How To Soften a Convertible Top – 3 Brilliant Tips

Wondering how to soften a convertible top? We’ve got the scoop below.

If you feel that your convertible top has gotten a bit tight, you can loosen it in a few ways. One of the most natural ways is to let the sun do the work for you, allowing its heat to pour over your convertible top and soften it up for a better feel.

Another thing you can do is use top products that aid in softening your convertible top, a few of which we’ll introduce you to below.

But let’s have a closer look!

In This Article: We’ll go into details about what products you can use and how you can go about softening up your convertible top, able to enjoy it on the sunniest of days while you’re out for a cruise.

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The Low Down on Convertible Top Shrinkage

Convertibles are cool and fun, giving you an instant sense of freedom. Once you buy one, you’re likely to take it around town, especially if you live in a place that has lovely weather.

There are many ways to soften a convertible top - we show you three of them

But: Regardless of where you live, there may come a time that your convertible top starts to shrink, making it more difficult to fold down.

Why does this happen?

Well, part of it has to do with the aging of the materials.

Because of all the folding, the materials start to give over time and will stretch beyond where they started. Another reason has to do with the sun beating down on it, weakening the fibers that make up the convertible top.

Both of these can wear down your convertible top, which could prevent you from folding it down and enjoying a ride around town.

Softening your Convertible Top

If you find that your convertible top is tight and needs some stretching out, there are a few things you can do.

Solution #1. Add Hot Water

The steam released by hot water is a quick and safe alternative for your convertible soft-top.

In minutes, you could have your top loosened and be able to stretch it over, all without worrying about damaging the color or material.

What you’ll need:

  • Hot water
  • A bowl that’s safe for hot water
  • A brush

What to do:

With this method, all you’ll have to do is heat up your water. To do this, simply pop it in the microwave or boil it over the stove. Be sure to wear gloves to prevent burns and use a heat-safe bowl for easy carrying to your garage.

Then, follow these steps.

  • Step 1: Dip your brush in the hot water
  • Step 2: Buff the hot water into the roof, using circular motions
  • Step 3: Coat the entire roof
  • Step 4: Go over it once more if it needs a little more loosening up
  • Step 5: Let it dry

Solution #2. Take It for a Spin

The sun is an all-natural way to loosen up your convertible top.

For this one, there is not much to it, simply exposing the top to some sun on a warm day. You can do this by taking your car out of the garage and letting it sit or taking it for a spin to kill two birds with one stone.

Solution #3. Put Some Products to Use

There are a number of products out there specifically targeted to care for your convertible top.

While some of them are not specifically for that purpose, they will work to soften your top safely, giving it the condition it needs to relax and soften up.


There are many restorers on the market, most of them made for leather upholstery and convertible tops.

You can use these on both vinyl and leather, simply spraying a bit on a towel and buffing it in.

The ingredients will work to loosen up tight fibers and allow you to stretch the top of your convertible.


With a cleanser, you can get the all-in-one treatment that your car needs.

The formula is made to keep your top clean, adding moisture and leaving it conditioned in the process.

Using a cleaner could be the thing to boost the moisture and get your convertible top working like new.


Keeping your convertible top healthy requires a few things, including some help fighting weather changes.

One thing that you should be doing is waterproofing your convertible top, especially when you’ve got materials that can be damaged by exposure to water.

To use them, simply spray them on your top and let them set in, coating them with a layer of protection from rain and moisture.

Convertible Top Keep-Up

Just like any other thing in life, your convertible top needs TLC to be its best and brightest.

Here are some key things to keep up your convertible top that allows it to live its best life.

Keep it Clean

The market is flooded with all kinds of products to keep your convertible tops clean. Find one that fits your budget and goals, using it to keep your top spic and span.

Pro Tip: Never wash your top in the sun, do it in the shade to avoid cracking.

Apply Protectant

Protectants are specifically formulated to give your convertible top all that it needs to stay looking brand-new. Use these once your convertible top is clean and dry, spraying them on and buffing them in so that the whole top gets an even coat.

Keep Moisture In

One reason why convertible tops get hard to stretch out is that they lack moisture.

Over time, materials tighten, and rolling your convertible top up or stretching it over your car may be a daunting task. To prevent this, keep moisture in your convertible top.

Keep your car looking in tip-top shape by giving some extra care to your convertible top. Keep it moisturized and soft so that you can put it up and take it down when you need to without all the hassle.

If you need to soften it up, take a look at our top three solutions, and don’t skip the upkeep.

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