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Detail Mutant

Best Optimum Product for Cleaning/Maintaining Fabric Convertible Top

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I have a client with a 2006 Black BMW E85 Z4 convertible with fabric top.  They are are looking for suggestions on products to maintain vehicle.  For the paint work I am suggesting ONR, Big Red Sponge and OCW as drying aid (as the wax seems to look better on darker colors than opti-seal) and using Pluffle microfiber from the Rag Company for drying.

For the fabric convertible top, I am unsure what Optimum products would be most appropriate. Most dedicated fabric convertible top cleaners are mild APC that are easily rinsed away.  What would be the recommended Optimum product?  Power Clean seems a bit to aggressive to me and based on my experience  (at least 3:1 dilution ratio)requires significant volume of water to fully rinse off. 

Would ONR work and what would be the best application and drying method?  What about about ONRWW on the fabric top, any concerns with the wax content?

What about Optimum Fabric and Carpet Clean and Protect?  Would this have any impact to application and/or longevity to fabric protection (Scotchgard, 303 or other)?

Any suggestions would be helpful as I would like to keep the products within the Optimum "synergy" to maintain maximum efficiency for the client so they are more likely to keep up on exterior maintenance. Note the vehicle is garaged over the winter so there is no need to worry about winter maintenance. 

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Sorry, I don't have an answer to your question but I am interested in this as well. The great thing about OPT products is they are so versatile and have so many uses. 

It would be great to have a 'cheat sheet' of rough dilutions for each product. 

In this case I would have actually been thinking a very diluted Power Clean may do the trick, possibly even followed up by Fabric Clean & Protect. 

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For heavy duty cleaning you can use Power Clean (I've cleaned carpets at 1:5 dilution).  For normal maintenance I use Fabric Clean & Protect on carpets and my convertible top (it can be used at full concentration for heavy stains) - the benefit is the protection it leaves behind (fun to watch water bead on a convertible top).

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Thanks Ron.

So I am definitely interested in suggestion/using Fabric Clean & Protect on the fabric top. I am just wondering whether it's water repel characteristics and UV protection are a suitable replacement to a Scotchgard-like application every 6 months.  I know it will depend on the environment exposed to (temperature, UV exposure, rain, etc.) but how often in your experience would you apply Fabric Clean & Protect to maintain some hydrophobic properties (monthly, less or more frequently)? For the application process would you spray on to the fabric top (at standard 3:1 dilution), agitate with soft bristle brush and then blot with a microfiber towel (preferably one with minimal loose fibers to avoid lint on fabric top)?

I had suggested to the client to seasonally apply Scotchgard but the one issue with this type of protectant is you want to make sure not to leave any overspray on rubber seals and plastic as it cause significant damage.  To be safe, I would normally tape all the rubber seals close to the border of the fabric top.  Looking at my bottle of Optimum Fabric Clean & Protect, I see no warnings about leaving on rubber and plastics so I assume it will not damage those materials.  

If this is a suitable replacement, it would be a significant time savings as you just apply at regular cleaning interval (nominal 15 minutes monthly) and not have to go through significant seasonal prep (wash thoroughly, wait to dry, tape up  rubber/plastic trim, apply several light coats of Scotchgard, needs to dry before being exposed to rain which is 1-1.5 hours of hands on work with significant delay time for drying).

And the cost savings looks good too.  A single can of Scotchgard is about 1/3 the price of a 32 oz bottle of Fabric Clean & Protect.  A single can of Scotchgard is maybe good for one year (two full applications) whereas Fabric Clean & Protect would produce 128 oz at the standard dilution of 3:1.  Assuming nominal 2 oz per application on the fabric top,  you would have enough solution for 64 applications (or 5.3 years assuming monthly application).  You come out ahead after year 3  plus even with Scotchgard, you need to acquire another product for periodically cleaning the fabric top.

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I'm not sure I can say that Fabric & Carpet Cleaner & Protectant is a replacement for a dedicated product like Scotchgard, since it does double duty.  I've had it on my convertible top for 6+ weeks and it still beads water (though my Z3 is the ultimate Garage Queen).  For heavy soil I spray, brush into the fibers, dry, then spray again and wipe.  I would think that quarterly application would be sufficient.

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6+ weeks is impressive especially if it is at the standard 3:1 dilution ratio.  I may have to do my first YouTube video test with standard cleaner (APC) on one section, 3:1 Fabric Carpet Cleaner Protect dilution ratio on another section and undiluted Fabric Carpet Cleaner Protect on another section to show the different levels of water beading (none to hopefully very good).  This is assuming the client is willing to let me use the car for the test.

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