How To Clean A Tent With Mold? A Detailed Guide For Rookies

After a vacation, it’s completely natural for your tent to be filthy, unclean, moldy, and damp. Mold, whether good or harmful, is an unavoidable aspect of the environment we live in.

You’ll need to clean your tent to make it last longer. “How To Clean A Tent With Mold” Mold has the capability to damage your belongings. If your tent is damp and moldy, additional steps must be followed to make sure it’s safe to sleep in again.

See Also: What is a Rain Fly? What are They Used For?

What is mold?

Mold, unlike plants, gets its energy from decomposing organic materials rather than from the light.

Without getting too technical for a tent-related blog, molds excrete enzymes that cause organic materials to degrade (called “rot”), which it eats to generate energy to reproduce, and thus the circle of life drives us all.

Mold is Nature’s Recycling hub, a unique and necessary part of the natural environment that allows us to live on this planet.

Where does mold in the tent come from?

Mold is found everywhere. Mold adheres to clothing, skin, hair, leaf, bugs, and just about everything else. Mold can grow almost everywhere where the temperature is above zero.

Mold may develop in a variety of conditions, but it thrives in damp, dark settings with enough organic matter to eat.

Mold may proliferate in as little as 24 hours under the appropriate conditions, which is why it’s critical to deal with it as soon as you notice signs of it.

Is mold a potential risk?

Even though we are not medical specialists, we can confidently declare that uncontrolled mold may damage a tent based on the considerable study, first experience, and considerable testing.

Mold is ugly in mild cases, and once it has penetrated the tent’s fabric, it is very hard to entirely remove it, however, it is extremely simple to keep it from spreading.

Mold may cause decay, cracks, rips, and even the entire destruction of a tent in dire cases.

There are a number of credible sources that give detailed information on the potential health implications of mold infection (CDC, WHO).

In general, most molds are not harmful to humans, and a healthy individual who does not have a specific mold allergy or prior disease will be unharmed by mold.

However, it’s probably a good idea to avoid living near, breathing, or ingesting significant amounts of mold, which is usually the case when mold can be seen with the naked human eye.

How can you keep mold away from your tent?

To avoid mold, all that is required for the occasional camper or glam-per is routine cleaning or re-treatment and assuring that your tent is never packed while moist or soiled.

Before folding up the tent for storage, let it dry entirely in the sunshine, making sure the floor, guidelines, rods, hooks, and sacks are all nice and dry.

Unless you can’t have it dry before leaving camp, wrap the tent up gently for travel and then let it dry at home in the garage or living room before storing it.

You are amazing if you are building your tent for an extended length of time or if you are living out in your tent! As an experienced naturalist, you understand the value of a clean camp and high-quality equipment.

Follow these tips to avoid mold from forming in the first place:

  • Check the tent for mold development on a regular basis.
  • Remove any dead leaves, bugs, bird dung, or other debris that has fallen on the tent.
  • Try cutting down the flora in the area around the tent so that overgrown bushes and thorns are several miles away. Continue to do so when new growth emerges. This also keeps the windows clean and makes you feel more at ease.
  • Ensure that your tent is adequately ventilated.
  • According to your findings of the effect that the environment has on your tent, cleanse and retract the tent as required.

Cleansing and retracting your tent will necessitate periodic tent dismantling. On a sunny day, normal cleaning and re-treatment might take a few hours.

Isn’t the sun supposed to keep mold at bay?

Plants thrive in environments with plenty of moisture and sunshine, whereas mold thrives in environments with lots of moisture and dead plants.

Over thousands of years, several mold species have evolved systems to shield themselves from the sun’s damaging rays.

UV radiation also deteriorates the tents’ treatment, exposing the tent to the outdoors and making it more prone to mold penetration. Don’t put your faith in the sun. Maintain a clean tent and retract it when needed.

Could you just use a plastic tent instead?

Plastic is a non-organic, petroleum-based material that molds less easily than cotton. This is why plastic does not biodegrade well and why our seas and landfills are overflowing with it.

Nylon and polyester are notoriously difficult to mend, and rips and tears are almost always deadly. Plastic does not ventilate as well as cotton, which is necessary for a humid area to maintain a suitable level of interior humidity.

A tent stove will not work in a plastic tent. Mildew still affects plastic tents, which smells bad.

How to clean a tent with mold?

Mold is widespread. Prevention is essential, but mold can come to everyone.

How To Clean A Tent With Mold
How to Clean a Tent from Mold

1- Recognize it: 

Mold may take various forms and colors, but on fabric, it usually appears as small black, blue, or green spots scattered across the cloth.

2- Try to remove it: 

Using purified white vinegar, spray it. Left it to dry.

3- Cleanse it: 

Wipe it clean with a soft brush and a solution of salt, lemon, and hot water. Detergents and bleach should be avoided since they are harsh on the tent’s fabric and difficult to remove. Let it dry.

4- Retreat it: 

Apply a canvas treatment to a clean, dry canvas.

Cleaning an extremely dirty and moldy tent

Mold stains do develop, especially in warm, flora and fauna-rich settings, despite the fact that mold and mildew avoidance is always the best approach for preserving your tent.

There’s still a chance if the environment has overtaken your tent care plan and you’ve got a filthy tent on your own.

Keep the following points in mind:

  • Prepare yourself for the fact that mold stains are exceptionally hard to completely eliminate. The tent would never look spanking new anymore, but a proper cleaning may extend the life of your tent with a little hard effort and persistence.
  • Deep cleaning is time-consuming and difficult. Based on how filthy the tent is as well as how much soap you have to wash out, you may need to repeat some of these procedures.
  • Grab some assistance! Tents are heavy, and damp tents are much more so.

What will you need to clean a moldy tent?

  • Oxyclean is sodium per carbonate; you can produce it yourself, but it’s cheaper to obtain the brand name, which is typically quite economical.
  • A big container large enough to hold the tent cover and water, as well as enough area to stir and manage it.
  • A strong stirring stick made from a broom handle, a canoe handle, and a debarked wood twig with rounded tips.
  • A broomstick or a small brush
  • A plentiful supply of water (hose)
  • 24 to 48 hours of favorable weather conditions for 2 able-bodied people to finish all of the tasks and enable the tent to dry thoroughly at least twice.
  • Cleaning supplies: a sponge and perhaps some mild cleanser or whatever you use to clean your dining area.

Method of deep Cleaning:

  1. With a brush, remove all loose dirt.
  2. Disconnect the canvas tent canopy from the tent’s floor. The floor will be washed separately. If the guy-lines are filthy, you may keep them on, but remember that they must be retracted at the end to prevent UV damage.
  3. Fill a big container halfway with warm water (about 1 foot or 30cm). Use your common sense on how much Oxiclean to use based on how filthy the tent is, and consult to the instructions on the box. Mix vigorously until the fluid is entirely dissolved.
  4. In the container, put the tent canvas.
  5. Fill the tent with water until it has been fully absorbed.
  6. Stir and mix the solution well to ensure that it is properly combined and that the canvas is equally saturated.
  7. Leave 4 to 10 hours for the tent to soak, tossing periodically. It would be fine to soak it overnight if you need to.
  8. You’ll need a clean area to dry the tent on, so prepare your clean floor. The tent floor may be cleaned in the same way as a kitchen floor. It has to be swept, mopped, and rinsed.
  9. Drain out the unclean water when you’ve finished soaking but keep the tent inside.
  10. If the canvas appears to be relatively clean, add additional water, swirl and mix with your stick, then drain. Repeat as necessary till the whole of the soap has been removed from the canvas.
  11. Setup the tent by spreading the fabric.
  12. Rinse the tent again, being sure to remove any leftover soap.
  13. Wait for the full dryness of the tent.
  14. With a canvas-specific waterproofing solution of your selection, retreat the tent.

Final Wordz

A moldy tent can be hard to clean, and you need to be patient to clean get rid of that nasty mold completely.

We hope that this guide has helped you to get an in-depth insight into the cleaning process. We have tried our best to answer all your queries related to cleaning a moldy tent.

Be patient and enjoy the process to get optimal results.