Can You Wash A Tent In A Front Loading Washing Machine?

Tents help to survive creaking temperatures, biting cold, bites of wild animals, unprecedented rainfall, and much more while you’re sleeping undisturbed inside.

Right? After spending a week or more in a tent and after returning home, you’ll feel that everything needs a quick scrubbing. Be it your hair, clothes, utensils, etc. But where is the tent?

It is what most adventure-friendly people overlook at times. Terrain leaves the tent muddy and stinking, asking for a good round of cleaning, either manually or through a device.

If the mess level is small, a good manual cleaning is enough, and in another case, you’ll need to take aid from somewhere else.

In this scenario, only one option comes to everyone’s mind, and that’s a washing machine. But is this a good idea? Shall I wash my tent in a front loading washing machine? Let’s find out below.

Can you wash a tent in a front loading washing machine?

As said above, a messy tent would require a quick cleaning before your next outing requiring the same tent.

Now, the level of dirt the tent has accumulated will decide whether manual cleaning is enough or not. If yes, well and good.

If not, many of you may not resist throwing the tent inside a front-loading washing machine.

After all, it’s the easiest way you can think of and also the quickest way around. However, remember, you should never wash a tent in a front-loading washing machine.

It is because a washing machine will prove to be too severe on the material of your tent. Furthermore, doing so can lend severe damage to the tent’s seams, coating, mesh, etc.

In some cases, even the machine’s drum and body may suffer some grade of damage if the tent is too big or solid. In a nutshell, never think of washing a tent in a front or any washing machine.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of washing a tent in a washing machine?

While the disadvantages of washing a tent in a front-loading washing machine outnumber its advantages, here are some references.

Advantages of washing a tent in a front-loading washing machine:

  • Since tents are too massive in size and are of strong materials, such tents are suitable for rinsing in a washing machine to a great extent. This washing machine cleaning of the tent is the easiest way to do so and in a much lesser time. In this way, you can undertake other chores while the tent is going through its cleaning cycle.
  • It is practically impossible for one individual to wash the tent manually, for its vast size and weight. For washing a tent manually, you would need at least 2-3 individuals. Hence, here’s when a washing machine takes the upper hand. By using a machine, lesser physical work can complete the job more effectively. 
  • When you’re using a front-load washing machine for cleaning the dirty tent, you get assured of its general cleaning. It is because manual cleaning cannot accomplish such accurate cleaning. Hence, a front load washing machine gives a more accurate and precise cleaning to your tent.
  • Lastly, using a washing machine also means less cleaning resources like soap, water, etc. Manual cleaning is prone to the usage of more soaps, water, etc. Simultaneously, a washing machine will use only a fixed amount of these substances to clean the entire tent effectively. 

So, these are the four primary benefits of using a washing machine for cleaning a tent. Now, below are some disadvantages of doing the same which you shouldn’t dismiss. 

Disadvantages of cleaning a tent in a front loading washing machine:

  • Yes, tents are super tough to withstand creaking temperatures, biting cold, bites of wild animals, unprecedented rainfall, and much more. However, their strength isn’t enough to tolerate continuous thrashing inside a steel container. Hence, you can say that the same light and portable structure of the tent that makes it the best option for camping goes against its cleaning inside a front-loading washing machine.
  • You would know that tents aren’t a single layer of material. Multiple sewing layers make them of materials, and the same gives tents their durability and reliability. While sewing multiple layers, some holes form, and you’ll require sealing tapes to seal them. When the tent goes through the harsh washing cycles of machines, this seaming tape comes off gradually and lowers the tent’s resilience. If continued further, the tent will become useless. As a consequence of washing the tent in a washing machine and damaging its seams, the rainwater will make its way into the tent.
  • For adequate airflow and ventilation inside the tent, the tent comes with a mesh all-around its body. It is also the most fragile part that needs regular care. If washed inside a washing machine, the mesh can break down or develop cracks or holes. It makes the tent appear ugly and provides an easy passage for small bugs to enter the tent and irritate you! 
  • Every tent has an outer waterproof coating to prevent water from staying on the surface and seeping in. So, the washing machine’s vicious cycles can damage the waterproof coating of the tents and render the feature useless. 

These disadvantages of washing a tent inside a washing machine prove how even a single cycle of the front-loading machine is harmful to your tent.

As an alternative, make use of any other cleaning technique(s) for your messy tent.

Our suggestion:

It would help if you did not wash the tent in a front loading washing machine.


By now, you must have understood why washing a tent in a front-load washing machine is a bad idea for both your tent and the washing machine.

In the tent’s case, harsh washing cycles of the washing machine can damage the seams, mesh, and coatings.

If the tent is rigid and of high-quality, it may, in turn, leave an impact inside the washing machine. Hence, it’s a loss-loss situation for you. 

Instead of a machine, you can think of other means of cleaning the tent. Some of the most common ways of cleaning a tent include a bathtub, a pair of sponges and hoses, etc.

Another thing to ensure is that you don’t rely on your tent’s once in a while cleaning. Try a quick wash after or before every trip.