Cleaning, Repairing, and Storing Your Tent

Your beloved tent is your home-away-from-home. Keep it clean, give it some care and repair when needed, and it’ll last with you for years of adventures. It’s important to give your tent a little TLC when you notice it’s looking, well … well-adventured. In this article, we’ll cover how to wash, dry, repair, and store your tent so it’s ready to go when you are.

Washing your tent

If your tent is exposed to dirt, sand, etc., you can simply wipe it down with a wet cloth. For excessive dirt, we recommend the following steps:
  1. Thoroughly rinse your tent with mid-range temperature (warm/cool) water. Using a wet cloth, scrub any dirty areas.
  2. Using a bathtub can be helpful for soaking your tent to help work out stubborn dirt and debris.
  3. Handwash the tent with a technical fabric wash like Nikwax Solar Wash®. Just spray it on when the tent is set up and damp, and distribute with a sponge. Then rinse clean!
  4. Give your tent a second rinse to remove any residual dirt and tech wash.
  5. Squeeze any excess liquid out of your tent.
  6. Lay tent flat or line-dry in an area with in-direct sunlight. Direct sunlight can damage tent fabrics if left for long periods of time.
  7. Let your tent fully dry before preparing it for storage.

Other Notes:
Do not wash your tent in washing machines — the fabrics and mesh will likely tear. Detergents can be harmful to the waterproof coating your tent, so a technical fabric wash is best. Do not machine dry your tent either, as heat can melt the technical fabrics.

Cleaning Zippers

It is also important to keep the zippers of your tent clean. If exposed to dirt, sand, or salty air — wipe the zipper down with a wet cloth. In excessive cases, wash and then treat zippers with a lubricant like McNett Zip Care™ or a silicone zipper spray (popular in dive shops).

Footprint & Pawprint

Footprints do not need as much care, as they can be exposed to more dirt and are more abrasion resistant compared to tents. If they must be washed, follow the same steps as washing your tent above, or you may wash them in a washing machine with no agitator. Pawprints can be washed with both a standard detergent or with a technical fabric wash like Nikwax Tech Wash® or McNett ReviveX® Synthetic Fabric Cleaner. Line-dry both the Footprint and Pawprint.

Tent Storage

Taking care of your tent in the off-season is just as important as during the backpacking and camping season.

After each trip, follow these steps for keeping your tent in good condition for the next season:
  1. Clean the tent using the washing directions above.
  2. Make sure your tent and all its components are completely dry before storing. This is the most effective way to prevent mold and mildew from forming on your tent and to prevent damage to the waterproof finishes.
  3. For long term storage, roll the tent and contents loosely in a breathable storage sack; do not store it in its stuff sack. Compressing your tent for long periods of time in its stuff sack can damage the tent materials and seam tape.
  4. Store the tent in a cool, dry, and dark area, away from direct exposure to sunlight.

Tent Repairs

Small tears and rips can easily be patched with a product like Tenacious Tape™ by Gear Aid™. Just clean the area of the tent that needs patching and peel and stick the patch on the tear. You’ll have a durable, nearly invisible repair that won’t leave behind a sticky residue as duct tape can. For extra strength or for repairing mesh, you can patch both sides of the fabric using two Gear Aid™ patches.

NEMO offers professional repair services for more in-depth repairs. To request a repair quote or start the repair process, please start here.

Have any questions? Reach out to our Customer Service Team or call us at 800-997-9301.