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Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

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Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Hi guys,

Ive recently purchased a 2nd hand camper and it's got a few stubborn stains in the canvas that I'm trying to get out. I spoke to a canvas repairer and he said to use a miniscual amount of detergent, ie Morning Fresh, luke warm water and a soft bristle brush.

I'm not having much luck doing it this way and I don't want to scrub any harder and risk damaging the canvas. I'm pretty sure it's not mould or mildew. I would say the marks are from his p1ss poor attempt at putting it away as it looks like there's a loam type soil underneath the floor that's transferred over to the canvas..

If any of you guys have got some advice it would be much appreciated.

Cheers..
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Unread postby Neat 60 » July 21st, 2012, 4:10 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Neat make a paste of bicarb and water, a thickish paste, similar to thick gravy. Put it on the stain, don't rub it in. Let it dry, then brush it off. You might need to give it a couple of goes to get it all out. Use a banister brush to get all the residue off the canvas once it's dry.

Try not to put it anywhere but on the stain. The bicarb will act like a bleach and should lift the stain out of the canvas.

Meant to say that it might take a couple of days to dry thoroughly too, especially this time of year.
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Unread postby The Missus » July 22nd, 2012, 9:47 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Thanks for your reply Missus.

The only thing that worries me about the bi-carb acting like a bleach is it damaging the canvas. Would I be right in assuming that you have used this method before? After scanning the net most people say not to use any type of bleach or peroxide of any sort :confused:
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Unread postby Neat 60 » July 23rd, 2012, 10:01 am


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Sorry - bicarb will remove the stain, it shouldn't remove the colour from the canvas. Try a small patch somewhere first. It's not a bleach as such, but it is a jolly good stain lifter. I use it on all sorts of fabrics, even cleaned the driver's seat in the Patrol with it, worked a treat too on the velour fabric, carpet, dining chairs etc.

It won't damage the canvas at all, or rather it shouldn't damage the canvas. If it does I'd be seriously worried about the quality of the canvas.
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Unread postby The Missus » July 23rd, 2012, 10:52 am


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

we used to use viniger watered down in a spray bottle wet the wall of the tent grab a broom & scrub then rinse off & bicarb for heavy stains as Mrs says , i had a couple of mould stains on my camper canvas when i got it & the bicarb way got rid of it .
Happy Trax Cornbeef

Unread postby Cornbeef » July 23rd, 2012, 6:22 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Yeah, just remember that vinegar is an acid, albeit mild, so rinse it off really well if you use it.

It's great for mould and mildew, will kill the spores, not just make them invisible, so it won't come back :)
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Unread postby The Missus » July 23rd, 2012, 6:38 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

I had someone tell me vinegar as well CB, might try that on a small section on the awning before going too much further, ill give the bi-carb a go as well, thanks Missus :thumb: The thing is you cant see the marks from the outside just on the inside when the light hits it. I may be being a bit pedantic so I may just leave it yet :rolleyes:
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Unread postby Neat 60 » July 23rd, 2012, 11:47 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Imo...

Old cotton canvas I would clean with a proper canvas cleaner if the entire tent were dirty, however some of these products are quite crystalline in nature or leave reside behind, so washing in the shade and a good hosing off afterward is important and don't mind soaking the hole tent to the core, just open it all up to dry in the sun afterward. You can save money and make your own cleaners to wash the entire tent down or remove stains with a soft brush ie: Nylon nail brush for small areas and soft banister broom for the entire tent.

Detergent on canvas must me mild. Any baby body wash or Johnson & Johnson baby hair wash product is mild enough when watered down. These are low alkaline detergents.

For spot cleaning, place the canvas across a flat area that won't transfer a stain such as from stained timber outdoor furniture settings etc and using the soft scrubbing brush mentioned before, work the diluted solution in gentle circles into the stained area, allow to sit untouched for 10mins, then brush in random circles again... hose off very well to remove all detergent solution residue. Don't scrub hard! More frequent soft action is much better than harsh scrubbing, as this will massage the stain from the fiber's core. Re-apply/top up canvas treatment/sealant if applicable when dry.

For sealing and rejuvenation of older style cotton canvas, there is a product called Bush & Beach (liquid wax) which was a wax and anti-fungal sealant that you would thin down with turpentine and apply with a brush whilst in the sun, it's awesome stuff. You can tint it the same colour of your tent to rejuvenate faded and lightly soiled canvas. This wax product is not for modern cotton/polyester dynaproofed canvas which in Australia, this treatment is sponged right through to the core of the fabric and does not require any further care for many years, unless you wish to re-apply U.V resistant liquid after 5 years or so of regular use.

If the stain is in any previously applied wax, you will need to partially remove the wax with turpentine on a cloth first, then as above to get the stain out.

Wash and care depends on the type of canvas it is as to what methods you would use. I also believe Sard Wonder Soap (Tetrasodium EDTA >10%) will be mild enough as well when diluted in small amounts of water, then hosed off thoroughly.

All canvas outdoor furniture can be treated the same way as well.

Personally, I have two canvas tents. One is 14oz cotton canvas fully treated with bush and beach liquid wax from new, cost $1,200 + $$$ for treatment back in 2002 and the other is a modern Aussie canvas lodge tent unused awaiting touring worth $2000 if I were to buy it now, but got it as a show demo model for $1,500 and before the price hikes. It requires nil treatment. The heavy duty bucket floors I treat with Armorall protectant to keep them from drying and cracking with age and folding. All my other tents are cheap lightweight Oztrails and get nothing more than a hose off if needed.

Anyone welcome PM me if you need to know how to fold a dome tent properly, as it's also important in care of storage.

Hope this is helpful.

Shakes.

Unread postby Shaker4x4 » July 24th, 2012, 1:56 am


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

OK Neat 60, that sounds like there have been marks someone has tried to clean/remove and failed, in which case they may well have set them permanently.

Or it could be dye dark spots in the canvas, which happen occasionally in the processing (used to see it a lot on Dad's tarps).

I'd try the bicarb paste first, it's much gentler on the canvas than the vinegar, and move onto ordinary, no name $1.09/2 litres white vinegar if the bicarb doesn't shift them.

The longer they've been there the harder they are going to be to shift, so persistence and patience may be required.
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Unread postby The Missus » July 24th, 2012, 10:32 am


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

^^^^ as missus says , bi carb first , amazing stuff bicarb plenty of uses for it , if we were cleaning the whole tent walls we use vinigar watered down about 10 to 1 & use a spray bottle soak the canvas then scrub with a broom then imediatly rinse , dont leave it sitting .
Also as shakes says their is plenty of canvas cleaning products out their that will do the job at a cost tho , i recon the missus is on the money with Bi-carb .
Happy Trax Cornbeef

Unread postby Cornbeef » July 24th, 2012, 5:08 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Thank you Cornbeef - I use so much bicarb I buy it in 10kg bags, vinegar comes in 10 litre bottles :)

Haven't bought commercial cleaners in years - soap, bicarb, vinegar and elbow grease will clean just about anything.

How are the repairs on your camper coming along?
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Unread postby The Missus » July 24th, 2012, 8:26 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Hi guy's there is only one thing I do and it has removed all stains from my camper and does not mark the canvas in any way
and that is a portable hand held or floor steam cleaner, gets rid of all marks and dries quick because it is only steam, it is brilliant brings canvas back to new almost.

Unread postby Olmate » July 24th, 2012, 9:08 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Thanks for all your replies guys and Missus, all very useful tips there!

Cheers :thumb:
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Unread postby Neat 60 » July 24th, 2012, 9:42 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

Hey thats interesting ^^^^^ doesnt it play havoc with the waterproofing tho ?
Happy Trax Cornbeef

Unread postby Cornbeef » July 24th, 2012, 9:43 pm


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Re: Whats the best way to clean tent canvas??

The camper is getting their Missus , they have got the trailer back into shape & replaced the jerry holders & replaced the gas lines , got the new tailgate on , the 4 burner gas stove & griller arrived with broken splash back & griller door so waiting for those , once its all back together it will go into paint , i recon 1 to 2 weeks & i,ll have it back .Paul got his bull bar today so he,s all finished .
Happy Trax Cornbeef

Unread postby Cornbeef » July 24th, 2012, 9:47 pm



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