Mould on canvas can be a nightmare! It seems to grow so easily on canvas tents and teepees, camper trailers, and the canvas areas of caravans. Mould on canvas spreads quickly and discolours and stains the canvas. Mould is also bad for your health and not something that you want you or your family to be breathing in whilst camping.
Mould thrives in wet and humid conditions. When the canvas fabric becomes wet or damp due to rain or just moisture in the air it becomes susceptible to mould. Dust or pollen particles sitting on the fabric help the mould spores in the air to latch on and then a period of warm air encourages the mould to grow.
Prevention and maintenance strategies are the best way to take care of your canvas and prevent mould staining. They are also relatively inexpensive compared to replacing canvas that has rotted.
- Ensure the canvas fabric is completely dry before storing. In instances where you have had to pack up before the canvas was dry, always set up your tent or open out your caravan as soon as possible to allow drying before finally storing.
- Leaving canvas out in the warmth and light of the sun will not only assist with drying the fabric but the suns rays also work to kill mould.
- Move items such as bedding away from the canvas. Items resting up against canvas will act to draw damp and moisture onto the canvas and will also cause those items to become wet and susceptible to mould.
- Brush down or dust your canvas to remove dirt, dust, and pollen particles which can become a source for mould.
- Use preventative mould treatments on a regular basis especially when you know your canvas is likely to be exposed to warm and damp conditions.
- Re-waterproof canvas as needed or once per year. Over time, waterproofing will become less effective as it can be damaged by the elements and from general usage. To check the waterproofing of your canvas hose it down when it is dry. If it is well waterproofed, the water should bead off.
Number 1 Tip: Our number 1 tip for preventing mould on canvas is to give it a regular treatment with an Oil of Cloves for Mould solution. 100% pure natural Oil of Cloves is especially suited to treating mould. The naturally occurring constituent, Eugenol, in Oil of Cloves kills mould and helps to prevent the regrowth of new mould.
As soon as you can smell mildew or see small spots of mould, it is time to treat the canvas without delay. The longer that mould is left to grow, the more likely your canvas will have mould staining and damage to the waterproofing and fibers. Eventually, the canvas will begin to rot.
Treating Canvas for Mould Infestation:
Use a solution of Oil of Cloves to treat and kill mould on canvas. To prepare Oil of Cloves solution, add ½ teaspoon Oil of Cloves for Mould to 1 Litre of water in a spray bottle and shake well with each use. Shaking the bottle well with each use is important for dispersing the Oil of Cloves in the water and achieving an even treatment.
- Treat for mould infestation on a warm, sunny day when you have plenty of time.
- Clean the canvas with warm, soapy water first and allow to dry.
- Spray the canvas with your Oil of Cloves solution. Allow to dry.
- As a bonus you can also use the Oil of Cloves solution on all fabrics, bedding, and curtains that need treating for mould.
Treating Canvas for Mould Staining:
Bleach is not recommended as it will only disguise the colour of a mould stain, it will not kill mould and it can damage canvas fibers. Use a specialised product for cleaning stains from canvas and fabrics such as Oil of Cloves Upholstery Cleaner which does not contain bleach.
- Carrying out a spot test on an inconspicuous area and waiting 24 hours is recommended.
- Choose a warm, sunny day for your cleaning project.
- Wash the canvas on both sides with warm, soapy water. Allow to dry.
- Spray Oil of Cloves Upholstery Cleaner on the stained area.
- Wearing gloves, work from the outer stain to the centre using a clean, damp cloth.
- Leave for 10 minutes.
- Rinse with a hose and remove excess product from the canvas by pressing with a damp cloth and small amounts of water. Allow to dry.
- Repeat this process for heavily stained canvas.
It is a good idea to check the waterproofing of your canvas after a heavy clean. Where required, re-waterproof after cleaning following product instructions.
If you have found this article helpful or would like to share your experience with cleaning mould on canvas please leave a comment in the box below.