How To Clean & Deodorize Camping Gear

Posted by [email protected] BigCommerce on Jul 05, 2021

How To Clean & Deodorize Camping Gear

Angela Tague Angela Tague
July 5, 2021


It's on! You've finally booked a long-awaited camping trip. You're headed deep into the wildness and planning to pitch your tent at the perfect campsite. Kudos to you! As you begin to pack, you might discover some of your camping gear is a little less than fresh, especially if it's been tucked away for a while.

No worries though! Follow these cleaning tips before, during and after your camping trips to keep everything fresh and clean which will extend the life of your sleeping bags, tents and all your other outdoor camping equipment:

Cleaning Tips for Before You Go Camping

Nobody wants to snuggle in for the night and realize their sleeping bag is filled with dirt and dust. And, your hiking shoes? How are they... smelling? Maybe they could use some deodorizing before sharing close camping quarters with others!

A Checklist Of Camping Items To Clean
Below is a list of typical camping items that you should consider including in your cleaning routine, but everyone’s trip is different, so you should also review this checklist from REI to look over and make sure your own cleaning list is comprehensive and complete:

  • Athletic or hiking shoes and clothing
  • Sleeping bags, air mattresses, pillows, sheets and bedding
  • Backpacks or duffel bags
  • Tent, hammocks and travel chairs
  • Coolers and food totes
  • Sports equipment (e.g kayak, trekking poles, fishing gear)

Here’s How to Clean Camping Gear
You can easily clean and deodorize most of your camping items with a quick spray down with a natural sports cleaning spray specifically designed to deal with these unique camping odors. Or, if it's a washable item, launder in the washing machine with some laundry detergent designed for active lifestyles, which would include camping!

But, not all cleaning products are created equally! Here’s why we highly recommend Vapor Fresh cleaning products for camping enthusiasts:

To align with your eco-loving lifestyle, Vapor Fresh Sports Cleaning Spray is made with 100% natural active ingredients that are non-toxic and non-irritating to the skin and will not harm the environment or local water systems. So you can rest assured that when your camping gear inevitably comes in contact with your skin, you won’t have to worry about any irritating residues that other cleaning sprays not designed for sports gear will leave behind.

When it comes to what you put in your washing machine, Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent Powder was specifically designed for this tough challenge that is camping gear. Other detergents are packed with fragrances, dyes, softeners and brighteners which will trap odor and musk in the pores of performance fabrics found in your camping gear. Instead, Vapor Fresh laundry detergents are designed to actually eliminate tough odors from performance fabrics instead of simply covering them up with those additives, so you’ll know your gear is actually clean! Plus, it's highly effective in cold water wash cycles, which can cut your energy costs and usage by up to 90% when compared to hot water cycles!

Tips To Keep Your Gear Clean During The Trip

No one wants to be constantly cleaning while on their camping trip. However the more you can prevent messes and the quicker you can clean them up when they happen will make cleaning easier when you get home and will absolutely extend your gear’s useful life.

Here are a few tips to keep in mind while you’re on your trip!

Keep Your Shoes Outside Your Tent
One of the hardest things to clean after-the-fact is the inside of your tent, so do your best to keep it as clean as possible. The best way to do this? Don’t track in any messes by keeping your shoes outside! Some tents even come with two-way lockers, which are perfect for keeping your shoes both away from the elements and also away from the inside of your tent.

Use Bug Spray
Spray everything down with an effective bug spray, including your tent, clothes, seats, tables, hammocks and so on. By keeping the bugs away, you can keep away the dirt and debris that they track with them. Plus you won’t bring any little critters back home with you!

Clean Kitchen Tools Immediately After Use
After you’re done cooking, let your cast iron soak, clean your reusable plates and utensils and toss away everything disposable. The sooner you do this, the better! Kitchen messes are hard to clean even in the comfort of your own home, but messes that have set in to your cookware while camping can take a long time to mitigate. So clean them as soon as possible!

Keep A Dirty Clothes Bag Available
While camping, you’ll get mud, dirt, sweat and odor all over your clothes. You’ll want to keep them separate from everything else by tossing them in a separate bag and tying it shut. This will also make your laundry efforts easier when you get home!

Shake Everything Out Before Packing It Up
After you disassemble your tent, shake it out before packing it away. Same goes for any hammocks or tarps that were out during the trip as they’ve most certainly accumulated their fair share of dirt, bugs and more.

After Your Camping Trip, Get The Preventative Cleaning Done To Prep For Your Next Trip!

Ahhh, you’re finally home! But first, give your camping gear attention before storing it away for the next trip. Removing dirt and debris from the outdoors as quickly as possible helps keep the equipment in tip-top shape and ready for future adventures. Preventative cleaning and maintenance goes a long way, and the quicker you get it done the more effective it will be.

Wash fabrics
From pillowcases, blankets, activewear and anything else machine washable, it should all land in the washing machine ASAP with a scoop of Vapor Fresh® Laundry Detergent Powder. This will remove dirt, sweat and body oils, and in turn leave the fabrics fresh with no lingering odors. You can even launder some shoes too! Did you bring your Allbirds camping with you? Check out this handy guide for washing Allbirds in the washing machine.

Deodorize your camping gear
Anything that sat on the ground, or a picnic table, could most likely use a quick wipe down - tents, hammocks, chairs, etc. Spray them with Vapor Fresh® Natural Sports Cleaning Spray and allow it to air dry. That's it! So simple!

You head into nature to enjoy fresh air, not musty camping gear. So, keep it clean! When you choose Vapor Fresh products you're supporting a brand that's committed to environmental sustainability and your health. Learn more about the Vapor Fresh team that's creating these green cleaning solutions.


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