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Getting rid of mildew?


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I found the following on trailspace.com:


"You probably won't be able to get rid of the stain, but you still need to kill the mildew to prevent further damage. The below is copied from northface.com. You can probably cut the "recipe" in half or quarter if you just have a small spot.


Should mildew begin to form, set up the tent and clean it with a sponge and warm soapy water, then rinse with a clean sponge. Next, sponge-wipe the tent with a solution of ½ cup Lysol and 1 gallon of hot water. Leave the solution on the fabric and allow it to dry. Then, mix 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of concentrated lemon juice with 1 gallon of hot water. Rub the solution into the visible mildew and once again, allow it to dry."


From MSRCorp:

"Cleaning your tent is not necessary unless it has an offensive odor or becomes heavily soiled. If heavily soiled, the pressure from a regular garden hose will remove most loose dirt. For more severe cleaning, set up your tent and hand wash it with warm water, a sponge and mild, non-detergent soap. Do not use dishwashing liquid, detergent, bleach, pre-soaking solutions, or spot removers. Rinse well. Dry your tent by pitching or line dry. Never dry clean, machine wash or machine dry your tent. Any of these methods can remove all the waterproof coatings from the fabric."


From wildernessconnection.com:

"Mildew Treatment Formula

This is a three step process.


Step 1 - Mix 1/2 cup of Lysol in 1 gallon of hot water (not so hot you can't put your hand in it). Wash the fabric with a sponge and dry completely, without rinsing.


Step 2 - Mix 1 cup of salt and 1 cup of lemon juice in 1 gallon of hot water (same "warning" as in step 1). Wash the fabric with this solution and allow to dry, without rinsing.


Step 3 - After the item is dry, rinse it with fresh water and allow to dry thoroughly before storing.


Hope this helps! But the best treatment is prevention. Always store your gear, after it has been thoroughly dried, in a cool, dry place.



This procedure will stop mildew growth and eliminate the odor, but it will not remove the stain. Any damage caused by mildew is not covered under warranty. These measures are offered to help you prolong the life of your tent once mildew has set in. "





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Your tent is hosed. You can stop the mildew from growing and maybe even get rid of the smell, but you'll never get rid of the stain without damaging the fabric or its waterproof coating. The stain will fade over time if the tent is used in sunlight.


I suggest that you not lend any more gear to your supposed "friend". Friends don't store gear wet.

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I'd check out MiraZyme. It's an enzyme rinse that kills a lot of critters that make outdoor gear smell. You mix it in your bathtub and soak your stuff in it, then hang dry it. I'd be hesitant to wash my tent in harsh chemicals. Here's the schpiel from McNett's website. They're the same people that make Seamseal.


"MiraZyme™ Odor Eliminator is a powerful blend of natural enzymes and microbes used to remove odors caused by mold, mildew and bacteria. The McNett Corporation has identified, separated and reproduced a unique blend of 10 naturally occurring and highly adapted enzymes, microbes and other organic ingredients designed to identify and destroy odor. MiraZyme is extremely versatile, quickly and effectively removing odor and organic debris from a wide variety of clothing, footwear, outdoor and sports gear, and more. Mirazyme is completely safe for the environment, leaving only carbon dioxide and water as by-products."

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