You hear it over and over. "Just clean your tent with green soap, it won't hurt!" At first this seems like a very good idea. Green soap does indeed clean well in many cases. And it's safe too. The canvas will really not discolour.
But it has a major disadvantage if you use it on tent cloth, boat cloth or, for example, when cleaning your awning or convertible roof. After cleaning about 25,000 tents, I know better than anyone what you should and should not do when cleaning your tent. I'll be happy to explain that to you.
What is green soap?
The name is actually a bit confusing. Green soap is not really green, but rather a bit yellow-brown. Green soap comes in solid and liquid form. Both forms work well when degreasing is required during cleaning. This soap consists of vegetable oils. This is also the reason why it is not suitable for cleaning tent cloth!
A perfect breeding ground
Green soap leaves a greasy film on the cloth.
You can feel this in your hands. Your hands will still feel greasy after using green soap. Even after a long rinse with warm water! The vegetable oils in that greasy layer are a perfect breeding ground for algae, fungi and mosses. Fungi, algae and moss will therefore grow faster on the canvas.
Another disadvantage of that greasy layer... Dirt adheres faster to that layer. In other words: your tent may initially be clean, but the canvas will also get dirty more quickly!
The tent cloth is difficult to impregnate
The greasy layer is not only a breeding ground for algae and mosses. It also makes the cloth difficult to impregnate. And correct impregnation is so very important! Due to the layer, the impregnating agent will not adhere well to the tent cloth. This means that your cloth is not well protected, which shortens the life of the cloth considerably.