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Caring for your Convertible Boat Top

The key to keeping your outdoor fabric looking great and extending its life is periodic cleaning followed by repellency treatment. Mildew can be a problem for any outdoor fabric. Mildew will not grow on a clean synthetic fabric. Combined with humidity, the dirt and debris, which accumulate on and in the fabric, create the ideal conditions for mildew propagation. Thus keeping outdoor fabric both clean and dry is essential to eliminate or minimize mildew growth.

* Brush surfaces with soft brush to remove soil.
* Soak with warm, soapy water (not to exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit).
* Use a mild soap such as Ivory, or Dawn. Do not use detergents, abrasives or cleaners.
* Rinse fabric thoroughly after cleaning.
* Let fabric air dry after rinsing - Do not machine dry.


TREATING YOUR FABRIC

* Before "retreating" or "protecting" a fabric, the fabric must be thoroughly cleaned. Fabric protector products bond most effectively to perfectly clean fabric. Anything not removed from the fabric will interfere with the bonding and performance of the product. All dirt, body oils, sweat, soap residue will impede bonding and performance.
* Do not over spray. Saturation is not necessary. The surface needs to be slightly damp, but not soaked. Two lighter coats are better than one heavy coat. An even coating is more likely with two applications. Let the first coating dry to the touch before applying the second - generally an hour.
* The quicker you can get a fabric protector product to dry, the better bonding and performance you will achieve. It is best to treat the fabrics in warm weather, such as a hot day in full sun.
* Maintenance is essential. You can lightly mist the surface every 6 months to check the water repellency. Friction will wear away product more quickly leaving the fabric unprotected. If this is the case, such areas can be spot treated to renew repellency.
* Just a note - Silicone water repellents are not true "fabric protectors". While they do develop good repellency, they often retain a tackiness that attracts dirt. Silicone treated fabrics soil much more rapidly than untreated fabrics, have no resistance to oil based stains, and can make fabrics more difficult to clean once soiled.


CLEAR VINYL


Never clean clear vinyl with ammonia based products such as Windex or BonAmi, etc. The ammonia will react with the oils in the clear vinyl when the curtain is in contact with the sun and will cause the plasticizers to migrate to the surface of the vinyl. When this happens, the clear vinyl will turn yellow, brittle, and brown. If this has happened, there is no other option than to replace the clear vinyl. Detergents, petroleum based products, or abrasives are also too harsh.


* Remove as much loose dirt & debris as possible with a light spray of water. It is best to wet the whole area giving the water time to soften anything stuck to the clear plastic.
* Wash gently with mild soap solution and rinse thoroughly as you go along.
* Dry and polish with a clean towel or chamois and NEVER use paper towel - they are very abrasive.
* Treat windows with a product specifically designed for clear vinyl or polycarbonate windows. There are some great products on the market specifically for marine use. The one we use is called "Klear to Sea". Novus also makes a great line. The automotive isle also carries plastic window cleaner and protectants as well.


FRAMES & FITTINGS

* Wash routinely and use a metal polish


ZIPPERS & FASTENERS

* Wash and lubricate routinely. Iosso makes a very good lubricant, but lip balm will also work in a pinch.


STAINLESS STEEL

When properly maintained, stainless steel provides excellent luster, strength and durability. However, it is not rust or stain proof. Particularly in a marine environment, proper care and maintenance are necessary to keep stainless steel products beautiful and functional for years to come.

* Clean frequently with soap and water. Any cleaner safe for glass is usually safe for stainless.
* Remove rust spots as soon as possible with brass, silver or chrome cleaner. Irreversible pitting will develop under rust that remains on stainless for a length of time.
* Use a cleaner, such as a good car wax, for added beauty and protection.
* Never use coarse abrasives like sandpaper or steel wool. They may actually cause rusting.
* Never clean with mineral acids or bleaches.
* Never leave stainless in contact with iron, steel, or other metals which cause contamination leading to rust or corrosion.