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Help!! Mildew on canvas.

by Cindi Haynes / March 16, 2006 7:46 AM PST

Hi all,

Opened up the popup camper, and there's mildew everywhere. We've always been real careful to not collapse it until it's dry and aired out, so I'm not exactly sure what happened... Sad

Anyway, the hard surfaces will be easy to wipe down with a bleach solution, but does anyone know what will kill the mildew and remove the stains from the canvas? Will the same bleach solution ruin the canvas? Help!!

Thanks in advance, I hope!


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The same can be used
by TONI H / March 16, 2006 8:01 AM PST

if you have a spray bottle of it, spray, wipe, and rinse in sections to make sure you don't leave any of the bleach on for very long or miss spots. I've done this before for one of our tents that got left in one of our outbuildings and forgotten until spring.


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RE: Mildew on canvas.
by caktus / March 16, 2006 11:34 AM PST

Dealt with this problem even with secure roll-up awnings even when stored under a carport type cover.

TRISODIUM PHOSPHATE (TSP) solutions are great for cleaning mold, mildew, grease, etc. 1/2 cup TSP to 2 gal. warm water, 2 quarts household bleach for ''heavy duty cleaning'' or
1 cup TSP to 3 quarts warm water, 1 quart household bleach for ''extremely heavy duty cleaning''.

Spray heavily or pour on canvas, allow to soak a moment, brush, repeat if necessary. Rinse. Don?t permit to dry. An occasional wetting with a garden hose is fine. When clean rinse well for a few minutes after the stains and cleaner appear to be rinsed away.

As with any strong or caustic cleaning agents be sure to use eye/skin protection. ALSO, TSP can stain metal and bare/varnished/shellacked wood surfaces, but is OK for cleaning painted surfaces prior to painting.

TSP in available at Hardware, Home Center, Paint stores and such.
White Lighting degreaser found in cleaning/janitorial isles of most grocery/department stores may also work great.

Also, commercial and household mildew remover is usually helpful.

Boating/Marine supply stores carry commercial vinyl/canvas cleaning solutions of 5% Calcium Hypochlorite specifically for safely as quickly neutralizing mildew. It usually works in 1-2 minutes. I have also found them at Wal-Mart Auto, Sporting, and RV supply/cleaning departments.

Hope this helps.

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Thank you both!
by Cindi Haynes / March 16, 2006 11:41 PM PST

We'll try some of these. We tried a household mildew remover, but it didn't take away the discoloration. My guess is we're gonna have to take the whole canvas part off the camper and clean it in the yard so we can get the whole thing at once, and not worry about splashes.

We were trying to decide if we were gonna use it anymore or sell it. Either way, the mildew HAS to go!

Thanks again,

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Jomax is a product. (TSP).......
by lylesg / March 17, 2006 7:49 AM PST

i've found at Home Depot and it not only kills the mildew, but it will take away mildew stains in a heart beat. I've used it off and on for several years and have had very good luck with it.

Good luck!

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Cindi, I also have a popup...
by Larry38 / March 17, 2006 8:28 AM PST

but have not had that problem. I can furnish you a website that I use when I have a question, and for the most part all the people on there are good to help.

Link to ''Open Roads Forums''

This is an excellent site for anyone that likes to camp.
You will need to register to sign in and post, but it is worth it. Post on the Folding Trailer Forum.

Hope this Helps You.

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Thanks, everyone!
by Cindi Haynes / March 17, 2006 8:32 AM PST

There's certainly enough ideas here that something should certainly work!


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You can also wipe down, probably after the bleach treatment,
by Ziks511 / March 20, 2006 12:47 AM PST

with as strong a solution of baking soda and water as you can make up. Don't rinse off afterwards, just let it dry in place. Baking soda is a reasonably good mildew and mold fighter and deodorant. It's often reccommended to people who've had mild basement flooding including wet carpets. Friends had a leaky bay window that soaked about 6 feet of their carpetting and this was the reccommended treatment.


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After clearing the mold with some sort of bleach (peroxide, sodium hypochlorite) you could rub some Desitin (diaper rash creme) over the canvas area and it will keep fungus away. Make sure it's the one which has the zinc oxide in it, about 40% as I recall. It really depends on the material as to whether you are willing to put that on it. There's no better fungus and mildew fighter than zinc, which is why they have zinc impregnated shingles for houses in warm humid climates where black mold typically grows on shingles. Zinc fights that so well, sometimes a house can have a glavanized (zinc coated) ridge cap and the small exposure to runoff from each rain keeps the mold from forming on the roof.

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mildew on canvas
by jpittenger / March 23, 2010 9:58 AM PDT
In reply to: Zinc

What can you treat canvas with to make it waterproof. It seems like condesation forms inside my pop-up. john

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Camp Dry Silicon Waterproofing Spray.
by James Denison / March 23, 2010 12:24 PM PDT
In reply to: mildew on canvas
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A brush, and a solution of Bicarbonate of Soda and water.
by Ziks511 / March 23, 2010 3:45 PM PDT

Friends of ours rescued their newly renovated basement that way, the Bicarbonate of Soda actually kills Mildew and the Brush scrubs it away. They took down the dry wall, the cement walls were washed with the Bicarbonate solution and allowed to dry. The rug was rolled back to where it was dry and the back of it was washed thoroughly with the same solution, almost soaking the rug and allowed to dry, then replaced. Fortunately it was a relatively small area, 12 feet wide on the wall, 10x10 on the rug. There basement never smelled again, although they had to deal with the outside source of the leak.


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