How to Clean a Tent after Camping – Do it in Right Way

You have had a fantastic camping trip and had the best fun possible, but a consequence of all the fun and fine experience is a dirty tent that really needs to be cleaned.

It is really imperative that you clean your tent and re-proof it every once a month or straight after you return from a camping trip. The ones who like to go out camping a lot and those who are seasoned veterans are bound to get their tents really dirty.

If there is rain or snow nearby your campsite, then expect your tent to pick up all sorts of dirt and mud.

The ones who don’t know how to clean a tent after camping will eventually be at a disadvantage because the quality of their tent will deteriorate, and all the dirt will pile up to cause more misery.

This certainly is not good especially considering the investment you have made in your tent. You should always clean your tent on a day when the sun is out.

Keep a close check on spots where the damage is terrible and clean them as soon as possible because it will only worsen.

So with that bit of information out of the window, it’s now time to know how to clean a tent after camping and what are some things you need before cleaning it. Let’s crack on.

Things you need before Cleaning a Tent

You will need the obvious stuff, which are listed below-:

  • Cold to lukewarm water
  • A Fragrant soap
  • Tent cleaner which is made for outdoor gear
  • Sponge or a Cloth
  • Large tub

Make you gather and assemble all of this equipment beforehand.

How to Clean a Tent after Camping – Step By Step Guide

cleaning a tent

Step 1. First, get on with spot cleaning the areas where there is a significant amount of dirt. Then, use a cloth or a sponge and clean any additional dirty sites with the help of dish soap.

Step 2. Now take your tub, fill it cool with lukewarm water, and mix the tent cleaner in it. If you are not sure about the amount of tent cleaner you should use, just take a look at the directions provided in the bottle.

Step 3. Now it is time to set up your tent for a thorough clean. Just unzip the doors and turn your tent inside out.

Step 4. Just drown your tent and the rainfly in the tub. Let it stay there for the amount of time that is recommended in the tent cleaner.

Step 5. It is crunch time now as you need to rinse your tent. First, drain your tub and throw some clean water in it. Repeat this procedure until all of the soap comes off the tent and rainfly.

Step 6. Your job is complete. The cleaning is over now. It is time to dry it out completely. Hang your tent in an area where the breeze hits it and keep it there until it is scorched.

Additional Cleaning Tips

  • You will need an enzyme cleaner if your tent has mildew, mold, or foul odors. Just follow the enzyme cleaner’s instructions and check how long you should soak the tent in it. The tent’s waterproof coating might get affected because of hydrolysis if you absorb it for more than the prescribed time limit.
  • You spot clean the tent with mineral oil but resist the urge to over-scrub if there is any pine sap on your tent. Hand sanitizers and wet wipes can also do the job. After the sap has been removed, make sure to rinse it with water thoroughly.
  • Many people find their zippers problematic after one use. If your zippers are not operating smoothly, just take a toothbrush and scrape out all of the sand, mud, and dirt stuck in the zipper. If the dirt still exists, then rinse the zipper with water and then brush.
  • If your poles have turned dirty, covered with dust, sandy, or salty, just take a rag and wipe all of the dirt down.
  • The waterproof coatings of your tent might deteriorate after a significant amount of usage. What you can do to counter this is to buy or renew the waterproof layers.
  • Don’t machine wash a tent and machine dry a tent. It can really hurt and tear the fabric, mesh, and seams. Also, the heat that a dryer generates is very damaging for the tent.

Things to Avoid

  • Harsh dish soaps
  • Bleach
  • Spot removers

These are your typical household cleaners with a particular smell that can attract insects, rodents, and other creatures. In addition, some of the soaps can undo all of the tent’s durable water repellent (DWR) coating.


Is it possible to wash camping tents?

Yes, absolutely, all you need to do is just soak your tent in a tub with cool to lukewarm water. Then add a cleaner which is specifically made for washing dirty outdoor gears or tents. Immerse every part of the tent and rainfly inside out and let them stay there for a while or keep them as recommended in the cleaner bottle. After that, rinse the tent, throw all of the water out of the tub, and refill it with clean water. Clean the tent until all the dirt is removed.

What are the things you can use to clean a tent?

Sometimes, some people like to clean their tent in a bucket with a sponge, a hose, and a mild soap-free from harsh detergents. You should not use certain things: these things include bleach and any potentially damaging or harsh chemicals. You should only use these items if there is mold in your tent. Also, don’t use a pressure washer as it will damage the seams.

Final Thoughts

We all want our tent to be in a top-notch condition for long periods of time, but that is only possible when giving it the proper treatment and care. If you think you cannot do all the cleaning yourself, you can just assign and hang your tent to a professional housekeeper for cleaning.

We hope our cleaning tips will come in handy and you will be able to clean your dirty tent the right way with our instructions.

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