Re water proofing a tent

I recently bought a tarptent for backpacking, i love it, but i really do not want to take my backpacking tent with me when i am doing my canoe or car camping, so i was going to re waterproof my eureka. eureka recommends sooking it in woolite or another detergnent to remove the existing waterproofing and then to recoat it with aquaseal…anybody try this before? just wondering if it was worth my time. if you all are looking for a lightweight tent i highly recomend anything form henry - check out his tents at thanks Rick

I think that washing it in woolite and
soaking it in aquaseal sounds a bit off. Unless they are referring to the Urethane backing on the inside of the tent? Is that completely gone too?

Usually just making sure it is clean and then re-applying dwr is the best way to extend life. I would recommend the aerosol tektron dwr as the best thing I’ve used to get my gear waterproofed after continued use. I’ve been using it on my Marmot Dryclime and my mountain hardwear stuff since last year when I started bike commuting which gets your gear both dirty and well used in a hurry.

Best of luck.

they recomend brushing on the aquaseal
soaking it in woolite will remove the remainder of the waterproofing although it may take more than one try. then after it drys out you brush on the aquaseal… i tried respraying it. did not work at all then i read about how the material that the tent is made from makes a real big difference in which waterproofer you should us on the tent.

also you should brush

– Last Updated: Apr-18-07 3:00 PM EST –

the aquaseal on the opposite side that the orginal waterproofing was applied...the tent is over ten years old and has seen alot of use, the waterproofing pretty much has given out. but overall the tent is in good shape, so i would hate to buy another one.. i just had horrible luck with the spray can stuff,. did not work at all

here is the info from website
How to Re-Waterproof Your Tent


Before you can apply new waterproofing you’ll need to remove the existing coating. Place your tent into a large vessel - bathtub-washtub-vat. The tent may need to soak a few hours to get the coating all off - use a detergent such as WOOLITE® although any household detergent should do the job. You can use a front loading type washing machine like you find at coin operated Laundromats; but do not use an agitator type as it can damage your tent (rip seams etc.) [Since it may take several applications to get the entire waterproofing chemical off, it probably isn’t practical to use a washer at a Laundromat]. Once the old coating is off, the tent will need to be well rinsed and set up to dry.


There are a number of products on the market today that were developed specifically to recoat synthetic or man made fabrics such as nylon, dacron, & polyester. Most are water-based and easy to use. Some are brush-on or paint-on products and others are sprays. It’s a good idea to read the labels on the individual products to see what they recommend. The brush-on/paint-on ones require more planning as the drying time is quite lengthy.

Brush or Paint-on

¢ Apply the new coating to the outside of the fabric (the original was on the inside) in a well-ventilated area. Your tent should not be set up when applying the coating as the substance is wet and will run - it needs to be done on a flat surface. Use a medium bristle brush or a soft roller to evenly spread the coating so there are no runs or puddles. Each area will need approximately 72 hours of drying time at 70 degrees before folding fabric.

¢ Keep the coating container tightly capped when not in use; typically these products do not degrade in the container. Keep brushes wet at all times during application, then clean them promptly in tap water.


¢ Remove existing waterproofing as above but make sure to read the manufacturers instructions. The most common problem with sprays is holding the can too close & causing runs that may go undetected until they dry. These runs will cause problems, as they’ll never dry completely. When folding a tent that has little globs of undried coating those spots will stick together and will be hard to pull apart - eventually the fabric will rip.

¢ Drying time is not as long with sprays, but it is still critical to be completely dry before folding the tent.

After applying any waterproofing it is a good idea to apply talcum powder or cornstarch very lightly before folding the tent the first time. If there is any tackiness this will help to alleviate it and prevent sticking.

McNett product
From the makers of Aquaseal comes TentSure. I have used it on several of my older tents with great results. Application was very easy and results were as advertised. I have had good luck with recoating the interior of my tent versus the outside as being recommended.

Must admit confusion about the
approaches described. What waterproofing is being removed by soaking, Woolite, etc.? Surely not the plastic waterproof coating on the bottom of the tent and the tent fly? I would not expect any Woolite session to remove much of that coating. And what other coating would be important?

We used a Eureka Timberline 4 over a dozen year period. There was always enough urethane coating on the fly and the ends of the tent to keep all the water running off and to the ground. Of course the coated tent bottom did get leaky, but that was totally controllable with inside and outside poly groundcloths.

Sorry, I’m just having trouble visualizing what is happening here.

yeah thats what your washing off…it may take multiple times…from what i understand you want to take the old stuff off so that the new stuff takes better…

Ok there’s
two parts to the waterproofing, the urethane on the inside, and the dwr on the outside.

They’re talking about the inside. If they’re asking you to reapply the urethane that’s how you could do it…

Personally look at the investment of the cost of the tent, the urethane, plus you should redo the dwr on the outside. and then say ok, how much is a new tent?..