How to Clean a Tent with Mold?

Whenever you see mold, it makes your skin crawl and sends chills up your spine. It can be particularly dangerous if you happen to eat it. However, what happens when you see it on your camping gear? This is scary!

Unless you’re careful, mold can rapidly invade your otherwise ideal camping trip. Fortunately, if you know that how to clean a tent with mold properly, you will be able to get rid of any mold before it becomes an issue.

This blog post is for anyone who has ever dealt with mold on their tent. In this article, we’ll show you how to clean a tent with mold effectively under safe conditions. Getting started is easy!

Moldy Tent Cleaning Guide

Moldy Tent Cleaning Guide

A tent can become a real nuisance when it comes to mold and mildew. The seams and cracks of your tent can still collect mold and mildew even after you lay it out to dry after each use.

Depending on the surface, mold, mildew, and other bacteria may accumulate and require different solutions. There might even be things in your house you don’t even know about! Cleaning your tent properly can result in both a new-looking and fresh-smelling tent.

A bleach and water mixture is a popular method of cleaning mold from tents, but some people try to avoid harsh bleaches. Vinegar is also a natural disinfectant that can be used for cleaning; let the solution sit for a few minutes before rinsing it off.

After thoroughly cleaning the mold from your tent, ensure that it’s completely dried to prevent mold or mildew growth in the future. The natural rays of the sun are better than fans, if you have access to them! It is true that this may fade the colors, but the sunlight can kill germs as well.

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Spot Cleaning Mold and Mildew

Spot Cleaning Mold and Mildew

Managing mold and mildew on tent fabric can be a real headache. They can be unsightly, cause damage, and cause health issues if left untreated or left for an extended period of time.

Mold and mildew can be cleaned off tents with bleach, but it should be used carefully as bleach may damage the material. Lemon juice is a natural substitute for bleach that cleans without damaging fabrics.

A liquid mold remover should be applied as soon as possible to more stubborn spots of discoloration or mildew. Warm water, gentle soap, and a soft-bristle brush are all that is needed for general mold and mildew cleaning of tent fabrics.

The shorter end of a toothbrush or swimming pool brush will make it easier to reach high ceilings or walls. For years to come, keep your tent looking like new by performing regular maintenance and spot cleaning!

Soap and Warm Water

Mold and mildew on tents can be effectively cleaned using a soap and warm water mixture. Ensure that you use a non-detergent soap on your tent fabric, as fragrances can attract insects later on. Mosquitoes don’t need to be attracted!

Adding liquid soap to a tub of warm water is the first step. Using a gentle scrubber, pay attention to moldy spots on the tent fabric. After you’ve rinsed off the soap, pat your body dry. This will prevent mold or mildew from remaining on the fabric after it has been cleaned. The tent can then be allowed to air dry.

Prior to using the soap on your tent, make sure it’s safe for the material. By regularly cleaning your tent using soap and warm water, you can ensure that it continues to look (and smell) good for years to come.

Baking Soda

Baking Soda

A tent can be cleaned effectively and naturally using baking soda. The product is versatile, since it can be used to clean canvas, nylon, and polyester tents. One cup of baking soda and one gallon of hot water will make one gallon of solution.

Scrub the tent fabric with a cloth or soft bristle brush, paying particular attention to areas with mold stains. Rather than using a bristle brush, use a canvas tent brush. The tent should be rinsing off with clean water once it has been scrubbed and allowed to air dry.

Try the Vinegar Method

Try the Vinegar Method

Tents can be cleaned with vinegar in an effective and inexpensive manner. Additionally, it is environmentally friendly, so there are no harsh chemicals involved.

A spray bottle should be filled half full of vinegar and one full of warm water. After spraying the mold patches, let them soak in the solution for several minutes.

Wash the brush with a tub of warm water whenever necessary and scrub the spots gently with a soft or medium brush. The brush you should use for canvas tents should be a little stiffer than one you would use for vinyl or plastic tents. Cleaning tents with vinegar is a great alternative to chemical cleaners.

Lemon Juice and Salt

Salt and lemon juice can also be used to clean tents naturally instead of harsh chemicals. Tents made of nylon or polyester, as well as canvas, are especially well suited for this method.

Mix one cup of lemon juice with one cup of salt and one gallon of hot water to make the cleaning solution. It is always best to maintain a ratio of 1:1:1. 

Cleaning nylon or polyester tents with a brush or cloth can remove mold patches. If you are planning on using a canvas tent, use a brush with stiffer bristles. Rinse the tent fabric with clean water, then dry it in the sun after scrubbing it with the cleaning solution.

Natural stain removers can also be made with salt and lemon juice paste.

Use a Mold and Mildew Cleaner

Use a Mold and Mildew Cleaner

The presence of mold and mildew in tents can cause a lot of trouble. As well as looking unsightly, it can also harm your own health and fabric over time. Mold and mildew are difficult to remove from tents, but there are special cleaners to help.

Cleaners containing enzymes can sometimes be more effective at removing mold than products without enzymes. In order to get the best results, you must follow the directions on the cleaner, which may include letting it soak in or dry first.

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Soaking to Clean a Tent with Mold

By soaking a tent in water to remove mold and mildew, its original condition can be restored. Use a brush or cloth to remove as much mold as possible from the tent’s surface. Submerge the tent in a tub filled with warm water once this is complete.

Take it out of the fridge and let it soak for a few hours. Any difficult spots you may have left can then be scrubbed. The tent must be rinsed thoroughly and allowed to dry completely before storing or using it again.

While tents can be laid out to dry, mold and mildew can still form in cracks and crevices, so it’s important to prevent these problems. Cleaning your tent regularly can make it look and smell as good as new.

DIY Remedies For Removing Mold On A Tent

DIY Remedies For Removing Mold On A Tent

Before going camping, if you find mold or mildew on your tent, there are more options for cleaning it.

Mold can be effectively cleaned and killed with the following DIY methods, but they can also damage your tent in the long run. Despite the fact that both of them involve using natural cleaning products, you should exercise discretion when using them.

Lemon juice and salt

Lemon juice and salt

Here are the things you will need:

  • 1 cup of salt
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • Sponge or bristle brush

A mixture of 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup salt, and 1 gallon of hot water should be prepared. Applying this solution to your nylon/polyester tent, scrub the patches briskly with a cloth or bristle brush. Make sure your tent is cleaned using a sponge. Whenever possible, use a sponge that does not contain abrasives.

Instead of using a rag to clean canvas tents, use a bristle brush. To remove mold from your tent canvas, scrub the areas as best as you can. Ensure that the tent is washed with clean water and allowed to dry in direct sunlight.

White vinegar diluted with water

White vinegar diluted with water

A good reason vinegar is called a cleaning powerhouse is that it is amazing at cleaning. The following items are required for this method:

  • Sponge
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Water
  • Soft-bristled brush

A cup of white vinegar mixed with a gallon of water makes 1 gallon. The mixture should be sprayed over the affected areas in your tent with a spray bottle. If the tent material allows, use a bristle brush or sponge to scrub off the moldy area.

Vinegar works best if you don’t rinse the tent after using it. Let the tent dry on the sun’s bright side until it is completely dry.

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FAQs: How to Clean a Tent with Mold

Can you sleep in a tent with mold?

When mold is found in a tent, you may wonder if it is safe to sleep in. There is no way around it, sadly.

Getting exposed to mold can cause a variety of health issues, including respiratory problems, skin irritations, and allergic reactions. You should, therefore, avoid sleeping in moldy tents if possible. Camping isn’t something you should take risks with your health just for fun. Mold can grow on your tent if you don’t clean it right away.

Can you clean a tent canvas of mildew?

Mildew in tents can be cleaned with bleach and water, or vinegar can be used. Apply the desired solution directly to the affected areas by mixing it with water. Afterward, rinse the area with clean water and let the solution sit for about ten minutes.

Is it possible to use Lysol to clean moldy tents?

Yes, Lysol can be used to clean moldy tents. Make a solution by mixing one part Lysol with ten parts water and applying it directly to the affected areas. Remove the solution by rinsing it with clean water after ten minutes.

How can you prevent mold in a tent?

Checking for mold in a tent regularly and cleaning it as soon as you notice it are the best methods for preventing mold in tents. Maintaining a dry tent and ventilating it properly will also prevent mold from forming.

Is it dangerous to have mold in a tent?

While you don’t want to inhale the free-floating spores produced by the mold in your tent, it is not specifically harmful.

It is possible for mold exposure to trigger allergies and make asthma worse. Try to prevent future mold growth by thoroughly cleaning your tent if you notice any mold.


Taking the right steps can help you prevent mold from affecting your tent, so you can clean it and remove it before it becomes an issue. Make sure you regularly check your tent for mold, and promptly clean a moldy one if you notice it. If you follow these simple steps, you’ll always have a clean and mold-free tent!

Hello, my name is James Tinnin and I am an outdoor enthusiast, writer, and avid camper. I have always had a deep appreciation for the great outdoors, and my passion for nature has only grown stronger over the years.