What Is the Best Way to Clean Mildew & Mold From Canvas?

Written by nick davis
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What Is the Best Way to Clean Mildew & Mold From Canvas?
It's easy to clean mildew and mould from your canvas furnishings. (Parasols image by Loic LE BRUSQ from Fotolia.com)

Canvas is not immune to mould and mildew, microscopic spores that grow in damp and warm environments, especially if the canvas is exposed to the elements. Made from cotton and highly absorbent, canvas is used in a variety of furnishings including chairs, covers and even clothing. You can remove mould and mildew from canvas, but don't use a cleaning solution that will damage the fabric. The best way to clean mildew and mould from canvas is with a non-bleach solution that will not eat through the canvas.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Soft-bristle brush
  • Latex gloves
  • 3 soft, white cotton cloths or rags
  • Cold water
  • Isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol
  • 2 buckets

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Remove any strings, hooks, fasteners, laces or other attached items from the canvas. Place them to the side.

  2. 2

    Scrub the canvas with a soft-bristle brush to remove any dirt from the material. Wear latex gloves to keep your hands from getting dirty.

  3. 3

    Wipe the canvas material with a soft, white cotton cloth or rag to dust off broken up debris.

  1. 1

    Mix ½ gallon of cold water and ½ gallon of isopropyl alcohol in a bucket, and stir the solution with a brush.

  2. 2

    Dip a soft, white cotton cloth or rag in the bucket of alcohol solution. Wring out excess solution. Do not use a coloured cloth or rag; the ink on the material will transfer to the canvas material.

  3. 3

    Scrub the canvas with the alcohol-soaked cloth or rag to break up and remove the mildew and mould. Continue scrubbing the canvas until the mildew and mould is gone.

  4. 4

    Fill a bucket with ½ gallon of cold water.

  5. 5

    Dip a soft, white cotton cloth or rag in the bucket of cold water. Wring out the excess water, and rinse the canvas material with the water-soaked cloth or rag.

  6. 6

    Let the canvas material air dry outside and/or in the sun. Reattach any strings, hooks, fasteners, laces or other attached items you removed from the canvas.

Tips and warnings

  • You can also use a ½ cup of Lysol or similar cleaner and 1 gallon of hot water to remove mildew and mould from canvas tents and awnings.
  • You can also use an alternative rinse mixture: Mix 1 cup of lemon juice, 1 cup of salt and 1 gallon of hot water in a bucket. Stir the mixture, and apply it to the canvas tent or awning using a soft, white cotton cloth or rag. Let the canvas material dry outside and/or in the sun.

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