If you’ve just purchased a high-quality canvas tent from our website, you can be rest assured that you’ve made the right choice. These tents are built to last! We select only the highest quality fabrics that are guaranteed to be durable against the elements (and we would know - we’ve been around the block a few times to test these tents!).
But as with all tents, especially full cotton canvas, they do need just a little bit of care and nurturing… Consider this your comprehensive guide on all things tent-care!
What you need to know
1. First things first, the golden rule for ALL tents, is that you don’t want to store these bad boys away while they’re wet. If you’re packing it up because you’ve been rained out and it’s time to go home (we know the struggles!), no sweat. Just open it up again when you get home and lay it out to dry (the sooner the better). You want all of the tent - including the groundsheet, poles, pegs and guy lines - to be completely dry before you pack away for long-term storage.
While these fabrics are durable, they are 100% cotton, which is mold heaven. The fabric has been treated for water, mold and UV resistance, but natural fibers don’t contain the synthetic nasties that plastic tents do - so that means that you have to play your part to protect them!
2. Remove dirt and leaves from your tent before packing away. These can also promote mold growth, so give it a quick sweep or wipe, inside and out, before packing away. (Hint: This is much easier to do with a dry tent, while it’s pitched!)
3. Store your tent in a cool, dry place, ideally off the floor. If you’re storing it long-term in a garage or storage unit, you might want to consider putting it inside a plastic box or bin to prevent any mice or bug friends from making themselves at home.
4. Deal with any mold patches ASAP! If you find that patches of mold have slipped through the cracks of your care, these need to be dealt with immediately to prevent it from spreading. To get rid of the mold, you can use diluted vinegar (4 part water, 1 part vinegar) or an alternative canvas-specific cleaning product (WET&FORGET is an affordable option). Spray the vinegar solution onto the spot to first kill the mold, allow it to dry, and then scrub it gently with a solution of salt, lemon and hot water to clean.
5. Clean and retreat your tent from time to time. The CanvasCamp manufacturers recommend this as part of standard tent maintenance after 12-25 weeks of use.
To clean the whole tent, tent, lay it out flat, peg it down, and remove any loose dirt or leaves with a brush or vacuum cleaner. Hose down the tent and use a soft brush or sponge with your cleaning product to address any areas of dirt or mold growth. Once you’ve cleaned the hard-to-reach areas at the top of the tent, you may wish to pitch the tent to get to the sides of the tent more easily. Rinse as you go, then rinse again at the end. Never use a pressure washer, washing machine, bleach, all-purpose cleaners, laundry detergent, or dish soap.
If your tent has succumbed to the power of nature, and you have a mold takeover, we suggest the following. Find a barrel or container that could fit the whole canvas fly. Make a Napisan soak, and leave overnight. Rinse the tent thoroughly, then pitch the fly only to dry. You should see major improvements, but if there are still some signs of mold, you can repeat this process.
You must retreat your tent after cleaning it - we recommend Dynaproof.
With the right care, these tents will serve you for years to come. A few extra measures taken while packing and storing your tent will pay off in the long term!