Can You Wash a Tent in a Front Loading Washing Machine? (Easy Hacks)

Can you wash a tent in a front loading washing machine? The answer is no. While it might seem like the easiest option, front loaders actually do more harm than good to your tent.

Front loading washers are gentle on clothes but too rough for tents because they can damage the fabric and affect its waterproofing properties. A better way to wash your tent is by hand with a little bit of soap and water without damaging it.

If you’re really desperate, you may take your tent to a laundry facility where they have bigger machines that can properly clean it. Make sure to clean it in the same manner as any other camping gear, such as sleeping bags and clothing.

can you wash a tent in a front loading washing machine

How To Properly Clean a Tent?

Cleaning a tent is an important task that needs to be done in order for it to last long. For years, tents have been used by campers and hikers alike when going on outdoor activities such as hiking or camping.

Can You Wash a Tent in a Front Loading Washing Machine?

These people use the said equipment because of its portability and ease of setup even if they are very far from home base. As with anything else that is used outdoors, there is always the possibility of it getting dirty and as a result, you need to know how to clean it.

Also Read: How to Secure a Tent Without Stakes (Makes it Easy)

There is a different type of ten fabric so it is the clean process also different. Some methods are more common than others but all can be done easily in your wash machine.

How to Wash a Nylon Fabric Tent

A nylon tent is the most popular type of tent and it’s easy to see why. It’s lightweight, durable, and can be easily packed away into a small bag when not in use. Nylon tents can also come with a waterproof coating that helps keep moisture out.

The best way to wash a nylon tent is in the washing machine. Simply use cold water and a small amount of detergent. Be sure to wash it separately from other clothes as nylon can easily be stained.

How to Wash a Nylon Fabric Tent

If your tent has any mud or dirt on it, you can pre-treat it with some laundry detergent before putting it in the wash.

After washing, be sure to air dry your tent as opposed to using a dryer. A dryer can cause the fabric to shrink so it’s best to wash and dry outdoors.

If you don’t want to use your washing machine, hand wash your tent in cold water with a little detergent. You may either wash it in the bathtub or use the shower head for this purpose.

How to Wash a Polyester Fabric Tent

Before washing your polyester tent, be sure to check the manufacturer’s instructions. Some tents can only be spot-cleaned, while others can safely be machine washed on a gentle cycle.

If you do wash your tent in a washing machine, use cold water and a gentle cycle. Be sure to avoid using fabric softener. Fabric softener leaves a residue on the fabric that will attract dirt and cause the fabric to wear prematurely.

How to Wash a Polyester Fabric Tent

It is important that you wash your tent by itself and do not wash it with other items of clothing, as the dye from those clothes can transfer onto your polyester tent. You also want to avoid washing your tent with anything made of cotton, as the cotton will cause the polyester to pill.

Once your tent is clean, be sure to air dry it before storing it away. This will help to prevent the fabric from becoming mildewed.

How to Wash a Cotton Fabric Tent

Washing a cotton tent in the washing machine is only recommended if you have one of those washable tents. If not, then do not wash it in your home laundry machine because it may shrink and cause damage to the fabric.

Also Read: How Much Wind Can A Tent Withstand?

To wash this type of camping gear, place your machine on its gentlest cycle using warm water instead of hot. Add a small amount of mild liquid soap and avoid using any bleach products as this can weaken the fabric.

How to Wash a Cotton Fabric Tent

If your tent has a rain fly, it is recommended that you wash it separately in cold water. After the wash cycle is complete, be sure to air dry your tent by spreading it out flat on some clean ground away from direct sunlight.

Never put a wet tent away as it will quickly deteriorate and may mildew. Instead, allow it to air dry completely before folding and storing in a duffel bag or other storage container.

How to Wash a Coated Cotton Tent

Can you wash a coated cotton tent in a washing machine? The answer is yes, but there are some things to keep in mind.

Coated cotton tents are designed to be waterproof and resistant to fading, so they can withstand being washed in a washing machine.

However, it is important to use the right type of detergent and fabric softener and to wash the tent in a front loading washing machine.

Also Read: How to Put Out a Campfire Without Water?

To wash a coated cotton tent in a washing machine, first, make sure that it is fully dry. Next, mix together one cup of powdered detergent with two cups of cool water. Soak the tent in this mixture for about 30 minutes, then rinse it thoroughly.

Finally, wash the tent on a gentle cycle with warm water and one cup of powdered laundry detergent.

If you don’t want to wash the entire tent, then wash only the exterior section that is dirty. Mix together two cups of cool water with half a cup each of downy fabric softener and powdered laundry detergent. Soak the section for about 30 minutes, then rinse and wash it on a gentle cycle.

How to Wash a Vinyl Fabric Tent

The first and most important thing you should do when washing a vinyl fabric tent is to wash it alone.

How to Wash a Vinyl Fabric Tent

Do not wash any other clothes with the tent because they can stick together during the wash cycle and get ruined. When washing your vinyl fabric tent in a front loading washer, follow these steps:

  • Rinse off any dirt or debris from the tent with cold water.
  • Fill up your washer with cold water and add a small amount of detergent to the wash cycle.
  • Put the tent in the washer and let it wash on a gentle cycle.
  • Once the wash cycle is finished, take out the tent and let it air dry. Do not put it in the dryer.

If you follow these simple steps, your vinyl fabric tent will be clean and fresh for your next camping trip.

What if My Tent Is Too Big for the Bathtub?

If your tent is too big to wash in the bathtub, you have several other options. You can wash it by hand or machine wash with a front loading washing machine.

For both of these methods, I recommend using Nikwax Tech Wash because it was specifically designed for camping gear and backpacks.

If you use a different type of soap, make sure to test it in an inconspicuous spot on your tent first to ensure that it won’t damage the fabric.

Nikwax Tech Wash

To wash your tent by hand, fill a large tub or sink with warm water and add a couple of tablespoons of Nikwax tech. Soak the tent for a few minutes, then scrub it with a brush. Rinse the tent thoroughly and allow it to air dry.

To wash your tent in a front loading washing machine, add the tent and a couple of tablespoons of Nikwax tech to the washer. Set the machine to gentle cycle and cold water. Allow the wash cycle to finish, then wash the tent again on a regular cycle with laundry detergent.

Rinse and dry your tent as described above.

How Should I Drying My Wet Tent?

Now that you know how to wash a tent, it’s important to know how to dry it properly. There are a few different ways to do this, but the most common is to hang it up outside. You can either use clotheslines or stakes and ropes to do this.

If you’re using stakes and ropes, make sure the lines are tight and the ropes are taut. You also don’t want to hang your tent too close to trees or other objects, as they could damage it.

How Should I Drying My Wet Tent

Another way to dry a tent is by using a clothes dryer. Make sure you set the dryer on low heat and only run it for a few minutes. If you put your tent in the dryer for too long, it could melt and be destroyed.

You can also use a fan to speed up drying time. Just place your wet tent near an open window with a fan blowing into it. This will help circulate air throughout the entire fabric of the tent so that it dries faster than just hanging or using a dryer.

Other than hanging or using a dryer, you can also lay your wet tent out in the sun to help speed up drying time. However, make sure that it’s laying flat and not over any rocks or branches where sunlight may damage it.

Do I Need To Waterproof My Tent After Washing?

After you’ve washed your tent, you might be wondering if it’s now waterproof. The good news is that your tent will be pretty clean after a wash in the washing machine, but it likely won’t be waterproof anymore.

This means that you’ll need to apply a new water repellant treatment to your fabric before using it again.

There are a few different ways to do this. You can buy a commercial water repellant treatment like Nikwax TX Waterproofing, or you can make your own by mixing dish soap with water in a spray bottle. Spray the tent down inside and out, and then let it dry completely before using it again.

If you’re not sure how to waterproof a tent, there are plenty of online tutorials that can walk you through the process.

Now that your tent is clean and water repellant, it’s time to go camping!

How Often Should I Clean My Tent?

The general rule of thumb is to wash your tent every four to six uses. This will help prevent the build-up of dirt, dust, and other allergens that can cause you problems while camping.

If you live in a particularly dusty area, or if you camp near bodies of water, you may need to wash your tent more often.

How Often Should I Clean My Tent

If you’re ever in doubt, or if your tent starts to smell bad, it’s always best to give it a good wash. You don’t want to take any chances with your health while camping!

Washing a tent can be a bit of a challenge, but it’s definitely doable. In most cases, you can wash a tent in a front loading washing machine. Just be sure to read the instructions carefully, and use a gentle cycle with cold water.

What Can I Do To Keep My Tents Clean?

A tent is a great investment. It will be your go-to for many camping trips, backyard get-togethers, and more. But how can you keep it clean?

  • Take care of any dirt while camping. If possible, shake off all excess mud particles before heading back home. Vacuum out sand from crevices when its time for a cleaning!
  • Spot clean any dirt or stains with a wet rag and some detergent. Be sure to let the tent air dry completely before storing it away.
  • If you don’t want to use a front loading washer, try hand washing it with a bucket of warm soapy water.
  • You can also use a hose to spray off the dirt. Make sure you let it dry completely before putting it away!


A clean and well-maintained tent is important for a successful camping trip. By following these simple tips, you can keep your tents looking and smelling great for many trips to come!

Also, use cold water and a gentle cycle to avoid damage to the tent. Finally, be sure to air-dry the tent when it is finished washing, as tumble drying can cause shrinkage. With these tips in mind, you can safely wash your camping gear in a front loading washing machine!