How to Clean a Tent with Mold

Are you an adventure enthusiast?

Do you love taking camping trips, going out in the middle of nowhere, and getting cozy in your trusty old tent?

If Yes, then you already know how tents can get dirty over time and get molds on the surface.

In order to keep things neat and clean, you should really learn how to clean a tent with mold. Why is that? Well, because

  1. It’s not only unhealthy (beware of allergies) but also uncomfortable sleeping in a moldy tent.
  2. Mold will significantly reduce the lifespan of your favorite tent.
  3. Your camping buddies will probably think twice before sleeping inside when your tent is covered in mold.
  4. It stinks. Big time.

Do you need to hear more? We don’t think so.

However, what you do NEED to do right now is take care of the mold problem of your tent ASAP.

In order to help you out, we have come with an early 2021 present for you. We are going to teach you how to identify molds in your tent as well as properly clean it.

Things to Do Before You Start Cleaning

Identifying Mold in Your Tent

Before jumping to conclusions and cleaning your tent upside down, make sure it actually does have a mold problem. You can easily notice small different colored specks on your tent surface.

However, it’s not uncommon for the tent to come in touch with dust and debris (for obvious reasons) Just take a wet cloth and give it a quick rinse. If it comes off, you’re safe. If it doesn’t, then you probably have a mold or mildew problem in your tent.

Since mold occurs due to the condensation of moisture, it will also give off a stale like smell.

Setting Your Tent Up

When you are positive that you have a mold problem with your tent, you should think about how to clean it properly.

One of the first things that you need to do before cleaning is set up your tent properly. It’s much easier to clean that way as the fabric is pitched and not wrinkled.

Know which kind of tent you own

Before you start cleaning your tent, make sure you know what type of tent you own.

If you have a Nylon tent, then you can just brush off the dirt/mold with a cloth, soft bristle brush, or a sponge and start one of the cleaning processes mentioned down below.

But if you own a Canvas tent, then make sure to use a stiff-bristled brush (the ones used to clean shoes) and clean as much mold as you can. The rest is the same for all kinds of tents.

Canvas tents are most commonly used tents.

Cleaning a Tent with Mold: The Best Approaches

Before going into the step-by-step details of cleaning approaches, make sure you have

  • Your tent set up
  • Brushed off the affected area with a brush/rag

Using Warm Water and Non-Detergent Soap

One of the easiest and effective methods is cleaning your tent is the easiest and most reasonable option. All you need is warm water mixed with non-detergent soap.

Here’s how you should proceed:

  • Take a bucket of warm/ a bit hot water and mix non-detergent soap. Double-check the type of soap as others contain fragrance that can attract insects during your camping trips.
  • Make sure to test the solution on a small area beforehand to make sure it’s not harmful to your tent fabric.
  • Soak a sponge/soft cloth in the mixture and wash off the mold. Make sure you use the smooth side of the sponge.
  • For canvas tents, use a stiff-bristled brush.
  • After you’re done, rinse off the tent with fresh water. (hot water is preferable)
  • Repeat 2/3 times if you still see moldy spots on your tent
  • Make sure the tent is completely dry before storing.

Using Vinegar

From coffee makers to kitchen sinks, a huge variety of household items can be cleaned with vinegar. So, the question obviously comes to mind – Can you clean your moldy tent with Vinegar?

Well, YES you can! Here’s how you do it.

  • Take a cup of water and mix 4 tablespoons of vinegar with it.
  • Put the mixture into a spray bottle (for the most effective result) & spray the areas covered in mold.
  • You can also put the mixture in a bowl and use a sponge to brush the moldy area.
  • Wait 10-15 minutes to let the mixture soak in.
  • Scrub it off gently and let it dry off completely.

Using Lemon Juice & Salt

Another easy and effective method is cleaning with a solution of lemon juice, salt & water. For this solution to work you need to follow the instructions below:

  • Mix a cup of lemon squeeze & a cup of salt.
  • Mix it with a gallon of water.
  • Follow steps 4,5,6 from the vinegar method.
  • Repeat the process if necessary.

Revivex Pro Cleaner

Let’s say you’re unwilling to follow any of the above homemade methods to clean a tent with mold and you’d rather use a specialized cleaner to get the job done.

In that case, our recommended product would definitely be the Revivex Pro Cleaner. By using this cleaner, you can make your tent sparkle again in a mere 30 minutes (air drying excluded). Let’s get into the deets:

  • Gently clean the affected areas with a sponge soaked in soapy water.
  • Use your bathtub and fill it with water. If you don’t have one, use a big bowl/container that has the capability to submerge your tent completely.
  • Add approx. 60ml of Revivex Pro into the water.
  • Scrub & Rinse gently
  • Air Dry fully.

Using Spray-on Products

While the above-mentioned options work great most of the time, sometimes you need heavy-duty products to clean your tent; especially when the mold has grabbed onto the surface tightly.

The Mold Armor mold killer from Concrobium works great for the purpose. Here’s how to use it:

  • Spray your product on the mold affected area.
  • Wait a minute or two to let it dry.
  • Take a soft cloth or brush, soak it in the mold killer, and gently scrub off the mold.
  • For rough spots, you can use a Mold Stain Eraser from Concrobium to help you out.
  • Spray the product again and dry off completely.

The last step is to put a coating on the tent to prevent further incidents like this from happening.

Last Resort: Deep Cleansing

Let’s say you have tried out all the elements for cleaning your tent. what should you do if none of them work?

Should you throw out your tent and get a new one? Not so fast!

We still have one last trump card and no matter how stubborn the stain is, it will come off and you will have your tent clean as a whistle.

If you want to perform a deep cleaning, then commercial enzyme cleaners are the best way to go. Just make sure to follow the instructions properly lest the waterproof coating might get damaged.

Things to Keep in Mind after Cleaning

Removing the Smell

If the intensity of the mold is higher, it may damage the PU coating and can give off a bad smell similar to vomit or urine!

Therefore, make sure you have the smell removed or you will have a hard time sleeping in your tent.


Mirazyme is one of the best odor eliminators out there and it has all-natural ingredients. You can even use it to clean other stuff that stinks.

Revivex Odor Eliminator

Another good option is the Revivex Odor Eliminator. Just follow the instructions properly, soak it in the mixture, Air dry your tent, and see the magic unfold.

Preventing mold: Storing the tent properly

A lot of people tend to store their tents carelessly after their trip ends. But this is something you must NEVER do.

Make sure you keep your tent clean and free of dust as much as possible during your trips.

After returning from camping, make sure your canvas tent is completely dry.

Finally, fold the tent properly and store it in a large possibly breathable container/bag.


Does Sunlight kill mold?

Well, sunlight is harmful to molds. However, it’s wise not to depend on sunlight only and take proper measures by yourself.

On a different note, Sunlight does help to make the tent dry!

Can you clean a tent with bleach?

NO! You absolutely should stay away from bleach when cleaning tents. While bleach can be an effective solution to clean sturdy surfaces such as tabletops or bathroom tiles, using bleach will blemish the tent fabric reducing its lifespan.

Can a tent be washed in a washing machine?

No. Unfortunately, all types of tents (canvas tent as well) must be hand washed.

Final Words

Camping trips are really fun and they can be even more wholesome if you have a clean tent – free of mold. That’s why it is very important to learn how to clean a tent with mold. It’s really easy and can increase the lifespan of your tent significantly!

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