The Best Way to Clean Camper Canvas

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Clean your camper's canvas with water and a scrub brush.
Clean your camper's canvas with water and a scrub brush. (Image: art canvas image by amlet from <a href='http://www.fotolia.com'>Fotolia.com</a>)

Canvas is a durable material used to cover a variety of furnishings and structures including chairs, umbrellas and other indoor/outdoor items. The material is also found on travel campers. When cleaning your camper, you don't want to use a solution that will damage the canvas material, but you do want to remove any tree sap, dirt, mold and other debris from the camper's surface. It is important to clean both sides of your camper so dirt, mold and mildew will not build up on the opposite side of the canvas.

Things You'll Need

  • Soft-bristled scrub brush
  • Latex gloves
  • Trash bag or can
  • Water hose with sprayer
  • Bucket
  • Lukewarm water
  • Large towel
  • Commercial mold and mildew remover
  • Waterproofing solution

General Cleaning

Set the camper up so all areas of the canvas are exposed.

Brush both the inside and outside of the canvas with a soft-bristled scrub brush. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands clean.

Dispose of any leaves, twigs and other debris that is falling off of the canvas or clogging the scrub brush in a trash bag or can.

Spray the canvas with water from a water hose. Do not apply soap, detergent, solvents or other solutions to your camper's canvas. These substances will damage the canvas material.

Fill a bucket with a half gallon of lukewarm water from a sink. Dip the scrub brush in the water. Scrub any heavy grime, bird droppings and other debris with the brush to break up the debris.

Re-spray the canvas to remove any remaining dust, dirt and debris. Dry the canvas with a large towel then let it air dry completely before storing.

Mold and Mildew Removal

Complete Steps 1 through 4 in the “General Cleaning” section.

Mix half a cup of a commercial mold/mildew remover and a half gallon of lukewarm water in a bucket.

Dip the scrub brush in the mixture. Scrub any mold and mildew spots with the mixture-soaked brush.

Spray the canvas with water from the hose. Repeat Step 3 if fragments of the mold or mildew are still present.

Re-spray the canvas. Dry the canvas with a large towel, then let it air dry completely before storing.

Tips & Warnings

  • Once the canvas is completely dry, spray it with a waterproofing solution, available at camping and outdoor supply stores, to restore the waterproof coating on the canvas.

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