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Old 05-02-2010, 01:50 AM   #1
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Soft Top Cleaning

I have a 99 TJ and here in the northwest it is spring turning into summer so that means it is about time to put the soft top down. Before I start to put the top down, I want to clean it really good from the winter snow and rain grime build up. I do not have the money for fancy cleaners and conditioners so I need suggestions on the best way to clean my soft top. I know not to take it through an automated car wash but what if I do it myself at the car wash? Is it ok lightly using the sprayer along with the brushes that are there? any and all suggestions or ideas will be appreciated thanks guys and gals.

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Old 05-02-2010, 03:20 AM   #2
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I use a power washer and a medium strength brush and scrub with some soap.

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Old 05-02-2010, 08:40 AM   #3
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Soap, water and a soft brush. Make sure you keep the brushes away from the windows, unless you like that scratched up look.... I'd do it at home with a hose if possible. But as long as you don't concentrate the force of the water on the seams you should be ok at the car wash. Check out the brush first and make sure it's clean, not full of rocks/barbed wire, etc.....
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:20 AM   #4
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I usually used my hose at home and a nice clean hand brush with a little soap - which works really well.
I have used the sprayer at the car wash before, but I usually used either the "No spot rinse" setting with the trigger pulled (It's very low pressure) Or, you can also use the Rinse setting without pulling the trigger - and stand a good ways back so the pressure isn't really all that strong.

I would absolutely not, however, use the brush that is in the car wash stall on your top (I don't even use it on the metal parts).
Those things are *always* covered in a sheen of grease, brake dust, chemical tire cleaner, engine block cleaner, etc...
People use them for everything, and they don't really get cleaned out properly. Nasty.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:27 AM   #5
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Thanks guys all these ideas are a big help, I agree with not using the brushes at the car wash, I didn't think about that those brushes are used for everything under the sun and for will not use them on my windows. I clean those by hand. If you have any other ideas keep them coming. Thanks again.
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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I have actually found that a wheel cleaner spray helps if you spray it on a rag and then rub it.....makes it a rich black again... I had a mud stained top and i could never get it off and used that and now its perfectly black! I love it...and its still cheap! but wash it with soap and water first then do the wheel cleaner...
Hope this helps!
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Old 05-03-2010, 09:46 AM   #7
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dang that pink hurts the eyes.
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:50 PM   #8
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haha sorry mrcarcrazy! barbies fav color is pink so...... ahaha
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Old 05-03-2010, 04:36 PM   #9
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Glad the wheel cleaner is working for you Barbie, but I wouldn't recommend it. Most wheel cleaners are caustic. I would think that's not the best thing for your top.
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Old 05-04-2010, 08:17 AM   #10
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it works perfect....I haven't had a single thing go wrong with it.... i have used it for about 6 months so thats atleast 6-10 times...and my friend has used it on his jeep since '06 when he bought his....
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Old 05-04-2010, 09:05 AM   #11
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Soft tops are vinyl fabric, and they can react with chemicals. Some chemicals can soften-or dissolve- the vinyl. Some can do a serious number on the thread, the zippers, the plastic parts. Lots can cause damage to the windows.

You should only use chemicals that are specifically designed to be used with vinyl. I do not know what's in wheel cleaner, but my guess is that it's not a good idea for use on your soft top.

You can use soap - liquid dish soap is OK. Scrub brushes are just fine. Some detergents won't cause problems. Some cleaners like Simple Green are OK. And of course, there are special cleaners designed for soft tops.

A personal opinion: caustic chemicals are an American tradition: we want some sort of instant cleaner that will spray on and magically do all the work for us. I'm not certain these are always such a great idea. Not positive how healthy they are for us, for whatever we're cleaning, for our pets, etc. Sometimes we've got to clean things the old fashioned way.

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