Last Updated: Jan 16, 2021

How to Clean a Tent with Mold & More Tips

  • BY Nick Bulanda

    Published January 15, 2021

How to Clean a Tent with Mold and Other Maintenance Advice

Are you currently planning your next camping trip? We all know how much of a blast it can be, whether you’re going to a populated campground or in the absolute wild. However, there’s nothing worse than spending lots of money on a nice tent only to find it tainted when you want to use it.  If you went to pull out your tent and found it smelling of mold or mildew, that’s something you’re going to want to take care of as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as throwing your tent in the washing machine to get that smell out. You’re going to need to take some extra steps if you’re learning how to clean a tent with mold. However, that’s what we’re here for. In this guide, you’ll find tips on how to prepare for your next camping trip. That includes cleaning out your moldy tent! We’ll even offer up some wisdom on ways you can keep your tent mold-free moving forward. Check it out, and make sure to let us know how your trip goes!

1. How to Clean a Tent with Mold

Cleaning your tent is a key part of maintenance, and everyone should make sure to do it at least once a year. We recommend starting by searching for specific problem areas on your tent. If there’s a stain, or an area where the smell seems concentrated, focus on that spot. Use a sponge or a soft cloth, and be sure to avoid abrasive brushes. For most tents, soap and water will be completely fine. However, there’s also a specific tent cleaning product that you can find at sporting goods stores and online. This product will be even more effective.

Once you finish cleaning specific spots, it’s time to do a full deep clean. Fill up a tub, bin or something similar with soapy water and immerse your whole tent inside the liquid. Let it soak for a while before pulling it out to dry. Let your tent hang in a dry area, ideally out of direct sunlight. Once it’s fully dry, go ahead and perform the old smell test. Hopefully, with our help, you’ve learned how to clean a tent with mold the right way.

However, it is possible that the problem still isn’t taken care of. If this is the case, we recommend trying for one more spot cleaning before heading to last resort measures. Look for enzyme cleaners and pick out the best one you find. A product like this is heavy-duty, and will surely clean out even the deepest stains and smells.

2. Keeping Your Tent Clean in Storage

Once your tent is clean, you ideally want to keep it that way, even in storage. It’s not impossible! Heck, if you follow our advice, it’s not even difficult. The most important thing is to properly fold your tent and store it inside some sort of container. Whether this is a bin, a box, or a bag that came with the tent, it shouldn’t matter too much. What does matter is ensuring that your tent is 100% dry before storing. You’re also going to want to keep it somewhere in shelter, such as a shed or garage.

When you store your tent, keep it up off the ground. A shelf in the garage works great, or even up in a closet somewhere. This will help it avoid gathering more dust than necessary, and will ensure it doesn’t get kicked over or something like that. It’s not a bad idea to keep it out of heavy-traffic areas as well. This way, you won’t risk any accidental spills or anything like that. If you follow our pieces of advice, you should have a fresh and clean tent the next time you pull it out of storage.

How to Clean a Tent with Mold
Once your tent is cleaned out, and you’ve made sure you didn’t forget anything, you’re ready to have an amazing time in the wilderness. “From the Tent” by BLM Oregon & Washington is licensed under CC BY 2.0

3. Make a Checklist

This next tip is very important in the days and hours leading up to your trip. During your planning, we strongly recommend writing up a checklist for everything you plan to bring along. In the planning stage, this lets you organize your thoughts. Look over it often, and this will help reduce the chances of leaving something important off your list. Make sure you account for camping/hiking gear, food, water, storage, clothes and other essentials. Also don’t be afraid to ask others who are going with you what their thoughts are. You may be surprised at something obvious that has slipped your mind so far.

On the day of your trip, this checklist will make sure you don’t leave anything at home. Go through it at least twice, and you won’t regret it. We all have stories about going camping while forgetting a major element of the trip. With this tip, you’ll be able to avoid that frustration and enjoy your camping journey.

4. Stock Up on Gear Throughout the Year

If you’re a lover of camping, there’s a good chance you have your fair share of gear and equipment. However, if you’re anything like us, you always want to newest and best stuff available. Our advice is to pick up items throughout the year rather than just the spring or summer, when most people purchase their camping supplies. This will allow you to take advantage of great sales, as well as spread out your purchases. This can help ensure you have some truly incredible gear ready for your next camping excursion.

There are all kinds of things you could pick up to improve your trip. That includes camping pads, a new sleeping bag, a hammock, or even a new tent if your old one is too far gone. Here at the Camping Chair, we offer a variety of buying guides and reviews, giving you our take on some of the most popular accessories to pick up. Browse our website to find some truly impressive products that could change your adventures in a whole new way.

How to Clean a Tent with Mold
Camping is a good solo activity, fun with a pair, or even with a large group. Just make sure you’re ready for whatever the environment might throw at you! “in tents” by peyri is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

5. Make It Fun for the Whole Family

One of the most common tips you’ll hear with regards to camping is don’t pack too much. While this is true, it’s also important to remember to pack for everyone. If you’re going on a family trip, or a road trip with friends, make sure to bring activities for everyone to enjoy together. If there are going to be kids there, bring some games along for them to play with. It’s also never a bad idea to bring along a football, soccer or volleyball. You can spend hours having a great time with just a few simple additions to your checklist!

When you’re thinking about what items to bring along, think about the people you’ll be with. What kinds of activities do you think they’ll enjoy? Better yet, you can even ask them yourself to find out! If every individual has a good time on the trip, it will ensure a better time for the group at large. A camping trip is a phenomenal way to build some lasting memories. You can help encourage this by providing fun for everyone!

How to Clean a Tent with Mold
There’s nothing quite like a good camping trip. However, all that fun could be ruined by a tent that reeks of mold and mildew. We can help you get your gear ready for adventure today. Learn how to clean a tent with mold using our guide! “Glowing tent in Ryan Campground” by Joshua Tree National Park is marked with CC PDM 1.0

Most of All: Enjoy Your Next Trip!

All of these tips, including how to clean a tent with mold, are meant to increase your enjoyment of camping. At the end of the day, this activity is supposed to be a healthy and fun stress-reliever. Don’t get too worked up over anything, and most of all: relax. If you follow our advice, and use your own common sense, you’ll be sure to have a grand time out there! While there are certainly things that can go wrong, with weather and other mishaps like that, plenty of preparation can help offset that chance.

If you have any further questions for us here at The Camping Chair, be sure to let us know in the comments! Additionally, if you have any tips or recommendations of your own that you’d like to share with our readers, don’t be shy. Our community is quite friendly. We’re all about providing a safe and fun experience for campers. Hopefully with this guide, you’ll have some extra knowledge you can take with you moving forward. Have a safe journey, and make sure to let us know how it goes.

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