Can you Wash a Tent in a Washing Machine?

Last Updated on November 10, 2022 by DAVID

A decent quality, durable camping tent serves as a wonderful outdoor home, so proper care is required to maintain it well. Proper tent washing is part of tent care. If you are a seasonal camper, you need to clean your tent every time you travel. Although it can be difficult to clean a tent and make it dust-free, it is advisable to eliminate the mold odors. So, when it comes to washing a dusty tent, a common question always arises, whether should soak them in a washing machine. Unfortunately, it is not recommended to wash a tent in a washing machine.

Why You Can’t Wash A Tent In A Washing Machine?

  • Machine wash is not safe to wash your tent. Because the rough washing machine cycle can stretch and tear the tent fabric, also it can damage your tent meshseams, and coating. Even bland cycles are not suitable enough for a dusty tent.
  • Utmost contemporary tents are produced using nylon or polyester. Both are stretchy. Even polyester is more stretchy than nylon. Thus, laundering a tent in the washing machine will stretch and thin the tent fabric. And it will enhance the chances of tearing. So, never wash nylon and polyester in a washing machine
  • The seams of the tents, both nylon, and polyester are sealed with seam tape. As a result of washing in the washing machine, the glue of the seam tape can be damaged. And could make holes in the tent pieces where they were sewn together. Water, even minor bugs like ants, can enter your tent through perforated seams.
  • Tent mesh is responsible for constant airflow and ventilation inside of the tent. Usage of the washing machine will damage the mesh and create large holes in the mesh.
  • Your tent coating also plays a significant role and can be spoiled by washing machines. This covering prevents the tent from getting wet. It is outstandingly the main waterproofing element of a tent. The rigid cycle of a washing machine could break this coating and make this waterproof characteristic unusable.

Why You Can’t Wash A Tent In A Washing Machine?

Tent Cleaning Tips:

  • Set up the tent to clean, then wipe gently with a mild cleanser and mildly warm water. After that, wash properly—mainly the heavier, twofold sewed regions like the seams.
  • Do not use dryers, laundry detergents, or washing machines to save the tent protective coating and seams from destruction.
  • It is essential to dry it very well before packing; otherwise, mold and mildew will grow.
  • After a camping trip by the seaside, mop the tent poles with a smooth, dry cloth. It is necessary to remove salt sprinkles from the poles so that they are not eroded or soiled.
  • After camping in a sandy or dirty (muddy) place, wash the zippers by quickly dipping them in water and then letting them dry. Uncertainly if you do not clean the zippers properly, the sliders will break, and the teeth will become unusable.

Washing tent in a bathtub:

Keep the Tent Wet: To wash the tent in a bathtub, at first, block your tub channel so you can fill it with water. Then occupy your bathtub up most with lukewarm water (not burning hot). You may use an enzyme cleaner if your tent has damn odors, mold, or mildew. Enzyme cleaner is also perfect for washing all camping equipment. Plunge the tent and rainfly in the solution and Keep these wet.

Wash the tent: Rinse the tent with clean water until all the cleansers are gone.

Dry the tent: To dry a tent properly, put it up in a shady outdoor area and let it dry.

Wash outside with a hose and a sponge:

Put up your tent, and take a good look at each part to see if there is any damage. The primary focus would be on the seams and flap of your tent. Assuming you have found any flaws, fix them up to maintain the excellent condition of your tent. Ignorance of any minor issues can lead to further damage.

Starting cleaning from the flap will be better. Use a brush to clean the pile of dust. Apply soap and sponge to remove any stains. For washing outside of the tent, a garden hose is useful. Wash the tent properly before letting it dry. 

How to Remove Mold from Your Tent?

It is essential to check your tent after each camping to find any mold or mildew that needs to be treated. If you detect any unusual stains, make sure they are just dirt or dust. Wipe them with a wet cloth. If the stains do not remove easily, you might have a mold issue. It typically arrives as little black, blue, or green spots on the tent cloth. Sometimes, these spots can be blurred. Mildew is similar to mold. Both are fungi, ordinarily yellow, gray, or white. Since dampness and moistness cause mold and mildew, you might see a malodorous smell also.

If you identify mold and mildew in your tent, here is how to clean it. Before applying any of the following methods, somewhere on your tent should be tested so that your solution does not stain or damage your tent material.

1. Cleanser and Water Formula:

The initial step is to set up your moldy tent, as it will be a lot simpler to wash when it is appropriately set up. Then, you can scrape off the mold with a cloth or soft-bristled brush. Whether you do it outside, you will not find mold germs in your home. Assuming you have a canvas tent, utilize a solid shuddered brush, yet at the same time scour gently. Then you will use a combination of lukewarm water and a non-detergent soap that is free of any smell that may attract pests. And delicately scour the mold or mildew. Wash lightly with clean water and let dry in a shady place.

2. Vinegar and Lemon Formula:

Blend one mug of lukewarm water and one-quarter mug of vinegar in a spray jar, and then spray on the damaged space of the tent. Let the solution sit afore you start gently scrubbing. Then wash with fresh water, and let it dry entirely.

Likewise, you can try another homemade method by using lemon and salt instead of vinegar. 

You will need a gallon of warm water, a mug of lemon juice, and a mug of salt. Go through the same directions as the vinegar formula and repeat if necessary. 

How to Clean a Tent with vinegar That Smells?

Vinegar is an ideal solution for freeing your tent of molds or other foul smells. For this DIY hack, you will require vinegar, lemon juice, and lukewarm water in the tub. Depending on the size of the tent, a tub will need to sink the tent wholly.

Blend the vinegar and lemon juice with lukewarm water in the tub. Sink your malodorous tent in the solution and let it wet for a minimum of an hour. Then pick up the tent from the mixture and let it dry until required timing. 

Steps to Prepare a Tent for Storage after Washing:

Earlier to storage, taking care of your tent is essential to keep it in good condition. After washing, follow these steps to prepare your tent for storage,

  • It is important to dry the tent and equipment well earlier to storing. Must do this to protect your tent from mildew, mold, or other damage.
  • For long-range storage, a breathable stockpiling sack is required instead of its stuff sack. Should store tents and materials by gently folding. Excessive compression and storage in its stuff sack can ruin the tent and accessories.
  • Should keep tent away from direct sunlight. Cold, shaded, and dry place is the best for storing tents.

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