Returning home after spending a weekend in nature, it is expected for your tent to get dirty. And if you’re camping for longer than a weekend, tents can pick up all sorts of grime, 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.
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Gather your supplies
- You need these to clean your tent
- A tub or a bucket
- A tent broom or a leafblower
- A nonabrasive 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 of 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 to follow this step to ensure minimal cleaning 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
You should clean your tent immediately after camping trips as dirt will harden on your tent and cause staining. Re-proof your tent once in a few months to make it durable. Your tent can last many years with proper care.
Video: Tent Cleaning