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Caring for Canvas Soft Tops

 
This Audi A4 has been attacked by mould (top) then restored by Renovo (bottom).
 
 
As far as we are concerned there are only two types of soft tops - vinyl (PVC) and canvas.  By canvas we mean all tops made from natural fibres, regardless of what they may be called (e.g. fabric, double-duck, mohair).  The major visual difference between vinyl and canvas tops is that vinyl looks hard and shiny while canvas has a softer look. Be careful though because some vinyl tops have a grain applied to make them look more like canvas!
 
If you have not owned your car since new also be aware that your original vinyl top may have been replaced with an after-market canvas top or vice versa - most commonly vinyl to canvas.
 
Because canvas tops are not plastic they will absorb water and stains unless treated with a sealing compound (e.g. Renovo Canvas Ultra Proofer). Some canvas tops, particularly on newer cars, have a very thin rubber membrane bonded to the under side.   This is intended as a second barrier to prevent water leaking through into the cabin.  However, this membrane can breakdown over time leaving the canvas as the only protection. 
 
The best way to check your water proofing barrier is to pour some water on a flat section of your top - it should "bead" NOT soak in. Caring for your canvas top is not difficult if you follow some simple rules.  
 
DON'T:
  • Wash your top with household cleaning products or car wash shampoos
  • Fold away a damp top - allow to dry first
  • Use any products on your top that contain wax, oil, alcohol, spirits, petrol  or (the dreaded) silicone - these may permanently damage your top and are extremely difficult to remove.
  • Blast your top with high-pressure water guns
  • Allow bird/bat poo or tree sap to remain on your top for any length of time as they can eat in and bleach the canvas - spot clean ASAP!
 
Renovo Canvas Cleaner and Ultra Proofer are specifically formulated for canvas tops and should not be confused with (cheaper) products that are intended for use on heavy duty rough canvas often found on old tents and truck tarpaulins. I have had customers try these products and were very distressed with the results.
 
If your canvas top has faded you can bring it back to "as new" appearance with our Reviver canvas dye.