Don’t Shower Yet! Clean your Camping Equipment First.

There’s nothing like coming home from camping and hopping in a hot shower. It might be all you can think about on the drive home while your tired dirty kids kick the back of your seat. But you know there is the dreaded unpacking to be done first.

Mold and mildew set in fast, so there are a few key things you should do right when you get home from camping in order to prevent stinky catastrophes. You do not want to forget about the wet bathing suits or the half pack of hot dogs in the cooler. It does not end pretty. Camping supplies aren’t cheap, and if you don’t take care of them, you might end up having to replace them.

When you get home:

Before you do anything else, let’s power through these tasks that should take priority. 

Coolers, fridges and freezers:

  • Empty them out. Toss anything questionable like meat that has thawed and warmed. Food poisoning is no one’s friend. 
  • Clean. Wipe them down with our water, bleach and Tide® recipe to disinfect (use a scrub brush to get into all the grooves), leave the lid open and allow it to dry completely.

Tents, tent trailers and awnings:

  • Did you have to pack up in the rain or morning dew? Mold and mildew start growing within 24-48 hours. Deal with it now because you won’t be happy when you open your smelly tent on your next camping adventure. Make sure your tent, tent trailer, or trailer awning is fully dry before packing away.
    • If your nylon or polyester tent met a mud puddle or some other unspeakable mess, hand wash in the tub with a gentle soap like blue Dawn®.
    • Set your tent (or tent trailer) back up or hang to dry. Hopefully the weather cooperates for you, but do this as soon as you are able.
    • Once dry, inspect it for dark spots or stains. This means mold and/or mildew have set in. As much as we love bleach, we recommend vinegar for this task as bleach can damage the tent material (and always do a test spot first). 

Pro Tip: NEVER EVER put a tent in a washing machine or a dryer. Even on a delicate cycle.

Other tasks that can’t wait:

  • Get those wet bathing suits and towels in the washing machine STAT, Nothing is worse than finding a wet bathing suit that has been sitting in a plastic bag for a week. 
  • Any outdoor or water toys can be hit with the hose. Just make sure they have fully dried before packing them back up. Toys are just as susceptible to mold and mildew as tents.
  • Wet rugs should be laid out to dry as well.

Of course there is more cleaning that needs to be done like the mountains of laundry and cleaning out the rest of the trailer, but these tasks should take priority. Forgetting them leads to some stinky consequences.

For our tips on how to keep clean while camping, see this article. Watch below.

For a list of our favorite products, click here

-Lana and Becky @GoCleanCo

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