How To Clean Mildew From A Tent? 4 Methods To Choose From

Are you aware that your tent also needs proper care, so that mildew or mold won’t grow in it? Do you know how to clean mildew from a tent?

Imagine that you’ve agreed to go on a camping trip with your friends, and as you were setting out your camping bag happily, you were immediately bombarded with an unpleasant musty smell. Observing every nook and cranny, you finally saw white powdered patches; how to start cleaning them?

how to clean mildew from a tent

Continue reading this article so we can help you solve this problem efficiently.


Mildew: A Definition

Mildew is a type of fungi that grows in wet and humid conditions, and it is somehow related to mold. Irrefutably, both have some similarities but don’t confuse yourself because they aren’t the same.

You can recognize mildew by its flat growth on surfaces, and it looks white to gray. As for the smell, you can compare it to the unpleasant smell of soiled wet socks or rotten wood, but milder.

Mildew is far milder compared to mold in terms of health risks. But extended periods of exposure can still give you headaches, coughs, and trouble breathing.


Cleaning Mildew From A Tent

Mildew tends to flourish in a suitable environment. If you’re curious about mildew growth, then see this article about how long does it take for mildew to grow.

Upon seeing the mildew growth, it’s time to do a meticulous cleaning. Here are some methods that you can utilize:


Method #1. Soap and water

Always start with testing in a small, inconspicuous area first to prevent discoloration in your tent. Set it up like how you usually would for easier access; do this in an open area outside.

Do an initial scrub to remove what you can while it is dry. Follow this by soaking a cloth in a mixture of water and non-detergent soap and scrubbing the affected areas. 

Finally, wash it with water and dry it thoroughly before storing it.


Method #2. Lysol and water

Using a soft brush, scrub the mildew lightly from the material it grows on. Make sure to do this outside to prevent having mildew growth inside your home. 

Then, make a solution of ½ cup Lysol mixed with 1 gallon of water. Using the solution prepared, wash the area where the mildew grows.

Then, for rinsing, mix 1 cup lemon juice and 1 cup salt with 1 gallon of water. Allow the tent to dry out in the open before storing it.


Method #3. Concrobium

Spray concrobium on the affected spot and let it dry. Then, after a while, soak the sponge with concrobium and scrub the mildew lightly.

Apply the product again as a coat, and let it dry. To find out more, you can also see this article about how to use concrobium.


Method #4. Vinegar and water

First, mix 1 cup of water and ¼ cup of vinegar in a spray bottle. Spray this on the patches of mildew, then let it soak for a few minutes. 

Finally, scrub the mildew gently, then let it dry completely.

If you want a specific brand of mildew cleaner alongside instructions for mildew removal in the tent, then you should see this article from Gear Aid.


Mildew Prevention For Your Tents

Knowing how to clean mildew from your tent wouldn’t be enough to prevent mildew from growing again. You’ll need to know how to properly take care of it to eliminate the possibility of mildew growth.

See below for some tips that you can easily follow to prevent mildew:

  1. After using it:
  1. Shake the tent to remove some dirt that has accumulated.
  2. If it gets wet, make sure to let it dry and air out thoroughly before storing it.
  3. Store it in a breathable bag so that the air can circulate for ventilation.
  1. While using it:
  1. Regularly check to see how your tent is doing.
  2. If you can, leave the flaps open most of the time so the air can circulate inside.
  3. If you accidentally spilled any liquid inside, clean it up immediately and assure the area is dry.
  4. Make sure the insides are clean and neat.
  5. Consider using some waterproof sprays.
  1. When you’re storing it:
  1. Before storing it, make sure it’s dry and clean.
  2. Store it in a cold, dry place.
  3. If after washing, the musty smell remains, then consider some ways to remove that odor before storing. Sometimes, that smell can contribute to mildew growth.

Learn more from this article about how to get rid of mildew smell naturally



Although mildew is milder compared to mold and it wouldn’t destroy your tent permanently, it could still leave some unpleasant smells and traces. Knowing how to clean mildew from a tent and how to prevent this fungal growth can be a lifesaver.

Don’t let mildew ruin an anticipated camping trip. Don’t let it sit around for a long time, which could harm your health and belongings.

Leave a Comment