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“My Zen sat in my truck wet for about 4 days. Prior to this trip i had set it up, and washed parts of it with warm water and mild soap for some dirt and other stained areas. I'm thinking if possible i need to wash it after it dries out good, it looks kinda rough...is this a no no? It's not appearance that i'm washing it for!”
“Mine got pretty dirty after a 4-day hike in the rain. I let it soak in my tub then washed as much of it as I could. Used the shower head to rinse it out then hunk it over the shower door to dry.
The next time i put it up, it appeared to have shrunk since the poles would barely go into the grommets. To be fair it was about 10 degrees when i put it up. The tent manufacturer told me that the washing procedure i described was fine and should have had no impact on the tent shrinking. They said it was probably due to the cold weather and should return to shape the nxt time I put it up. We shall see.
Anyway, that was a lond winded way to say that the manufacturers say that washing a tent is recommended.”
“Did it mildew? You might never completely get the smell out if it did...I guess you might be washing some of the DWR off when you're doing that. You may want to consider recoating the fly and the water-repellant parts of the tent body after you're done washing it.”
“I let a canvas tent mildew (yes I'm that old!) and it destroyed the waterproofing so you may need to reapply waterproofing again whether you wash it or not.”
“Ugh. My dad used to make me sleep in his old mildewed pup tent on family camping excursions. It really accelerated my asthama. Thanks, pops!
Umm. I have washed tents several times using a mild soap, like Ivory flakes. Allow to air dry by throwing it over a door or better yet, pitch it and dry it that way. Works great.”
“Amen to all above, I take my Kelty Zen in the shower, with some gentle detergent. Not a problem.”
“it's set up in the backyard right now...dried up nice, and no smell....gonna hose it before it gets dark”
“Wow. Talk about a flashback. The smell of mildewed canvas takes me way back!
One of my sons put away a SD tent went in AK, rolled up some leaves and stuff in it too. Bad case of mildew. I couldn't get the stains out, but killed the mildew and the smell with vinegar and borax scrub, I think. Only problem was that it took of the coating. I didn't know that till I put it up in a deluge like only south central Alaska knows. Recoating worked, its still a functional tent.”
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