i have a nice siera designs mountaineering tent, it could use a good wash. i have never had a tent woth cleaning what is the best way to go about cleaning a tent. put it in the was machine on cold and let it hang dry?
Not the machine route...
I typically only do spot "cleaning" with water and a sponge on my tents. If you are in need of a more thorough wash, I would not recommend the wash machine. If you like the tent, that is just too risky.
Hand wash using some sort of non-detergent soap (Nikwax tech wash maybe?) in a bathtub or large, clean bucket. Rinse completely, as any reside may greatly impact the waterproofing. Then dry out of the sun; I often hang things from the ceiling of my garage.
Do Not put your tent in a washing machine ....it will possibly get ruined. MTn WX is right, hand clean it by spot cleaning it....also make sure on the chemical or cleaning agent you are using so it doesn't affect the integrity of the tent, I believe they have something online about cleaning certain tents.
You need to get some Aquamira. It is used to clean stuff like wetsuits but it also works on tents. You have to wait for a dry sunny day. The aquamira can kill mildew which can destroy your tent.
You put your tent in a bath tub and put the aquamira in. Then you take your tent and set it up outside.
It will be clean and have a new smell.
Mirazyme Odor Eliminator...for mildew...
From Sierra Designs (http://www.sierradesigns.com/t-TentCare.aspx):
4. How do I clean my tent?
Proper cleaning and storage of a tent will prolong tent life. Your tent should be cleaned of all mud, loose dirt and debris when you return from your camping trip. Shake out any loose dirt, and wipe the floor and fly clean with a sponge and water.
Make sure your tent is completely dry before you pack it away. A tent that is packed away while damp will mildew. Storing your tent loosely in a large stuff sack or box may help prevent the formation of mildew, especially in humid climates.
For a more thorough cleaning, hand wash your tent in a mild, non detergent soap and water solution. Down Soap works well. Do not soak your tent. Rinse thoroughly and allow to air dry out of direct sunlight. Never machine wash or tumble dry your tent.
Lots of other good info on the SD website.
thanks for all the good info guys