How to Clean a Tent That Smells?

After spending the whole week through working, you will like to take some fresh air. You will begin to start backpacking all the necessary things you need. But as you go looking for the tent that you had stored in somewhere for a long while, you will unlikely discover some bad odors as like as your old gym socks. The vomiting smell will sting your nostrils. It mainly occurs for the warm weather, dust, mold, and Mildew. All of these in together creates that unpleasant smell. If you want to avoid this uncomfortable situation, then you need to know how to clean a tent that smells.

First Things First

Before cleaning your tent, firstly, you must figure out what is causing that smell. The bad odor from your tent depends on its dirtiness. Sometimes the reasons vary on where you are storing them. Let’s discuss it

Funguses Are Known as Mold and Mildew

Mold and Mildew are one kind of fungus. It generally grows on wet fabrics. These funguses are the root cause of the stinky odor that is coming out from your lovely tent. By spreading into your house, these funguses can also cause you some serious health issues. So you need to take some prevention before it’s too late.

Dirty Materials

When you are storing your tent, you need to make sure that your tent is not dirty or doesn’t have any dirt particles in it. Keeping your tent with dirt and grime can be the source of odors. That’s why remove the dirty materials if there is any when you are putting them inside.

Polyurethane Coating

You can find polyurethane coating system inside of your tent. The coating system begins to break down after some year. Which would be the cause of the stinky odor that is coming out of your tents. You may have found that this has already begun to your tent. Then this is the leading cause of that vomiting smell of your tent.

Methods of How to Clean a Tent That Smells

Some simple methods can help you to solve your stinky problem. You just need to follow these methods that are given below

Things You Need to Follow:

• Firstly, Fill a tub with water.
• Then add some mild detergents in it.
• Remove the dirt, muds, grasses, leaves, or other dirt particles.
• You can use one or two spoons of lemon oil to remove bacteria from your tent.
• Now, wash it with your hand pouring it into the water.
• You can use some specialized detergents, or you can use vinegar and lemon. If you want to wash it in a non-chemical way
• Make it dry completely in the open air.

Things You Should Not Do with Your Tents:

• Never wash your tent in a washing machine. The process can damage your tent.
• Do not use dishwashing detergents to clean your tent.
• Scrubbing the underside of your tent can damage the waterproof coating of your tent.
• Try to avoid using chemicals to make it fungus or germ-free.

Some Deep Cleaning Methods:

• You can use MiraZyme, a specialized enzyme cleaner to remove Mold and Mildew funguses from your tent properly.
• Use a brush to clean the dirty materials from your zipper teeth to enable it’s smooth running.
• To clean the specified spots, use oil or alcohol and scrub gently on the visible spots.
• If your rain coating system has already begun to break down, try to replace it with a new one.

Preventing the Odors  

As we all know, “Prevention is better than cure”- It will be more useful to take some preventive steps. By which bad smells won’t be able to form up. You should clean your tent with some lime water and soap properly after returning from adventurous camping.

Your tents will smell bad when you put them in a wet condition. Your tent won’t stink without any reason. You may have stored them when it was not dried yet. The moistures grow funguses into the fabric and cause bad odor. So, dry it properly before putting them inside.

Your tent can also get wet by the morning dew. That means it’s not the rain only that makes your tent wet. That’s why you need to dry it properly, whether it rains or not.

You have already known about Mold and Mildew and how they spread in a wet fabric. Don’t allow them to spread by keeping much moisture in your tents. Remember that these funguses not only create bad odor but also contributes to your health issues.


To stretch the life of your tent, you need to keep it clean and take adequate care of it. When you are planning to go out at the weekend, it will be unpleasant for you to take a tent that stinks a lot. Hope the above process on how to clean a tent that smells will be much helpful for you to get rid of a stinky tent. By flowing the steps, you can remove the smells from your tent, but as we all know, it will be much better if we try to prevent it in first. So, after completing successful camping, don’t just put your tent somewhere. Take some time, clean it properly, soak it, and dry it. Make it germ, and fungus free then gets ready for another adventurous trip. 

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