Tourism is a great hobby! Whoever went on a hike at least once will return to such a rest again and again. But, travel is not only photographs and memories but also the care of tourist equipment, including the rain fly.
Damp weather and rain provoke mold, odors, discoloration, and deterioration for this portable housing. Surely the tent flap needs a wash or a cleaning.
That’s how an experienced tourist would think. But you should find out: can you machine wash a rain fly and how to do that correctly?
Unfortunately, to keep the rain fly in good condition, you should never wash it in a top-loading washing machine. If necessary, you may wash it in an industrial-sized front-loading washer on a gentle cycle. Then, dry it, and restore it with waterproofing and UV-proofing sprays.
Can You Machine Wash A Rain Fly?
Unfortunately, to keep a rain fly in good condition, you should never wash it in a top-loading washing machine. If necessary, you may wash it in an industrial-sized front-loading washer on a gentle cycle. Then, dry it, and restore it with waterproofing and UV-proofing sprays.
But, we strongly advise against it. Washing machines wear away protective coatings and rip fabrics.
What is the risk of being machine washed? If you send the tent-like thing into the drum, you can wash off its protective layer.
So, manufacturers strongly recommend that you do not impact the product mechanically to avoid damaging this layer. Experienced tourists are skeptical about washing in a machine. They resort to this method only in critical situations.
But, if you follow the rules, the product can survive after a machine wash and even more than one.
The surface of such tourist equipment features a protective compound that does not allow moisture to pass through and repels. If you wash off the impregnation with the help of a special spray, you can eliminate losses.
The surface of such tourist equipment is covered with a protective compound that does not allow moisture to pass through and repels.
Laundry and detergents damage this layer, and they cause the loss of some of the functionality and physical properties of the product. The use of aggressive preparations and improper washing will ruin the tent.
Therefore, we do not recommend washing the tourist tent. For cleaning, it is best to use a soft-bristled brush and soft cloth. To clean the tourist things, dry the product after use, flatten the material, and inspect it.
Wipe off debris, dust, and dried dirt with a cloth or brush. Remove stains with a sponge dipped in lukewarm soapy water. After water procedures, we dry and ventilate the product again, then put it away for storage.
A high-quality and reliable tent-fly can only take one maximum of two washes in a washing machine, provided following the rules. Therefore, if it is heavily soiled and standard cleaning does not help, it is better to wash it by hand.
Next, let’s look at how to wash your tent flap at home correctly!
- Read more: How can you get Rainfly replacement?
How To Machine Wash A Rain Fly?
After a trip or trek, did you notice lumps of dirt, stains, or a foul odor on your rainfly? Unfortunately, if you’re reading this, you’re probably already in a scenario where you need to clean your rain fly.
Here are some guidelines for good tent-fly cleaning and upkeep.
Washing Rules In A Washing Machine
- Check the volume and capacity of the drum because the equipment should fit there;
- Inspect the product and dry it, remove debris, dust, and dried dirt by hand;
- Spread the material, lightly moisten one side with water and rub with laundry soap;
- Clean with soap and water on the second side;
- Do not fold the processed tent-fly;
- Wash without spinning, at a temperature of 40 degrees and a speed of up to 500 rpm;
- Do not use detergents, gels, and powders in the process;
- After the end of the procedure, take the product out, wait for the water to drain, and hang it for drying;
- Check the dry material for damage. If you damage the protective layer somewhere, use repair sprays;
- Remember that you can machine wash your tent flap no more than twice during the entire period of use!
6 Steps To Wash A Tent Flap In A Machine
Can you put a tent rain fly in the washing machine? There is no doubt about whether you can wash the tents in automatic mode. But the washing tips are different. We will give you the most tested rules.
By following our recommendations, you will clean your gear of dirt and odors while maintaining its functionality and attractive appearance. So, let’s look at how to wash a tent flap in an automatic machine:
Check if the product fits into the washing drum. Make sure the weight is not more than the maximum allowed for your clipper.
If the washing machine is designed for 13 pounds and the product weighs 12 pounds, think about it because the fabric will get wet in water and heavier.
Then lay the cloth out on a dry and clean surface. Equip yourself with a spray bottle and sprinkle the fabric with plain water on one side, then rub with ordinary 72% laundry soap.
Repeat for the second side as well. Do not fold the product, and put it to the washing drum.
Select a mode that does not involve heating water and spinning. The drum rotation speed in the selected mode should not exceed 500 revolutions.
Do not use regular laundry detergents or gels. Wait for the cycle to end and take the tent flap out. After the water is drained, spread it out in a ventilated place to dry.
Examine for scuffs or damage and spray the protective solutions to restore the protective properties of the fabric.
How To Restore The Protective Layer After Washing?
If the protective layer is slightly damaged during washing, do not panic!
Purchase a product to restore the protective coating and return the product to its former properties.
There are a lot of options for such duties on the market now. Let’s consider the most popular of them:
It is considered one of the highest quality means. When using, it is important to observe safety precautions and work away from open flames. You can spray or apply this product with a sponge, brush, or even a cloth.
See how to use Nikwax in this video:
It’s not a bad impregnation specially designed for fabrics such as tent fabrics. You can apply with a roller or brush.
Best applied in two coats, letting each dry. Thick layers during application are unacceptable.
This solution is a silicone-based substance and belongs to the universal means. It is widely and actively used for the restoration of tent-fly tissues.
How Often Should I Wash My Rain Fly?
As we mentioned before, you should avoid washing your tent flap at all costs.
If you need to remove dust, spot cleaning will help. But if you’re planning a full-fledged tent wash, reconsider that intention.
You truly don’t need it. Not only does it cause more harm than good to your rain fly, but it’s also a major pain in the buttocks, and for what? You’re just going to leave it outdoors, and it will become soiled again.
There is no hard and fast rule for how frequently you should clean a rain fly. You will determine what to do based on your camping style, the type and fabric of your rain fly, and how dirty it becomes.
After each camping trip, we recommend performing basic tent flap maintenance. It may not necessarily imply a complete wash.
Sometimes, all it takes is a good shaking out. Sometimes, you need a little elbow grease. When in doubt, consult your owner’s handbook for precise instructions on how to clean your rain fly.
The best approach to clean a fly sheet is to make conscious efforts to clean it during your vacation. Your inside will remain spotless if you keep your shoes, soiled clothes, and open container drinks on the outside of the temporary shelter.
If you have access to a water source while camping, you may spray down the exterior and let it air dry on your last day. Use preventive sprays to keep mold and mildew at bay and allow the tent flap to dry fully before storing it.
So, can you machine wash a rain fly? In theory, let us conclude that it is possible to wash a tent in a washing machine, and maybe it won’t even be a big deal. But always keep the risk in mind when putting your gear into the drum.
It is profitable to restore the protective layer only locally if it deteriorates completely. Use a machine or hand wash only if dry cleaning does not work as expected. Thank you for reading!