How to Clean a PVC Marquee

May 20, 2020
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How to Clean a PVC Marquee
Written by Eryn B

Whether you use your PVC marquee every weekend or once a month, maybe you use it indoors or outdoors, it will still require some maintenance and cleaning to keep it in tip top condition. 

While your side walls are busy protecting you from the elements, they often get dragged in the dirt and mud. It is mostly unavoidable as they are pegged into the ground, or weighted down with bags. The good news is, dirt can easily be removed from the material using: warm water, dish washing liquid/soap, and a soft brush to sweep off any surface dirt.

Cleaning Dirt and Dust

There are a number of ways you can clean PVC marquee walls and roof. Firstly, lay them onto a clean flat surface, or alternatively, you can hang them on a clothesline if that is easier. Using a bucket of water or a hose, water down the areas that require cleaning. 

Prepare the cleaning solution

For more vigorous cleaning, mix some soap or dish washing liquid into a bucket of warm water to create “soapy water”.

Soapy Water and Bucket
Warm, soapy water is the ideal solution for cleaning your marquee

Gently scrub the surface

Using a soft brush or cloth, pour a small amount onto the dirty area and scrub the material clean. You may need to repeat this process a few times; ensure you rinse out any excess dirty water from the brush or cloth before the next clean.

DO NOT use a high pressure hose on these materials, as it may cause the PVC’s protective layers to separate.

Dry the material thoroughly

Once you have finished cleaning the material, you need to hang it up and allow it to dry completely. Open it up as much as possible to let it air out and dry. Do not fold it away wet under any circumstances, as this could allow for mould to develop. Mould can have a serious effect on your health. 

Cleaning Mould

Mould poses the largest potential problem to your marquee fabric. Mould on the material typically occurs when the canopy top/walls have been packed away while still wet or damp. Thankfully, there are easy and safe ways to get rid of mould should you come across it.

Find a mould killing solution

There are many products available for the effective removal of surface mold on the polyester material. 

Any local hardware store (e.g. Bunnings or Mitre 10), will have a range of mould killer solutions that will do the job. Before purchasing anything, make sure you read the label to make sure it is the right product for your use. In the past, our clients have successfully combated mould used the following products:

Mould remover products
Concrobium Mould Cleaner (left) and 30 Seconds Mould Off (right)

Prepare the solution

Read the instructions on the product in great detail before use, as some products will use different agents that can have different effects. We strongly recommend using a diluted formula and doing a patch test first to ensure the product does not negatively impact the PVC in any way . We are more than happy to provide you with a material sample, should you require it for testing first.

Allow the material to dry

Once you have finished removing the mould and cleaning the material, it is imperative that you hang it up and allow it to dry thoroughly, otherwise you risk the mould returning. For the quickest results, open up the roof all the way to let it air out and dry. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use bleach to clean my PVC marquee?

Do not use bleach to clean your PVC marquee top and walls, as it can affect the quality of the fabric.

Can I use a high pressure hose to clean?

No. Using a high pressure hose on PVC may cause it to delaminate (separates the fabric’s protective layer). A standard garden tap hose will be fine to use.

The cleaning method we recommend using is: dishwashing liquid (or soap), warm water, and a soft brush/cloth.

Can I machine wash the fabric?

Unfortunately no​. 100% PVC is quite a weighty fabric, and could potentially damage your washing machine. You could also risk separating the protective layer on the fabric.

Is it possible to damage the fabric while cleaning?

As long as you use non-abrasive cleaning equipment, and patch test any new cleaning product, you should safely be able to avoid any damage.

Once you have finished cleaning your marquee, you need to make sure it has dried completely before you pack it away. If you don’t, mould can occur. 

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