Originally Posted by sabrina
Such as good demo, on how to clean and protect a cloth convertible top.
I did quite a bit of research into canvas materials before making the video and found the biggest enemy to canvas or acrylic fiber cloth is what's usually referred to as acid rain but in reality, anything corrosive in the rain or anytime moister mixes with the accumulated dirt, dust and air-borne pollution that settles into the weave and stitching of canvas or cloth tops and then deteriorates it.
A good protectant seals the stitching and the weave of the cloth to help prevent water or any type of moisture from dissolving the contaminants on the surface and causing them to seep into the fabric where they can cause damage.
So the most important thing you can do to maintain a cloth or canvas top is to keep it clean and regularly re-apply a water-proofing sealant and to piggyback on this maintenance procedure, don't use any strong cleaners and don't use any coarse brushes that can abrade or rough-up the surface material.
Besides all of the above, after washing and cleaning the top, like mentioned in the video, the fabric has to be BONE DRY before applying the protectant in order for the coating to properly bond to the fibers.
Usually, cleaning and treating a canvas top should be or will be a two day project unless you take extra steps to get any water to evaporate out of and off the top, things like,
Drive the car in warm weather so the heat and the wind will speed up the drying process. This means exposing the top to any potential dirt, dust or air-borne contaminants.
Park the car in the sun after washing, again, this means exposing the top to any potential dirt, dust or air-borne contaminants. (The reason you just washed the top was to remove these things before sealing the top)
Or in my opinion, the safest way to dry it while keeping it clean would be to park the car in a closed environment with good air flow, that way it won't get dirty while it's drying. One thing a person could do would be to place some fans in the garage to blow air over the top to speed up evaporation. You could even place a fan to blow air into the car to have air moving over both the top and the inside of the fabric if you want to really get the fabric dry as fast as possible.
Then... before applying a second coat or third coat, you want each previous coat to completely dry for proper bonding of the protection ingredients. Again a fan can help speed up this process.