How to Clean Mold From Tents

Updated April 17, 2017

Camping with a tent is a great way to enjoy the outdoors. Tents are designed to provide shelter; however, the materials used for making tents are susceptible to organisms like mould. Having mould in your tent can make camping less comfortable and less pleasurable. Clean and remove the mould as soon as possible. The longer mould is left in place, the more likely the mould will decay the tent fabric it comes in contact with. Proper cleaning should never be done with bleach or dish soaps, as these could strip your tents waterproof or protective coating.

Mold in your tent is caused by trapped moisture and the subsequent storage of the tent, usually in a poorly ventilated storage container or bag. Additional factors like how your tent is stored and what level of humidity exists in the storage area contribute to the presence of mould. There are several approaches for cleaning your tent and ridding it of mould. It is not necessary to purchase a tent-cleaning product as you can easily use a few household products to accomplish this task. If the affected area is on a seam you should reapply a seam sealer, after thorough cleaning and drying, to assure your tent will provide protection from moisture.

Set your tent up outside in a shaded area with good air flow. Do not clean your tent indoors to avoid leaving mould inside your home. Brush the mould to break it down.

Mix 1/2 cup of Lysol liquid with one gallon of hot water in a bucket. Use a rag or a sponge to thoroughly soak the mould with the Lysol and hot water solution. Thoroughly rinse your rag or sponge and wipe the treated area to prepare for the next step

Mix 1 cup of lemon juice, i cup of salt with one gallon of hot water in a bucket. Soak the affected area. Clean thoroughly with your rag or sponge, repeating as necessary to remove any stains left behind by the mould. Allow the tent to dry and retreat the affected area with the lemon juice, salt and hot water solution. Removing the stain may take a few applications, and in some cases, depending on how old the mould is, the mould may leave an indelible mark. Rinse thoroughly.

Dry your tent by opening windows, screens and doors to maximise ventilation. Make sure the tent is completely dry before breaking it down for storage. The best method for drying your tent after camping or cleaning is air drying. Store your tent loosely in a well-ventilated bag.


Clean tent with a damp sponge after each use. Prevent mould by assuring your tent is dry before storing.


Do not place tent in a dryer. Do not use a blow dryer or any heating mechanism to dry your tent.

Things You'll Need

  • 1/2 cup of Lysol
  • 1 cup of lemon juice
  • 1 cup of salt
  • 2 gallons of hot water
  • soft bristle scrub brush
  • rag or sponge
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About the Author

Vladimir Sarlat has been a content and search marketing writer in the biomedical field since 2005. He also served as executive director of a small, private biomedical start-up.