How To Remove Mildew From A Tent

tips to remove tent mildew


It’s time to get the tent out of storage and go off on this year’s family camping vacation. You’ve been looking forward to it and you got it all planned. Spending some quality time experiencing the great outdoors – a time to unwind, exercise and generally having good fun. But as you take your tent out of storage you notice an unfortunate smell. It’s a dank damp stench and you realize its mildew and mold. And now you remember you didn’t make sure it was completely dry when you put it away for the winter. So, now the question is how do you remove the mildew from the tent and get rid of the smell.

First off try lightly scrubbing the tent with a sponge to see if that removes it. If that doesn’t work try scrubbing the tent one of the 3 following mixtures using a sponge;

1/2 cup Lysol to a gallon of water (however this product is perfumed and may attract insects and animals when out camping if not completely rinsed off)

0.5 oz. of MiraZyme to a gallon of water

A capful or two of laundry bleach to a gallon of water

Thoroughly scrub the areas using a sponge. It is probably a good idea to use dishwashing gloves and your yard clothes when doing this.
Rinse this solution off by spraying with the hose and set the tent up in a shaded area to dry off.

Next prepare a solution by mixing 1 cup salt, 1 cup lemon with a gallon of hot water and scrub the affected areas with a sponge. This will get rid of any remaining spores of mold and mildew and get rid of the musty smell and leave smelling fresh.  Allow the tent to dry.  If there are any stubborn stains you may need to repeat this process.

Unfortunately, it is not always possible to get rid of all the mildew stains off the tent, and you may be left with small black spots where the tent fabric has been stained, but you will have killed it off and it won’t spread or smell anymore.

Also, you may need to check that the tent is still waterproof. You can do this by setting up your tent and spraying with the hose, and then go inside and check for leaks. If there are any you will need to repair your tent as described here.

I hope you have found these tips on how to clean  a moldy tent helpful. But, remember the best method for tent mildew removal is to prevent it in the first place.  Before storing it away be sure your tent is clean and completely dry and store it in a cool dry place. If you had to pack your tent away wet when you left the campground, make sure you air and dry your tent when you get home. This way you won’t experience that awful smell or have the possibility of the waterproofing of your tent being damaged.

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