We make The Deuce of Spades and MoonLight tents Washing | TheTentLab

Washing

Unlike most tent manufacturers, we recommend washing our tents whenever you feel the need. Our coatings are quite solid and won't degrade.

The most important thing:

Wash it only if you can set it up to dry immediately after washing.
You must put the tent away bone dry or there's risk of mold growing on it.

Here are the things you need to do special to wash a tent:
1) Wash the rainfly separate from the tent to prevent the velcro on the rainfly from harming the netting. It's also easier to manage draining the water out of fabric pockets and folds.
2) Hand wash in a bathtub or use a front loader or a top loader on gentle.
3) Handle wet tents carefully - the clips can hook on fabric and the extra weight can lead to tears.
4) Usually you can get a tent clean with no soap, just water. If you do want to use soap, use just a little (and soap is preferred over detergent).
5) Because coated fabrics can hold large pockets of water, and because water can't evaporate through coatings, machine drying is not recommended. Drip drying gets rid of water pockets and lets both sides of the fabric dry.

OK, so here's what we have as a procedure:
1) before starting make sure you will have time to dry the tent fully before putting it away
2) wash the tent and rainfly separately
3) use just water or a small amount of soap
4)
hand wash by kneading the tent in a tub, being careful not to snag the fabric with the clips. Rinse well.
4)
machine wash in a front loader or on the gentlest cycle of a top-loader
5) when moving the wet tent, handle it gently in case a clip is snagged on fabric somewhere
6) set the tent up to dry thoroughly before putting it away.


One last thing

Washing definitely removes some of the water repellency from the fabrics. You can rejuvenate the water repellency while the tent is drying by spraying the coated parts of the tent (the rainfly exterior and the lower walls of the tent). I recommend a product like Nikwax Tent & Gear SolarProof which also protects against UV damage (why not). Nikwax emphasizes the healthiness (or at least non-badness) of their products. After quite a search I believe I've found that they use zirconium acetate and propylene glycol which should be very safe (zirconium is a very bio-compatible metal, acetate is vinegar, and propylene glycol is sometimes used in things that are eaten).