Soft Top cleaners test

29 May, 2009 1:41pm

Raising the roof in style - Keep your cabrio in tip-top condition with a specialist fabric cleaner. We test eight.

Cabriolets are more popular than ever in the UK. But while soft-tops are great for soaking up sunshine, their hoods need care to stay looking good and keep the rain out.

Fabric can hold on to dirt and grime that simply runs off paintwork. And because the material is not as tough as paint, a specialist cleaner is needed to ensure your cabrio retains its showroom style.

As with cabin upholstery, this dirt builds up virtually unnoticed, so regular cleaning is a good idea. This will also enable you to spot potential problems, such as tears or loose seams, plus renew any waterproofing. But which product is best? We tried eight to find the top for tops.

The test
WE took an old Porsche Boxster hood, and left it outside for several weeks. Each cleaner was applied following the instructions, and we rated progress on everyday grime, plus ingrained stains and bird droppings. Ease of use and cost – plus extras such as proofers and applicators – were also taken into account in our final ranking.


It was a close run thing between Autoglym’s Cabriolet Fabric Hood Cleaning Kit and the Renovo Soft Top Canvas Cleaner. But ultimately, Autoglym got the nod, as its large sponge made the cleaner more simple to use on those irritating day-to-day markings – even though Renovo was perhaps the better stain remover outright.

BAS International takes the third and final place on our podium. Its kit is like a scaled-down version of Autoglym’s Best Buy. That makes it ideal for rarely used convertibles which require less regular care.

1 Autoglym Cabriolet Fabric Hood Cleaning Kit
2 Renovo Soft Top Canvas Cleaner
3 BAS International Fabric Hood Cleaning Kit