Your camping gear works hard for you and over time can really take a beating. You can extend the life of most of your gear with a good maintenance and cleaning system. One of the best ways to do this is to thoroughly clean and dry your gear as soon as you get home and before you pack it all away. Putting it away dirty can lead to mold, mildew, and weakened areas in your tent, backpacks, and sleeping bags.
If you avoid commercial cleaning solutions because of the chemicals they contain you’ll be relieved to hear you do not have to use them at all. There are plenty of natural cleaners and deodorizers that will be tough on camping dirt but gentle on camping equipment.
Baking Soda – this staple has been used for decades when cleaning and attempting to remove odors from household items. It works well to clean your sink drains and remove any odor from leftover food particles. It can be used to scrub sinks, toilets, and camping chairs due to it’s non-abrasive nature. You can even add it to your laundry water to help freshen your camping towels and bedding.
Hydrogen Peroxide – you should be careful with this if you’re using it on non-colorfast items. Test first to be sure it won’t bleed the color from your gear. It doubles as a tool in your first aid kit as well. The foaming action of the peroxide can help to lift ground in dirt and can be applied with a toothbrush or small scrub brush to difficult areas.
Dawn Dishsoap – this degreaser is well known for how effective it is on your dishes but you’ll find many uses for it when you’re cleaning up after your camping trip. It will assist in removing carbon and soot from your cooking pots and pans, and to any oil-based stains you find as you unpack.
These three items are most often used in conjunction with each other and can make a powerful cleaner. You’ll save much scrubbing time when you use them as a combined cleaning solution and your gear will smell fresh and ready for your next trip. You can find more uses for this power team of solvents at Homemade Super Stain Remover & Deodorizer: Fights Tough Red Wine, Grease, Yellow Armpit Stains, and more!
We hope you’re able to camp for many years to come. Try these tips and hopefully they will keep your gear in tip top shape for a long time. We look forward to seeing you around the campground this summer so be sure to make your reservations soon.