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Removing Stains on TENTS

Posted by Chuck Shipp on 5/18/2015
Tent cleaning usually does a good job of washing away dirt and grime but the solutions do not always remove the variety of stubborn stains tents can pick up when in use or in storage. However, there are several options for removing most anything from tent fabrics. 

Mystery stains: Even purple berry bird droppings, among a variety of mystery stains, can be removed with the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. The eraser dissolves as you use it and it can be somewhat tedious when cleaning large areas but this product is a marvel. The Magic Eraser can be found in grocery stores in the cleaning section. They have a new heavy duty version out now. They work great on resin chairs as well. Recently, a tent renter had a customer paint, yes paint, a side wall. He sprayed it with Citro and used a Magic Eraser and it all came off. 

Rust, leaf, hard-water and mineral stains: Use our MAC which is an acid but safe for the vinyl. It dissolves any mineral deposits that are left on the surface. If your clear wall or windows have hard water residue or look foggy, a weak dilution of the acids, can remove those deposits as well. If the MAC is drying to quickly, many people saturate towels in the MAC acid solution and lay it on the affected areas. That way the MAC can work longer on tough leaf stains. 

Mildew stains: When a tent has bad mildew stains, a chorine cleaner must be used. Fresh bleach-sodium hypochlorite-from a grocery store will work but bleach weakens quickly the older it gets. Household bleach or sodium hypochlorite is 200 times more corrosive than calcium hypochlorite/Blitz Mildew Remover. Bleach can eat up your tent. A more stable, stronger and safer chlorine solution is Shipp’s Blitz Mildew Remover for Tents. The Blitz solution is a calcium hypochlorite and does a better job of “killing’ the roots or spores of the mildew. Always apply Blitz Mildew Remover to a dry fabric for better mildew removal. Blitz Mildew Remover for Tents does not whiten tent fabric like it does a cotton t-shirt. However, it will totally remover mildew stains without damaging the Fabric. 

Black stains: Black stains from aluminum poles are tent eyesores. Tim Cahall of The Main Event discovered that liquid silver polish and tarnish remover removes the aluminum dust and hasn’t had harmful effects on the vinyl. The chemistry makes sense the same product that removes tarnish on silverware should remove metal dust. Tim says the water based silver tarnish remover is safer. 

Duct tape, tar, paint, grease and oil stains: These stains can be removed with a pure organic citrus solvent, such as Shipp’s Citro. Do not use mineral spirits, Goof-Off or paint removers. They are harmful because these products are made of petroleum. Since vinyl is a petroleum-based product other petroleum products will permanently yellow and pucker the vinyl. If you have a yellow stain on your tent, it is more than likely someone removed a stain with petroleum and after a few days, the area yellowed. If you are not sure, read the ingredients on the label. If it contains petroleum, do not use it. Citro is also great to use when someone has pulled a grill underneath the tent, it removes all the protein grease and smoky soot. If you wash linens, Citro magically takes out candle wax oil stains and meat grease stain. Just spray on and throw in the wash. 

Crepe paper or confetti stains: The dyes from crepe paper and confetti bleed deep into the vinyl and seem impossible to remove. Tent rental companies in sunny states like Arizona or Nevada or Florida have found that the ultraviolet light from the sun can bleach out the dye stains if you put the tents up in the sun for a few days. Jackie Hendricks of Party Pros discovered that using the infrared heating lamps used at meat carving stations will “bleach” out the stains, just like the sun. Just set the lamp the normal distance from the surface and let it sit for around 20 minutes. The infrared light has also removed old set in leaf stains and old, yellow mildew stains. This is a new remedy so be careful not to let the vinyl overheat.