How to Clean Mildew Off of a Waterproof Tent

How to Clean Mildew Off of a Waterproof Tent
If you are a regular camper, you likely will eventually be caught in a rainstorm. When this happens, some of your gear will get wet, including your tent. Though it's always best to pack your camping gear away dry, this isn't always possible. When this happens you run the chance of mold and mildew forming on the outside of your tent. It's best to clean the mildew off before it does long-term damage.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Tips for Cleaning Mildew off a Waterproofed Tent

Things You’ll Need:
  • Cloth Bleach Water Bucket Gloves Waterproofing Spray Seam Sealer
  • Cloth
  • Bleach
  • Water
  • Bucket
  • Gloves
  • Waterproofing Spray
  • Seam Sealer
Step 1
Choose a sunny location and day to clean your tent. You'll need it to completely dry once it's cleaned so you'll be able to pack it back away dry. Otherwise, you'll end up with the same mildew problem again.
Step 2
Set your tent up as if you planned on camping in it. This will allow you to get to all areas that might be infested with the mildew.
Step 3
Mix a 50/50 mixture of bleach and water in a bucket. Wear gloves, as bleach can irritate your skin.
Step 4
Wash the area of the tent affected by mildew. The bleach solution will dissolve the mildew, and it should start to disappear. If the mildew was particularly heavy, there might be a dark stain left on the outside of the tent. The bleach still will kill the mildew, however.
Step 5
Rinse the bleach off your tent with water and allow the tent to completely dry.
Step 6
Spray the outside of the tent with a waterproofing spray, which can be purchased at your local camping store. Also spray the roof and sections you cleaned with the bleach.
Step 7
Apply seam sealer to all the seams in the tent, including the ones on the floor. Allow the seam sealer to completely dry.
Step 8
Once everything has dried, pack the tent away. Store in a dry location.

Tips & Warnings

Waterproofing spray and seam sealer should be applied to your tent at least once a year so it continues repelling water. If you use your tent frequently, you might have to apply them more often.

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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