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how to clean tent canvas

Looking for some tips and tricks on how to care for your tent? Learn how to care for your tent when you first buy it, how to store it, and what to do every 3-6 months to keep your tent performing at its best.

Tent storage

Mold, mice, and mites are the biggest threats to tent storage. Follow our tent storage guidelines below to protect your tent when not in use.

Never get your tent wet! once!

Your tent, mats and guy wires must be completely dry before putting them in the bag. If you must take down the camp in wet conditions, transport the tent loosely folded, then leave it to dry within 24 hours. If you can't dry it outdoors, bring it indoors to dry before packing.

Clean up your tent

Vegetation and dirt retain moisture, allowing mold to grow. Sweep or wipe down the inside and outside of the tent before packing it up. Watch our video on how to pack a Sibley tent in the wild and see the burrito, pizza, french fries, roll fold method in action.

Store it in an elevated and dry place

Store packed tents in a cool, dry place and avoid storage in damp basements. Place tents on the floors of garages and storage rooms, as they may flood or form puddles in the rain.

Long term storage

If you're storing your tent long-term, or where you're concerned about rats and bugs, consider storing your tent in a large, clean plastic trash can with a lid.

Cleaning the tent

Regular cleaning and reprocessing of your tent can extend the life of your tent and is a necessary part of maintenance. Environmental factors such as humidity, UV exposure, airborne particulate matter from vegetation and mold spores can vary widely from location to location. CanvasCamp recommends cleaning and retracting your tent after 3-6 months of use, however, depending on your environment, you may need to clean it more or less often. Always spot cleaning and retreat problem areas as needed.

It is important to address any mold and mildew immediately to kill the spores and prevent their spread. Once the canvas has mold, it is nearly impossible to remove the stain. Check out our blog on how to clean mold from a canvas tent for specifics on mold.



How to Clean a Canvas Tent

Cleaning prepares your tent for reprocessing. Dry mud or dirt can be removed with a soft brush. You will need a hose, bucket, soft brush or sponge, cleaning solution and reprocessing solution.

Mix 4 parts water 1 part vinegar solution to kill mold and/or use a canvas-specific cleaning product of your choice.

Unfold your tent, pin the floor mats, and use a clean broom or vacuum with a brush attachment to remove all dust, dirt, and particles.

Rinse the tent with a hose.

Use a soft brush or sponge to gently clean the fabric with an appropriate solution, rinsing as you go. Start at the top and work your way to the floor. After clearing the hard-to-reach areas around the top, pitching a tent may help.

rinse. Then rinse again. Make sure to remove any residual cleaning solution.

Allow the tent to dry completely before retreating.


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