How to Repair a Canvas Tent with Candle Wax

How to Repair a Canvas Tent with Candle WaxManufacturers of outdoor equipment have been making tents out of canvas for many years. Though heavier and more cumbersome to carry than tents made out of synthetic or nylon materials, canvas tents are durable, and when properly maintain they will last for years. Accidents, being staked too tight or just normal wear can cause canvas tents to rip or have a stuck zipper. There are products on the market designed to repair these problems, but the camper does not always have these on hand while in the wilderness. Paraffin or using candle wax will temporarily fix the problem.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cloth
  • Candle wax
  • Board
  • Second person
  • Popsicle stick
Step 1
Wipe off any dirt or sand on the canvas tent's zipper before repairing it. Otherwise, the dirt can clog the metal teeth and can permanently damage the zipper.
Step 2
Rub candle wax up and down the entire teeth of the tent's zipper if it is stuck or will not open and close properly. The oil in the paraffin will lubricate the metal teeth, and the zipper should easily slide up and down.
Step 3
Wipe off any dirt or sand from the ripped section of canvas with a dry cloth before repairing the rip with wax.
Step 4
Wash the ripped section of tent off with a damp cloth if it is dirtier than having just loose dirt or sand on it. Allow the section to completely dry before applying the wax to it; otherwise, it might not stick to the canvas.
Step 5
Light the candle and allow some of the paraffin to liquefy before applying to the canvas rip. This will make the application process easier and allow the wax to seal the ripped canvas better.
Step 6
Hold a board, book, or some other flat surface against the backside of the ripped area. This will give you a flat surface to push the wax against so it will adhere to the canvas better. You will probably require a second person for this operation.
Step 7
Apply the soft wax against the ripped section of canvas with a flat object such as a Popsicle stick, allowing the wax to extend at least one inch around all sides of the rip.
Step 8
Repeat if a heavier coating of wax is required for complete sealing of the ripped canvas.

Tips & Warnings

Once you get home from camping, clean the wax from the tent and repair with a more permanent canvas patch or seal.
Staking canvas tents too tight can cause stress and create rips in the canvas over extended periods.
Always store your canvas tent dry so mold and mildew do not form on it.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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