How to Clean Your Tent and Get Back Outside

Person wiping camping tent with white cloth.

It's no fun kicking off a camping trip by finding grime or mildew in your tent from the last trip. Keeping your tent clean leads to more pleasant trips and long-lasting gear.

By taking a few simple steps to clean your tent now, you are setting up your future self for a hassle-free camping experience. Always remember to sweep out the inside of your tent and shake all the dirt off the outside the tent before packing it up. You don’t want to take the campsite home with you!

How to Clean Your Tent for Storage

When you arrive home from your camping trip, it’s important to evaluate whether your tent is dirty or wet before placing it into storage. If the tent is dry and clean, you can just leave it packed up for the next trip. If it's dirty, take some time to finish cleaning it. If it's wet, be sure to dry it out at home before putting it into storage.

Once you determine that your tent is ready to be stored, place your tent in a pillowcase or mesh bag. While the sack that comes with the tent keeps it compact for travel, loosely storing your tent allows the fabric to breathe. Additionally, it’s best to store your tent somewhere cool and dry, such as a garage or closet.

How to Wash a Tent

If you determine that your tent is dirty, give it a bath. There are no excuses to avoid washing your tent with these quick and simple step-by-step instructions:

  1. Prep. Shake off all excess dirt, dust and grime from your tent.
  2. Gather Materials. Collect a bucket, sponge, hose, dish soap and a cleaner designed for outdoor gear. Harsh and abrasive cleaners can damage the exterior coating on your tent, so steer clear of bleach and laundry detergents.
  3. Spot Clean. Mix the dish soap with water to create an effective and nonabrasive tent cleaning solution. Then, apply the solution to the tent with a sponge. Resist the urge to put the tent in the washing machine or to use a power washer because these methods will cause damage.
  4. Soak. When you are finished spot cleaning the tent, fill a bathtub or other large enough container with cool water and some of the outdoor-gear cleaner, and leave the tent to soak in the tub or container.
  5. Rinse. Use the hose or rinse the tent in the bathtub with fresh water.
  6. Let Dry. Pitch your tent in a shaded area and allow it to air-dry for a few hours. Make sure that the tent is completely dry before placing it back in storage.

Keep More Than Just Your Tent Clean

Bringing lots of dirt and grime home with you after a long camping trip? Let the cleaning professionals at Molly Maid keep your home clean so you can spend your time exploring the great outdoors instead. Schedule a free estimate today!