How to Clean Camping Tents

How to Clean Camping Tents
Eventually, you're going to have to clean your tent. After all, it gets set up in the woods on the dirt and has to endure what Mother Nature throws its way. Keeping your tent clean and well-maintained adds years to its life, which means you won't have to buy another one as soon. Cleaning your tent isn't difficult. The next time you use it, you'll thank yourself for taking the time to clean it.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Tips for Cleaning a Tent

Things You’ll Need:
  • Broom Mild non-detergent cleaner Cloth Bleach Water
  • Broom
  • Mild non-detergent cleaner
  • Cloth
  • Bleach
  • Water
Step 1
Sweep out any dirt that is on the tent floor before you take it down. Since people will be tracking dirt inside the tent as they enter it, there's bound to be some left over after you remove all your gear. If you get rid of dirt before you pack it away, your tent floor will clean the next time you use it.
Step 2
Set up your tent in your yard on a sunny day, and wash off any dirt off from it. Let your tent dry completely before you pack it back away. If you pack up a wet tent, mold or mildew will form, staining the tent on the outside and leaving an unpleasant odor inside.
Step 3
Mix a mild solution of a non-detergent cleaner and water in a bucket. Wash off with a cloth any dirt that might have gotten on the tent. You shouldn't use harsh detergents in cleaning your tent. You should be able to find a non-detergent tent cleaner solution at your local outdoors store. Allow your tent to fully dry before storing it.
Step 4
If you do have mold or mildew on the outside of the tent, use a 50/50 solution of bleach and water mixed in a bucket. Wash the areas that are affected with the bleach solution and allow the tent to completely dry. The mold and mildew may stain the fabric, but both will be killed and won't reappear unless the tent is wet when you fold it back up.
Step 5
Apply a coat of seam sealer and waterproofing spray after you've cleaned the tent. The cleaner is likely to affect the waterproofing of both the seams and the fabric and you'll want to protect it against moisture getting inside. Buy seam sealer and waterproofing spray in the camping section of an outdoors store.

Tips & Warnings

Never put your tent in the washer or dryer. This will harm the waterproofing on the tent and possible damage the tent itself.

Article Written By Joyce Starr

Joyce Starr is a professional writer from Florida and owns a landscaping company and garden center. She has published articles about camping in Florida, lawn care and gardening and writes for a local gardening newsletter. She shares her love and knowledge of the outdoors and nature through her writing.

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