This guide will take you through step by step how to clean, re-colour and waterproof your fabric, mohair or canvas convertible soft top using the ProtexWorld soft top restoration kit. If you have a vinyl top you’ll need our vinyl cleaner and waterproofing kit.
The kit comprises three products, a cleaner, colour restoring dye and a waterproofing solution. With the complete kit you also get a cleaning brush, a drying towel a couple of microfibre clothes and two applicator brushes.
You need to set aside half a day to completely restore your top and if you don’t have a garage then aim for a warm sunny day.
To demonstrate how to use the kit we will be using it on this 12 year old Bentley GTC in black with a rather tired looking red soft top.
Like most jobs the better the preparation the better the end result will be. Start the clean by removing any excess dirt from the hood using the cleaning brush, paying particular attention to seams and other areas where dirt and mold may build up.
Then lightly dampen the roof with a fine mist spray and using one of the applicator brushes apply the cleaner to one half of the roof and allow to soak in for five minutes.
After five minutes gently scrub the top using hot tap water, paying particular attention to seams and other areas where dirt and mold may build up.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that the Bentley roof shown in these photos had a particularly dirty top, and the job of cleaning it was made much harder by the fact that the owner had used a solvent based waterproofer (Fabsil) in the past that had basically sealed in the dirt.
Even when faced with very stubborn stains, do not be tempted to use strong solvent or bleach based products, and NEVER attack your soft top with a jet washer as this can easily cause irreversible damage.
In this case it was just a matter of following the cleaning procedure, working a small area at a time and repeating (in this case 3 times) the process until the soft top is clean.
Finally, thoroughly rinse the top until all of the foam is removed, and then use the drying towel to remove the majority of the moisture. Then leave to dry, on a decent day this should take a couple of hours.
This is the point at which customers can get a little nervous, trust me, if you can do the simplest of decorating jobs in your home, you’ll cope with this no problem.
Start by giving the bottle of restorer a good shake then decant a small amount into a suitable container then using the other clean applicator brush start applying the restorer. Start in the middle and doing small sections at a time, work the restorer into the fabric working quickly until the whole top is covered.
If you spill or flick any restorer onto the bodywork or glass, it can be quickly and easily wiped away with one of the microfibre clothes included in the kit.
You will see from the photo below that when the coloured restorers are wet they will have a much brighter appearance than when they are dry, so don’t panic and just go for it!
And remember don’t apply the restorer in direct sunlight as you don’t want it drying out to quickly as a rough guide on a summers day the restorer should be dry in about an hour.
The above photo shows the fully dried roof after two coats of restorer and now ready for the waterproofer.
Now that your top is colour restored it’s time to seal the colour in and protect it from the elements. This is basically a re-run of applying the restorer, starting in the middle and doing the whole top in one go and again two coats are the ideal. If any waterproofer is spilt or flicked onto the glass or bodywork, remove immediately with the other clean microfibre cloth.
To keep your top looking good we recommend that it is waterproofed every six months if the vehicle is kept outside or every year if kept in a garage.
The photo below shows the canvas top after it has been waterproofed and after a light shower, as you can see the water beads up nicely preventing water and dirt from ingressing the canvas.
The final photo shows a before and after shot, not bad when you consider a new top from Bentley would have cost in excess of 5k whereas this kit costs around £75.00.