Frequently Asked Questions


All the FAQs and nothing but FAQs: The answers here apply to automobile soft tops, boat covers, and boat canopies.

How do I know whether my soft top is fabric or vinyl?

Place several drops of water on your convertible top and rub it in. If the color develops darker streaks where you press with your fingers and the water seems to be absorbed a little bit, the soft top is fabric. If the water is is spread around but continues to puddle and shows surface tension, the soft top is vinyl.

It is crucial to be sure whether your top is fabric or vinyl before you restore it. Using the wrong cleaning product can damage the top. While you can call your car manufacturer find out what your convertible’s original top was made of, keep in mind that another owner might have installed a top of a different material than the original.

If you are unsure which cleaning product to buy, call Convertible Top Renew toll-free at 1-888-697-0089 for immediate assistance.

How can I be sure Renovo® products will not damage my  soft top or boat canopy?

 No Renovo® product is capable of damaging your top. Renovo® products contain no harsh chemicals and are water-based. As long as you correctly identify your top as fabric or vinyl and use the correct cleaning product, no Renovo® product can harm your car.

My soft top is definitely fabric, but it is not canvas. What should I use to clean it?

Soft tops can be made of several types of fabric. Canvas Cleaner is the correct product for all of them.

Why is it so important to use Canvas or Vinyl Cleaner before dyeing with Reviver?

Commercial car washes leave uneven deposits of  detergents, silicones, and waxes in your soft top. These things prevent the top from absorbing Reviver. Renovo® Canvas and Vinyl Cleaners dissolve these deposits. With a little scrubbing, you can sluice them  down the drain easily, along with the dirt and grime they trap in the interior layers of your top.

If you do not use Canvas or Vinyl Cleaner before applying Reviver, the dye cannot be evenly absorbed and Convertible Top Renew cannot guarantee your results.

How long should I leave Renovo® Canvas or Vinyl Cleaner on before I rinse it off?

Leave the cleaner on the car top for one to three hours, depending on how dirty the top is, to dissolve old waxes, soaps, and detergents.

Can Renovo® products damage auto body paint or marine fiberglass?

No. Because they are water-based they cannot harm your paint or fiberglass any more than water can.

My convertible top is moldy. Should I buy a new one?

No. Clean the top with Renovo® Canvas or Vinyl Cleaner and then Ultra Proof it.

What is mold, really, and how important is it?

Molds are microscopic organisms that grow from spores that are virtually everywhere. Spread by air, water, and insects, mold spores remain dormant in all but high-humidity, warm environments. Mold can grow on both natural and synthetic surfaces. It is important both because the odor makes riding in your car unpleasant and because both dead and live mold can cause from mild to severe allergic reactions. Mold must be removed, not just killed. Renovo® Canvas or Vinyl Cleaners remove it.

The high-humidity environment required for mold growth is created when you leave a pile of wet towels in your warm laundry room, have a corner in your shower that never quite dries out, or put your soft top down not realizing that the interior layers of fabric have not quite dried out. You realize your mistake with chagrin the second you smell that acrid, musty odor.

How do I get rid of musty mold odor?

Mold produces spores that cause the odor. After the mold is removed, the odor is gone, too.

Use Renovo® Canvas or Vinyl Cleaner according to which your top is made of, to remove the mold completely. Let the top dry thoroughly and then apply Ultra Proofer to prevent the problem from recurring.

How can I be sure I applied enough Ultra Proofer?

Put several drops of water on the top. The water should bead. If it seems to soak into the top after a few minutes, that’s okay. Although the top may look a little wet to the human eye, as long as it beaded when it first hit the top, the top is as waterproof as when it was brand-new.

Why is it so important to be sure the Reviver is fully, absolutely, 100% dry before I apply another coat?

If you put a second coat of Reviver over a coat that is not fully dry, you could cause watermarks in your final product.

Is there a way to restore clarity to a clouded rear window?

Use Renovo® Plastic Polish. It restores the window to brand-new clarity.