How to Clean a Tent

3) Make Sure Your Tent is Completely Dry 

While your tent may be water-resistant, that doesn't mean you can store it wet. That's a recipe for mold and mildew. So, if you can't stay at the campground until your tent dries completely, follow these instructions for cleaning a tent properly after it gets wet:

First, fold up the tent loosely and store it away until you get home. Then, set up your tent in your garage or another dry place, away from any water heaters or other devices that may give off heat. While self-standing tents are fairly easy to set up inside a garage, if you have a cabin-style tent, you may need to suspend the roof from the garage rafters.

Clean the tent thoroughly, as in Step 2. If possible, move the tent outside and hose it off. Then, carefully carry it back inside and set it up again. Allow the tent to air dry completely. Depending on the weather, this may take one or two days. Make sure that the window and door flaps are closed to ensure that they can dry. Once the tent exterior is dry, open the flaps so that the interior can air out. To speed up the drying process, consider using a fan to circulate the air. Do not place your tent in a clothes dryer or use a hair dryer. 

4) Make Sure Your Tent is in Good Repair 

Now is the perfect time to inspect your tent and make sure everything is ship-shape. You may need to re-seal all the seams to keep moisture out, replace any bent tent stakes or frayed guylines and sew up any torn stake loops.

5) Pack Your Tent Correctly 

Finally, once your portable castle is completely clean, dry and in tip-top condition, fold it down in the same manner as when it was new. Place it in its storage bag, along with tent poles, stakes and anything else that goes with it. Some campers recommend stuffing it into its sack to avoid creases that weaken the fabric over time.

Now your tent is prepped for storage. Place it in a cool, dry place so it's ready to go at a moment's notice.

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