Nick's unsolicited Cloth Top Tips & Tricks - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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Old 07-10-2003, 07:16 AM
Nick T.'s Avatar
Nick T. Nick T. is offline
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Location: SoCal
Join Date: Feb 2003
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Mein Auto: '02 Z3 & '04 MCS & '05 xB
Nick's unsolicited Cloth Top Tips & Tricks

Disclaimer: I am not a professional detailer nor an expert on cloth top care. Im just a charter member of the ARZOA who has owned several canvas topped cars over the years.

Cloth Top Care

Do not wash the cloth top except when needed, and then use only RaggTopp Cleaner. Vacuum the top before washing your car. be careful to not get any car wash mixture on the top as it will remove some of the protectant (dish detergent will remove all of it!).

Routine cloth top cleaning is vacuuming with a brush attachment. This should be done before each car wash and after driving in dusty areas. Washing should be done only if the top has become dirtied with bird droppings, tree sap, soot fallout, mud, etc.

Cloth Top Washing

Vacuum the top with a brush attachment, then rinse thoroughly with low pressure water to remove loose soil. Spray RaggTopp Cleaner evenly over the entire top and scrub lightly with a soft nylon brush. Then rinse thoroughly with low pressure water until no remaining soap foam is seen. If any difficult soiled areas remain they may now be spot cleaned by applying RaggTopp Cleaner directly, letting it stand for 10 to 20 minutes, scrubbing with a soft toothbrush, and then thoroughly rinsing the entire top again. Do not attempt to remove contaminants by scrapping with any sharp edged tool. When the top is clean dry it with a microfiber towel. After washing the top the car must be washed to prevent spotting or filming.

Leave the top up until it is completely dry. This may take an hour in direct sun, or as much as 24 hours in cool, humid weather. After the top has thoroughly dried its water repellency must be renewed with RaggTopp Protectant.

Cloth Top Protection

RaggTopp Protectant is a water and oil repellant and provides UV protection. It is a polymer which allows layering for added protection. Since it is a polymer the top must be clean before using to prevent bonding contaminants to the cloth. Vacuuming is all that is needed unless the top has become dirtied with bird droppings, tree sap, soot fallout, mud, etc. RaggTopp Protectant is only effective when applied to completely dry cloth.

Apply RaggTopp Protectant after every top washing. Application should be done as needed to maintain water repellency. Routine application should be done every 3 to 4 months.

Shake the can well before and during application. Spray lightly using a sweeping motion and using a cardboard shield to minimize getting overspray on the paint and plastic window. Allow to dry 15 to 20 minutes between coats. Multiple light coats are much more effective than fewer heavy coats. Apply no more than three coats to allow proper bonding. Additional coats may be applied after 24 hours. Drying and bonding will be accelerated if done in direct sun. Immediately after application wipe the surrounding paint with quick detailer and the plastic window with Plexus or Novus #1 to remove any overspray. After the last coat has dried there may be a white residue which should be removed by vacuuming with a brush attachment.


The cloth used by BMW for its tops is supplied by Haartz who recommends using RaggTopp products for top care. RaggTopp is available from CMA. Haartz has cleaning info here.

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