How to Clean Canvas Camping Tents

brown canvas tent
What You'll Need
Vacuum cleaner with brush attachments
Dust buster
Warm water
White wine vinegar
Empty spray bottles
Scrub brush
Paper Towels
Mild soap
Kiddie pool

Canvas camping tents are very resilient and make fantastic shelters for camping trips. Over time though, your tent will show grime from your camping adventures. The good news is that in addition to being useful protection from the elements, canvas tents are easy to clean with the help of a few common household tools. Follow the simple steps below.

Step 1 - Remove Dust from Your Tent

If your canvas camping tent has accumulated lots of dust, dirt, and debris, you can clean it with a vacuum cleaner. Begin by unfurling the tent and vigorously shaking it to remove as much dust as possible. Lay the unfurled tent on a clean surface. Affix a brush attachment to your vacuum cleaner, and proceed to thoroughly vacuum the tent, paying special attention to any exceptionally dust-laden areas, corners, and storage pockets. If you don't have a vacuum cleaner on hand, use a Dustbuster, or a broom and dustpan in its place.

Step 2 - Remove Mold and Mildew from Your Tent

dirty canvas

If your canvas camping tent has fallen victim to mold or mildew deposits, you can effectively clean it with an easy-to-make homemade cleaning solution. To make this solution, combine ¼ cup of white wine vinegar and 1 cup of water.

Mix the ingredients inside an empty spray bottle and shake it thoroughly. Spray your cleaning solution onto any mold or mildew-infested areas and allow it to sit for several minutes. Then you can scrub away any mold and mildew deposits with a sponge, paper towel, scrub brush, or washcloth. Continue to repeat this process until your canvas tent has been completely purged of mold and mildew.

Once all traces of growth have been removed, fill a second empty spray bottle with warm water, and use it to rinse off your cleaning solution. Promptly dry the freshly cleaned area with a dry cloth or paper towel.

Step 3 - Remove Stains from Your Tent

White canvas tent

If your canvas camping tent is exceptionally filthy and covered in stains, you will need to give it a full washing. To do this, fill a bathtub or kiddie pool with a small amount of water and place your tent inside. Next, apply a mild brand of liquid soap to any stained areas of the tent, and give them a vigorous scrubbing with a sponge or scrub brush. Once all the stains have been successfully removed, use your shower head or garden hose to rinse off the freshly cleaned tent. Always allow your tent to dry completely after a camping trip and any cleaning. If you let the water sit too long, the moisture could cause more mold and mildew to form. The best way to dry every area of your canvas tent is to set it up and allow it to air dry.

With a little TLC and a few basic ingredients, your clean tent will allow you years of camping enjoyment.