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How to Clean Mold From Canvas Tents



A lesson on moldy tents and deep cleaning

Canvas tents have been used all over the world in a variety of environments for 100+ years, remain the undisputed champion in tentage material, and are built to last. You just have to take care of them. Similar to other fine pieces of equipment, tools, and clothing, proper maintenance is required. If you are looking for a long term shelter to leave up in the rainforest without much maintenance, a non-breathable petroleum based product like hard plastic may be a better solution, although comfort and humidity may limit the amount of time you want to spend inside it.

Deep Cleaning Process:


1.Remove all loose dirt and debris with a soft brush or broom

2.Separate the canvas tent canopy from the floor of the tent. You will wash the floor separately. You can leave the guy-lines on if they are dirty, just remember they must also be retreated in the end to prevent UV damage.

3.Fill a very large container with about 1 foot (30cm) of warm water. Add several cups of Oxiclean, use your best judgement on how much to use vs. how dirty the tent is and reference the recommendations on the box. Stir thoroughly until the solution is dissolved completely. Warm water dissolves the solution better than cold water.

4.Place the tent canvas (not the floor) in the container. 

5.Fill with water until the tent is submerged.

6.Stir and agitate thoroughly so the solution is well mixed and the canvas is soaking evenly.

7.Allow the tent to soak for 4-10 hours, stirring occasionally. It’s ok to leave it soaking overnight if you need to.

8.You will want a clean surface to place the tent on to dry so have your clean floor ready. You can clean the tent floor just like a kitchen floor. Sweep it, mop it, rinse it. 

9.When your done soaking, dump out the dirty water leaving the tent inside. Oxiclean shouldn’t kill grass but if your concerned just hose off your grass afterwards, the solution to pollution is dilution.

10.With the container on it’s side, do a quick pre-rise rinse and roll to get the dirty residue off see how the tent looks. If you think it needs another round of soaking, fill up the container and add some more oxiclean.

11.If the canvas looks reasonably clean, add more water, use your stick to agitate and stir, then dump. Repeat as needed until most of the soap is out of the canvas.

12.Spread the canvas out on top of your clean tent floor and pitch it. You can also throw the floor on top of a car, then put the canvas on top of that to assist with run off. Don’t put the canvas directly on your car because Oxiclean can strip clearcoat.

13.Hose the tent down again and be sure get any remaining soap off of it.

14.Let the tent dry completely. 

15.Retreat the tent with a canvas specific waterproofing solution of your choice. We like DryGuy because it works and is non-toxic.

Having one brands:“Leshade”.

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