl tops need more frequent protecting, as often as once a month.
 

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Amazing POST!
 

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So what kinda top is the Sky/Solstice equipted with?
 

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Wow thanks... is that copyrighted? It could be a brochure for first time convert owners like I am soon to be... Ill print that out and keep with my detail kit.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
1994SC2 said:
Wow thanks... is that copyrighted? It could be a brochure for first time convert owners like I am soon to be... Ill print that out and keep with my detail kit.
I don't know, that is why I included the website in my post... You may want to contact them and find out.
 

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The Sol Rag Top is fabric.
 

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Thanks Appalachian American!

Great post!! This new covert owner thanks you!!:thumbs:
 

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Does that mean we are going to have to waterproof our tops? Seems that they should come that way since rain or cold is the only reason someone would put the top up. What are the Solstice owners doing with their tops that they have been driving around?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
GRinLR said:
Does that mean we are going to have to waterproof our tops? Seems that they should come that way since rain or cold is the only reason someone would put the top up. What are the Solstice owners doing with their tops that they have been driving around?
They are water resistant, but like any material exposed to the weather it much be kept clean and have protectant applied so it will last longer...
 

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:thumbs: Awsome post, all new info to me. This will be my first roadster, and that really helped me out. I notice a comment in there about "factory recommended products". Wonder if Saturn dealers actually recommend a product. Personally, I'ld perfer to go to Porsche and ask their advice before Saturn, as their kinda new to the game.

Great Job :thumbs:
 

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First Money Spent on the SKY..Ready to clean my Baby!! when she arrives!!
1 OXO Small (very soft) Wash Brush 1 $9.95
1 303 Aerospace Protectant 1 $19.95 (for vinyl pieces)
1 Wolfstein's RaggTopp for Fabric Tops 1 $11.95 (for tough top stains)
Bought all at detailersparadise.com
 

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dmbdlatc said:
I found another great item on rag top care here.
Thanks, that was great information. This "top care" will be a pretty significant concern to us, requiring some extra effort. Extra for me anyway, this will be my first soft top.

Really good site, sounds like Mr Goldstein put a lot of research into this product and it has paid off.
 
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