How to remove mildew from canvas

Written by erica roth
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When canvas tents, chairs or shoes are left in warm, moist environments, they may become the breeding ground for moulds and mildew. Removing the mildew from canvas may be a challenging task, especially if you want to preserve the colour of your item. Removing mildew from canvas may take a few tries, but most of the time is it an attainable goal.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

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Things you need

  • Lint brush or toothbrush
  • Vacuum cleaner
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Towels
  • Washing machine
  • Laundry detergent

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  1. 1

    Remove as much of the mildew and other dirt as you can with a lint brush. An old, clean toothbrush may be useful for cleaning small items and crevices.

  2. 2

    Vacuum larger items such as canvas tents or awnings to get rid of mould and mildew that may be on the surface.

  3. 3

    Mix together equal parts of water and rubbing alcohol. This is the type of alcohol used for first aid purposes and is available at most pharmacies and superstores.

  4. 4

    Dampen the area of your canvas that is covered in mildew with the alcohol-water cleanser. Gently rub with a clean towel to remove the mildew.

  5. 5

    Rinse the canvas thoroughly with cold water and allow to air dry.

  6. 6

    Use a small amount of laundry detergent and water to clean your canvas by hand if the mildew is stubborn and remains after the alcohol treatments.

  7. 7

    Wash small items such as canvas sneakers in your machine to remove mildew. Allow to line dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Do not use bleach to remove mildew from canvas. Although you may be successful in removing the stains, you may also cause discolouration of the fabric.

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