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Tent Cleaning 101

Posted by on 9/26/2023
How Shipp Tent Cleaner Was Developed 

Shipp Tent Cleaner was developed with Snyder Manufacturing, a large vinyl tent fabric manufacturer in Dover, Ohio. Taking three years in the late 1980s, Chuck Shipp sent Dennis Snyder samples for him to test. Dennis would put samples of fabric in the concentrated cleaning chemicals and let them sit for three months. Dennis would then test them for chemical etching into the vinyl and robbing the plasticizer (the flexibility of the vinyl) among other tests. After over a dozen chemical variations, there was one that did not affect the vinyl and satisfied Mr. Snyder’s strict standards. That formula has not changed since 1989. 

How To Dilute 
Tent Cleaner is for white vinyl that is dirty from dirt films. Tent Cleaner may clean off some mildew films; however, that is typically a job for Blitz Mildew Remover to do. Tent Cleaner should always be sprayed onto the dry vinyl fabric, do not pre-wet with water. It can be used in a garden sprayer and diluted up to 1 part cleaner to 30 parts water. In a 2-gallon pump up sprayer, add about 8 ounces of Tent Cleaner and fill the rest of the sprayer with water. Of course, it can be mixed much stronger for very dirty tents, 1 part Tent Cleaner to 10 parts water, which in a 2 gallon sprayer would be 25 ounces of Tent Cleaner to the rest water. If Tent Cleaner is being used in a tent washing machine, the dilution is significantly more. In 200-gallon machine, a half-gallon of Tent Cleaner is usually plenty. 64 ounces (one half gallon) up to 85 ounces is usually plenty up to 300 to 400 gallon washing machines. On extremely dirty long-term tents, pre-spraying with a stronger solution or even pre-scrubbing with a floor machine with a 1 to 10 dilution may be necessary. 

How To Use
Tent Cleaner is outlined in a separate sheet on how to hand clean tents using a floor machine. As mentioned above, always apply Tent Cleaner to the dry fabric when spraying. In machine washing, set the first cycle as your break cycle so that the cleaner is in the first water solution to touch the vinyl fabric. These dirt films are clinging on to the vinyl with a static charge called electrolysis film. To break that film, the cleaner in the solution needs to be the first thing that touches the dry vinyl. Tent Cleaner can be used in a trigger sprayer to spray and wipe in the field after setup. The dilution can be up to 1 to 10 and there is still no need to rinse after wiping. When rinsing after cleaning a tent by hand or with a floor machine, using white vinegar is recommended. The white vinegar can be added to the rinse water with about 28 ounces to a three gallons of water. The vinegar neutralizes the Tent Cleaner and leaves a shinier vinyl with no hard water films.