After a camping trip, your tent may have become dirty from things like splashed mud, pine sap, spilled food, and other debris you inadvertently tracked inside the abode. No matter the type of tent you have, you must continuously care for it; otherwise, the material will not last as long as it should. From improper care, a tent's fabric can crack, peel, become moldy, and even lose its waterproof coating. Here are some care tips on how to clean a tent to ensure it stays in top shape.
Once you've shaken out all the loose debris from your tent, it's crucial that you do not machine wash or dry it. The material can become stretched or even torn by washers with agitators. The heat of a dryer will also ruin the effectiveness of the tent and may force you to purchase a new one. To prevent this, only wash your tent by hand. Ideally, place it in a tub to make sure you can get to all soiled areas. Household cleaners like bleach, spot removers, and harsh dish soaps will deteriorate the tent's material over time. With a non-abrasive sponge and cold water, gently scrub away dirt and grime with a non-detergent soap. Here's a pro-tip: use unscented soap! Perfumes will attract insects and other small creatures to your tent, which is a no-no. if your tent is older and you've noticed the waterproof coating is wearing away, you can replace it. After washing your tent, waterproof coating can be reapplied when it's still wet.
Once you've tended to all soiled areas, it's time to dry it. One mistake people make is storing it while damp. This dampness is an invitation for mold and mildew, which will be a hassle to remove from the tent. One of the best ways to dry your tent is outside. Leave it pitched or hung up until it's 100% dry. From there, loosely store it in an old pillowcase or mesh bag. Tight storage will not allow the tent to breathe. Be sure to store it in a dry place. If you need to place it in areas like basements, place it in a plastic storage container to prevent moisture from seeping into the tent. Should your tent develop a mildew smell, you can use products like Revivex Odor Eliminator to help remove it.