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When the nice weather starts to roll around for most people it signals that camping season has come! For others, camping season is all year round.

Whatever the case may be, keeping your tent clean is a must to get value for your money and keep your portable, pop-up home clean and comfortable.

Here we look at the basics of cleaning a tent and also how to deep clean a tent that may have gathered dust or become moldy when in storage. We also give top tips on how to repair common maintenance problems associated with tents.

How To Clean A Tent


Before you get started you will need to gather your cleaning supplies, you will need:

  • A bathtub or large tub filled with cold to lukewarm water
  • Natural or fragrance-free dish soap
  • A cleaner, designed for use on outdoor clothing and gear
  • Cloth or non-abrasive cloth

We recommend the Nikwax Tech Wash, it is a fantastic product to use to clean a tent. You can purchase this product from Amazon by clicking here or from the official Nikwax online store by clicking here.

Nikwax Tech Wash


Now that you have gathered your supplies it’s time to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning. Follow the below steps to clean your tent:

  1. Taking the cloth, add a small amount of the dish soap and begin to spot clean any areas that are particularly dirty. This will help the dirt to lift and achieve an overall cleaner finish.
  2. Next, you will fill the bathtub, or large tub, with cool to lukewarm water. You will add the tent cleaner into the bathtub. Check the manufacturer’s instructions on the cleaning product to check how much you will need to add to the water.
  3. Before placing the tent into the water, make sure all the doors are unzipped and turn the tent inside out. You can also place the rainfly into the tub to be cleaned during this process.
  4. The tent should now be placed in the water, making sure the water covers it entirely. Leave the tent to soak, again checking the manufacturer’s instructions on the cleaning product to see how long you should leave the tent to soak.
  5. After the soaking time is up, drain the tub of all the dirty water. Once the tub is empty of water refill it with clean water, again cool to lukewarm. You will repeat the step until the soap has been rinsed off the tent entirely.
  6. Once the soap has been rinsed off your tent should be either hung up or set up to dry in a shaded area. The drying time will vary, depending on the size and thickness of the tent.

Once dry, your tent should now look as good as new!

How To Deep Clean A Tent

how to clean a tent

There are several instances when a deep clean would be required, here we go through such cases and offer tips on products to use and how to deep clean your tent.

Moldy Tents With Foul Odors

Tents can often become moldy, especially when they are stored in an outdoor space. Enzyme cleaners are a great way to remove mold, mildew, and foul odors and can be purchased from most outdoor stores.

When using an enzyme cleaner it is important to follow the product directions carefully as soaking for too long can cause the waterproof polyurethane coatings to break down.

Pine Sap On Tent

Pine sap can often drip onto tents and it can be a nightmare to clean. Mineral oil is a great trick for lifting the sap, just make sure you don’t over scrub the area affected by the pine sap.

Other alcohol-based products, such as wet wipes or sanitizer, can also work. Always rinse the affected area thoroughly with water after the sap has been removed to prevent staining.

Stuck Zippers

Zippers can often get stuck because of dirt stuck in the zipper teeth. Use a toothbrush to scrub any dirt build-ups that may be affecting the zippers.

For more stubborn dirt the zippers should be rinsed with lukewarm water before being scrubbed with a toothbrush.

Dirty Poles

Tent poles can also get dirty, meaning they don’t run as smoothly through the tent linings as they once did which can cause tears.

To clean poles that have sand, dirt, dust, or salt on them simply wipe them down with a rag.

Leaking Tent

If a tent is not keeping water out as efficiently as it used to we recommend renewing your waterproof coatings.

This should make an instant difference, once the product has been used properly and left to dry for the necessary length of time.

Top Maintenance Tips

Below are some top tips on how to keep your tent in perfect condition all year round so that it is always ready for an impromptu adventure in the great outdoors.

  • Always choose a flat spot to set up camp, this will prevent any rips or tears to the base of the tent
  • Camp in the shade if you will be camping for some days to prevent the sun from bleaching the tent
  • Always keep dirty footwear or other gear outside of the tent
  • Store food outside of the tent to prevent attracting rodents and other wildlife
  • Always dry your tent after use
  • Clean your tent after use when possible and especially deep clean your tent after a camping season
  • Pay attention to storage instructions provided by the tent manufacturer to prevent any damage to the tent while in storage
  • Weatherproof your tent appropriately to ensure it stays waterproof and capable of withstanding more extreme weather conditions also
  • Carrying a sewing kit can be useful if you encounter any small tears in the seam of your tent as a quick fix until you return home from your trip

Final Thoughts

We hope that you found this piece helpful and that you have been able to restore your tent to its best possible condition.

Keeping your tent clean will prevent the materials from wearing down, free from staining, and also prevent any smells from clinging to the tent material.

Discover How To Use The Power of Authority Marketing To Make You Money While You Adventure!

No Experience, Existing Product Or Technical Skills Are Required


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