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Thread: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top

  1. #1
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top

    NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top



    Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush






    Video - Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush





    Haartz official statement about the RaggTopp/Haartz Convertible Top Brush
    Haartz has extended the precision used in manufacturing soft-top convertible material to the development of a brush that cleans the topping material nearly flawlessly every time. Through the partnership with RAGGTOPP for cleaning products, it made sense for both organizations to partner on a tool to help convertible owners protect their investment




    Who are RaggTopp and Haartz?

    Haartz

    Founded in 1897, the Haartz Corporation is the worlds #1 supplier of automotive topping fabrics as well as a leading producer and innovator of interior trim materials including moldable skins and artificial leather. Chances are likely that if you own a convertible, the top was made by the Haartz Corporation. Because the manufacturer knows their product better than anyone else, when a manufacturer recommends and in this case endorses an outside company's products for use with their finished goods, that's as powerful of a testimony you can get.

    The Haartz Corporation tests and endorses RaggTopp products for the care and maintenance of their convertible tops. When you consider the additional cost to purchase a convertible as compared to the hardtop version of a vehicle you know it's important to take care of the convertible top to not only protect your original investment but to also protect the resale or trade-in value of the vehicle. If you call around to any automotive top shop and get a quote to have a convertible top replaced and installed, then your REALLY understand how important it is to take care of your car's convertible top. Because convertible top materials like cloth and vinyl are more delicate when compared to the other surfaces found on a vehicle, first priority for care and maintenance goes to the recommendation of the manufacturer. In this example, Haartz only endorses one brand of products for the care and maintenance of their topping materials and that's RaggTopp.



    RaggTopp
    RaggTopp founded in 1998, is the number one selling brand for the care and maintenance of convertible tops. Rick Goldstein, the owner of RaggTopp is actually a close personal friend of mine. Rick knows convertibles. More specifically, Rick is a walking encyclopedia of all things related to the care and maintenance of convertible tops all the products in all the brands under the Wolfstein umbrella corporation are top shelf in quality. You can trust the quality and the performance of the product inside when the name RaggTopp is on the outside.

    In my Competition Ready 3-Day Detailing Classes I show RaggTopp products exclusively for the class session on how to properly clean and protect convertible cloth and canvas top. Rick and his company are also a member and supporter of the International Detailing Association, (IDA), which is an organization working towards the goal of elevating the detailing profession for the benefit of all detailers whether they are members of the IDA or not. (Autogeek and I are also members and supporters of the IDA) RaggTopp is the ONLY brand endorsed by the Haartz company



    What is it?
    The Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush is a brush co-developed by RaggTopp and the Haartz company to clean cloth and vinyl convertible tops SAFELY.

    I teach convertible top cleaning and protecting in my Competition Ready 3-Day Detailing Classes. The most important topic shared in the class on convertible top care is the session on convertible top cleaning.

    Why?

    Because it's the cleaning step where most people make mistakes. The two biggest mistakes people make are,
    1: Using too aggressive of a brush to scrub the top.

    2: Using too aggressive of a cleaner to clean the top.


    In the past, RaggTopp has offered safe solutions for cleaning both canvas, (cloth), and vinyl convertible tops. Now the other portion of the equation, the correct brush for safely washing convertible tops provides convertible owners with the right tools to do the job correctly and safely.


    Review

    To test out this new brush I washed my friend Darlene's 2016 Audi TT Quattro Convertible. When Nick first placed this new brush on my desk the first thing I noticed was the 2" length of the bristles and how they were perfect in their flexability.

    Why is the bristle length and flexibility important? Here's a little bit of information about brush bristles work.


    Bristles that are too stiff
    If the bristles are to stiff, the scrubbing action is too aggressive. As this relates to cleaning cloth tops, using a brush with stiff bristles risks tearing the weave of the cloth and causing the fibers to separate from the weave giving a top a fuzzy appearance. Once you tear the fibers there's no way to undo the damage.



    Bristles that are too soft or pliable
    If the bristles of a brush are too soft or pliable, then you loose actual and effective scrubbing or cleaning action.

    There are situations when you want stiff bristles like for scrubbing tires and there are situations when you want very soft of pliable bristles, like a detailing brush for interior detailing. When it comes to cleaning a cloth top you want something perfectly in-between. That is not to stiff and not too soft. That's how RaggTopp and Haartz designed their brush, the bristles are in that sweet spot that's perfectly in-between too stiff and too soft.



    Length of the bristles
    The length of the bristles on a brush has a huge affect on the performance of the scrubbing action. Very short bristles provide more aggressive scrubbing action. For example a quality tire brush has short stiff bristles. A toothbrush has short bristles. Long bristles allow the bristles to flex and bend more than short bristles and this decreases the aggressiveness of the bristles. The bristles on the Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush are 2" long and this provides excellent flexability for the most effective scrubbing action in relationship to the flexability of the bristles. This also makes the brush very safe when scrubbing over the surface of a cloth top.


    Flagged tips
    The tips on the Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush are flagged or split. This does two things,

    1: Multiplies the available tips to reach into the naturally occurring pockets or depressions of a fabric with a weave pattern to the surface. These pockets or lower depressions of the weave is where airborne dirt, dust, pollen and other contaminants settle so this thousands of tiny tips are able to get into these areas to agitate the build-up of dirt and loosen it so it can be rinsed off the top. This is important because the other side of the coin when maintaining a convertible top is protecting the top. If you don't remove the dirt out of the weave of the cloth then you'll seal it in when you apply the protectant.

    2: Prevents scratching when scrubbing delicate surfaces. The bristles are flexible and soft enough that if they were not flagged they would not damage a cloth or vinyl top so the flagging of the tips is just an extra feature that makes the Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush the best option for properly washing and cleaning a convertible top.




    How To use the Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush


    Step 1: Always start by flushing a convertible top with a strong spray of water to flush off any loose dirt off the top and out of the weave.







    Convertible Top Tip
    When water is no longer beading up on the top it's time to re-apply RaggTopp Fabric Protectant. As we can see by the picture below, it's time to re-apply the RaggTopp Fabric Protectant and I'll show you how to do this in this article.





    Step 3: Spray the RaggTopp Convertible Top Cleaner directly onto the wet rinsed surface of the convertible top.







    Step 3: Using the Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush, agitate the cleaner over the surface.





    The 2" bristles come in handy for reaching down to the portion of top material covered by the rear trunk lid without fear of the handle touching the paint.












    Step 4: Thoroughly rinse the top to remove 100% of the cleaner and all dirt, dust, pollen and other contaminants loosened by the brush.







    IMPORTANT
    It's important to rinse the top until all the suds from the cleaner are remove and the rinse water runs clear off the top.






    Be sure to rinse all the dirt flushed off the top off the body panels. This will act to rinse the body panels before washing them as well.








    On Autogeek.com


    Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush

    RaggTopp Premium Fabric Convertible Top Kit

    RaggTopp Premium Vinyl Convertible Top Kit

    All RaggTopp products









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  2. #2
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    Re: Review and How-To: NEW RAGGTOPP & HAARTZ Convertible Top Brush!

    The gentle approach to washing a car


    After washing and rinsing the top next was time to wash the body panels using what I call The Gentle Approach for washing a car. This approach is for cars in new or like new with paint in excellent condition. The idea being to wash the body panels carefully so as not to put swirls and scratches into the scratch-sensitive clearcoat paint. I also teach The Aggressive Approach, which is how you wash a neglected car that you're prepping for a major detailing session including machine polishing.



    Step 1: Foam one section of the car using the McKee's Foam Gun with McKee's Xtreme Foam Formula Shampoo.







    Step 2: Start with the highest portion of the car and work your way down. When it comes to convertibles, the highest portion of the car is usually the glass, like the windshield and side windows.





    Step 3: Wash the top horizontal panels. These are usually the hood and roof.





    Technique Tip
    The idea behind using the gentle approach to washing a car where the paint is in excellent condition is to avoid scrubbing the paint. To do this, while standing to one side of the vehicle, start making your washing passes in the middle of the hood and work your way out to the outer edge.



    ONLY MAKE ONE OR TWO PASSES OVER EACH SECTION OF PAINT AS YOU WORK YOUR MITT FROM THE CENTER TO THE OUTSIDE.


    This is key to maintaining a swirl free finish
    Paint in great shape will release any bonded dirt easily. The bonded dirt is any dirt that didn't come off when you rinsed the car off with a strong blast of water. Because the paint is in excellent condition, (meaning it should have a good coat of wax on it), one or two passes of our wash mitt over a panel is all that's needed to loosen any bonded dirt and then rinse it off.

    IF you make multiple passes, this is called SCRUBBING not washing. The dirt you loosened you will now be forcing into the paint and this will cause swirls and scratches. So think when you're washing your car and use an intelligent approach for how you move the mitt over the paint. Don't scrub the paint.





    Step 4: After washing a panel rinse the panel before any soap suds can dry.







    Repeat this process to the rest of the car

    After washing the front of the car, move to the back. Wash any glass first and then the horizontal panels. Move onto the vertical panels after washing and rinsing all the glass windows and horizontal panels.








    Standing to one side, start in the middle and work you way out to the side where you're standing only making one or two passes as you work the wash mitt from the center of the panel to outer edge of the panel. Do not scrub paint in excellent condition.









    Always rinse soap suds and loosened dirt off body panels before they can dry.










    On Autogeek.com


    McKee's 37 Quart Foamaster Foam Gun

    McKee's 37 Half Gallon Foamaster Foam Gun - Better for large vehicles



    And here's the high sudsing car wash I used. If you're like me and you wash your cars a lot then I'd recommend getting the gallon jug.

    McKee's 37 Xtreme Foam Formula Auto Shampoo - 16 ounce

    McKee's 37 Xtreme Foam Formula Auto Shampoo - 1 gallon



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  3. #3
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    Re: Review and How-To: NEW RAGGTOPP & HAARTZ Convertible Top Brush!

    How to correctly dry a convertible cloth top

    Just like you don't want to scrub a stiff brush against a convertible cloth top to avoid fraying or tearing the fibers free from the weave, you also don't want to scrub or wipe water off a convertible top.

    Instead you want to use the blotting technique with a drying chamois like the Cobra Guzzler HD Waffle Weave Drying Towel . The Guzzler HD has a 1/4" inner foam core sandwiched between the soft, absorbent microfiber waffle weave outside.




    Blot the water off of and out of the convertible cloth top

    To blot water off of and even remove water OUT OF the cloth material, place a Guzzler HD onto a section of the top and then firmly press down over the surface of the Guzzler HD. Allow for a few seconds for the water on and in the top to move through capillary action into the Guzzler HD.






    The dark patch mimicking the shape of the Guzzler HD is almost dry as most of the water has moved from the top into the Guzzler HD.




    You can wring out the Guzzler HD and continue using it to blot water off and out of the top. A faster approach is to simply have a collection of Guzzler HD drying towels.

    Immediately after use, wash all of your Guzzler HD towels by themselves. Do not wash with other laundry items. Dedicate these towels for only drying your vehicle. Wash them by themselves. Dry them by themselves and then store them in a clean dry place out of exposure to open air so they don't have any airborne dirt or other contaminants land on them. A cupboard or even a plastic storage tote is a great investment for taking care of and protecting both the convertible top and the paint on your vehicle.



    On Autogeek.com

    Single Guzzler HD Waffle Weave Drying Towel - 16 x 24 inches.





    6-Pack of Cobra Guzzler HD Waffle Weave Drying Towels - 16 x 24 inches






    You can also use the Guzzler HD Waffle Weave Drying Towels to blot the water off the painted body panels.


    More information...

    The least invasive method to dry your car - Patting instead of wiping off rinse water




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  4. #4
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    Re: Review and How-To: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush

    How to protect a convertible cloth top with RaggTopp Fabric Protectant





    The Protection Step
    This step is so important. When the top is brand new the top comes with a waterproof coating which repels water as well as dirt, moisture and other contaminants. Over time with exposure to the elements as well as repeated washings this water proofing, protective coating wears off.


    How to tell when it's time to apply a water proofing protectant?
    An easy test you can do to determine if it's time to apply a fresh application of a water proofing protectant is to spray some water onto the top when washing the car. Water should bead up and roll off just like water will bead up and roll off the paint on a freshly waxed car. You can also inspect the top for its water repelling ability anytime it rains.


    Benefits to regularly applying a convertible top protectant
    A protectant like the RaggTopp Fabric Protectant will restore water repellency, which helps to prevent mold and mildew from forming in the weave and on the surface. A quality protectant will also add UV protection from the sun. Regular applications of a quality convertible top protectant will also preserve the factory new appearance. (along with washing with a safe brush and safe cleaners).


    The secret to applying a convertible top protectant
    Here's the secret - the top must be absolutely DRY! The reason why is so the protectant will form a proper bond to the fabric.


    Planning
    The correct way to apply RaggTopp Fabric Protectant is after thoroughly washing the top and then allowing plenty of time for all the water to evaporate off of the top and out of the weave. This is where planning comes into play. To do the job right, make plans for ample drying time after washing the top. If the weather is warm and sunny no problem. Just let the car sit outside for a few hours. If the weather is cold and rainy, or humid then move the car into the garage and place a fan in the garage to circulate the air, this will speed p the drying time. Whatever your circumstances, plan for enough time for the top to thoroughly dry so the fabric protectant can properly bond to the fabric.


    Drying time between coats
    A good rule of thumb when applying a new application of the RaggTopp Fabric Protectant is to apply 2-3 coats. The previous coating must be dry before you can apply the application.


    Step 1: Holding the spray nozzle approximately 8" to 10" away from the surface, spray a wet application using an overlapping back and forth pattern.





    Technique Tip
    Spray away from the windows and into the center of the top. This way the majority of any overspray will land on the top - exactly where you want it, not on the car.





    Spraying with the spray pattern pointed toward the center of the top using an overlapping spray patter.






    Technique Tip
    Be sure to spray ample protectant onto all the seams and stitching.










    Spray protectant onto all convertible top surfaces
    Don't worry if you get the product onto paint or glass, it will wipe off easily with a microfiber towel.











    Here's the convertible top completely coated with a wet application of the RaggTopp Fabric Protectant.






    The Mike Phillips Method for applying RaggTopp Fabric Protectant
    The directions state to allow the protectant to dry after application. What I noticed is the product tends to sit on top of the fabric like morning dew on the paint of your car in the morning.

    Massage product into the fabric
    What I like to do is gently massage the RaggTopp Fabric Protectant into the fabric and into the weave.

    The costly ingredient in RaggTopp Fabric Protectant is called Ciba Tinuvin. I don't know exactly what this ingredient is but I know I don't want it on my skin - so were protective nitrile gloves for this step.



















    Step 2: Allow RaggTopp Fabric Protectant to fully dry
    After massaging the product into the fabric allow the product to fully dry before adding second or third coats. In a warm, dry environment with moving air this will take about 30 minutes.



    Wipe off any overspray
    While the RaggTopp Fabric Protectant is drying, now is a good time to wipe-off any overspray off adjacent glass, plastic and painted surfaces. Use a clean, dry microfiber towel.










    Finished!

    Anyone can clean and protect their car's convertible cloth top. Just follow the directions outlined in this article and you'll restore a water proof surface, protected from the sun and the elements while preserving the factory appearance.
















    On Autogeek.com


    Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush

    RaggTopp Premium Fabric Convertible Top Kit

    RaggTopp Premium Vinyl Convertible Top Kit

    All RaggTopp products



    Co-developed for safe, effective convertible top cleaning by Haartz and RaggTopp...


    The Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush








    This Audi is ready to drive!







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  5. #5
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    Re: Review and How-To: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush

    If you own a convertible... or if you know someone that owns a convertible, then this is the brush and these are the product to clean, protect and keep your car's convertible top looking new!


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  6. #6
    Senior Member The Guz's Avatar
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    Re: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top

    Excellent write up Mike.
    Competition Ready Team 1929 Bentley
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  7. #7
    Senior Member LEDetailing's Avatar
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    Re: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top

    The massaging of the RaggTopp protectant seems logical. Never would have thought of that. Would lightly saturating a MF towel with RaggTopp protectant work to help work into the weave of the cloth? Do you also hand massage in carpet and upholstery protectant?

    You will have to bring back the Audi in 6 months and do an update, with beading shots.

    Great information as always.

  8. #8
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top

    Quote Originally Posted by The Guz View Post

    Excellent write up Mike.
    Thank you sir.






    Quote Originally Posted by LEDetailing View Post

    The massaging of the RaggTopp protectant seems logical. Never would have thought of that.
    My thought was... I don't want this stuff sitting on top... I want it to become a functional part of the fabric.


    Quote Originally Posted by LEDetailing View Post

    Would lightly saturating a MF towel with RaggTopp protectant work to help work into the weave of the cloth?
    I wouldn't but I suppose a person could. First you wouldn't want to use anything that would leave lint behind. Besides that, the bigger picture is to apply and leave behind 100% of the product. Using a secondary applicator cloth would soak up some of the product. This is why nitrile gloves work so well.


    Quote Originally Posted by LEDetailing View Post

    Do you also hand massage in carpet and upholstery protectant?
    Yes. Same idea.


    Quote Originally Posted by LEDetailing View Post

    You will have to bring back the Audi in 6 months and do an update, with beading shots.

    Great information as always.

    Can do and thank you!


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  9. #9
    Senior Member Mike@DedicatedPerfection's Avatar
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    Re: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top

    Damn Mike. What a well written Review/How-To article.

    Thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to put this together and share.


  10. #10
    Director of Training Mike Phillips's Avatar
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    Re: NEW Haartz/RaggTopp Convertible Top Brush - How to clean and protect a convertible top

    Quote Originally Posted by Mike@DedicatedPerfection View Post

    Damn Mike. What a well written Review/How-To article.




    Thank you Mike.

    I did a little searching and actually couldn't find any step-by-step how-to articles on how to clean and protect a canvas top with any substantial or detailed information. So while testing out the new brush I figured I create an article that would walk a brand new convertible owner on what to do and how to do it.

    I actually ended up sharing this how-to article with two people at the Palm Beach Cars & Coffee Car show this last Sunday.


    Palm Beach Cars & Cofeee car show - Sunday, September 4th


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