Home Camping Tips Can Camping Tents Be Washed: Here’s Your Answer!
Can Camping Tents Be Washed: Here’s Your Answer!

5 min

September 8, 2023

Hey there, fellow ODC camper!

Today, we’ll discuss something important: camping tents and whether they can be washed.

We know tents can get pretty dirty and smelly after a fun-filled camping trip. So, let’s dive right in and find out how to keep our trusty tents clean and fresh!

The short answer is YES! Camping tents can be washed but with a few caveats.

Can Camping Tents Be Washed?

Tents! They’re made of special materials to withstand the rain and wind.

So, we must be careful when cleaning them to avoid damaging the fabric or the waterproof coating.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly clean your camping tent:

Step 1: Preparation

Before starting, ensure your tent is empty, and all the dirt, leaves, and debris are removed. Shake it out gently and use a soft brush or cloth to remove excess dirt.

Step 2: Hand-Washing

Hand washing is the safest method for cleaning your tent. Set up the tent in a well-ventilated area or your backyard.

Use a mild, non-detergent soap like Nikwax Tech Wash or a specialized tent cleaner. Mix the soap with lukewarm water in a bucket.

Step 3: Cleaning

Dip a soft sponge or cloth into the soapy water and gently scrub the dirty areas of the tent.

Avoid harsh scrubbers, brushes, or abrasive cleaning tools, as they can damage the tent’s fabric. Pay extra attention to stained or soiled spots.

Step 4: Rinsing

Once you’ve cleaned the tent, rinse it thoroughly with clean water to remove all the soap residue.

Soap left behind can degrade the waterproof coating, and we want to keep our tent dry during future camping trips!

Step 5: Drying

After rinsing, let the tent air dry completely. Hang it up or lay it flat in the shade.

Never use a tumble dryer or direct sunlight for drying, as it can weaken the fabric and make it prone to tears.

Step 6: Waterproofing

If you notice that the tent’s waterproofing is less effective than before, don’t worry! You can reapply a waterproofing spray after washing and drying the tent.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Step 7: Storage

Once your tent is all fresh and dry, store it properly. Avoid keeping it in a stuff sack for long periods, as this can trap moisture and lead to mold growth.

Instead, store your tent in a loose and breathable storage bag in a cool, dry place.

Some helpful tips to keep your tent cleaner for longer:

  • Use a ground tarp or footprint under your tent to protect the bottom from rough surfaces and prevent it from getting excessively dirty.
  • Before entering the tent, remove your shoes to minimize dirt and debris inside.
  • Avoid eating or drinking inside the tent to prevent spills and stains.
  • If it’s raining during your camping trip, keep your wet and muddy gear outside the tent under a rainfly or tarp to prevent extra mess inside.

Happy Cleaning!

Remember, taking good care of your camping gear, including your tent, will make it last longer and keep you comfortable during outdoor adventures.

So, don’t forget to give your tent some love after each camping trip!

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