Maintaining Canvas & Cotton Bell Tents

How to maintain and look after bell tents to keep them in good condition

Cleaning of Bell Tents

Every so often you should do a deep clean of your bell tent to maintain waterproof durability of the material and to prevent mould or damp forming. We recommend this is done once every two years especially if you use your tent regularly. This can be performed more often if your tent begins to leak or show signs of dirt that need removing.

Read our canvas and cotton bell tent cleaning guide for more information

Bell Tent Maintenance for Canvas Tents

Bell Tent Maintenance

To maintain your bell tent it’s not always necessary to give your tent a full clean after every trip, in fact in the case of a canvas bell tent it’s best to avoid putting cleaning chemicals on it as much as possible. Constant cleaning may have a negative impact on the waterproofing of the tent. But it’s really important that you get in a good maintenance regime with your tent to protect it from damage and have it ready for your next trip.


Pack Away

If you have the time, energy, and dry enough weather, you may be able to tidy your tent away at the campsite, ready for next time. If it’s raining or you pack up in a hurry, you’ll need to put the tent up again when you get home to follow the next steps.


The most important thing is to make sure your tent is dry before packing it away.
If it isn’t dry at the campsite when packing away get it back out at home, allow it enough time to fully dry. Either set it up in the garden when it’s sunny or inside hanging up in a warm room. If it is at all wet or damp it becomes the perfect environment for mould and mildew, which could ruin your tent or at the very least make it smell really bad. Once mould takes hold on the material, it’s a nightmare to get rid of. Remember the tent could be damp even if it hasn’t rained during your trip, you need to give time for morning dew to dry too.


Open all the door and window flaps to allow your tent to air out. Nobody wants to smell the remnants of the last trip during the next adventure.


Sweep out any mud, dirt, or leaves that have found their way into the tent. If it’s been wet and muddy you may need to wipe the ground sheet floor with a damp cloth to clean it. Avoid using any chemicals for this as even washing up liquid can remove the waterproof protection on canvas if it comes into contact.


Brush off any fallen leaves from the outsides of the tent and check for any damage or badly stained patches that need further attention. If there are really bad stains a full clean might be needed. If there are any rips or tears patches can be bought for these or you can find an awning and tent repair company.

Final Pack

Tie the guy ropes up neatly so they don’t get tangled and fold the tent away as neatly as you can in the tent bag. Your tent is now ready to go on it’s next adventure and will stay warm and dry in it’s bag preventing any damage.

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