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Commercial Tent Care, Cleaning & Storage

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Have you purchased your first commercial grade tent for your party rental business or event venue? Do you own many commercial grade event tents? Do you want to insure your investment and make sure your commercial grade tent is looking pristine for years to come? 

Keep reading this blog for some general information when it comes to caring for, cleaning and storing your commercial tent for your party rental business or event venue

Tents need more than just a good hosing off before you pack them away for the next event. Taking the time to properly handle, clean, dry, and store your tent fabric adds years to its life and keeps tent tops looking great.

Be aware of the following which could prematurely damage your tent: 

  • Extended use of the tent without cleaning
  • Accumulation of dirt on the vinyl surface which can cause growth of mold and mildew
  • Storage of vinyl while still wet
  • Using harsh detergents and cleaners that contain bleach or a solvent
  • Using highly abrasive cleaning tools such as wire brushes
  • Improper installation and dismantling such as on a concrete surface without the use of a ground cover which can cause dents, scratches or pinholes
  • Wind whip during installations when there is a breeze or high winds

Vinyl Repair

Always be prepared with patch kits while on the job in the case of small accidents. This is normal and it's much better to be prepared with a quick solution. For small holes or pin pricks, you will need a Pin Hole Patch. For larger tears or rips, you will need a Vinyl Repair Kit. For maximum effectiveness, a Hand Held Heat Sealer Kit can be used to seal a vinyl patch in place. The heat sealer is placed between the base fabric (tent top or wall) and the patch, pressed into place with the included silicone roller. 

Tent Cleaning & Maintenance

Regular cleaning is recommended. Most dirt can be removed with a generic tent cleaner. You can either use a cleaner followed by spraying down with a hose while the tent is installed or while the tent top is laid out. Other neutral soaps and cleaners, such as Ivory dish soap, can be combined with warm water and are also acceptable to use. Thorough rinsing and drying is required before storage. Isopropyl alcohol or mineral spirits are also helpful in removing gummy residue or wet paint. Be sure to remove any excess cleaning solutions with a clean, dry cloth.

Usually using a mild soap and warm water does the trick. Some stains are tougher than others and may require additional work or products. Here are some other recommended solutions to try: 

Issue: Leaf, Hard-water, Rust and Mineral Stains                                  
Suggested Product: CLR (Calcium, Lime, Rust Remover)

Issue: Pole Stains                               
Suggested Product: Liquid Silver Polish

Issue: Bird Dropping Stains
Suggested Product: Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Issue: Mildew Stains
Suggested Product: Chlorine Cleaner or Fresh Bleach
*Only use chlorine on areas of the tent that have mildew stains. Chlorine does not whiten tent fabric, and extended use of bleach on vinyl fabric will remove the plasticizers from vinyl, making the fabric stiff. Chlorine cleaners can also dry rot the polyester stitching on the seams after long-term exposure to UV light.

Issue: Sticky Residue, Duct Tape, Tar, Paint, Grease or Oil Stains
Suggested Product: Pure organic citrus solvent
*Do not use petroleum products as they can permanently yellow or pucker the vinyl.

Issue: Confetti or Crepe Paper Stains
Suggested Product: Tent rental companies in sunny states have found that if you put your tent up in the sun for a few days, the ultraviolet light from the sun can bleach out dye stains from paper products.


The majority of tent damages occur during setup, take down and transport. Treat your tents delicately!

Be sure your tents are completely dried before packing. This is a common theme you will read throughout when taking care of vinyl products. Once it is dried and folded, place it into a storage bag. A storage bag is essential to protect the tent from environmental damage. 

Never drag your tent tops from location to location. They are not heavy duty enough to withstand this type of abrasion. This will almost definitely cause pin holes, rips and tears. 

Fabrics should be stored on their sides, preferably off of the ground to prevent moisture and pest intrusion. When possible, try to find a storage area that is relatively free of large temperature swings, and doesn't collect moisture over time.

Now that you are well equipped with the information to properly care for your commercial grade tent, it is now time to put it into action! Tents are an investment for your business that continue to make you money and should be in your inventory for years to come. Proper care, cleaning and storage is an essential part of owning commercial tents for your party rental business or event venue.  

Previous article Pro Tips for Storing and Transporting Folding Tables and Chairs

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