How to Maintain and Take Care of Your Canvas Bell Tent – 8 Tips too Good to Pass Up - Bell Tent Sussex

How to Maintain and Take Care of Your Canvas Bell Tent – 8 Tips too Good to Pass Up

How to Maintain and Take Care of Your Canvas Bell Tent – 8 Tips too Good to Pass Up

How to take care of your bell tent

Canvas bell tents are gaining popularity and there’s a rapid buyout for it in the market. However – as time goes by – your tent loses its quality, look, and features that don’t do them justice. What does it look like? It looks rotten, discoloured, and we’re pretty sure there is mold growing.


How did this happen? One of the downsides of not caring properly for your canvas bell tent is the perchance growing mold that causes the tent to discolour and smell. These usually happen when it’s uncared for, left wet and dried inadequately, or stored in a not so poor-ventilated storage area.


What to know about canvas bell tents?

Canvas tents are beige, traditional cloth made from materials such as hemp and cotton. They’re more heavy-duty by nature, and are considered a better choice for sailing or camping. The fabric is thick, making it more durable when camping in adverse weather conditions, like rain or snow.

Here’s what you need to know about using canvas for bell tents:

Staying cool vs. retaining heat

 take care of your bell tent

Canvas bell tents stay cooler because their thickness serves as insulation from the heat. In works in both ways: it traps the coolness of the insides from escaping to the outside tent, while providing protection from the heat. During winter or rainy days, it also traps the heat from escaping the tent, and makes it cozier during your winter trips.


Canvas bell tent lifespan and longevity

Canvas bell tents are meant to live longer – from 60 weeks to a good 4 to 10 years if cared for properly. We’ve mentioned a couple of times that canvas tents are known for their durability and can withstand facing the elements better in the outdoors. However, the true test of a canvas’ longevity is through regular care and maintenance.


Sustainability and reparability

Canvas bell tents are made from fibers. Whether it’s crafted out of hemp or cotton, it will decompose back because it’s biodegradable. Bell tents that are left unmaintained will quickly rot within the first few years. However, canvas fabrics can be repaired while sustaining more patches and cleanups.


Overall, canvas bell tents are aesthetic and can be used for other purposes other than camping.  Perhaps you want it as a family relaxation space or décor for your child’s birthday party. How about using it for your next intimate anniversary celebration?


Tips on caring for your canvas bell tent

Most campers waste their time choosing the best bell tent to suit our glamping needs. There’s little afterthought of leaving the tent in good condition. If you put some care and attention, your bell tent will last for years.


There are a few practices you can do to keep it in good shape. Here are ways to improve your tent’s lifespan.

Weathering your new canvas bell tent

 weather your bell tent

Seasoning a canvas involves sprinkling some water to allow the fibers and stitches knit tighter together. Getting your canvas wet for the first time, 'seals' the holes, which makes the tent ‘waterproof.’  You need to put up your tent and allow gentle lashing of the hose and dry well under the sun, ever this or a good mornings dew.


Always check your canvas after each trip

Check your canvas bell tent for stains, dirt, grim, and damages. You can re-sew some small patches before cleaning your tent. Store your pegs, pins, and poles away from the canvas. Even if you were not able to use the tent for a year, take time to make a once-over to clean and wet your canvas.

Make sure it’s properly dry before storing it

Dampness and the humid air are often responsible for the growth of mildew and molds. Always make sure your canvas bell tent is dry before storing it away. If you’ve packed up when it’s raining, make sure to expose your canvas to the air and sun as soon as possible to make it dry. Don’t allow the rain to also worsen any stains your canvas has gotten to.

 keep your bell tent dry

Clean your canvas with solutions, soft brushes, and cottons

In case of stains, use a soft bristle brush. Brush or dab gently on the fabric with a good canvas stain remover and allow it to absorb for 20 minutes before rinsing the solution. Allow it to dry before applying a waterproof or canvas care agent.


Choose natural cleaners and waterproofing agents

After drying your canvas, apply natural protection solutions to combat environmental factors and prolonged storage. This protects the canvas bell tent from bacteria, dirt, and grime. Select an environment-friendly product that’s non-toxic.


Brush your tent zips

Caring for tent zips are often overlooked until users find it cracking or crispy to move. You can brush your zippers regularly, preferably with small amounts of olive oil. That can keep them running smoothly on your tent as it acts as a lubricant as well. Don’t force your zippers in and out! It can tear your tent.


Clean your poles and pegs

Don’t forget to wash any dirt and grime for your poles, too. When storing them, keep them separate from the tent on their own bags. This will help avoid any further damages and tears to the canvas.


Lost in DIY? Get a professional

We suggest getting a pro cleaner to maintain and clean your tent every two years. This allows experts to inspect your tent and care for it. Calling an expert cleaner helps get your bell tent at tip-top shape. Maybe you missed a spot or two? Or, perhaps you’re too busy to do it yourself?



Tent care starts after your camping trip. Take the tent and let it open to dry in the air before storing it away. We also suggest maintaining it long after your trip as well – importantly, when you’re not using it. Open your tent once a year, clean it, and let it dry to avoid damp, mildew from forming immediately. Tent care is extensive and difficult. But, doing so will extend the lifespan of your tent for many adventures to come.


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