Can You Wash a Tent in A Washing Machine?

There are many ways you can wash your tent. One popular method is to use your washing machine. Some people believe that this way of cleaning is quick and easy, but it can also be incredibly damaging to the tent.

Almost all tents are not designed to go into the washing machine. So can you wash a tent in a washing machine? The answer is no – generally speaking.

Related: Looking for a tent upgrade? Find out what the best 10 person tents are.

The potential damage from machine washing your tent

If you have a normal size washing machine, then it’s unlikely that you can fit in your average-sized camping tent.

On top of this, washing your tent in a washing machine can damage your tent in a number of ways:

  • The seams may begin to fray and the tent could split.
  • The tent fabric, and particularly any mesh, can easily tear.
  • The protective waterproof and UV coating of your tent can be worn down.

How to clean your tent properly

To clean a tent properly you should set up the tent in your yard or somewhere with space to do it.

You should then hose down the outside of the tent, paying particular attention to any areas that are particularly dirty. If you have mesh, this should be kept away from the high-pressure jet of water – instead, you might want to use a long-handled cleaning brush.

You should also pay attention to the zips and the seams. This is where dirt and mud tends to build up, and can actually damage your tent if they aren’t properly cleaned.

After hosing down the exterior of the tent you should turn it inside out and repeat everything again. If there are particularly mucky bits, you should use a very mild soap and a sponge to wash them by hand.

Make sure to dry your tent (don’t use a machine dryer!)

Once everything has been cleaned properly it’s important that your tent is left out in the sun to dry. If you try and put your tent away while it’s still wet then it can begin to develop mold and mildew problems.

Next up: Choosing a tent? But is it a cabin tent? A dome tent? A tunnel tent? There are so many options! Check out our guides:

Author at Wilderness Redefined camping website

James has been escaping to the outdoors for as long as he can remember. This first started in family camping trips but soon turned into adventure camps and hiking through the Scottish Hebrides. Now he has turned towards trying to make camping more comfortable and accessible.