Have you ever noticed how often canvas is used around the home, both indoors and out? The reason for this is rather simple, it is an extremely durable and relatively easy to clean material. As such, it is used every where from shoes, to awnings, to tents and oh so many other places. Due to this, cleaning canvas can be an extremely important skill to possess if you would like to save some money and prevent the growth of mildew and mold.
- Remove the canvas. Before you can actually begin cleaning canvas, you need to remove it from whatever frame it may be attached to. For example, if the canvas is on an awning, or a teepee, then you need to remove it from its frame and spread it out on the ground. If it is not on a frame, then begin spreading the canvas out on a clean patch of concrete or stone, such as your patio.
- Use a broom. Use a large deck broom, and begin to sweep off the canvas. This will help remove large bits of dirt and grime that may have been stuck on the canvas, and enable you to do a better job of cleaning. You may need to use something heavy to weigh down the canvas as you do this so that the canvas will not move around on you as you are brushing it.
- Create a cleaning agent. In a large pail or a clean 5 gallon bucket or trash can, begin making a cleaning agent. Ideally you should only need to use some liquid soap and a little bit of bleach. To really get rid of any potential mold or mildew, simply add about two or three cups of bleach to the mixture. Use enough liquid soap to enable a good amount of suds to build up. For spot cleaning, you can also create a similar mixture in a spray bottle, but filled half way with warm water, and the remaining amount filled with liquid soap.
- Scrub the canvas good. If possible use a decent quality car washing brush or a soft bristled deck broom, and begin scrubbing the canvas with the cleaning agent. Be sure to work up a really good lather and scrub every inch of that canvas good.
- Rinse off the canvas. After you have scrubbed the canvas, pull out your water hose and rinse everything off. The canvas should now be clean and stain free. However if it is not, then you may need to repeat the scrubbing process another time or two. For smaller stains that still persist use the spot cleaning method described in step three along with a medium bristled brush.
- Dry and seal. Allow the canvas to complete dry. Once it has dried completely, seal the canvas to help protect it against future exposure to the elements. Canvas sealer should be able to be purchased at most local department and sporting goods stores. Be sure that you completely understand the directions before you begin applying the sealer to the canvas.
- Replace the canvas. Once the canvas has been sealed you are finished with the cleaning task, except for one final step. That step is to replace the canvas on the frame it came from, or to store it away for future use.