How to Wash & Protect Outdoor Party Tents

How to Wash & Protect Outdoor Party Tents
Posted in: Quick Tips

How to Wash & Protect Outdoor Party Tents

Unless you exclusively rent out outdoor party tents and canopies, you probably don’t have access to a commercial washing machine large enough to handle a load of that size. Even small rental frame tents are too big for standard machines, and their PVC coating is best handled by special washers that are specifically designs to protect tents. Plus, commercial washing machines use hundreds of gallons of water and require you to have quite a bit of space to hang tents up to dry.

It can be overwhelming to consider all of the care that goes into maintaining party rental tents and canopies, but it doesn’t need to be. There are plenty of ways to easily (and inexpensively) take care of your rental pole tents with preventative maintenance as well as cleaning tips to keep your investment looking as bright as the first use.

Cleaning & Protecting Your Outdoor Party Tents

Outdoor event tents are made to be waterproof and durable, but they can — and will — deteriorate over time. This will happen a lot faster if you don’t take care of them properly before and after each event.

When setting up cross cable tents or pop-up canopy kits, examine the fabric to see if there are any rips or tears and make sure they are at least taped shut during the event to avoid getting larger. For heavy-duty PVC-coated polyester, have some liquid vinyl handy for touch-ups. Once the event is done, you can focus on more permanent fixes whenever needed.

Proper installation and tear-down will also minimize damage, so be sure to train your staff on proper handling and storage techniques to extend the life of your outdoor party tents.

After an event, hang the tent material up on something like a clothesline (high enough to make sure it doesn’t touch the ground) and hose it off to remove the biggest particles. Then lay it on a flat, clean surface like a tarp and scrub it gently for the smaller or more stubborn stains. You probably won’t need to worry about things like wine or food like you would with table linens — the more likely culprits will be things like dirt, grass stains, or smoke from outdoor patio heaters placed under the tent for cooler nighttime events.


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For best results, use a soft sponge with non-bleach cleaners. Citrus-based solvents are a great natural way to combat tougher stains, and OxyClean is an inexpensive cleaning solution that can be found at most grocery stores. The best part? These all-purpose cleaners can do double duty for most (if not all) of your rental inventory, including party tables and chairs.

After you’ve finished scrubbing your outdoor party tents, make sure that you rinse them off extra well. Since these pole tents are made to be waterproof, any soap left on can leave visible soap scum that your next party will not enjoy.

Finally, before storing your tent away for the next event, it’s crucial to ensure that it’s completely dry. Like dishes, caked-on grime and dirt only get harder to clean off as time goes on, and any residual moisture can cause mildew. Once it’s had sufficient time to fully dry, it’s time to store it until next time!

With these preventative maintenance suggestions and post-event tips, your stock of outdoor party tents have the potential to last for many, many seasons of use. If you still have questions or are ready to get started with your order, give us a call at 866-360-4642 for expert advice on the best rental tents for your needs!


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September 3, 2019