How to Wash and Clean A Tent?

how to wash a tent

People love camping to have an adventure in nature. Pitching a tent in the wilderness or your backyard and feeling the rain, wind, and snow is so blooming great.

These outdoor ventures are thrilling but your tent can pick up all sort of dirt, mud, grime, or mildew. Tent cleaning is important to prevent any damage or wear-and-tear on your tent.

It will lead you a long-lasting gear and hassle-free camping experiences for your next outdoor plan. In this guide, you will learn the best methods to quickly clean your tents.

how to wash a tent


When Should You Wash Your Tent?

It is recommended to clean and wash your tent after every long camping trip. Camping in the wood and beaches will end you in a dusky dirty tent.

As it was exposed to sand, fine dust, tree sap, or birds dropping, so it requires a quick washdown. You should wash your tent every time after a weekend spent in nature.

Some tents like custom canopy tents are widely used for promoting business. They are required for months in case of occasions like street festivals, trade shows, or farmer’s markets.

So, wash it completely once per season and do gentle cleaning regularly from outside for the period of festivals.

Though, many of us want to through a yearly party for a family reunion, anniversaries, birthday, etc. Beautifully decorated tents are perfect for such outdoor activities.

Clean your tent before packing it for next year’s parties. It will wipe out all ugly stains and funky odors.

Families prefer to camp in the park for over a night. Most of the timing tent is just dusty, you do not need to wash it after short trips.

Brushing inside the tent and a gentle rinse with lukewarm water on the outside is enough for tent maintenance.

How to Clean a Tent With Mold?

The most common reason for mold is packing your tent without completely drying it. It forms when moisture is present in the tent. Prevention is always better, but if mold invaded your tent. You can get rid of mold by following the method.

Identify mold in your tentMold comes in many shapes and colors. It can leave stubborn stains like small black, blue, or green specks peppered in your camping tent. If your tent has caught mold or mildew, you can easily remove it by following these steps.

Kill it – Prepare a mixture by adding one part of vinegar to four parts of water. For strong stains, you can use distilled white vinegar without water. Spray it on the affected area of the tent and leave it for some time. So it may dry.

Clean it – Scrub it lightly with the help of a sponge or soft brush. You can also brush it with a mixture of salt, lemon, and hot water for quick and better results.

Detergents, soaps, or bleach is not suggested as these chemicals are harsh on canvas. Many commercial enzyme cleaners are also available in the market for mold cleaning. After deep scrubbing, rinse it with warm water and let it dry properly.

how to clean a moldy tent

Steps to Clean a Musty Tent

Things you will need to clean a tent

  • Soft brush or sponge
  • Mild fragrance-free dish soap
  • Bathtub or any large tub
  • Lukewarm water
  • Gear cleaning agent

The process is simple and easy. Let’s start cleaning your musty tent.

1. Use a small amount of dish soap with the help of a sponge or brush for cleaning all dirty spots on the tent.

2. Fill the tub with lukewarm water. Then add gear cleaning agent in suitable amount as mentioned on the pack.

3. Soak your tent in water for some time. Do not soak it for too long. Follow directions on cleaning agents to know accurate soaking time.

4. Drain the tub and fill it with clean water to rinse your tent. Clean it until all soap wipes out.

5. You can hang p the tent or set it up to let it dry for hours.

How to Clean a Tent That Smells?

Tents that have been stored away all winters may emanate from a foul odor or mildew smell. Follow these steps to remove the blast of musty smell from your canvas awning or tent.

The Cleaning Procedure:

Step#1: Add half a cup of mild dish wash and half a gallon of vinegar into a tub. Fill the tub a third of the way with water and stir it.

Step#2: Put your tent into the tub and soak it for at least an hour.

Step#3: Get some volunteers to pull out the tent and spread it on the concrete floor. Brushing it gently to clean any stains or dirt residue.

Step#4: Thoroughly wash it with water and leave it to dry.

Step#5: Sanitize if any musty smell remains. Spray with a mixture of vinegar, water, and baking soda to effectively kill mildew and bad odor.

Then rinse with fresh water.

Step#6: Do not fold or twist just wring it. Spread your tent over a clothesline or metal fencing to dry.

how to clean a tent that smells

How to Clean Tent Windows?

Set up your tent normally to clean all windows rather than stretching it. Unzip the windows for deep cleaning. Use a microfiber cloth to wipe down all dust from each plastic or mesh to wash tent windows

It is good practice to wipe the windows dry before washing them with water. Fill your spray with warm water and add few drops of dish wash soap and mix it.

Never use bleach for cleaning windows, it can weaken your mesh. Spray on all the windows and sponge them in a circular motion to remove dirt and debris from the surface. Rinse with water and let it dry completely before packing it back.

How to Clean Inside of A Tent?

Cleaning your tent interior is equally important as outside. It is good practice to clean your tent from inside during pack down.

Assemble your tent to clean it properly. Use dustpan and broom to sweep all tent floor. A simple sweep-up will remove all dirt or debris.

But if your tent is muddy or greasy then you will need a deep cleaning of the tent. Use a soft brush or sponge for scrubbing with a mixture of dish soap and lukewarm water.

Wiping down each wall and window for spot cleaning of any mud or dirt from your tent. Then simply wash it with water thoroughly.

How to Dry Your Tent?

Dry your tent completely after cleaning every time. Whether you have to clean a single spot or wash your whole tent. Make sure it’s not fully dry before storing it.

Firstly, shake the tent lightly so that excess water may flow down from both sides of the tent.

You can simply live up the back corners of the tent to drain water from the tent’s interior. Depends on your living, you can dry the tent on a clothesline, metal fencing, or pitch your tent in a shaded area.

Let it dry for 6 to 12 hours approximately. Don’t dry your tent in direct sunlight, harmful UV rays can damage the tent fabric.

How to Store Your Tent After Clean?

Your tent storage location must fulfill the two basic requirements. First of all, it must be dry and other is your place should be cool. It will prevent damp and mildew settings in your tent.

Store your Tent loosely- As tents come with storing bag, so it is a good option for storing a tent. Your tent fabric also needs to breathe and relax. Do not compress the tent for long-term storage. You can also use an old pillowcase to neatly fold and place your tent in it.

Keep it cool and dry: Avoid storing your tent in a damp or hot location. A gear closet or garage can be a cool or dry spot in your home.