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Lose Soft Top Stains!

Posted in How To: Body Chassis on November 12, 2007 Comment (0)
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Lose Soft Top Stains!

Tired of having your top dirtier than a pig on a hot summer day? We are too. The thing is, we've never found a cleaner in a store that actually worked. None of them really got the mud stains out of the top.

We've been seeing a lot of new products come out on the market aimed at the Jeep crowd and decided to give four of them a try.

The Contenders
A.Wolfstein's Raggtopp cleaner
Wolfstein's claim to fame is that it's the only Haartz-approved top cleaner. Haartz, of course, is the manufacturer of the material Jeep tops are made out of. It's available through Quadratec.B.303 Products Convertible Top CleanerThis product has been around forever, and 303 Products is a big name in car-cleaning products. Available at local auto parts stores.C.Simple Green All-Purpose CleanerWe use Simple Green for everything from engine degreasing to tire cleaning. We also use it on tops and decided to throw it in with the test for a baseline comparison. Available just about everywhere.D.Bestop Cleaner From the manufacturer of original and aftermarket tops comes a soft top cleaner. On the back of the bottle in small print are the words "Endorsed by Haartz." Available through Quadratec.E.Koala Products Convertible Top CleanerKoala has two cleaners, the one we tested here and another called the Kamikaze Top Cleaner. The Kamikaze cleaner is wicked and almost guaranteed to remove the waterproofing on your top, not to mention brass from doorknobs. So we stuck with the regular cleaner for this test. Available from Koala Products.

Let the Shooting Begin
As can be seen in the lead photo, we took our TJ and separated the top off into six sections, one for each product to be tested, and one for a control to see just how dirty the top was to begin with.

5th place:
Simple Green. This product works wonders on degreasing engines and driveways, but just isn't king of the hill when it comes to cleaning a Jeep top.

4th place:
303 Products Convertible Top Cleaner. The directions say to put it on and let sit for 10-20 minutes for severe stains. We let it sit for 10 minutes, and while it did fine with the lighter dust particles, the 303 cleaner just didn't get to the caked-on, baked-in mud.

3rd place:
Koala Products Convertible Top Cleaner. The "normal" Cleaner from Koala didn't do great with the baked-in mud either. However, the instructions say to apply product, scrub, and rinse without letting it sit. So that's what we did. It worked up the best lather of the group when scrubbed with a brush. The instructions also state to reapply as needed until clean. We didn't want to scrub that one section of top until the cows came home, so it got one shot at coming clean just like all the others.

1st place:
It was a tie between Wolfstein's Raggtopp Cleaner and the Bestop Cleaner. We weren't really surprised. The instructions on both say to apply, scrub with a brush, and let sit for 10-20 minutes for more severe stains. The bottles are the same, they smell the same, and Haartz Corporation endorses both. Coincidence? We think not. That said, following the directions, both of these cleaners did a good job with the mud stains on our TJ top.

We've tried many cleaners and never found one to remove the mud stains. We were pleasantly surprised to find two that could actually clean a Jeep top.

Sources

Bestop, Inc.
Broomfield, CO 80038
800-845-3567
www.bestop.com
Quadratec
West Chester, PA 19380
800-745-2348
www.quadratec.com
Simple Green
www.simplegreen.com
303 Products, Inc.
www.303-products.com
ASC&P International
www.koala-products.com
Wolfstein's Pro-Series
www.wolfsteins.com

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