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How best to clean your tent


A Tent event

Tents are used for the outdoors and are put up on gravel, sand, grass, and a variety of other surfaces, and this means they do get dirty. Yes, birds will poop on the tent, mud will make its way indoors, mildew will form in spots left damp, and grubby paws will leave marks on the tent fabric. Expect your tent to get dirty – there is no avoiding it. But, fret not, there are easy methods to clean your tent, as leaving it dirty will and can lead to the complete degradation of your prized outdoor home.

Here are our top tips for getting your tent in ship shape:

  1. If you have space, pitch the tent in your back garden or an open area. Now sweep out any dirt that has accumulated on the groundsheet. Some of the lighter tents can be lifted into the air and shaken out to remove any loose dirt.
  2. Use a tent cleaner that is specifically designed for tents and that will not remove the waterproof impregnation found in many tent materials. You can purchase spray-on waterproofing materials that will add additional protection.
  3. Stubborn stains such as fatty deposits, tree sap, and bird droppings can be treated with a stain remover to break them down.
  4. Mildew is always going to be a problem as tents are often packed away while still having moisture held within them. The best option to prevent mildew is to open the tent up when you get home and let it dry completely before being repacked and stored in a dry, aerated area. Once mildew sets in it is incredibly difficult to remove. Using bleach is not an option as it will degrade the tent fabric and also remove the colour from the affected area. But mildew does need to be treated to prevent is spreading. A weak solution of sterilising liquid such as Milton, used for baby’s nappies, can be wiped on to the affected area to stop its progress but unfortunately, once mildew has set in and the dark spots (spores) have embedded themselves in the tent fabric, it is incredibly difficult to remove this discolouration. The best you can hope for is to stop the spread of the mildew.
  5. Tent pegs also need care and a good scrub to remove any residual dirt to stop any corrosion. Dry off the clean tent pegs and place in the clean tent peg bag.
  6. Guide ropes can easily be cleaned with alcohol-based wet wipes, which will remove any greasy hand stains and dirt. Let the guide ropes dry completely before packing the tent away.

Keeping your tent in pristine condition is a relatively easy task. Okay, sometimes we don’t feel like putting up the tent straight after getting back from a holiday, so we’ll give you a day’s break. But don’t leave it too long, or your next camping holiday will be a dirty, mouldy affair.


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