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I have often been ask as to the best way of cleaning marquees. There is no simple answer and it does depend on the material your marquee is made of.

Canvas Marquee Cleaning

The simple answer is you can't clean canvas marquees! Not without removing the waterproofing in the fabric.

So my advice is to take steps to minimise the dirt. Always drop your marquee on a drop sheet (old bit of once used carpet, tarp etc) to avoid getting any dirt on it. Never walk over it if it is on the ground (you may well get a muddy footprints on the underside of the marquee).

If your marquee has got mud on it you can dry the marquee then try brushing off the soil with a hard brush. If this does not work use a very diluted detergent. Almost certainly as you are removing the dirt you are going to remove some of the waterproofing.

To reproof the canvas you will need to use a silicone based water proofing product for example Grangers Fabsil.


PVC Marquee Cleaning

PVC can be cleaned much more aggressively, however if you don't wash your marquee for a long time the dirt will become ingrained and will not clean. To prevent this some manufactuers lacquer the PVC so the dirt comes off much more easily.

As with canvas marquees the best advice is not to get your marquee dirty. If your marquee does get dirty the best advice is to clean it when you have put the marquee up. Small amounts of dirt can be very easily washed off with soapy water. I used to carry with me a garden spray, dish cloths and a squeegee. This can remove small patches of mud from the walls however will prove impossible to clean larger areas efficiently.

Different marquee companies have different techniques to cleaning their marquees.

How to clean marquees a pictorial guide!

Most companies use a Jet Wash. This can provide a good clean however takes a long time and does not remove ingrained dirt and requires a pad such as board flooring. This allows the water to drain away and will be clear from any stone chips (if you walk over a marquee with sharp stones underneath you will perforate your marquee).

If you have stubborn dirt on your marquee a deck scrubber is ideal for more intensive cleaning.

If you have a larger ingrained area to clean, then a floor scrubber is much quicker. However great care should be used as it's not easy to control a scrubber whilst on a slippery surface and water and electricity don't mix. Avoid any contact with stitching as it will be destroyed very quickly.

To make this quicker and more efficient a scrubber dryer (as used by shopping centres to clean floors) is excellent. And as the dirty water is sucked up by the machine it can be done indoors and when you have finished the marquee is almost dry.

There are several dedicated machines for washing marquees. These are much quicker and easier than washing by hand, however they come with a very hefty price tag. They also only really work on non ingrained dirt so in my experience don't work well with a once a year clean. They work best by cleaning marquees as they come off hire so the dirt never gets ingrained.

Marquee companies offer a cleaning service:-

Crocker Brothers The Marquee Cleaning Company
(if you own a company who cleans marquees just link to my web site, give me a ring and I will link back to your web site)

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