Bubble TroubleSeptember 30, 2014 00:00
Did you ever pitch your canvas SoulPad tent (or any canvas tent) only to find a weird spatter pattern or an eliptical splodge to appear on the canvas (especially when it rains, and sometimes even when it's dry), and for said pattern/splodge to let in water at times? If yes, then this article is for you.
It's likely that your SoulPad has Bubble Trouble. This is a problem created when bubble mixture (a fairly strong detergent) comes into contact with tent canvas. It's also an issue for other tent materials too. The mixture strips the canvas of any treatments and causes it to leak. Washing up liquid discarded into the ground will cause the same problems.
It's difficult to remove and repeated treatments with a specific tent and awning cleaner followed by repeated applications of a waterproofing agent are required. Repeated applications may be be necessary and as there are so many different strengths of detergent, we can't know how many times the process must be repeated until it is successful and the problem will cease.
Of course, this is a difficult one to manage. Noone wants to be the campsite party pooper, policing their tent and reasoning with every child armed with bubble liquid. Or stopping other campers from discarding their washing up water onto the ground. After all, it's likely they bought the bubble mixture or washing up liquid from the campsite shop anyway!
Unfortunately the best way to combat it is by prevention. So a quiet, friendly word suggesting they blow their bubbles down wind of all tents should suffice.
As well as bubble mixture and other detergents you should also keep your canvas away from;
- Insect repellents
- Aerosol deodorants
- Oil-based lubricants
and any other sprays & liquids that cause the waterproofing to break down.