Can You Clean a Pop-Up Canopy & How to Do It?

  • By: Ian Dale
  • Date: April 3, 2022
  • Time to read: 6 min.

When you purchase a new canopy tent, you want to make sure that it lasts. In order to do this, you need to make sure that you’re taking care of it properly, including making sure that you clean it properly.

In this article, we’ll discover 14 tips for taking proper care of your canopy, including how to properly wash it. Additionally, we’ll take a look at some frequently asked questions regarding cleaning a pop-up canopy.

14 Tips to Care for Pop-Up Canopy

Below, we will discover 14 tips for caring for your pop-up canopy. These tips are divided into subcategories: fabric care, frame care, severe weather tips, and accessories.

Fabric Care

In this section, we’ll discuss 4 tips related to caring for the fabric of your pop-up canopy.

Washing your canopy

In order to clean your canopy, you only need warm, soapy water. Dish soap works fine and will help to remove the heavy deposits. Make sure that you rinse well before you set up the canopy to dry.

The best way to rinse it well is to use a garden hose with a spray nozzle. Spray in vertical swipes from top to bottom until all residue is removed. Never use bleach, as it will cause discolouration.

Drying your canopy

In order to dry your canopy, you need to fully stretch it out. You need to keep it up off the ground, so use a clothesline, pickup truck bed, or sawhorses.

Trucks that have a black spray-in or fibreglass bedliner work well because they retain heat, which speeds up the process.

Make sure that it’s stretched out enough that air and light can hit as much of it as possible to reduce the chances of developing mould/mildew.

Folding your canopy

In order to make sure that the natural shape is retained, make sure to fold along existing creases and folds. Don’t bunch it up or shove it into storage bags.

The sharp, random folds caused by treating the canopy this way severely decrease the life expectancy of your canopy.

Repairing your canopy

Even with the best of care practices, you’re bound to experience snags and tears in your canopy. When you notice these, make sure to repair them as soon as possible. If you ignore them, they will only get worse.

Frame Care

Now that we’ve looked at how to care for the fabric of your canopy, let’s take a look at how to take care of the frame.

Cleaning canopy frame

The frame of your canopy should only be washed when it’s set up, with legs and sides extended.

Since these structures vary, you’ll want to check your owner’s manual for the best way to clean your frame. Make sure that you allow it to dry before folding and putting it away. Residual moisture can cause rust.

Keep frame like new

When cleaning the frame, make sure to check for any loose fasteners. Find out what size bolts, screws, and/or nuts are needed and get the proper tools.

As you clean the frame, make sure that fasteners are snug- but don’t overtighten.

Other options

Some manufacturers recommend spraying the frame with a silicone sealant to protect it. This will keep debris from sticking to the frame when you’re using it.

Be sure to check your owner’s manual for more information regarding the use of these products.

Severe Weather

Weather can be a threat to the life of your pop-up canopy. Here are a few tips regarding the weather and your canopy.


If there’s a threat of high winds, you should not use your canopy.

The way they are designed makes them prone to uplift. Therefore, if a canopy is not properly secured, it can blow over, potentially resulting in injury or property damage.


Never allow rain to pool on top of your canopy. This can cause the fabric to stretch and the extra weight can cause damage to bars and brackets.


This really should go without saying, but a pop-up canopy is not meant to be a shelter in severe weather. If there is lightning present, you should not leave the canopy set up.


Check your owner’s manual to find out if your canopy is rated for snow loads. If not, don’t let snow build up. Just like with pooled water, lots of snow can cause the fabric to stretch and cause damage to the frame.

Accessories for Your Canopy

Now that you have an understanding of the basics to care for your canopy, let’s take a look at some other things to keep in mind.

Transportation of your canopy

Canopy carrying bags are not universal. Typically, they come with one that is specific to that model. If not, you can buy one separate, either a soft shell or a hard shell.

However, make sure that you double-check that it’s the appropriate one for your model.

Making canopy sturdier

In order to strengthen your canopy, consider using gravity tubes or weight bags.

These are highly recommended in cases where you can’t use augers or tent stakes, such as when your canopy is set up on pavement or other hard surfaces.

Other things to consider

There are lots of canopy accessories available, such as side walls, pole covers, and stakes.

Frequently Asked Questions about Cleaning Pop-Up Canopy

As you can see, cleaning and caring for your pop-up canopy is fairly simple. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the most frequently asked questions regarding cleaning pop-up canopies.

Can a canopy cover be put in the washing machine?

Since a canopy cover is heavy and can knock the drum out of alignment, it is recommended that you don’t put it in the washer. Simply spray it down with a dish soap/water mixture and rinse it off with a water hose.

If necessary, scrub heavy deposits with a soft scrub brush.

How can I increase the life expectancy of my canopy?

In order to ensure that your canopy lasts as long as possible, keep the above tips in mind to care for your canopy. Clean the canopy properly. Clean the frame properly.

Repair any rips/tears promptly. Store properly. Don’t use in inclement weather. Transport canopy in a carrying case.

How can I get rid of sticky, greasy residue?

Create a solution of lemon juice, 1 part baking soda, and 2 parts warm water. Add to a spray bottle and spray on the residue. Allow to sit for 2 to 3 minutes and then use a soft sponge to scrub away the residue.

How can I remove green mould from the canvas?

Start by spraying the mould with distilled white vinegar to kill it. Then, allow to dry. Clean by scrubbing lightly with a mixture of salt, lemon, and hot water.

Avoid using detergents, soaps, or bleach, as these can damage the canvas and are difficult to rinse out.

What’s the best way to clean canvas?

A mild detergent mixed with water works well as a cleaning solution for canvas, with dish soap being the most common choice. You’ll want to use approximately 1 cup of water for every ½ teaspoon of detergent.

Can a gazebo be pressure washed?

You definitely do not want to use a pressure washer on a gazebo or pop-up canopy. The high power of the pressure washer can significantly shorten the life span of your structure.

How do I remove algae from my canopy?

Combine 6 parts water with 1 part peroxide in a spray bottle. Spray the canopy with the solution and allow to sit for 30 minutes. Then, spray water on fabric to wash away the grime.

This process may need to be repeated in order to completely clean it.

Which is best for killing mould: vinegar or bleach?

When you’re trying to kill mould, vinegar is a better choice than bleach. In most cases, when you use bleach, it will leave mould spores behind.

Plus, bleach can actually cause damage to the fibres of your canopy, which will shorten its lifespan.


A canopy can be a rather large investment. Therefore, if you want to protect your investment, it’s necessary that you take the time and effort to properly care for it.

Cleaning your canopy is just one of the ways to do this. As you can see, this is an easy thing to do- it just takes time.

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