Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/9/19 8:57 a.m.

I was able to get a used top for my 1999 Miata that is in fantastic shape. I believe it's canvas or some other type of cloth. It is definitely an aftermarket top. There seems to be some heavy spotting and dirt accumulation on the top right above the bows and around the window. I'd like to clean this top and make it look nice for the challenge and for the life after the challenge.

I am completely new to this and Google has been confusing at best.

So what do I need to know, purchase, and do?

Pictures are of what I'm talking about. I can make some of the stuff in the heaviest deposit area on the very top kind of crumble with my thumbnail if that helps at all.

BoxheadTim
BoxheadTim MegaDork
9/9/19 8:59 a.m.

Is it a fabric top or a vinyl one? It does look like fabric to me, but it's important to establish which one it is before picking a cleaner.

I've used this kit from 303 on my 996 and my S2000 and am happy with it so far. Link is to the fabric version, but they do a vinyl one as well: https://www.amazon.com/303-30520-Convertible-Fabric-Cleaning/dp/B000A8JNF0

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/9/19 9:07 a.m.

I am almost 100% certain that it is a fabric. Not sure what kind of fabric but it is definitely not like the vinyl tops that I had on my other Miatas

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/9/19 9:09 a.m.

Almost certain it was the 303 kit that I used on wifey's 328iC.  The top was dingy looking, kinda gray.  After cleaning and treatment, it looked like new.  Recommended.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/9/19 9:43 a.m.

Will the 303 kit deal with that much swelling and dirt or do I need to start with something more aggressive?

glueguy
glueguy Dork
9/9/19 10:05 a.m.

I like Raggtop products - they have both a cleaner and a treatment/water repellant.

Raze
Raze UltraDork
9/9/19 10:23 a.m.

That looks like poly, and those brown bow lines look like possible chemical creep from glue, check that a PO didn't reglue as that might be what you're up against.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/9/19 10:41 a.m.

In reply to Raze :

What am i looking for to see if thats the case?

Raze
Raze UltraDork
9/9/19 3:05 p.m.

In reply to Dusterbd13-michael :

Look at the bows from the inside, are they sewn into pocket loops or is the top double lined and you can't see the bows at all?

If it's been glued with 3m fabric glue it shouldn't do that but rubber cement or contact glue might.  

Give it a cleaning, I'd start with some basic car cleaning to see what happens

Toebra
Toebra Dork
9/9/19 6:39 p.m.

That may be mildew

Raze
Raze UltraDork
9/9/19 8:00 p.m.
Toebra said:

That may be mildew

Hopefully

Aspen
Aspen HalfDork
9/10/19 8:01 a.m.

I use a horse hair brush and a vacuum to get the loose dirt, then 303 cleaner and brush to get all dirt out, rinse, dry, spray with protectent.  Only had to clean once when I bought it.  

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/10/19 10:42 a.m.

With being able to scrape the brown stuff above the bows with my thumbnail, should I be going after more aggressive cleaning first before the 303 kit? Also I have not had an opportunity to look at the underside of the top to see if those areas are glued or sewn in

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/10/19 10:57 a.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:

With being able to scrape the brown stuff above the bows with my thumbnail, should I be going after more aggressive cleaning first before the 303 kit? Also I have not had an opportunity to look at the underside of the top to see if those areas are glued or sewn in

Is the stuff water-soluble?  If so, might be best to just soap it up and gently brush and rinse it off. 

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/10/19 11:17 a.m.

In reply to 1988RedT2 :

Thats a good question, really.

Any reason i cant spray some water on it in the shop and blot it with a towel to see?

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/10/19 12:07 p.m.

I mean, it's a convertible top.  If it's outside and it rains, it's gonna get wet...

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/10/19 12:16 p.m.
1988RedT2 said:

I mean, it's a convertible top.  If it's outside and it rains, it's gonna get wet...

That may be the most polite response to an incredibly berkeleying stupid question I have ever received. I really didn't think that through properly before asking. Been a long week already...

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/10/19 12:24 p.m.
Dusterbd13-michael said:
1988RedT2 said:

I mean, it's a convertible top.  If it's outside and it rains, it's gonna get wet...

That may be the most polite response to an incredibly berkeleying stupid question I have ever received. I really didn't think that through properly before asking. Been a long week already...

Sorry.  I just haven't been myself lately. laugh

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/11/19 6:26 a.m.

I don't believe it is water soluble. I tried scrubbing at it pretty hard with a wet rag last night and then followed by a dry rag. This was on multiple different spots in the top. One or two around the back window, one of the brown Stripes above the bows, and a couple of spots in just random places. Would it be a bad idea to use some very diluted purple Power and durag next in an attempt to get them out?

Cupulate
Cupulate
9/11/19 6:48 a.m.

Is it the case?

stuart in mn
stuart in mn MegaDork
9/11/19 7:50 a.m.

I'd start with something like Dawn dish soap, along with a nylon brush that's not too stiff (like a nail brush.)  The brush will get down into the grain of the top material better than a rag.  When I had a convertible that's what I used and it generally worked well.  If you do use diluted Purple Power be sure to rinse with plenty of water, remember that the runoff will go over the paint on the body and that stuff is really hard on paint.

1988RedT2
1988RedT2 UltimaDork
9/11/19 8:28 a.m.

Second the dish soap and a soft brush.

Dusterbd13-michael
Dusterbd13-michael MegaDork
9/12/19 7:43 a.m.

Tried dish soap and water in a spray bottle with a toothbrush. Woked on the spotting. The bows laughed at it.

20:1 purple power and a toothbrush made a dent.

Maybe tomorrow I'll have time to go after all of it before surgery. 

Aspen
Aspen HalfDork
9/12/19 8:09 p.m.

Try the 303.  It is made for this purpose and won't do any damage.

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