Weather spots in your tent cloth? Get rid of weather stains with these handy tips
You've been looking forward to the start of the camping season all winter and the time has finally come: your first camping trip of the year is in sight. You take your tent out of the basement and to your great surprise you see weather spots on your tent canvas.
Weather spots are a type of fungus. Therefore, you need to treat these stains properly. In this blog we explain how to treat mold spots in the right way, which cleaning products you should absolutely not use and how you can prevent weather spots.
What are weather spots?
Weather spots are dark dots or spots. They can form on the canvas if the canvas has been damp for a long time. Weather spots are a type of fungus and the black spots are not washable. However, you must treat these stains, otherwise the fungus can cause serious damage to the tent canvas.
There are different names for weather spots. They are also known as weather spots or spurs. 'The weather is in the canvas' is even a well-known saying.
Weather spots in tent cloth are becoming more common; in the past, tent cloths were treated with chemical agents that are now prohibited. The chemical agents prevented the fungus from attaching properly to the tent cloth. That is why it is extremely important for new tents to impregnate the fabric. We will tell you more about this later.
Weather spots can arise on every tent cloth
It is a misconception that only cotton canvas is prone to weather stains. Weather stains can also occur on a tent canvas made of synthetic material. It is true that a cotton tent cloth is generally more vulnerable than a synthetic tent cloth.
Weather stains weaken a synthetic tent cloth less quickly than a cotton tent cloth. In both cases the cloth is affected, but on the synthetic tent cloth the coating is 'eaten' by weather stains and on a cotton tent cloth the fiber is directly affected.
How do weather spots arise?
Weather spots can be prevented – so it is important that you know how ghosts can develop. Weather spots are a type of fungus and the spores thrive best in dark and moist conditions. In other words: a combination of a damp and dark environment is guaranteed to cause problems.
The tent is not packed dry enough
This is one of the main causes of spocht: the tent was not completely dry when you packed it.
Suppose it rained briefly on the last day of the camping holiday, making the tent canvas a bit clammy. You may think it can't hurt, so you break down the tent and pack it neatly. The camping season is over and you store the tent in the shed or shed. In this case, the tent cloth is damp and the tent is stored in a dark room. These are ideal conditions for the fungus.
The tent has been stored in a place that is too humid
Most people use a tent a few times a year, often only in the spring or summer. If you are not going to use the tent, store it in a safe place where the tent is not in the way. And usually that is the shed or the cellar: exactly the places in and around the house where it can be damp.
A shed is generally less well insulated than your home and a basement can suffer from rising damp. These influences can lead to weather spots in your tent.
The tent has been exposed to rain for a long time
It is also called a Dutch summer: a summer with more rain than sunshine. But a little rain does not deter you as a seasoned camper. You will probably make it a fantastic holiday, but what you should keep in mind is the following.
When you expose the tent to rain for a long time, the fibers absorb themselves with water. The tent may feel dry when packed, but the fibers may still contain moisture. If you then pack and store the tent, weather stains may form.
Cooking in the tent
Most campers prefer to cook outside, but sometimes you can't avoid it and you have to cook in the tent. The chance of weather spots increases significantly if you cook in your tent. Steam, vapors and grease easily penetrate the tent canvas. If you do have to cook in the tent, it is important that you do not stand too close to the tent canvas. Do stains appear? Then you have to clean your tent cloth.
Cooking in the tent is risky for the same reason as the points above: by creating a humid environment, you increase the chance of mold developing.
Cleaning tent cloth and treating weather spots
Weather spots should always be treated. Unfortunately, the black spots or dots are not washable, but if you don't treat the weather spots, the fabric can be seriously damaged.
Follow these steps to clean your tent canvas:
- Step 1: clean the tent canvas with the Sprayhood & tent shampoo. This will immediately remove most of the dirt.
- Step 2: Then clean the tent cloth with Power Cleaner. This removes all deeply ingrained stains and heavy soiling.
- Step 3: Then protect the tent cloth with a strong impregnating agent such as Sprayhood & tent protector or Canvas and Cotton protector. The impregnating agent protects the fabric against mold and algae.
Have you cleaned your tent with a tent cleaner? Always impregnate the cloth after cleaning. Every cleaning agent affects the impregnation of a tent cloth, so also special tent cleaners. Impregnate the tent after every cleaning, so that the cloth is well protected again.
Removing the tent cloth again: the difference between cotton cloth and synthetic cloth
A cotton cloth is fragile. If there are weather spots in a cotton canvas, it is difficult to determine how badly the fungus has affected the canvas. Cleaning a cotton tent is a time consuming job and sometimes you only realize it is too late during cleaning. If the cotton has been damaged through and through, the cloth can no longer be saved.
Do you want to avoid having to spend hours cleaning only to find out that the cloth can no longer be saved? Then you can do the following. Do you see a large dark spot the size of a coin? For example, pierce the back of a teaspoon in the center of the weather spot. Gently apply pressure to the center of the spot. If the cloth has become thin, poke right through it.
This is not the case with a synthetic tent canvas. As mentioned, if there are weather spots in a synthetic cloth, the coating is mainly affected.
Avoid weathering: impregnate the tent cloth
It's a cliché, but even when it comes to weather spots, prevention is better than cure. Especially because the black spots are not washable. But how can you prevent weather spots?
Weather spots can be prevented by properly impregnating the tent cloth. This gives the fungus less chance to adhere to the tent cloth. Our advice: impregnate the tent at least once a year. It does not matter whether or not you have cleaned the tent.
Have you bought a new tent? Even then you must impregnate the cloth. This prevents dirt and mold from adhering to your new tent cloth.
At Ultramar, we often make the comparison with buying shoes: when you buy new shoes, you can have them sprayed with a spray at the checkout. This spray penetrates the fibers and ensures that dirt can adhere less well to your new shoes. This is how it works with a tent canvas.
You should absolutely not do this to remove weather spots!
Do not use chlorine to remove weather stains
If there are weather spots in the tent canvas, people often tend to use aggressive cleaning agents. We never recommend this. For example, chlorine affects the coating and waterproofing of your tent.
In addition, this can cause discoloration in your tent. There is almost always a residual chlorine in the tent cloth. If the sun shines on the residual chlorine, it has a strong effect on the cloth.
Do not use vinegar to remove weather spots
Vinegar and cleaning vinegar work well for all kinds of jobs around the house. However, you should not try to remove weather stains with vinegar. The high acidity is very bad for the canvas. It affects the impregnating agent, the coating and the window film.
Tips for preventing weather stains in the tent canvas
- Impregnate the tent every year
- Let the tent dry before putting it away
- Pack the tent loosely so it can still breathe
- Store the tent in a dry place
Veel regen? Kans op weervlekken!