How To Clean Your Tent?

After long camping, tents can get really dirty. Rain, dirt, wind, cooking vapors… they can all create the perfect mix for a layer of dirt that sticks around your tent surface.


Of course, knowing how to clean your tent is highly important because the last thing you want is to fold and put your tent away for the season without cleaning it.

Not only it wouldn’t be a good surprise when you pull it out next year, but it would also affect its durability. So, without further delay, let’s find out how to clean your tent.

Read: What Is A Tent? And What Is Tent Camping?

Also Read: How Do We Review A Tent?

How to clean your tent?: what you need?

how to clean a tent

First thing first: let’s find out what you need to clean your tent. Well, of course, you’ll need water (cold water), some mild handsoap, a non-abrasive sponge or cloth, and a bathtub or large tub.

You can also use a cleaner specifically designed to clean tents or outdoor gear, but it would be expensive, and the mild handsoap would work just fine.

How to clean your tent: a step-by-step guide

1. Treat Bigger Stains First

If you have big and thick stains on your tent, you may want to treat them before you soak your tent in the water so that the next passages are more effective. 

So, take a look at your tent (it can be helpful to do so before dismounting your tent; it’s easier to examine the surface…) and find out if there are thick stains.

Take your sponge, put some mild handsoap on it, and just rub the stain off the tent. 

If you have a specific product, it’s useful to use it in this passage.

2. Prepare The Tub

You can prepare your tub with cold water and mild hand soap. If you have a specific product, you can use that as well.

3. Prepare The Tent

Before soaking your tent in the tub, unzip all the doors and windows.

Read: 10 Best SUV Tents

4. Soak Your Tent

Now it’s time to soak your tent. You can leave the tent in the water for some time so that the soap can do its job and remove the majority of dirt.

5. Take Your Tent Out

When you take your tent out, before rinsing it, you can check if there are some areas that are still dirty. If you spot some stains, you can treat them with your sponge.

It should be easier to remove the dirt now because the water and soap should already have softened it.

6. Rinse

Now it’s time to rinse carefully. You can empty the tub and then use it to rinse your tent with clean cold water. Make sure you remove all the soap and foam.

7. Dry

Drying the tent is more important than you think. You want to make sure it is 100% dry before folding it and putting it away.

If it isn’t, you’ll find your tent smelling of humidity or mold, and you could even have mold issues next year.

Read: How To Insulate A Tent?

How to Wash a Tent?

How to Clean mildew and Mold From Your Tent?

How to Clean mildew and Mold From Your Tent

Owing to the weather, sometimes, it becomes impossible to dry the tent before packing up. This gives rise to the growth of mold and mildew by the time you reach home.

But there is nothing to worry about, as this thing can be dealt with. So in order to clean mold and mildew off your tent, just follow these steps:

  1. First, set up your tent on a dry floor, preferably under indirect sunlight. This will help the tent to dry up faster and will also help in killing mold growth to some extent.
  2. Once your tent is completely dry, the next step is to prepare a cleaning solution by using five-quarters of water, a teaspoon of hand soap, and a quarter of vinegar.
  3. Now with the help of a soft bristle brush, start cleaning the affected area of the tent with the solution.
  4. Once the mold is removed, now wipe the area with a wet cloth, remove the residue and leave it in indirect sunlight to dry out completely.
  5. Once your tent has dried out completely, you can now pack it up.

How to Clean a Smelling Tent?

Your tent might smell bad because of mold, growth of bacteria, dampness, etc. And so treating it is essential.

Here are steps in which you can clean a tent that is smelling bad:

  • The easiest way to get rid of the smell is by using a nice fragrance handsoap. Simply apply it on the affected area, scrub it gently with a brush and finish it by washing it off with water.
  • The next way is to use a combination of one tablespoon of lemon juice, one tablespoon of vinegar, and five quarter of water and use the mixture to spray on the affected parts.
  • You can also soak the tent in water with liquid soap in it, which would also remove the smell from the tent.

How to Repair a Torn Tent Floor?

How To Fix a Tent Pole Break?

How to Maintain, & Take Care of Tent?

Merely cleaning up your tent after a good use isn’t enough. If you want your tent to last longer then you will need to take care of it all the time.

Here are some tips on how you can maintain, repair and take care of your tent during different times:

1. During Tent Setup

While choosing a site for your camp setup, ensure that the ground is not unevena and flat, remove any stones, twigs or anything that may puncture the tent.

Use a tent footprint to protect the tent from the ground and moisture. Also, do not place the tent under an open spot of you are planning to camp for more days.

This is tent’s fabric cannot stand the UV light much and it may damage the tent in the long run. Also, do not whip the pole tents or put pressure beyond their breaking point.

2. While Camping

While you are inside the tent, you should avoid spilling food inside the tent, and also you should remove your shoes and keep them in a polybag or outside the tent.

You should not use an open flame as it may be dangerous for the tent and you as well.

If your tent’s zipper does not open smoothly, then try putting a moisturizer or oil on it, and do not put too much force, or it might break.

3. After Camping

The first thing that you should do when you are done camping is to dirt it out by shaking it. You should also take care while removing the tent poles.

Also, when you are packing up your tent, ensure that it is dry, and no moisture should be left in it; otherwise, your tent will start stinking.

And if you are in a place that is damp most times, leaving you no possibility to dry out the tent, then make sure to keep the tent out in the sun the first thing when you get home.

Wrapping Up

Camping is all fun and games until it comes down to cleaning a tent. Yes, cleaning a tent is a task in itself, especially if it is stinking or has mold on it.

But thankfully, cleaning and getting rid of all these things from the tent is not that difficult. We hope you found all the tips that we shared in this article useful.


How to avoid mildew and mold on a tent?

When you use a tent, your body will release sweat, heat, etc. The external environment, too, can lead to moisture in the tent, which can lead to the growth of mold.

The best way to make sure that this does not happen is to dry out your tent completely before packing it up.

How can I waterproof my tent?

Here’s how you can waterproof your tent:

  1. The first step is to ensure that your tent is dry and free of dirt.
  2. Now use a seam sealer and start applying it on the seams as it is the most vulnerable part of the tent. Seam sealer can also be used to mend small holes in the tent.
  3. Now check if your tent’s waterproof coating is coming off; if yes, then apply polyurethane to the tent after removing the old layer.

Note that the waterproof coating of the tent do come off and so you should reapply the coating from time-to-time.

How to clean tent canvas?

You can use plain water and a cloth to clean the tent canvas. Using soap, any other chemicals or insect repellant even can damage the tent’s canvas.

NPC Overall Rating

Leave a Comment