How to Clean A Convertible Top Mustang? 4 Easy Steps

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Ford’s Mustang is hands down one of the best muscle cars out there. It’s a favorite for many car lovers. On top of that, if your Mustang is a convertible one, then it’s just pure class. But you must clean it every now and then to maintain it.

So, how to clean a convertible top Mustang? 

How to Clean A Convertible Top Mustang

First, you need to identify the material of the top. Then you prepare the equipment that’ll be right for the material of your car. You can use a vacuum to clean the dirt and dust. Then rinse the whole thing with clean water and soap. Once you’re done, dry it and apply a protectant. 

This is just a summary of the whole process. Wanna know more? Read along!

You may also like: 8 Best Oil For 3.5 EcoBoost Reviews

Why Do You Need To Clean The Convertible Top of A Ford Mustang?

Clean The Convertible Top of A Ford Mustang

Convertible tops generally feature some waterproofing and UV protection. However, as time passes, this protective layer loses its effectiveness, causing fading and withering. Refusing to acknowledge your convertible top can lead to the formation of toxic mildew and mold.

Routinely cleaning the top will help it endure longer. Cleaning the convertible top at least once every few months is suggested. Sometimes, you might end up with double-sided tape on your car, and you need to remove the double-sided tape as well.

We’ve explained in detail how to clean a convertible top Mustang here. 

Determining The Material of The Top 

Sun Joe SPX3000

Sun Joe 14.5-Amp Electric High Pressure Washer, Cleans Cars/Fences/Patios

Product Description:

  • Brand: Sun Joe
  • Weight: 31 Pounds
  • Power Source: Corded Electric
  • Color: Green
  • Maximum Pressure: 2030 Pound per Square Inch
  • Hose Length: 20 Feet

The convertible top of Mustangs comes in 2 materials; Vinyl and Cloth. Cleaning the convertible top doesn’t require a lot of materials. But they do need separate ones for vinyl and cloth. 

Are you unsure what type of material your Mustang’s top is composed of? No worries! A simple test may be used to determine this.

Pour some water on the top and wait for a few seconds. If the top soaks up the water, then it’s made of cloth. But if it doesn’t, then it’s made of vinyl. Vinyl doesn’t soak up water after all.

How to Clean A Convertible Top Mustang?

Clean A Convertible Top Must

We’ll walk you through the whole process for cleaning. The process is the same for both vinyl and cloth convertible tops. Moreover, it’s not that difficult.

Materials Needed:

Before you begin the process, make sure you’ve got everything you need for it. Some of the products might differ based on the material of your top. But you’ll know which is for which when you buy the products. 

  • Vacuum (soft bristle brush is preferred)
  • Lint roller or lint remover
  • Water supply
  • Hosepipe
  • Detergent free car wash
  • Terry cloth towel
  • Cleaning spray for convertible (optional)
  • Convertible protectant
  • Dryer or air mover (optional)

Now, let’s get into the step-by-step process of the cleaning procedure.

Step 1 of 4: Vacuuming The Top

To clear any dust or debris, begin by vacuuming the convertible top. Use the soft bristle brush attachment with your vacuum. 

Hosing off your convertible top without cleaning it first is a bad idea. It could cause all the dirt to seep through the top. 

If the vacuum doesn’t get everything, you could use a lint remover or a lint roller. Make sure to clean the seams thoroughly. It’ll remove any debris that has gotten caught in the folds.

Step 2 of 4: Washing The Top With Water And Soap

Take the hose pipe and connect it to your water supply. Then thoroughly wash the convertible top. You need to clear off any filth or dirt that the vacuum or lint roller didn’t collect. This is just a setup for something like a deep cleanse. 

Now, you’ll be using the detergent-free soap and the terry cloth towel. You can even use a brush instead of the terry cloth towel. 

If you’re going to use a brush, then don’t use anything hard. They can damage the top of your car. You need something soft like horsehair or a nylon brush. 

Now, pour the soap on the brush or the towel first. Then rub it on the car in circular motions. Just like the “wax on, wax off” scene from the 1984 Karate Kid. 

Once you’re done cleaning, use the hose pipe to rinse off all the soap from the top. Be sure to do this before the soap dries up. Because once it dries up, you’ll have to clean it all over again.

If you see stains or marks that didn’t go away after washing. You’re going to need that convertible top spray. The purpose of the spray is to clean stains that normal washing won’t.  Also, it’s a good idea to clean your headlights along with your convertible top!

Here are some of our top picked sprays if you don’t know what to go for-

Chemical Guys HOL_996

Chemical Guys Convertible Top Cleaner and Top Protectant Kit

Product Description:

  • Item Dimensions: ‎10.91 x 8.11 x 6.69 inches
  • Weight: 2.3 Pounds
  • Brand: Chemical Guys
  • Model: HOL_996-2PK
  • Size: 2 Pack
  • Item Form: Spray
Raggtopp Convertible Top Care Kit

Raggtopp Convertible Top Care Kit

Product Description:

  • Item Dimensions: ‎6.5 x 2.5 x 10 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 Pounds
  • Brand: Raggtopp
  • Model: ‎FBA_1165
  • Surface Recommendation: Fabric
  • Item Form: Spray

However, be sure to check if you bought the right spray for your top or not.

Step 3 of 4: Letting The Top Dry Up

This is an important step. Before you fold the top, let it dry fully. Mould or mildew may otherwise grow and create discoloration. Before applying any protectant, the top must be completely dry.

Keeping the car in direct sunshine or using a microfiber towel might help speed up the process. Gently dab the top with the towel rather than wiping away extra water. 

You can also use air movers like leaf blowers, fans, or compressed air. Make sure it has dried off completely before you apply any protectant. 

Step 4 of 4: Applying The Protectant 

Once your car’s top has dried up, check again for any marks. If there are any, clean them with the lint roller or lint remover. Also, you might wanna cover up the windows. Overspray of the protectant could be problematic.

Instead of pressing the spray for long periods, do short bursts. And do them from the recommended distance of 8 inches. 

Make slow and even strides, with 50 % overlapping each stride. Make sure the stitching is also coated. For the best protection, several coatings are generally necessary.

All you need to do now is wait for the protectant to dry. It can take a few hours to a whole night. Check the instructions of the product you use.

Things to Avoid When Washing A Convertible Top

Let’s begin this section by answering an important question. “Can you take your convertible Mustang to the car wash?” The answer is no. 

Commercial vehicle washers that use high-pressure sprayers and hot wax. They might harm the material of the top and hinder it from being properly cleaned. In an emergency, a touchless vehicle wash will suffice. But check your owner’s handbook first to check if the car’s top is appropriate.

It’s ideal to wash a convertible top by hand whenever possible. But it’s also essential to use the appropriate ingredients. Avoid detergent, alcohol, and vinegar-based products. Any cleanser with a high acid content might cause degradation and costly repairs.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can you take a convertible top Mustang through a car wash?

Yes, you can do that. But, washing the car by hand is recommended.

How long does a convertible top last?

A convertible top lasts for around 5-7 years.

Can you use bleach on a convertible top?

No, it can damage the top. You should avoid using vinegar and alcohol as well.


That’s about everything on how to clean a convertible top Mustang. For car tops with irreparable damage, just replace the whole top.

Let us know in the comments if we missed anything.

Good Luck!

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Robert Lozano

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