Treating sil-nylon

Posted by: Banjopickin

Treating sil-nylon - 03/03/13 04:15 PM

Hey ya'll,

I've had my Golite Shangri-la 1 for about 5 years now and I've noticed that the sil-nylon is not as water proof as it once was. There is much more moisture build up on the walls than when the tent was new. I dont know if its more condensation building up inside, or if the fabric is actually seeping from the outside in. Either way I've read that you can retreat the fabric with spray on silicone treatment. I thought before I tried doing this, I would see if any of ya'll have experience with this sort of thing. Its a great shelter for my needs and they dont make them anymore. I would rather fix this one than have to buy a new shelter. Any suggestions? Thanks.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/03/13 04:19 PM

I've heard (first hand from Grant Sible of Gossamer Gear) that there's a spray-on silicone treatment that you can use on either silnylon or spinnaker. Unfortunately I didn't write down the name of the stuff, since my tents are still fending off the rain just fine. He did mention that the tent should be clean and dry before you do this.
Posted by: rockchucker22

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/03/13 04:27 PM

You can dilute silicone with white gas and paint or spray it on the fabric. About 10 parts gas to 1 part silicone.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/03/13 05:48 PM

Better do that outside!

I've used odorless mineral spirits. Just as flammable, but a lot less stinky.... That was for seam-sealing, though.
Posted by: rockchucker22

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/03/13 06:03 PM

Yea if you get the good mineral spirits, in CA we get no good chemicals, so I recommended white gas as its available everywhere. And definitly do any coating outside!!!!
Posted by: finallyME

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/04/13 10:15 AM

I have used mineral spirits, and you still want to do that outside.
Posted by: Banjopickin

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/05/13 09:42 PM

Thanks for the replies folks. For the sake of avoiding the gas/mineral spirits, I think Ill just clean it and spray it down with a silicon DWR spray. If that doesnt work I'll give the gas/spirits a try. Thanks again.
Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/06/13 06:59 AM

Look for Atsko Water Guard's silicone formula.

Excellent stuff, and I *know* some outfitters who have used it successfully.

If unavailabe at a local retailer (I've seen it in WalMart)order Water-Gurad directly from Atsko or through I have put together orders to cover a year's worth of my family's needs to order directly from the company, as their shipping has been high. I swear by their water-based formula, too, using it on down clothing, fleece wear, etc. It is really great to have rain roll off of fleece clothing. We have allergy problems within the family and find the Sport Wash detergent doesn't bother any of us. A bonus was my son's white painter clothes became much whiter over time. Hikers aren't typically focused on bright tightie-whities, but we do have to live in the real world, too...

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/06/13 01:06 PM

Atsko, that's the one Grant Sible (Gossamer Gear) told me about!

He stressed having the tent (or whatever) clean, first!
Posted by: Banjopickin

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/06/13 02:09 PM

In order to best clean my shelter, Golite recommends washing it in the tub with a mild detergent. What exactly constitutes a "mild" detergent? Laundry detergent, Irish spring, Shampoo? I use liquid hand soap to wash my silk liner and it works ok. Any suggestions?
Posted by: Franco

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/06/13 06:37 PM

Atsko Silicone Water Guard is the stuff to use.
Don't confuse silicone sprays and silicone sprays...(most are lubricants...)

With outdoor gear it is always safer to use soap NOT detergent.
The stuff you use to wash down, also sold by your supermarket as "pure soap flakes" maybe in liquid form too.
Remember the "pure soap" (that is :no detergent) bit.
Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/07/13 12:54 PM

I don't know the reasoning behind Franco's suggestion of soap, not detergent. Depending on minerals in one's water, soap can be problematic for cleaning and rinsing. That is one reason detergents became popular.

I will toss out the suggestion to use Atsko's Sport wash on your tent. Is is supposed to leave no residue and has no perfumes or dyes. I know that I sound like their paid spokesperson, but I assure you that I am not. After testing some Atsko products for an on-line review site, I was truly impressed with them. I use Sport Wash now for our whites and sometimes other laundry because of skin sensitivity issues. When my son was a firefighter, I washed his turn-out gear in Sport Wash and had the same great results as I've had using it on anything from my camping/backpacking clothing and gear to a silk dress that was covered in bugle beads and bore instructions to "spot clean only."

Posted by: Franco

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/07/13 04:57 PM

About 2 years ago I shot a quick video on silicone spray application.
For the video I used the McNett version (possibly the Atsko re-packaged...)
Note that you have less than 2 oz of silicone in the can, the rest is the propellant.
Why no detergent ?
From Hilleberg :
If you tent is dirty try and clean it with a wet cloth or sponge in luke-warm water or rinse it in a bath tub. Do not use any detergents and do not wash your tent in a washing machine!

(Hilleberg use silnylon for their tent fabric)
From McNett:
Dirt, grime and household detergents leave residues that damage water repellent fabrics, leading to absorbing rather than shedding water.
From Tarptent:

Tarptents can be hand washed in mild soap and water. We use and recommend WooliteŽ Fabric Wash.

Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/07/13 08:15 PM

Detergents contain conditioners and brighteners and water softeners and other gunk that leave a lot of residue. Instructions for washing down items all say to run the machine empty for a couple of cycles to remove detergent residue and then use a special down washing product.

Henry Shires probably should change his website; Woolite is now a detergent formula, no longer a soap. At least so I have been told by a number of sources, including Woolite's own website.

Whatever you use, do a lot of rinsing! Soap can leave residue especially in hard water. I think the wet cloth idea followed by rinsing is the best.
Posted by: hshires

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/09/13 11:09 AM

Originally Posted By OregonMouse
I think the wet cloth idea followed by rinsing is the best.

Yes, that's the method we use around here to clean dusty tents before repair and/or treatment with Atsko Silicone Water Guard. You don't need to rinse, just wipe (circular motion) with a wet towel and let dry. Thoroughly wiping your tent with a wet towel is the quickest, most effective way to clean the surfaces. You might not remove every spot but it will be dust/grime free when you're done and be ready to accept silicone sealer or solution.

Be sure to wipe your zippers while you're at it. Dust/grime in the zipper teeth is the #1 killer of zipper sliders.

Posted by: CamperMom

Re: Treating sil-nylon - 03/13/13 04:28 PM

Hi, Henry-

Have a chat sometime with the people at Atsko concerning their Sport-Wash. It is supposed to rinse completely, leaving no residue. I might be able to connect you with their VP. We haven't had a conversation in a couple of years, but I may still have a connection. If you become familiar with their products, you may view them differently as far as washing and waterproofing tents.

I borrowed a tent that just reeked of dog. It HAD to be washed.