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Cleaning & protecting your soft top and windows
Any time you can visibly see dirt accumulated on your vinyl windows, you should wash them.
It is important to take every precaution to protect your soft top and vinyl/plastic windows — if you want them to last a long time without cracking, scratching, fading, yellowing, or fogging.
Think of it this way…
Vinyl is a man-made material with natural oils in it. That’s what keeps your Jeep windows supple and quite flexible.
Once the natural oils dry out, the vinyl goes downhill quickly and begins to fade and crack.
Scratches are usually the first sign of aged plastic or vinyl Jeep windows.
Next comes fogging and/or yellowing.
You see, the sun’s ultraviolet rays (UV rays) are your soft top’s worst enemy. Longterm exposure to UV causes the polymers in the window to break down and appear cloudy.
Without a protectant, your windows will noticeably begin to fog or turn yellow. Using a UV protectant religiously and generously will significantly extend the life of your soft top and vinyl windows.
It is important to use products made specifically for soft tops and vinyl or plastic windows.
Other products (while often cheaper), contain harsh detergents and chemicals that will fog or discolor the windows. And, over time, common household cleaning & polishing products will strip the natural oils, harden, and ultimately crack your Jeep’s soft top and windows.
For that reason, you’ll want to use the following steps for cleaning and protecting your Jeep soft top and Jeep windows.
2 Important Steps:
Since we’ve been married, my husband and I have owned 5 Jeeps (3 Wranglers and 2 Grand Cherokees). And when we’re not driving our own Jeep, we’re usually renting one (a 4×4 Wrangler on vacation). We keep a Jeep Bucket List of places that we’d like to go next, and we're always crossing more states off our list of 'Places That We’ve Jeeped in the USA'. As our daily driver, we keep the soft top on our Jeep Wrangler year round (and the back window permanently rolled up) so the dogs can enjoy the ride. Yep… even in the winter! I've been sharing my best Jeep ideas with others by blogging full-time since 1998. When I’m not Jeeping or writing about Jeeps, you'll find me at the corner of Good News & Fun Times as publisher of The Fun Times Guide (32 fun & helpful websites).