Camping trips will always result in dirty, wet, and grimy tents. This is why cleaning a tent after camping is necessary to extend its life. If you have a moldy tent, there are some special instructions you need to follow to ensure that it will be safe for sleeping all over again.
So, how do you get mold out of a tent? First, you need to use a soft-bristled brush to get rid of loose mold. Use special cleaning chemicals for mold such as water and vinegar mix or Concrobium to kill the remaining mold spores effectively. Use warm water to wash the molded spot and scrub gently. Hang the tent outside to dry.
How to Check If There is Mold in Your Tent
If you have camped a few times but you are unsure whether your tent has mold or not, look inside and perform a thorough inspection. It is always recommended for mold to be treated at the soonest time possible. Examine the tent as often as you can when using in.
Although your tent may be dusty or dirty, a closer examination will help you identify if it is actually molded. Dirty tents will become clean after washing or brushing it off.
Mold tends to linger for a longer time. It usually appears like tiny specks of black color on the tent’s fabric. Mold also appears green or blue in color with a fuzzy appearance.
There is also a distinct smell if a tent has mold. It may have a musty smell and it may feel humid inside the tent because moisture is the main culprit behind the growth of mold.
How to Clean a Tent with Mold
- If your tent has minimal and new mold, you can just wash it as you usually do use soapy hot water. Other good at-home recommendations are lemon juice and salt, a mixture of vinegar and water, or hydrogen peroxide.
- Avoid using chlorine bleach because this is extremely corrosive. Some people do not recommend the use of bleach as this can cause damages to the fabric and fade the tent’s color. There are many products meant to remove mold that you can easily buy from any local hardware shop.
- You may also want to check the specific material the tent is made from. There are tents made from cotton or canvas while other tents are nylon, petroleum, or polyester-based. If you have a canvas tent, you have to be more careful to ensure that you can safely use the cleaning solution on it.
- You should never use some cleaning solvents depending on the specific material. Check the tent’s user manual or check online to avoid ruining your tent.
- You can also buy a cold Fogger that will mist a solution that prevents mold throughout the tent’s interior. After all the surfaces are coated, it will eliminate any existing mold, including those that you cannot see. It is also wise to conduct first a spot test for all the products you will use. Pick the tent’s inconspicuous corner and apply a bit of the solution to know if it has some negative effects.
- If there are still some mold spores on your tent, see to it that you brush them off so they won’t continue growing. You must do it outdoors, so mold spores do not get into the air in your home or cause some indoor mold problems.
- If your tent is only moldy on its small portion, you must spot treat it without washing the whole tent. After that, dip the tent’s portion to hot water and scrub it using a sponge or washrag in the affected area.
- For the tents that are infested with mold, you might have to soak it for a long period of time. You may fill your bathtub with hot water and the cleaning solution you’re using.
Once you are done cleaning your tent, you should make sure that you store it in a dry and cool place.
The fabric must have ventilation and should be able to breathe. Never put it in a place like your car’s trunk or in your attic.
Dealing with Mildew or Mold Stains
Since mold can be dangerous to one’s health, it is essential that you get rid of it right away. If you kill the mold and clean your tent, there is a chance that the area could have stains.
In this case, there isn’t too much you can do. Your tent might not look new and pristine again. But, there is still a way to fade the stain a bit.
You may wash it or use a non-chlorine bleach to avoid damage to the fabric.
If you have a tent with colored fabric, you may consider gentler cleanser like salt and lemon juice. Try cleaning your tent as soon as you have noticed the mold to avoid stains from setting in.
Scrub your tent’s affected area and let it soak. After that, give it some more treatments to get most of the stains removed.
Preventing Mold on Your Tent
The perfect way to prevent mold is by keeping your tent dry if possible while you are camping. You also need to make sure that it’s dry before you store it. Aside from that, don’t store your tent in a damp or hot place.
It isn’t always possible to keep your tent dry while camping. There could be snow or rain and some web debris including mud, leaves or insects that fall on your tent.
You must dry out the tent during the daytime if you know it’s wet. Then, make sure to do an inspection properly and clean the wet areas. After camping, it is important to follow the cleaning instructions above to avoid other problems.
As a camper or tent user, you should take mold seriously. It is very easy to treat and prevent it. Through being proactive while camping and cleaning it always, you will be able to extend the life span of your tent and avoid mold problems in the future.