How to Remove the Mildew Smell From Camping Equipment

How to Remove the Mildew Smell From Camping Equipment
When preparing your camping equipment for the next excursion, it is always disheartening to learn that mold and mildew has set in on your items. Mold is a live spore that grows in damp and dark locations (such as a tent floor that did not have time to dry). Mildew is a type of mold that spreads in humid locations. The items affected by mold or mildew may have a musty smell that will prove to be very annoying and unhealthy if not taken care of promptly.


Difficulty: Easy

Step 1
Wash items. By creating a simple solution of Lysol diluted with water (about 1 cup of Lysol to 1 gallon of water), you can gently scrub or spray the camping gear that has acquired a mildew smell. When scrubbing, use a brush and move in a circular motion. This method will not kill the mold spores, only decrease the smell.
Step 2
Use bleach water. If you mix bleach and water amounts appropriately, you will effectively kill mold and mildew without damaging the color of the camping equipment. Simply add 2 tbps. of bleach to 1 pint of water. Prepare mixture in a spray bottle. Spray the solution over the problem area and gently scrub with a brush.
Step 3
Purchase a deodorant spray. Deodorant sprays do not kill the pesky mold and mildew, they only work to freshen the items contaminated with the musty smell. Deodorant sprays can be purchased over the counter at your local home improvement store or you may visit online stores such as
Step 4
Purchase cleaner. If you need to use a mold and mildew cleaner, use a brand that is environmentally friendly. Keep in mind that after the camping gear is mold free, you will be the one using the items. Products such as Mold-Off have earned the reputation of being effective and safe to use. Visit their website at
Step 5
In effort to prevent mold and mildew from setting in again, be sure to completely dry all camping gear before packing it away. This should be done on a flat surface up off of the ground.

Article Written By Angela Robinson

My family and I are avid campers. Having grown up in the Ozark Mountains, I have an appreciation of the outdoors. It has always been a big part of my life. As an adult, I enjoy taking my son to the places that I explored as a child. As a freelance writer, I enjoy most of all, sharing my knowledge, thoughts and experiences with the world.

Keep Me Informed

Weekly newsletters, announcements and offers from to your inbox.

Sign me up!

We HATE spam and promise to keep your email addresses safe and secure.