Clean Tent that smell
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How to Clean a Tent that Smells

How to check and prepare your tent for the coming season or your next adventure is a difficult task at home. Tents are a home away from home when you’re camping, so keep it clean and well maintained for a restful night’s sleep in the great outdoors.

You should clean your tent daily. Sweep out your tent with the broom while it is set up. Use the dustpan to collect any dust bunnies and dirt piles. But what precautionary measures should be taken in the case of an older, dirty, and smelly tent. A camping tent gets dirt, smell, and mold after some months. Although some people find it difficult to clean a tent that smells, I think it is very easy. In this article, you will find useful tricks to clean your prior tent with simple steps. You can make your old tent a new one by following the given instructions.

If your tent smells, you should clean it. A smelly and molded tent requires a cloth or sponge, mild dish soap, rubbing alcohol, tech wash, and mirazyme for its cleaning. Wet the tent in detergent mixed water for 30 minutes. Wash it with clean water and dry it for one day. Pack the tent in a clean piece of cloth or shopping bag. Keep it a dry, dirt, and smell-free place. 

Simple Steps to Clean an old Tent

Here you will come to know about the cleaning and safety of an old molded, moisturized, and smelly tent within five simple steps.

1. Cleaning and lubricating a zipper

The zippers are critical and should always be kept clean. Dust and sand will affect the performance and durability of the zippers. You should brush the coils to prevent premature wear and malfunction.

The zipper is best cleaned with an old toothbrush or similar to remove dust and grit. You will notice a big difference before and after. Lubricants are available from specialist dealers to improve the sliding properties of the zipper.

Buy a good company’s lubricant packet and apply a lubricant to the coil which will allow your zipper to run smoothly again. Should you not have a lubricant with you, you can also use a candle to achieve similar results. Apply a bit of wax to the coils and distribute it by running the zipper glider over it.  

2. Checking the waterproofness of the rain fly

To check the density, wet the tent. It is the best idea to do it with a garden hose. Use a soft cloth and gently wipe the dirt off without applying pressure. Check the seams for waterproof performance from within the tent. Take a close look at the seams or run a finger along the seams to see if they feel wet. You may not see the droplets but the thread may feel wet. This would be time to act. 

A Useful Tip:

Never wash a tent in a washing machine as it may cause permanent damage.

3. Treating the seams

When the tent is dry, you can apply a seam sealer to the seams. Depending on the coating, different types of sealer should be applied. There are sealers either for silicon-coated or PU-coated fabrics. Place a bit of tape on either side of the seam, which allows you to apply the sealer in a straight line to the seam. Apply a fine layer to the seam, distribute it with your finger and let it dry thoroughly for 24 hours. Then remove the tapes. The seams can also be treated from the inside, it is a matter of choice. 

4. Testing the waterproofness of the tent floor

You should also check your tent floor for waterproofness. Place a wet cloth under the floor. To simulate the water column, I kneel on the cloth to apply pressure to it. Should the floor fabric no longer be waterproof? You would feel the moisture on your knee or hand. In this case, all is good. If water has come through the fabric, you can treat it with a sealer available at your outdoor specialty shop. 

5. Checking your tent poles

The poles support your tent structure and are a very important part of the tent. Take a close look at the connectors between the individual pole segments. Check them for cracks, burrs, and dents. Cracks can happen if the poles are put under tension when the segments are not neatly in place within each other. Burr or kink happens if you allow the segments to snap together during assembly of the pole instead of fitting the segments gently into each other. This can damage your pole sleeve during setup and needs to be replaced. 

How to store a cleaned tent

You have spent much effort and time on cleaning your smelly and dustful camp. You must want to keep it safe and sound.  Before storing the tent, clean it thoroughly with a washcloth. If a little amount of water remains in the tent, it will create a smell and molde. Keep it at a dry and ventilated place. Make sure that you have packed it in a dry shopping bag, because a wet bag can also make it smelly and molded. 

I hope you have read all the main points thoroughly. Try all steps to clean your tent and make your tent fresh and new for a coming adventure.

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