Is Your Tent Festival Ready? How to Clean & Maintain Your Canopy Tent

Is Your Tent Festival Ready? How to Clean & Maintain Your Canopy Tent

Event season is already here. If you’re not prepped, now is the time.

Yes, we know you’re busy preparing that beach body. But don’t forget — it’s time to get your gear ready. 

A foundational piece of summer gear, whether you’re hosting a booth for your brewery at a festival or a party in your backyard, is a sturdy canopy tent. 

Now, canopy tents can live long and healthy lives, but you need to take care of them. In that spirit, let’s talk about canopy tent maintenance. What kind of shape is yours in? When was it last cleaned? Can you get it sharpened up and ready for summer? 

Design Your Own Canopy Tent banner.

You’ll be surprised what a little TLC can do. Seasonal and regular canopy tent maintenance not only extends the lifespan of your tent but also enhances its functionality and appearance. Both of these help maximize the potential of your canopy tent in commercial settings.

Here, we break down how to clean, maintain, and repair your tent and enjoy a tent-tastic summer. (Sorry… please keep reading…)


Start with an Inspection

First things first, how is your tent looking? Set it up and give it a thorough inspection, taking time to review every part of the fabric and the frame.

Work slowly and methodically. You’ll be surprised what can happen when something is in storage.


Look for Rips or Tears and Check the Overall Structure

Check for any signs or marks of natural wear. Whether rips, tears, frayed seams, or loose ends, these imperfections — no matter how big or small — are a recipe for disaster. You should take care of these problems as soon as you recognize them because if you don’t they’ll only get worse.

Next, look at the frame. Does it open and collapse smoothly? Does it get stuck? Are there any rusted spots or achy joints? Is there a kink in one of the legs? If so, take notice.  


Don’t Forget Mold! (Or, Ew, Bugs!)

Hopefully, you methodically put your canopy tent together and stored it properly at the end of the last season. If so, good on you. But if you were a little lazy and kinda shoved it into the shed or wherever it fits, that’s OK too. We won’t tell. You just might have a little more annoying stuff to deal with. 

Mold is a major culprit for canopy tent maintenance, especially in wet or humid environments such as basements or garages/sheds in muggy environments. Check corners of the interior (and, well, the entire thing) for any indication of mold. This stuff is not only disgusting, but it’s structural rot. Mold will absolutely destroy your canopy tent. 

And don’t be too surprised if you encounter bugs or other little critters. Tents are just that — tents. They provide shelter of all sorts, and in the off-season, the folds of the fabric can become a safe haven for insects or other things you don’t want.


White canopy tent in lush garden with picnic table underneath.


Tips to Maintain Your Custom Canopy Tent 

Now that you know what is wrong, it’s time to prepare for proper canopy tent maintenance. After all, you put a lot into designing your canopy tent. You gotta take care of it!

Let’s dig into the step-by-step process for the best canopy tent maintenance.


Get Your Materials Ready

Gather cleaning supplies, replacement parts, and whatever else might be needed to prepare it to shine in the summer sun. 

Here’s a handy checklist for what you will need:

  • A tarp or other sort of footprint for laying out your canopy tent (don’t use your driveway or concrete, as that might damage the tent)
  • Water
  • Gentle cleaning solution, whether it’s a store-bought or your own creation with white vinegar or a mild detergent (don’t use bleach)
  • A bucket
  • Non-abrasive brushes or cloths
  • Non-abrasive drying towels
  • Some WD-40 or other lubricant (if your canopy frame is feeling stiff) 
  • A positive attitude (yeah, we know that cleaning sucks)


Clean the Canopy

Now here’s the fun part. Before you do anything, please wash your hands to remove any dirt or oils, and let’s get down and dirty (or clean, depending on how you look at it).

First, spread your canopy out on your footprint. As we stated earlier, don’t do this on a concrete surface, as the rough texture could potentially rip or tear the tent. 

Next, remove any loose debris, such as loose dirt or leaves from the previous season. Yeah, you should’ve done that before you put it away for the winter, but that’s OK. Take care of it now. 

Then, put your gentle cleaning solution together in a bucket, and using a non-abrasive brush or cloth, spot-clean the canopy top by gently wiping or scrubbing any problem areas. This is anything visible, such as stains, dirt, debris, or other gunk that won’t easily wipe away. 

Scrub firmly, but not too hard. You don’t want to scratch or damage the tent! If you see your design coming off, you’re scrubbing too hard! 

During this cleaning process, watch for any wear and tear to the tent you may have missed during the inspection. 


Clean the Frame

You wash your legs when you shower, don’t you? If not, we’re not going to judge you — but we do recommend you do that… 

Anyway, the same concept applies to canopy tent maintenance. The frame of your canopy tent deserves to be taken care of, as well. Use a cloth damped with your cleaning solution to wipe away dirt and dust from the frame. Cleaning the dirt out of those collapsible legs will prevent buildup over time and go a long way toward extending your tent’s lifespan. 

If your inspection revealed any achy joints or rust spots, spray some WD-40 in there to make those joints feel like they’re teenagers again. Stomp frames include a warranty, so you shouldn’t have any such issues within the guaranteed time frame. But, it might come in handy once your tent has passed the warranty date.

Combined with cleaning the canopy, this will make your canopy tent look like new.


Blue canopy tent in parking lot with people underneath.


Hang It Out to Dry

You just cleaned a winter’s worth of gunk off your tent. Don’t make the mistake of not letting the tent dry properly. This is an essential step for canopy tent maintenance. 

Hang your canopy and frame in a well-ventilated area, preferably under the warm sun. If it’s a crummy day outside, use a garage or another covered area with plenty of fresh air. Don’t worry about leaving your cover outside until completely dry. Stomp’s custom canopy tents are UV-resistant and waterproof! 

Rushing the drying process is basically opening your front door and inviting mold or musty odors to make themselves at home. No thanks!


Repair Holes or Snags

Wear and tear happens. We’re extremely proud of the excellent quality of Stomp’s canopy tents. But even the best quality stuff can get snagged or break down over the years. The key is catching them when they happen or shortly after. 

For small holes or tags, it’s possible to mend them with needle and thread (and a dash of that earlier discussed positive attitude). Thread the needle with a sturdy thread and carefully sew the hole.

Consider canopy repair tape when it comes to larger holes or damage (say, in the unlikely scenario that a stray meteorite crashed through your canopy). In a pinch, duct tape works, though you should seek a permanent solution or even a new cover as soon as possible. 


Testing New Displays 

New year, new you, right? That’s the theme of summer, anyway. Whether you’re using your tent for your niece’s birthday party or marketing at an event, it’s always fun to spice things up a bit. You don’t have to stop at the basic canopy tent, either. You can always upgrade your booth with customized walls and flags

After you clean up your canopy tent, look at it with fresh eyes. Maybe consider some changes. Add vibrant banners, colorful lights, or quirky decorations to your tent that reflect your or your business’s personality. That’s not only a way to stand out from the competition (if that’s what you're using your tent for) — but it’s just fun, you know? 


Whole Foods indoor canopy tent booth.


Keep Your Tents in Tip-Top Shape with Stomp

They say summer bodies are made in the winter. The same is true when it comes to your summer equipment. 

Canopy tent maintenance might feel like a hassle right now, but taking some time for incremental care is looking out for your future self. You don’t wanna get caught with a dirty tent on the morning of a big event in July. 

Whether you’re in the market for a new, durable tent or you’re looking to make your first custom canopy tent, Stomp has you covered. Our nifty design tool makes creating your tent a breeze, and if you ever need help, our supportive design team is just a click away. 


Design Your Own Canopy Tent banner.

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  • Nashira Edmiston