How to Clean Camping Chairs | Getting Your Camping Chairs Looking Great

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Outdoor chairs are a great addition to any camping trip, and unless you are hiking to far away places, miles from the nearest road, chances are that a camping chair is going to be a great part of any outing.

Even though I often camp with only a tarp while car camping, I always bring my camping chair. I have even taken a lightweight chair on backpacking trips.

Photo of Mark Wilcox sitting in his camping chair

They’re also great for outdoor concerts, park events, and more. However, camping chairs can easily get dirty and smell from heavy outdoor use, so how do you clean a camping chair?

If you are looking for an indestructible camping chair, I am a big fan of my Yeti chair. It is expensive, but after destroying 2 cheap chairs in a single camping season, I believe this chair will last me several years.

What You Need to Clean Camping Chairs

To clean your camping chairs, you’ll need a few things:

  • A mild soap or detergent

  • A soft brush (toothbrush size)

  • A clean, dry towel

  • A mild bleach solution (1 part bleach to 3 parts water) or for materials that don’t play well with bleach, one part water to 2 parts warm vinegar (you can spray bottle this)

  • A spray bottle

  • A hairdryer (on a cool setting)

Cleaning Camping Chairs - The Steps

The general steps are the same regardless of what type of camping chair you have, but keep in mind that whether the chair is made of canvas, cloth, or a polyester blend can change the most effective ways for cleaning them.

  1. Start by mixing your solution in a clean spray bottle. This is the point where you need to make sure if you’re using bleach that you’re not using it on a material you’re not supposed to (usually a polyester blend common with sports chairs).

  2. Next, set up your chair in an area where you can easily work on it. If the chair is very dirty, you may want to do this outside.

  3. Next, take your brush and lightly scrub the affected areas of the chair.

  4. Once you’ve scrubbed the chair, take your clean, dry towel and wipe down the chair to remove any soap residue.

  5. Next, take your spray bottle and generously spray the chair with your cleaning solution.

  6. Let the chair sit for a few minutes so the solution can work its way into the fabric.

  7. After a few minutes, take your hairdryer and lightly go over the chair. This will help to speed up the drying process. If you have a dry and sunny day, this can be a great way to naturally air dry the chair if the weather is good and you have a reliable place to set it.

  8. Once the chair is dry, you can put it away until you’re ready to use it again.

Cleaning Camping Chairs - Tips and Tricks

  • If your chair is extremely dirty, you may need to repeat steps 3-8.
  • For tough stains, you can make a paste of baking soda and water and apply it to the stain. Let it sit for a few minutes then brush it off.
  • If you’re cleaning a canvas or fabric chair, you may want to consider using a mild soap designed for those materials.
  • Never store your camping chairs while they’re wet as this can lead to mildew and other problems.
  • If you have a folding chair, make sure to clean and dry the parts that fold as well as the fabric. Rust can form on these parts and make the chair difficult to use.

How often should I clean a camping chair?

This will depend on how often you use the chair and how dirty it gets. If you’re using it regularly, you may need to clean it once a month or so. If it’s only used occasionally, you can probably get away with cleaning it less often.

Cleaning camping chairs is a fairly easy process that doesn’t take a lot of time, but it’s important to do if you want your chairs to last. By following the steps above, you can keep your camping chairs looking and smelling fresh all season long.

Should I wash a camping chair?

Yes, you should wash a camping chair. Washing a camping chair will remove any dirt, dust, or debris that has accumulated on the chair. It is important to clean a camping chair regularly to ensure that it remains in good condition and lasts for many years.

How long will a camping chair last if not cleaned regularly?

A camping chair that is not cleaned regularly will eventually become stained and start to show wear and tear. The lifespan of a camping chair can be extended by regularly cleaning it and storing it in a dry, clean place when not in use.

Will cleaning a camping chair damage it?

No, cleaning a camping chair will not damage it (as long as you follow any special instructions provided by the manufacturer). In fact, cleaning a camping chair regularly will help to extend its lifespan by preventing dirt and debris from accumulating on the chair and causing wear and tear.

What kind of cleaning products work well with camping chairs?

There are a variety of cleaning products that work well with camping chairs. For general cleaning, you can use a mild soap and water solution. For tougher stains, you may need to use a stronger cleaning product (such as bleach) or a paste made of baking soda and water. Always test any cleaning product on a small, inconspicuous area of the chair before using it on the entire chair to avoid damaging the fabric.

With a little bit of time and effort, you can keep your camping chairs clean and looking (and smelling) like new. Regular cleaning will also help to extend the life of your chairs and also helps prevent mold and mildew. Make sure to get into the habit of cleaning your camping chairs to get the most out of them.