How Come My Canvas Tarp Smells Funny?

Posted by Canopies Tarps on Apr 4th 2019

So you've purchased a new canvas tarp, or you've taken it out of storage for the first time in months only to notice that it has a distinct odor that you weren't expecting. Maybe it's something else entirely, but either way you're left with a tarp that has a smell that's unpleasant. Fortunately there's some common causes - and easy solutions - to help you identify what's going on and know how to deal with it.

New Tarp Odors

If you've just purchased a new canvas or vinyl tarp, it might smell a little funny. This odor is nothing to worry about however - petroleum byproducts that are used to make tarps water-repellant often create a noticeable odor that might worry the first-time tarp owner. However, these odors are nothing to worry about. If you're concerned about the odor, an easy solution is to spread the tarp out in the sun and let it air out. This will quickly eliminate the new tarp smell.

Odors After Removing Tarp From Storage

If your tarp smells after being removed from storage, it may smell musty or dank. This is another completely normal smell and nothing to be worried about. Just like with a new tarp odor, the solution is to air it out in the sun to eliminate any residual odors.

Other Odors and Smells

If there's an odor on your tarp that isn't from it being new or being in storage, there may be a contaminant on the tarp that you'll need to clean to eliminate. Fortunately, this can be easily accomplished by scrubbing it with a dishcloth and a mixture of warm water and dish soap. Simply scrub the tarp and allow it to rest in the sun to fully dry and soon your tarp will be odor-free again.