How to Clean Mold From a Canvas Tent

How to Clean Mold From a Canvas Tent
Mold and mildew develops on a canvas tent when it has been stored in wet or moist conditions. Even canvas tents that have been treated with a waterproof coating are susceptible to mold growth. Mold damages the canvas material. If the mold growth is caught early on, the damage will most likely be minimal. Mold that has had the opportunity to grow on the canvas for a long time,though, usually causes some amount of structural damage. Once you remove the mold, you may find that your canvas tent is no longer waterproof. Applying a new waterproof coating helps to extend the life of a damaged canvas tent.


Difficulty: Challenging

How to:

Things You’ll Need:
  • Breathing mask
  • Stiff brush
  • Spray bottle
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Garden hose
Step 1
Put on a breathing mask to prevent the inhalation of mold or mildew spores.
Step 2
Lay the canvas tent out flat in a dry sunny area.
Step 3
Scrub the moldy area with a stiff brush to remove as much of the mold debris as possible.
Step 4
Fill a spray bottle with hydrogen peroxide.
Step 5
Spray hydrogen peroxide onto the moldy area, using enough to fully saturate the canvas material. Note: the hydrogen peroxide may bleach the canvas material.
Step 6
Use a stiff brush to scrub the mold, while working the hydrogen peroxide into the canvas material. Leave the hydrogen peroxide on the canvas tent for 2 hours.
Step 7
Check the moldy area after 2 hours to see if the mold is gone. If the mold still remains, repeat steps 2 through 5 again.
Step 8
Spray the canvas tent with water from a garden hose to remove hydrogen peroxide residue and let the canvas tent fully dry.
Step 9
Apply a canvas waterproof spray to the tent. Spray the whole tent evenly. Allow the spray to dry for 1 to 4 hours and spray the tent again. After the second spraying, leave the tent to dry for 24 hours before storing.

Tips & Warnings

These directions use hydrogen peroxide instead of the more commonly used bleach to kill mold. Hydrogen peroxide is as effective as bleach for getting rid of mold and is kinder to the environment.
Mold and mildew stains are difficult to remove. If the area does not smell like mildew, the mold has been destroyed and the stain is just a visual but harmless mark on the canvas tent.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

Don't Miss a Thing!

All our latest outdoor content delivered to your inbox once a week.



We promise to keep your email address safe and secure.