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Camping time: how to remove mould from canvas

When it comes to cleaning mould off canvas tents it can be tricky. Use our tips for removing mould from canvas and that job becomes a whole lot easier.


Reading Time: 5 minutes

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Key steps

Follow our key steps for cleaning mould off canvas tents:

  1. Remove excess dirt and debris.

  2. Kill the mould with distilled vinegar.

  3. Use hot water combined with your chosen cleaning solution and scrub with a soft brush.

  4. Rinse, dry and air before storing.

Whether you’ve been camping out in the wild, living it up at a festival or just sleeping in your back garden, your tent spends a lot of time outdoors. It also spends a lot of time indoors when not in use, and that can encourage mould to grow. As long as you act quickly, removing mould from canvas and cleaning canvas tent surfaces can be easy. We’ll show you how.

Act quickly when removing mould from canvas tent surfaces. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be to shift. Once cleaned, leave your tent to dry in the sun.

What causes mould?

Before we look at how to clean canvas tent surfaces, let’s look at why mould occurs. You’ve probably seen that it can grow pretty much anywhere. But it really thrives in dark and damp environments – exactly the sort of place you store your tent when it’s not in use. 

Now, let’s move onto our step-by-step guide to removing mould from canvas.

How to remove mould from canvas tents step-by-step

  1. First up, before you get stuck into cleaning mould off canvas, you need to identify it – usually it looks like blue or green specks.

  2. Next, you need to get rid of it. Cleaning mould off canvas with vinegar is a great way of doing this – spray the vinegar and scrub at the marks with a soft brush, using hot water to work away at the mould.

  3. Repeat until you’re happy the mould has gone – sometimes it takes more than one or two attempts, so be patient!

If you want to know how to remove mould from canvas this simple method can work wonders, but sometimes you need to clean a little deeper. 

Safety warning

When cleaning, make sure to wear gloves as it’s important to look after your skin!

How to clean a tent thoroughly

  1. Start off by removing as much dirt as you can before deep cleaning canvas tent surfaces.

  2. When you’re happy to move onto cleaning mould off canvas, you can try your vinegar solution or a combination of rubbing alcohol and hot water. Alternatively, lemon juice and bicarbonate of soda can work.

  3. Soak the areas that need attention before rinsing thoroughly with a hose.

  4. Leave to dry in the sun, ideally for 48 hours.

That’s how to clean canvas tent surfaces covered, but what about preventing mould in the first place?

Preventing mould

We should say that removing mould from canvas tent surfaces is fairly inevitable at some point. However, there are steps you can take to help prevent it:

  1. Shake off any debris and sponge obvious dirty areas. 

  2. Make sure the tent is then thoroughly aired before storing away – that’ll help stop the musty smell too.

  3. Store in a dry and cool place. 

From cleaning mould off canvas with vinegar to preventing mould build up, looking after your tent requires a planned approach. Now that you know how to clean a tent you can make sure it’s well looked after and ready for your next camping or festival adventure! 

Need help removing mould from other items? Read our article on how to get rid of mould on walls and ceilings!

Originally published