In the summertime, driving around with a hardtop can be quite daunting. A soft top is a far better solution. But what about the plastic windows, though? While they’re pretty cool and protect the passengers from the sun, the rain, and other hazards, they get all dusty and grimy in the blink of an eye. That’s why today, we’ll learn how to clean them.
If you do this right, the windows will always look brand-new and serve for many years. First, we’ll deal with the stains with a piece of cloth and some cleaner solutions. Next, we’ll handle the scratches. Finally, a protectant will help increase the lifespan of the soft vinyl windows. The whole thing will take 30-45 minutes at a slow pace. Let’s get to cleaning!
Step #1: What you’ll need for the Job
We begin by parking the Jeep. If you want to do this in your garage, just switch to “park” and get to work. But if you decide to clean the Soft Top windows outside, don’t forget to put blockers in front of the wheels. As long as you can access both windows freely, the setup is right. A quick note: most cleaners work best in a mild climate. So, it would be best to do this when it’s not overly dry or humid outside. Now, what are we going to use for this?
Should you order some expensive formulas, or will a regular piece of cloth do? The answer is – use a combination of good-old rags with the best solutions the market has to offer. First, grab a bucket and fill it with a standard water-soap mix. As for the cloth, the main “criteria” here is for it not to be overly harsh. The formula: pretty much any vinyl window cleaner will do. These cost $10-15 tops and come in all shapes and sizes.
Step# 2: Getting Rid of the Stains
Start by spraying some water on the plastic windows, and, using a clean rag, wipe all the dirt and dust. Or, better yet, dip a rag into the soapy water mix I just mentioned and go at it that way. Don’t push too hard on the windows – go with even, smooth strokes. If you apply too much pressure, the vinyl will crack. I always go with soft fabrics for the cloth. They have proven to be highly effective for vinyl and do an excellent job of absorbing all the dirt.
Next, spray some of that cleaner formula. Or, you could squeeze it out onto the rag – whatever works. For the cleaner, I would recommend microfiber cloth. Depending on how bad the scratches are, you might have to repeat this once or twice. And remember: the cleaner should be designed for vinyl. Glass-window chemicals won’t be a very good purchase.
Do not wipe in the “circle” pattern; otherwise, you’ll ruin the windows with scratches. And, make sure to avoid the soft top around the windows. Finishing up, wait for the cleaner to dry off, and use a clean rag to dry it completely. That’s pretty much it. Do the same with all the windows, and you’re done!
Step #3: Removing Scratches
Alright, with the stains out of the way, let us learn how to remove scratches from Jeep soft top windows. Now, if you’ve been taking proper care of the windows, you can just skip this part. For the rest of us, it’s very important to deal with the scratches to avoid further damage. We’ll do that by using a polishing product. More specifically, get a plastic polish solution.
Don’t worry: the price won’t leave your wallet empty. Right now, physical and online stores sell these for less than ten bucks. But, the effects are truly impressive. The main purpose of most polish products is not to clean the surface and make it shine (although that’s also a part of the picture), but to get rid of scratches. The formula includes liquid sandpaper, and it’s doing most of the work.
Look for a solution that fits your situation best. The market is full of different polish brands specifically designed to battle mild and heavy scratches. So, inspect your windows thoroughly and make sure you don’t overdo it with the polish. A couple of scratches here and there can be removed with a mild polish product. Severe scratches, in turn, should be dealt with using “heavy-duty” solutions.
Step #4: Applying a Protectant
If you appreciate your soft-top plastic windows and want to keep them from harm’s way, get a protectant. Much like the cleaner solutions, this substance is available for a very reasonable price of 15-20 US dollars. So, once you’re done cleaning the soft top windows from stains and scratches, go ahead and apply the protectant. Make sure the windows are nice and dry, though. Otherwise, you might not get the desired effect.
Get a 16 ft. oz. bottle – that should be more than enough for your Jeep. This formula can be used not only on vehicles but also, say, boats. A decent-quality protectant will keep UV rays at bay and repel dust and dirt from staining. Plus, it leaves a matte finish that looks pretty cool, especially during the summer.