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Inside The Outdoors

How To Clean A Tent

16.07.2021 | Camping

Keeping your tent clean is an important part of camping. Not cleaning your tent can result in mould, stains and even damage that can cause your tent to leak. You may not need to perform more than a quick sweep and shake of the tent most of the time but it is a good idea to get into the routine of cleaning your tent more thoroughly after every few camping trips. Our guide will show you how to clean your tent so it looks it’s best and lasts longer than one summer.


How To Prevent Your Tent Becoming Dirty

Depending on where you camp, it is hard to prevent the outside of your tent getting dirty, but you can help the inside.

  1. Take off your shoes when entering the tent. If you’re not able to leave them outside, pop them in a plastic bag.
  2. Sweep the inside of the tent with a dustpan and brush every couple of days.
  3. Don’t allow wet clothes in your tent. Dirt can cling to wet clothes and then fall off once dry, leave your wet clothes to dry either outside or in the porch area (if you have one).
  4. Avoid putting your gear against the inside of your tent, this can cause leaks.


How To Clean A Tent

Before you begin to clean your tent, make sure you have checked your tents cleaning instructions. You must clean your tent by hand, it can not go in the washing machine.

  1. With a very mild and non-fragranced soap, use a sponge to clean any particularly dirty areas.
  2. Start filling a bathtub with lukewarm water and add in a specialist tech or tent cleaner. This must be a cleaner especially for outdoor and waterproof gear. We would recommend something like the Nikwax Tech Wash or Wash N Proof.
  3. Turn your tent inside out and ensure all the doors are unzipped. While wearing gloves, submerge your tent in the water with the cleaner.
  4. Let the tent soak for around 20 minutes then drain the tub and gently squeeze out any excess water – do not twist!
  5. Fill your bath tub with clean water and rinse, squeezing the tent gently. You may have to drain and refill the fresh water more than once to ensure the cleaner has completely rinsed off your tent.
  6. Set up your tent or hang it in a shaded area (or indoors) until it has completely dried.
  7. Once completely dry (this may take a few days), set up your tent and spray it with a Tent and Equipment Proofer. A proofer will ensure your tent maintains its ability to repel water and be waterproof. Allow the tent to dry again before packing away.


Unfortunately, cleaning your tent will not remove mould that has already appeared. The best attack against mould is prevention, this can be done by making sure your tent is 100% dry before packing it away. If your tent has seen better days, it may be time to get a new one, you can take a look at our selection below.


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