How To Clean A Tent

Last Updated on August 29, 2022

Spending a weekend in nature, you are expected to get your tent dirty. While camping, tents can get stained with dirt, mud, and plant sap over the course of a few days, especially if you run into rain or snow.

It’s very tempting to throw the tent into a washing machine and be done with it. If you want to prolong the life of your tent, do not ever do this! Chucking it into the washing machine might stretch or tear the fabric. Instead, you should follow these steps on how to clean a tent.

How To Clean A Tent

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How To Clean A Tent

Gather your supplies

You need these to clean your tent-

  • A tub or a bucket
  • A tent broom or a leafblower
  • A non-abrasive sponge
  • Some mild soaps free from strong detergents and a tent cleaner

Preparing your tent for a wash

Before starting the cleaning procedure, take notice of the weather is faring. You would want to avoid cleaning it on a rainy day to dry it properly after washing it.

Check each section of your tent for any excess wear and tear. Make repairs and patch it if necessary.
Pitch your tent on the ground, blow out or sweep the tent to remove any leaves, debris, and dust from the tent.

Cleaning your dirty tent

  • Spot clean the dirtier area gently with a sponge and a little bit of soap.
  • Fill the tub or bucket with lukewarm water and add the recommended amount of tent-cleaning product.
  • Immerse the inside out tent with rainfly on the tub and let it soak for a while
  • Rinse the tent thoroughly, swirl it around the tub with refilled clean water until there’s no soap left in it

Drying and storing the tent

Leave the tent partially closed to avoid dust and leaves getting into it. Pitch it in a shaded outdoor and let it dry for three days or so. Although some tents might take less than that to dry out completely, so check your tents every 6 to 10 hours. You need to make sure that your tent is completely dry before storing it to avoid mold or bad odor.
Store the tent in a cool and dry. Avoid muggy or hot locations like the garage, basement, attic, or car trunk.

In case of mold and tree saps

If your tent has mold or mildew growing on it, use a commercial enzyme cleaner. Use mineral oils to spot clean the area to remove sap.

Few things to keep in mind

Sometimes exercising a little camp hygiene will save you from huge headaches and make your life a lot easier. We recommend you follow this step to ensure minimal cleaning is required after the camping trip :

  • If you’re camping longer than a weekend, then give your tent a sweep every 2nd day.
  • Try not to wear shoes inside your tent.
  • Keep a tub of water by the entrance with a mat or towel to clean your feet before climbing into your tent.
  • Avoid eating food inside your camp as hungry insects might invade your tent in search of a snack.
  • When it’s possible, use a ground cloth under the tent

A dirty tent will leave a stain whenever it rains. Make sure to clean your tent immediately so later rains will not leave spots. You should re-proof your tent once every few months to make it more durable. It is important to keep your tent in good shape so it can last many years.

Author: Euell Gibbons

Outdoorsman and proponent of natural diets. He loves camping, hiking and exploring the great outdoors. Camping is a way of life for him - as soon as he can get away from work, he's out there!

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