Sticky Tents

Submitted: Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 10:46
ThreadID: 20632 Views:3816 Replies:8 FollowUps:6
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Hi everyone,

Does anyone know how to remove the sticky stuff that my tent is covered in? We have camped under gum trees a few times and now the tent is getting to an unusable state. Its mostly the bottom / ground sheet that's the worst. I have tried washing it with water and scrubbing and also using light detergent as I don't want it to loose its waterproof qualities but that hasn't worked. It still waterproof now and was given a good work out on Saturday night here in NSW. Any ideas?

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Reply By: Member - Banjo (SA) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 13:08

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 13:08
Eucalyptus oil (maybe mineral turps) would probably do the trick on the vinyl, but it seems warm water is the only thing that we should ever use on canvas (IE - the sticky stuff might be there to stay). As well as buggering up the waterproofing qualities, agents such as detergent will discolour the canvas to a noticeable extent - you end up with visible, pale patches.
AnswerID: 99309

Reply By: Member - Camper (SA) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:04

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:04
With due regard to the above warnings about de-waterproofing the tent material, try a product called DE-Solv-it, available from supermarkets in a 100ml bottle.
Lable makes some impressive claims and it is good for tar & pine removal from duco.
Warns against use on leather, suede and silk. Silk tent? Now there's an innovation waiting to happen!
AnswerID: 99315

Follow Up By: Alan S (NSW) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:59

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:59
Thanks for that, I'll have a look for it and perhaps choose a not critical area for experimentation...
FollowupID: 357651

Follow Up By: Member - Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:39

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 17:39
I'd also recommend Camper's suggestion.

Have used De-Solv-it for years.
Good for removing the sticky residue left behind after peeling labels, etc.
off anything from plastic & bottles, to computer disks.

I'm diagonally parked in a parallel Universe!

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FollowupID: 357840

Reply By: Moose - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:09

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:09
Alan - your post is confusing. What is the sticky stuff - sap? What is the bottom of the tent made of? If the ground sheet is sticky why not replace it? If you were camped under trees how come the worst bit is the bottom and not the above ground bit of the tent? I think you'll need to elaborate before you can get useful info from this forum.
AnswerID: 99317

Follow Up By: Alan S (NSW) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:57

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 14:57
Sorry about that, they tent is Nylon (rip-stop) and the ground sheet is part of the entire structure and can't be separated.
Not sure why the bottom of the tent came off worse, might be because all the sap was in the soil? I've no idea. But the dome part is not as bad as the bottom.
Its an expedition tent that wasn't cheap so that's why I don't want to throw it away.
Some one out there must know what I am talking about and experienced similar????
FollowupID: 357650

Follow Up By: Moose - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 15:07

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 15:07
Me again Alan
As the tent is nylon you don't need to worry about ruining the waterproofing as you would if it were made of canvas. If the sticky bits are individual blobs try putting ice cubes on them and when they are hard they should just sort of flake off. (Or stuff it in the freezer for a while if it isn't too big!) Otherwise with nylon being petroleum based I imagine that something like kero or petrol may well work without damaging the material.
FollowupID: 357652

Follow Up By: Alan S (NSW) - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 15:26

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 15:26
That's what's so confusing, its not blobs but tacky all over. I'll give a few of your ideas a try, thanks.
FollowupID: 357654

Follow Up By: MrBitchi - Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 15:45

Tuesday, Feb 22, 2005 at 15:45
Nylon? Just give the whole thing a bloody good wash with a strong detergent (washing up liquid is good). Ther's no way detergent will effect the waterproofing capability of nylon. Is even OK on canvas tents. Wash my camper this way all the time and it's tight a fishes .....hole.

As far as using a petrochemical like kero or petrol is concerned, DONT DO IT! You'll probably melt the nylon.

Cheers, John.
FollowupID: 357816

Reply By: Charlie - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 18:03

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 18:03
This might sound stupid but you could try using sticky tape to grab the gum of the tent and I am serious about this.
Regards Charlie
AnswerID: 99347

Reply By: Peter Guy - Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 18:57

Monday, Feb 21, 2005 at 18:57
Gum trees don't usually drop sap. Pine trees are the usual cause of sap droppings which makes the affected area of the canvas go clear where it lands. The canvas still stays water proof but you can't change the state of the canvas once it has happened.
AnswerID: 99354

Reply By: Rust bucket - Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 01:15

Friday, Feb 25, 2005 at 01:15
Alan, if you can't actually remove this "sticky stuff" just put talcum powder all over the tent. No it's not a joke. It will not effect the polyurethane coating on the underside of the fly and the inside of the floor which provides the waterproofing. The talc may need to be reaplied after heavy rain but in the meantime the tent will be infinitely easier to handle.
AnswerID: 100043

Reply By: Boo - Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 22:36

Monday, Feb 28, 2005 at 22:36
Heh .... I just had the missfortune of having to clean a very large canvas tent which due to my own stupidity I left too long to put back up after it getting wet a week ago... the mould and mildew, twas a flamin mess.... after tryin canvas cleaners and just about every other flamin spay about the wife discovered a product called "Selleys Mould Killer" available in Woollies and Coles for about $3.50 a bottle, it was the only thing that even looked like cleaning the canvas and when it was hosed off 1\2 hour later it also removed any sap build up and other marks the canvas had. Its come up like a new tentwhich is great after 14 years of grime build up. Yours being a different material you may want to test a patch first but if it works for you as it did for us your home and hosed.
Good luck... let me know how ya go...
AnswerID: 100603

Reply By: Alan S (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 09:35

Tuesday, Mar 08, 2005 at 09:35

Last weekend when grocery shopping I went looking for De-Solv-it or Selleys Mould Killer and as a last resort, talcum powder. I couldn't find either of the solvents but I needed some more WD40 and the new cans had advertising saying "removes sap". Anyway, I gave a few areas a wipe with it last night and then washed it clean with soapy water and hey presto, most of its gone. I'll test it later to make sure the water proofing properties haven't changed but it looks fine,

Thanks to all who contributed, much appreciated,
AnswerID: 101551

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