Montana Canvas uses the highest quality ‘A’ grade treated canvas available. Our canvas is treated for mold & mildew and meets California Fire Marshall specifications. With that said, canvas is a natural fiber and it susceptible to mold & mildew, especially if left in a wet environment without the ability to dry thoroughly.
Here are some tips for cleaning your canvas tent. Keep in mind the canvas is treated with a proprietary wax-based coating and tends to take on many colors of the environment that it lives in. This is normal and our suggestion is don’t try to get your tent back to a natural clean color as you will potentially damage the canvas and coatings. Focus on removing the surface dirt.
If you have small areas of dirt on your tent, you will find the original Mr. Clean Magic Eraser® will work great. Please do not use any Magic Erasers with additives.
If surface dirt is throughout the entire tent, try a mild laundry detergent mixed with water. Use a hose and lightly scrub with a soft bristle brush. Let stand for about ten minutes and rinse well. It will not bring your tent back to 100% of its original color, but should get rid of the surface dirt. Be very careful as to the type of brush you are using as you don’t want to be too aggressive and risk damaging the canvas fibers and/or the canvas coating.
Here are some tips if you see mold and or mildew starting to form on your canvas tent. The key is you must kill the mold & mildew spores immediately or it will eventually damage the canvas fibers. If you start to see pinkish colorations in the canvas, this is actually a sign that the mold and mildew inhibitors are trying to kill the active mold spores. At this point you most likely have active mold spores that need to be taken care of.
We recommend using Iosso Mold and Mildew Stain Remover® when mold and/or mildew is identified in tents. Follow the directions for mixing the Iosso solution. Scrub lightly with a soft bristle brush or broom. Again, be very careful as to not damage the canvas fibers and/or the canvas coating.
If mold and/or mildew still is present after using the Iosso product you might try a more intense solution of vinegar and water. Use ½ cup of cleaning vinegar for every gallon of water. This solution is less abrasive than bleach to the actual canvas fibers if handled properly. Scrub lightly with a soft bristle brush anywhere mold & mildew is present. We recommend doing this on a warm sunny day! This will help with this overall effectiveness on killing the active spores. Let stand for about ten minutes and rinse well as you want to get rid of all the cleaning solutions from the fibers. Allow to completely dry and repeat the process as necessary to ensure all the active mold & mildew spores are no longer present.
High pressure washers are NOT recommended, as they have the potential to damage the natural fibers of the canvas and/or the original coatings.
Make sure your tent is COMPLETELY DRY before putting it away and storing for the season!
After cleaning your tent you might consider reconditioning the canvas with a product called Canvak®. This product is designed to work with the original coating on your canvas tent that was manufactured by Montana Canvas. We don’t recommend other coating products, as they can negatively react with the original treatments on the canvas.
Sometimes, in extreme wet and humid environments, a canvas tent is not the best option. Please contact Montana Canvas as there might be some other synthetic based materials that could work better in your environment.
RMEF members receive a 20% discount on Montana Canvas purchases. Find the discount code here.