How Come My Canvas Tarp Smells Funny?

As useful and versatile as canvas tarps are, you should know that they may have a strong odor. If you’re wondering what is making your tarp smell, here are answers to some common questions.

What’s making my canvas tarp smell?If you just bought a brand new water resistant tarp, it’s natural for there to be a strong odor. There’s nothing to worry about. It’s just the result of petroleum byproducts that are found in water repellent agents. We recommend using your canvas tarp outdoors where the odor will dissipate after it’s been exposed to outside air and the UV rays in sunlight. If you purchased your tarp a while back and stored it in a vinyl bag, dusty garage or humid attic, you may also discover a musty odor.

How should I store and care for my canvas tarp?Air and sunlight are also the best antidotes for odors that may develop during less than ideal storage. Other prevention tips include treating stains and removing dust before you store your tarp. You also want to make sure that it is completely dry so you don’t wind up with mildew.

Is there anything else I should know?Read the product specifications before using any cleaning product or method on your tarp that could damage its water resistant properties or color. Do not put your tarp in your washing machine as it could stain the tub. Clean it outdoors on the ground or on a floor or use a safe container. Unless the manufacturer’s instructions say otherwise, canvas tarps are durable so you may be able to use a brush to scrub any stains.

If you’re looking for the best prices and fast shipping for canvas tarps,contact us at Our friendly and knowledgeable staff are available 24/7 to answer all your questions or you can use our easy online ordering.