How to clean a tent that smells?

Camping is a lot of fun, but we can’t lie: it’s also a lot of work. No comforts, no excuses, and a lot of preparation.

One of the most important items of camping is certainly your tent: if you aren’t new to camping, you already know that storing it properly is highly important.

Not only do you want to avoid holes and damage, but you also want to avoid bad smells. In this article, you’ll learn how to clean a tent that smells.


Why can you have a bad smell from your tent?

One of the main reasons for smells is humidity. In particular, when you put away your tent for a long period – for example, during winter – in a closed container and the tent isn’t perfectly dry, almost certainly you’ll have it smelling when, in the next season, you pull it out from its container.

The good news is that there are ways to wash your tent and remove every smell. There are a couple of methods, and you can perform both on your own without the need for professional help.


Method number one is the most common, and it’s usually effective: it’s made by using water and vinegar.

You can take a big basin (one that can contain your tent immersed in water) and fill it with water and vinegar.

The smell of vinegar isn’t the greatest, but it’s very effective to remove the one left behind by humidity.

You can simply immerse your tent inside this solution, wash it carefully, and let it dry. When it is dry, sniff your tent: it shouldn’t have any smell.

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Sometimes, however, it can happen that the tent now smells of vinegar. You can simply wash it again with any soap of your choice so that the smell of vinegar will be removed.

There is also another case: that, even after you’ve washed with vinegar and then soap, your tent still has a smell.

This can happen, for example, if you store your tent in a humid environment for several seasons in a row. How can you fix it?

Baking soda

There is another method that is cheap and very effective against any type of smell: baking soda.

Such material is very porous: smells are captured within the pores, and as you remove the baking soda from a surface, smells are taken away with it. So how to use baking soda to remove smells from your tent?

You can simply lie down your tent on a clean surface, cover it with baking soda and then wait. You need to let the baking soda do its job for a long time: one full day or, even better, two.

Then, you can remove the baking soda (with a broom first and then a vacuum cleaner), and this should be effective.

If the problem is serious and there is still some smell coming from your tent, you can repeat the process with the baking soda more than once.

3 methods together

All these methods, one after the other, are super effective when it comes to cleaning a tent that smells! And we hope you found this article on how to clean a tent that smells useful.

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