I'm completely restoring my Jeep's appearence. I got my doors stolen a little over a week ago, so I bought new ones which have to be repainted. I'm taking this opportunity to restore all of the Jeep (buffing the paint, restoring the fenders, etc).

The one part I'm held up on the most is the soft top. I don't really know how to get the dirt and bird crap that's been baked into it over the last year out (I got a new soft top just over a year ago). I would like to keep the top as black as possible, but I'm going to school in the high dessert in AZ, so the sun is always beating down on it with only 80% of the atmosphere blocking the UV rays.

At my school we have an industrial sized washing machine - could I take the soft top off of my Jeep and all of it's mounting hardware and put it in the huge washing machine? Would that be bad for it, or would it be a great way to get a lot of the baked in dirt out?

If that's not be best solution, then how should I go about restoring the soft top?

2 Answers 2


I would not put it into an industrial washer. Not only would it deform it, it would probably ruin it ... not even counting the amount of prep time it would take to undertake the effort. Personally I think I'd hit it with some good cleaner and a bristle scrub brush, using something like Ragg Topp Fabric Convertible top Care Kit. You're looking to do two things though, clean it, then protect it. This kit does both, but would bet there are many other ways out there you can use to complete the job. It's going to come down to some elbow grease, but shouldn't be too difficult. The second product in the kit will provide some UV protection. In your harsher than normal sun, you will probably want to clean and protect a little more often than what is suggested on the product (this would go for any product). I'm assuming you have a fabric soft top ... there is also a cleaner/UV protectant kit for vinyl. In most cases these would not work interchangeably.

  • Can you please elaborate one how the washer could ruin the top?
    – Sponge Bob
    Feb 24, 2015 at 20:09
  • @SpongeBob ... The soft top was never meant to go into a mechanical washer. The forces exerted upon it will cause disruption in its shape, which it is not meant to withstand. This would have the potential to permanently damage it (by deformation or just plain physically damage it ... cause wear in places it wouldn't see otherwise). I understand your wanting to make it easy on yourself, but this is not the way I'd make it happen. Using a bristle brush and the proper cleaner is the way to go here. Feb 24, 2015 at 21:10

I take my jeep to a drive in wash bay. We have them out here all over in Texas. There I can hit the top with pressured water and normal soap and scrub it with a wash towel. If you can't get to a wash bay a "laser-nozzle" should work also. If I really need to I will bring a bristled scrub brush and dig out anything really nasty.

There is no quick way to wash it correctly with out damaging it if you have the factory top. Washing it in an industrial washer is a bad idea as other users have suggested.

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