Jeep Soft Top Maintenance

Written By John Linden

Famous Jeep, known as the crude convertible. Horrible MPG, its loud, noisy, and a harsh ride but Its plucky. The desire to be king at everything placed in front of it. Owning a jeep takes a pertain individual. Not everyone can handle such adversity, with this adversity also comes experiences no other can witness. The adrenaline rush hitting 60 mph on a dirt road, gravel smacking against the floorboards leaving a dust bowl of terror in your rearview mirror. The Summer top-less nights driving out to the middle of nowhere where no other car can go. Moonlight shimmering inside your Jeep. Your girl smiles at you. These are just the perks, no. The luxury of owning a Soft Top Jeep. But such luxuries come with a heavy price, in order for longevity to such a beautiful yet vulnerable item we must know How to Maintain a Jeep Soft Top.

Soft tops are designed to look like Canvas but in all truth, they are made of PVC with added “Plasticizers” to have flexibility. Acrylic, polyester, cotton blends, and other synthetics are woven in sync. Treated with water repellent chemicals creating a breathable fabric to form what you have as your Soft Top. In simpler terms, harsh weather and nature can have negative effects on your Soft Top, few such as: rain, mildew, UV rays, heat, bird droppings, tar, tree sap. You get the gist. If you made a significant investment on your Soft Top for the summer months you'll be surprised what a few mins of care can do. Here is your quick guide on Jeep Soft-Top Maintenance.

Summer Mud

Soft-tops are an extremely fun option during the summer months (not so in winter brrr) and during these heavy months of extreme UV-Rays and Heat. Your “Canvas” Soft Top will begin to fade, thin, and quite possibly tear if you don't take the necessary precautions. With various products on the market to protect your investment, We’ll first go over the simple tricks to maintain your Jeep Soft-Top from such harmful conditions.

Numero uno, keep your jeep in the shade as much as possible, not under a tree where birds can do what they do best (poop). The goal is to minimize the suns exposure being in a house garage, under a fold away tent or next to a tree that is providing shade. If you decide to go out to prowl downtown consider a parking garage as a perfect hideaway.

Maintenance on a Budget

Secret Sauce. A Twitter Sphere Guru favorite phrase “it’s all about that Secret Sauce.” Boy are they right. Secret Sauce is life and Jeeps sure do love their Sauce. MUD! But like any vice you must be prepared to withstand the effects of such a craving we call mud. Yes, although your girl

might use it for skin cleansing, it does quite the opposite to your Soft Top. Leaving stains water alone cannot remove, worse. Stretched plastic windows (if left to dry). Don't worry, with the first wash windows will shrink back to place. It's the Soft Top we must worry about and here’s why.

Hypothetically speaking say you went mudding with friends but decided to drive into town with a mud splattered Jeep to show these city slickers how its done. Following day you hosed down your girl (The Jeep Fellers, Relax) because you want before and after pics for the late and great Instagram. Your in the shade having a few brewskis you start soaping in a sensual circular motion and realized the stains along the side or your Soft Top aren't coming off. With no such Insta filter to save you and having already posted “My Muddy Jeep” pic on Instagram. You better get moving fast before your social media rep is ruined.

There is a trick that can be done to save your Social Media presence, done by myself and fellow Jeep buddies. That I do not recommend doing all the time but ln such an emergency this can save you. You ever heard of Dish Washing Soap? Yeah that blue bottle your lady buys at the market that contains this magical anti-aging hand serum. You’ll hose your Soft-Top down with water and apply a generous amount, then the battle of scrubbing begins. Once scrubbed let it settle for a minute, then hose off. Most cases the stain has vanished but in rare cases its still there taunting you.

Time to bring out the big boy, most of you have him in your garage along with the rest of your cleaning supplies. If not, your local auto parts should carry him. He’s a vicious character and impossible to miss. We call him Purple Power. There is no stain stronger or bigger than him. WARNING: those with a sensitive nose are best to cover while scrubbing. You'll repeat the same process of dish soap and scrubbing just add Purple Power to the mix. This stuff penetrates deep so if you begin seeing the soap become dark dont worry thats just a reminder of how poor of a owner you are (Kidding!) Go ahead and wash off, by now the stain should have disappeared. Let it dry and add your Soft Top Protectant.

Now you can breathe, your Instagram rep is cool, your Jeep looks fire, and you didn't break your budget. Some are thinking “I can never do such harm of chemicals to my Jeep!” Which is highly understandable, Shall we Continue.

Products Designed for Your Soft-Top

With so many products out there especially with this online world we live in anyone with a cerebral cortex can think of a product, produce the product, and sell it on Amazon for peanuts. The secret is having the correct product that will increase lifespan and overall look.

Bestop has been around since 1954 selling new Jeep Soft Tops, Bikini Tops, Safari Tops, Windjammer and Duster combos. Just by this fact alone you can trust they understand the art of maintaining a durable Jeep Soft Top.

Bestop offers a Cleaner and Protectant Kit for your Jeep Soft Top, including a Cleaner, Protectant and Polisher for those yucky mellow yellow foggy windows at an estimated price of $40.00. You will still need to purchase a Zipper Cleaner/Lubricant. REMINDER: Careful with Soft-Top windows when applying Bestop protectant.

RaggTopp offers a pack with cleaner and protectant but you still need to purchase a Window Polisher and Zipper Cleaner/Lubricant. RaggTopp price range is estimated at $38.00.

Mopar is known to have the best Zipper Cleaner and Oil product for your Jeep Soft-Top. The Cleaner/Lubricant works on all types of zippers, both plastic and metal. You'll notice on the tip of the bottle a little brush that is used to remove dirt and deposits lodged in the zipper channel.

Trust me, Even though you are using a $40.00 product scrubbing and a bit of cursing will still be needed to get those annoying stains out.

Still Losing the Battle?

After all this adversity and the stains persist then it's time to for the final step. I know you probably don't want to hear it but you deserve it (those who mistreat their Jeep). A new top.

Jeeps are a huge market which means parts are not so difficult to find. Especially replacement

Soft Tops. With a quick tap of my fingers roughcountry.com carries Soft Tops at a price of

$279.00 either in Denim Black or Spice. Not a bad price for a new, sleek Denim Black Canvas

Soft Top delivered to your door.

In the end folks whichever route you take may it be dish soap and purple power or shelling out $40.00 bucks for a state of the art cleaning product. Enjoy your Jeep this is what they were designed for. Maybe that stain may annoy you now but in a month you’ll look at it and reminisce the day of its conception.

Until next time, Keep on Jeepin