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How to Clean a Canvas Tent?

Updated: Dec 26, 2022

If you are outdoorsy, you must know that camping and glamping are incomplete without a canvas tent. They shelter and protect you from the sun, rain, and bugs. Being a camping lover, you must know the feeling you get while relaxing in a canvas tent while stargazing.

They need some care to keep them durable and in good shape. But it starts to get smelly and dirty after a while, making your relaxing time uncomfortable. Environmental factors affecting it can differ significantly from one location to another. So, how to clean a canvas tent to keep it in good condition to enjoy the next happy camping trip.

How to Clean a Canvas Tent?

How to Clean a Canvas Tent?

People often ask what the best way to clean a canvas tent is. Well, it is not rocket science; you can easily do it yourself with some household equipment. Here is the step-by-step guide I use personally, and it is practical to help you in canvas cleaning properly.

Clean Dirt from the Dry Tent

Always begin with a dry tent so you may more easily wipe off any dust or debris before wetting it down. Unfold your tent completely and securely fix it on the ground, preferably under the sun. Use a dry mop or brush to sweep up all the dirt, dust, and debris. The tent's inside should come first, followed by the base and the outer surface.

Clean Mold and Mildew

No matter how much you try to prevent your tent, It will mostly get stained with mold because of the humid and biodiverse climate. If you find no mold stains, skip this step and move to the next.

So, let's see how you clean a moldy canvas tent.

Use Vinegar

Cleaning canvas tents with vinegar is an excellent way to clean mold. The solution won't harm the canvas, as vinegar is perfect for cleaning, so you can pour as much of it as you like. Pour pure vinegar on the areas and allow them to dry naturally.

Use Lemon Juice Solution

Make lemon juice solution by mixing salt and lemon into hot water; make as much as you think is enough to remove all mold stains. Once the vinegar dries, pour this solution on the stains, scrub the moldy area carefully with a soft-bristle brush, sponge, or washcloth and let it dry in the air.

Avoid using a strong solvent such as soapy cleansers or bleach for cleaning as it may harm the tent material.

Clean the Solution with Water

Take a bottle of spray and fill it with water; spray it on the areas where you have applied the solution to clean canvas tent mold. Clean it properly and use a dry towel or other soft cloth to dry the area.

Clean Stains

After removing dirt from the dry tent and cleaning mold, thoroughly wash your tent with the best canvas tent cleaner. Make a cleansing solution in a large bucket and fill it with one foot of warm water.

Add a proper cleansing solution and continuously stir to dissolve it completely. Dip your canvas tent and add more water until the tent is completely submerged in the cleaning solution. Leave the tent as it is overnight or at least 3 to 4 hours for soaking thoroughly, occasionally stirring the solution.

Give a Full Wash

How to Clean a Canvas Tent?

Take the canvas tent out of the bucket and spread it on a large clean surface. Carefully rub the tent using a sponge or soft brush to clean any remaining stains. Wash it using a water pipe or a water bucket just like you wash any floor of your home. Brush it, wash it and then wipe it. After soaking in the cleaning solution for a while, all stains will be removed completely.

Dry your Clean Canvas Tent

Let the tent dry naturally in direct sunshine after cleaning and rinsing it before placing it away. This will help prevent the growth of mold and mildew.

Useful Tip:

It is always good to dry your tent in the sun after you return from camping, whether you wash it or not. It will prevent mold growth and will remove unpleasant odors.

If your tent is ancient, you may notice pin leaks, so how to waterproof a canvas tent? While washing, you can use canvas tent waterproofing spray to make it functional again.


Now you have seen how easy it is to clean your canvas tent by yourself; all you need is to do it step by step without damaging it. This was all about "how do you clean a camping canvas" but if you are busy, doesn't have time to do so, or don't like cleaning at all, you can search for canvas tent cleaning service near me; there are professionals that offer tent cleaning service in every area.

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