How To Keep Your Tent Clean

tent cleanYou’re plan­ning your next hik­ing trip, and you are already excit­ed by the thought of get­ting away from the rat race. You can’t wait to explore a beau­ti­ful, scenic location—but as you start to pre­pare your gear, you realise that your tent is look­ing pret­ty grubby.

After a few trips your tent will soon be cov­ered with dirt and debris. Some peo­ple also notice that their tent is slight­ly mouldy, espe­cial­ly if they don’t unpack it prop­er­ly when they get home. This can make the tent smell musty, which will be pret­ty unpleas­ant for any­one who has to sleep in it.

Thank­ful­ly it is fair­ly easy to give your tent a good clean. Here are some use­ful tips to help you clean your tent.

Brush Your Tent Out Before Pack­ing It Up

If you want to make sure that your tent is super easy to wash in the future, make sure that you give the tent a good brush down before pack­ing it up. Spend some time remov­ing any dirt and leaves from the out­side of the tent, and then move around the inte­ri­or pick­ing up any dirt, food, trash or rocks that have been car­ried in. This will make it eas­i­er to clean the tent lat­er, and it also means that you are less like­ly to acci­den­tal­ly rip your tent as you pack it up.

Go through the stor­age pock­ets and remove any­thing that you find.

Before you start knock­ing down the tent, take a few moments to brush out the inte­ri­or to remove any dirt, mud, rocks, bugs, food or trash that may have been car­ried in. Also make sure than any stor­age pock­ets are empty.

How To Clean Your Tent

Wipe down all of the poles and zip­pers with some soapy water.

Do a basic clean on the whole tent. Use a soft sponge with cold, soapy water. Avoid using deter­gent as the can dam­age the tent; instead use some­thing like hand soap as this is less harsh. How­ev­er you should invest in a non-scent­ed soap, as a scent­ed one may attract insects and bugs to your tent on your next camp­ing trip.

Wipe the whole tent down, tak­ing care around the seams.

Take some time to care­ful­ly clean away and mould or mildew, as this can grow and get big­ger if you leave it. You should use an enzyme clean­er to kill the mould, but apply the solu­tion care­ful­ly as if you scrub too hard it could dam­age the tent.

You may also need to remove sticky tree sap from your tent. While pine sap won’t dam­age your tent too much, it does look messy and it feels sticky to the touch. You can use min­er­al oil to effec­tive­ly remove pine sap.

Pre­cau­tions and Suggestions

When the tent is dry you may want to con­sid­er using a spray-on fab­ric treat­ment, as this will help to pro­tect your tent so that it lasts for longer.

Don’t machine wash your tent, as it is very like­ly that the con­stant spin­ning will stretch or tear your tent, espe­cial­ly if it has mesh sec­tions. The hot water can also dam­age the syn­thet­ic materials.

Make sure that your tent doesn’t spend too much sub­merged in water, as this can break down the water­proof coating.

Next time you are camp­ing and you notice dirt on your tent, take the time to wipe it off then and there with a damp cloth. This will make it much eas­i­er to clean the tent lat­er on!