How to get rid of Mould or Mildew from a Tent or Awning

Jul 22, 2023

Dealing with mould or mildew on your tent or awning can be a frustrating and common issue, often resulting from improper storage when the fabric is still damp. Not only does mould leave unpleasant odours, but it also leaves unsightly black marks and compromises the waterproofing of your outdoor shelter. However, fear not, as we have some effective steps to help you restore your tent or awning and get it back in top shape!

  1. Proper Storage is Key - To prevent mould from taking hold in the first place, always ensure that your tent or awning is thoroughly dry before packing it away. Even a small amount of residual moisture can lead to mould growth over time. Properly airing out and drying your tent after each use is crucial for its longevity.

  2. Identifying the Mould Issue  - If you detect a musty smell or notice black marks on your tent, it's likely that mould or mildew has started to develop. It's essential to act promptly to avoid further damage to the fabric and preserve its performance.

  3. The Cleaning Process - To clean the mould effectively, you'll need a Milton Sterilising Solution. Follow these steps:

    a. Choose a clear, dry day to set up your tent or awning. b. Prepare the Milton Solution by mixing 1 part Milton with 10 parts water, adhering to the instructions carefully. c. Using a clean cloth, apply the Milton Solution to the affected areas and gently scrub off the mould and mildew. d. Pay special attention to the taped seams, ensuring they haven't been compromised by mould. Damaged taped seams can severely reduce the tent's waterproofing abilities and are challenging to repair. e. After cleaning, inspect the tent to ensure it is free from mould and mildew.

  4. Re-proofing Your Tent - Cleaning your tent with any type of cleaner will diminish its waterproofing, as it can affect the original waterproof treatment applied during manufacturing. To restore its water resistance, re-proof your tent using a product like Fabsil. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for the best results.

Things to Avoid / Things to Do:

  • Avoid using off-the-shelf chemical cleaners or soapy water (like washing up liquid) on your tent, as they can harm the waterproofing properties.
  • Test the cleaning solution on a small, less noticeable area of the tent first to ensure it doesn't negatively affect the fabric.
  • Check the taped seams for any signs of blackening or damage caused by mould. If they are compromised, reproofing the fabric will be ineffective.

By following these steps and taking proactive measures to prevent mould growth, you can extend the life of your tent or awning and continue to enjoy outdoor adventures without any unwanted surprises. Regular maintenance and proper care are key to preserving the quality and performance of your camping gear. Happy camping!