Can Camping Tents Be Washed? (Must Know This)

Can Camping Tents Be Washed

If you’re an adventurer who loves camping out in the wild, tent care should be your priority since your tent is a temporary shelter.

Tents are always dirty after use because they’re set up on plain ground, thus being exposed to dust and debris. 

Due to this, new campers often wonder about the proper hygienic measures and maintenance acts that will keep their tents clean and in shape. Hence the question of if camping tents are washable.

Yes, you can wash your camping tent to keep it clean. However, you should be careful with the cleaning agents you use. When washing, a soft,  non-abrasive sponge and some mild soap are advisable. Also, you shouldn’t use a scented soap as it can attract rodents and insects.

In this article, I’ll satisfy curious minds by explaining how to wash camping tents. I’ll also tell you how often you should wash your tent.

I’ll also give you care and maintenance tips. By the end, you’ll be an expert on tent care.

What is The Best Way to Wash a Camping Tent?

Can Camping Tents Be Washed

Camping tents do so much for us when we are outdoors. As such, it is only right that we learn how to care for them properly.

Besides this, cleaning our tents is also an essential hygienic measure that helps to ensure their longevity and safeguard us.

Even though washing is the best way to evade dirt and keep your tent ready for future use, you must know what kind of wash your tent requires. 

Hand washing is the best method you can use to clean your tent. Though it’s a manual process that may be tasking, it is highly efficient.

Washing your camping tent by hand allows you to scrub gently and carefully. You will also be able to focus on greatly soiled areas.

You can start by spot-cleaning the tent before soaking it to loosen and release the dirt. Then follow up by rinsing it thoroughly.

However, do not scrub the camping tent vigorously so it doesn’t tear.

But in cases where your tent has mildew, offensive odors, unruly stains, or other issues, there are further cleaning measures you can apply.

For example, you can use an enzyme cleaner to eliminate mold, mildew, or sickening odors in your tent.

Mineral oil is also great for eradicating tree sap residue and other stains. Sanitizers can also clear pine sap from your tent, but you’ve got to rinse with water afterward.

You can also clean dirty poles by wiping them with a rag. Lastly, you can brush the zipper teeth with a soft toothbrush to keep them running smoothly. 

Are Camping Tents Machine Washable?

No, camping tents aren’t machine washable. Under no circumstance should you attempt to wash a camping tent with a top-loading washing machine.

Washing your tent with a washer is dangerous as it can destroy and leave it unusable. The agitators in washing machines stretch the fabric in the cleaning process, causing it to tear. 

Washers can also loosen the seams, damage the tent mesh, and weaken its protective coating. So, because of this, you shouldn’t wash your camping tent with a washer.

The same goes for dryers. So, do not use a washer or a dryer for your tent. It’s best to hand wash it and hang it outdoors to dry.

How Often Should You Wash a Camping Tent?

You indeed have to wash your tent often to keep it clean. But it’s also true that excess washing can lead to damage.

If you wash your camping tent too frequently, its material will wear out and stretch and tear. The seams of your tent may even begin to lose. 

Furthermore, washing your tent too frequently can degrade its water-repellent coating. So, you’ll create havoc even though your intentions were far from that.

Due to this, a crucial piece of information you should know is when and how often to wash your camping tent. 

You should wash your camping tent regularly but not too frequently. You can wash it after embarking on a long outdoor adventure. By long, I mean camping trips of one or more weeks.

But, if your camping adventures last a few days, do not wash your tent after each trip. Instead, wash it after six months or seasonally. However, there’s an exception to this.

If you experience harsh weather conditions during your trip, or your tent gets soiled by bird droppings, debris, or tree sap, you can wash it after a short trip.

Additionally, if you often embark on short camping trips but don’t like the idea of washing the tent seasonally, you clean it gently before storage.

Simply use a soft cloth or sponge to clean the soiled areas of your camping tent before airing it out for drying. 

With this knowledge, you can keep your camping tent in a perfect state while preventing it from getting spoiled.

You can also employ other maintenance measures and care tips to keep your tent neat. But whatever you do, remember to be gentle to avoid damage.

How to Properly Clean and Maintain a Camping Tent?

Cleaning your camping tent is essential as the act ensures its functionality. If you want to clean your camping tent properly, you’ll need a few supplies.

So, below is a table containing the supplies you’ll need and their respective uses.

Cleaning SupplyUse
A non-abrasive sponge or washclothYou’ll use it to scrub and spot clean soiled parts of the tent.
Tent or gear cleanerFor cleaning bird droppings, tree sap, or greasy areas.
Mild unscented washing soapIt will serve as the cleansing agent for washing the tent
BathtubTo soak the tent.
Cold or Warm waterIt’s also for washing the tent.

Now that you know the items you’ll need for washing your camping tent, let’s go over the cleaning steps.

  • The first thing to do when you want to clean your tent is to gather the supplies. 
  • Dip your cloth or sponge in water, spray the cleaner onto it, and use it to wipe off bird droppings and tree sap from the tent’s body.
  • Next, identify dirty areas and spot-clean them with your washcloth or a non-abrasive sponge.
  • Open the zip of your tent and turn it inside out.
  • Then in a bathtub, add water and your mild unscented soap. 
  • Shake it up to create suds and lathers, then immerse the tent into the tub and let it soak for some minutes.
  • Follow up by draining the soapy water from the tub and filling it with clean water.
  • Rinse the camping tent and repeat the last two steps until the water clears. 
  • After washing and rinsing thoroughly, hang the tent in a cool place, away from direct sunlight, to let it dry.

With the above steps, you can get your camping tent squeaky clean and ready for storage while anticipating your next adventure.

However, aside from washing, you can practice other cleaning measures to maintain your camping tent.

Below are maintenance tips you can follow when caring for your tent.

  • Please do not soak the tent for too long. If you do, hydrolysis can occur, causing its water resistance to weaken.
  • Be cautious when assembling and dismantling poles. Caution will help you prevent their edges from chipping.
  • When setting up, find a good spot under a shade to prevent damage from ultraviolet rays.
  • Keep your shoes out of the tent to prevent trudging in with mud and dirt.
  • If you have pets like dogs and cats, do not leave them alone in the tent so you can watch and prevent them from tearing up the base with their claws.
  • Hold your tent up and shake it to remove sand and particles.
  • Dry your tent after every camping expedition to prevent mildew and mold from forming.
  • When storing your tent, pack it loosely so air can flow freely.

Following this guide and following the tips, you’ll have the most hygienic and sparkliest tent ever.

Josh Matthews

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *