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Thread: How to clean my tent?

  1. #1
    Don't forget your towel
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    How to clean my tent?

    I took off for an overnight ride/camping trip to Eastern Washington the other day, mostly to see how some new gear I had collected over the winter worked. Almost all of my essentials fit in the Jesse's on my GSPD! Nice to not have a big bag strapped on the back.

    After setting up camp I set off for a little walk-about to stretch my legs and see if I could get enough cellphone reception to let my girlfriend know I was OK. By the time I got back there was a distinct odor about my tent. Something had come along and urinated on one end! Using some baby-wipes I cleaned what I could off and reduced the smell inside to something tolerable. Unfortunately somewhere between the urine and the wipes I managed to affect the waterproof nature of the fabric and now the tent stinks and leaks in the same spot.

    Initially I thought I would throw the tent in the wash and scotch-guard (or something equivalent) it after. The eureka tent site says no machines, just set up and wipe down then rinse. I think I need a deeper cleaning than that.

    Do any of you intrepid campers have a suggestion or two? In all my years of camping I have never had this particular event occur. I don't like this tent very much (apex2), glad it didn't happen to my "good" tent (timberline with vestibule).
    Steve
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  2. #2
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Had similar happen to me. I liberally hosed the corner off at once soaking everything. I was lucky to be able to do that on the spot. In your case now I would assemble the tent and soak the affected area in white vinegar and wash down with a hose. It might take a couple of tries but I think you will succeed in removing the smell.
    Good luck.
    BTW Too bad you couldn't neuter the culprit on the spot!
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  3. #3
    Back in the Saddle mcmxcivrs's Avatar
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    I usually give my Kelty Cyclone a washing at the end of every season. I just toss it into the machine and use the gentle cycle. I just make sure that all the cord and such are removed or secured so they won't snag, It takes two loads, one for the tent and one for the fly. I just use a liquid laundry soap. I don't bother with the dryer, I just hang it outside on the deck railing to dry out. The tent is six years old and still in good shape with no leaking.
    Ed Miller, Calgary, AB
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  4. #4
    goob KEV95GS's Avatar
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    I've used dryer sheets packed up in the tent before to keep odor down.

    Works pretty good and not to strong once the tent is set up and aired out.

    Kevin

  5. #5
    Don't forget your towel
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    Ah, white vinegar...the universal cleaner. Thanks for the tip, I've got the tent up and airing out right now. White vinegar is on the grocery list for later tonight.
    Steve
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  6. #6
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    Would Fabreze work it works great around the houes

  7. #7
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MCMXCIVRS View Post
    I usually give my Kelty Cyclone a washing at the end of every season. I just toss it into the machine and use the gentle cycle. I just make sure that all the cord and such are removed or secured so they won't snag, It takes two loads, one for the tent and one for the fly. I just use a liquid laundry soap. I don't bother with the dryer, I just hang it outside on the deck railing to dry out. The tent is six years old and still in good shape with no leaking.
    Same here. My REI tent has been washed two or three times per season in the washing machine and five years later it is still like new and remains waterproof.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

  8. #8
    Yellowjacket
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    Restoring water-proofing

    I would recommend washing your tent using Nikwax Tech Wash after you use the white vinegar. I should help restore the water-proofing. After it dries, I would use Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On to add even more protection. (Boy, this sounds like a commercial, but this stuff works!) Good luck!

  9. #9
    Dee G flymymbz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yellowjacket View Post
    I would recommend washing your tent using Nikwax Tech Wash after you use the white vinegar. I should help restore the water-proofing. After it dries, I would use Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On to add even more protection. (Boy, this sounds like a commercial, but this stuff works!) Good luck!
    +1 for the washing with Nikwax.

    Some creature (or perhaps it was the neighboring campers' rabid pitbull) piddled on my tent the last time I went camping. Used some water and shampoo the best I could to get most of it off, but it went into the washer (front load Bosch) within 15 minutes of getting home. One cycle with just a tad bit of liquid detergent, then a full cycle with the Nikwax.

    Set the tent up in the living room to dry for two days, now it smells great and repels water better than before.
    Too damn many bikes to list

  10. #10
    Don't forget your towel
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    Thanks for all the tips. I spritzed with vinegar and rinsed a few times, that seems to have done the trick. Hard to tell though, I keep thinking I can smell phantom wafts of urine, reasonably sure it's in my head. A little bit of scotch guard like spray and water beads up nicely again. Since we are still in the rainy season here I might just set the tent back up and see how it goes re: water-proofness.
    Steve
    "...your body is not a temple, it's an amusement park. Enjoy the ride" A. Bourdain

  11. #11
    Pepperfool GSAddict's Avatar
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    Don't we sound like a bunch of housewives? I am waiting for an ad agency to jump in and offer us jobs!
    '
    Ufda happens..........

    It's all about the details.

  12. #12
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    Cleaning tents

    I had a cat use my tent for marking. Very, very, very bad. Went to a pet store and they had a product that contained some enzymes to break down the urine and odor. Can't recall the name, but it's very easy to find in a Petsmart, etc in the area of household cleaners. there were several brands but all did the same thing. it was the only thing that worked and got rid of all the odor, including that anoying lingering odor.

  13. #13
    Danger: Keep Back 500 Ft FredRydr's Avatar
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    Contact Eureka tech support.

    Fred

    P.S. Mice pee ruined much of my fabric camping gear. The smell was too pervasive.

  14. #14
    Aspiring Profligate jeff488's Avatar
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    If I ever have a cat piss on my tent and Febreeze or the like won't take care of it, I'll just get another tent.
    It only cost $50 at the sports store.
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  15. #15
    Happy to be here! :) The_Veg's Avatar
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    Kitty pee can be bad stuff. Back in college a housemate's evil kitty peed on a nice red metal-flake electric bass of mine and it caused physical damage to the paint. And it took ten years to get the smell out of the gigbag too.
    Bikeless for now...but not forever!

    "If you can't fix it with a hammer, it's electrical." -somebody's dad

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