How to Clean a Tent That Smells

Nothing can ruin a camping trip like a smelly tent. Not only can the smell be overwhelming and off-putting, but it can also attract pests and other animals. Fortunately, cleaning your smelly tent is surprisingly easy.

With a few simple steps, you’ll have your tent smelling fresh in no time! Read on for our ultimate guide to cleaning a smelly tent.

1. Spot Clean Any Visible Stains or Debris

Before beginning any deep cleaning process, start by removing any visible debris, dirt, or stains from your tent.

This will help ensure that all of the dirt and grime are removed before you move on to more intense cleaning techniques. To do this, use a damp rag with some mild detergent and gently scrub any problem areas until they are clean.

2. Wash the Tent with Soap and Water

Once you’ve spot cleaned any visible dirt or stains from your tent, it’s time to give it a thorough wash with soap and water. Fill up a large basin or sink with warm water and add just enough mild detergent so that suds form when stirred.

Place the tent into the basin (or lay it out if it won’t fit) and let it soak for about an hour before giving it another scrubbing with the rag mentioned above. Once finished, rinse off the soap thoroughly with cool water until all of the suds have been removed.

3. Set Up Your Tent Outdoors and Let It Dry in the Sun

To ensure that all of the moisture is completely gone from your tent before storage, set up your tent outdoors while there’s still plenty of sunlight left in the day.

Letting your tent dry in natural sunlight has twofold benefits; firstly, UV rays are naturally antibacterial which will help kill off any lingering bacteria or mildew; secondly, letting your tent dry in natural sunlight will help prevent mold growth due to trapped moisture inside of its crevices or seams during storage.


By following these three steps—spot cleaning any visible stains or debris, washing with soap and water, then set up to dry in natural sunlight—you’ll be able to successfully clean your smelly tent in no time!

Just remember not to try drying out your tent using artificial heat sources like hairdryers as this could damage fabric components or cause them to shrink over time!

If done correctly, however, you should be able to enjoy fresh-smelling camping trips for years to come without having to worry about foul odors coming from inside your trusty shelter!

Happy camping!

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