How To Remove Mold From Camping Chairs? Comprehensive Guide

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
24 min read

As temperatures rise across the country, heralding the start of another magnificent summer, millions of people begin packing their camping gear in preparation for the year’s first major overnight vacation.

All of your camping gear, from tents to awnings to cookware, should be thoroughly inspected before you pack up your car for unknown parts. Things like camping chairs, fabric-based camping tables, and other camping equipment all fall into this category.

Look through everything to make sure nothing was ripped or destroyed over the lengthy storage procedure, and also check for mold and mildew, if you don’t smell it first.

Unexpected rain or hail has caused many of us to hastily pack up our camping gear. You and all of your camping gear can get drenched to the bone by these odd mountain storms that occur frequently during the summer.

Upon your return from one of these rain-soaked excursions, you may have spent some time cleaning up the tent, but what about the camping chairs?

How To Clean Mold And Mildew Out Of Camp Chairs - Active Weekender

It’s likely that you didn’t give these goods another consideration, and you may have even hurriedly put them away wet and damp in a dark and humid area like your garage.

Mold and mildew can thrive in these conditions, and unless you carefully clean these goods, they may be of little value to you in the end.

Let us know if this situation seems familiar to you; we’ll do our best to help. In this post, we’ll show you how to remove mold and mildew from camping chairs quickly and easily, so you can get back to enjoying the outdoors rather than cleaning.

What Causes Mold On Camping Chairs

Moisture is the most common trigger for mold formation in camping chairs. You run the danger of introducing mold onto your camping chairs if you keep them without first fully drying them.

Food residue or stains can also cause mold to grow on camping chairs. Camping is fun and all until it’s time to clean everything up and store them.

Small stains or food fragments stuck to your camping chair may go unnoticed in this situation. So, by allowing mold spores to feed on the food waste you’ve left behind, you’re tempting them to settle on your chair.

If you store your camping chair in a room with high humidity, it is more susceptible to mold spores. Mold spores can be a problem, so here’s an article on how to remove them.

What Are The Effects of Mold?

The deterioration of camping chairs is caused by the growth of mold on them. That which this fungus is resting on tends to be eaten by it.

As a result, the more time they spend on a surface, the weaker the region is. Mold growth might cause health issues in addition to destroying the camping chair.

Mold can have harmful consequences on children’s health. For people who have asthma, this fungus may cause an asthma attack; for those who don’t, it may cause the disease to develop.

Ways to Clean Mold and Mildew Out of Camping Chairs

Keeping camp chairs clean may be a big pain, especially if the fabric isn’t detachable. Despite this, the process isn’t insurmountable, and you can actually attempt a number of different approaches.

Method 1: Use the Natural Sunlight to Weaken the Mold and Mildew

In order to remove mold and mildew from camp chairs, you must first ensure that they are completely dry before moving on to the next step. Using a blow dryer or a utility vacuum on the cloth isn’t the only option; you can also dry them with a clean towel.

Both of these ways would fail, and the real solution is far simpler. Putting the chairs outside in direct sunlight is all you need to do.

Direct sunshine has little effect on the germs and bacteria that make up mold and mildew, provided that the chairs remain in direct sunlight. Why? Since sunlight is one of the most effective cleaning agents known to man because it produces what is called ultraviolet or UV radiation (and womankind).

You may rely on the sun to sanitize germ-infested goods without risking your health or incurring any further costs. When using the sun as a sanitizer, you don’t have to rush to the drugstore or food store to purchase it, unlike some of the other methods we’ll discuss below.

Simply wait for a day with plenty of sunshine, then leave your belongings out for a period of time (four to six hours).

The sun’s UV light is so effective in sanitizing, why would you ever need to use any of the other methods we’ll discuss later.

We had the same question, so we checked with specialists and found out the following: Mold and mildew, which have grown on your camp chairs, are mutated by exposure to the sun’s UV rays.

UV light weakens mold and mildew and prevents it from spreading or reproducing, but it does not kill germs and viruses completely as would, say, bleach, vinegar, or alcohol. Using one of the ways outlined below, these microorganisms can be readily cleansed and eliminated.

Remember that the “sun approach” only works if the UV light is in direct contact with your camp chairs. That is why you can’t get the same effect by placing them under an awning or on a covered patio.

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You’ll be able to clean and disinfect a lot more things in the future if you know this information about the sun.

Method 2: Steam Clean

You can rapidly eliminate mold and mildew from your camp chairs by steam cleaning them after they’ve been completely dried and sterilized in the sun. When it comes to cleaning a camp chair, you may be wondering how you can do it without having to remove the fabric.

Why don’t you ask him? The good news is that there are now a number of brands (think Shark) who produce handheld steam cleaners for this specific purpose—and others like it.

Condensed heat produced by steam cleaners is quite powerful in killing germs and bacteria, but it is extremely difficult to produce with other materials.

Steam can be generated by simply adding water to a handheld steam cleaner, allowing it to heat up, and then using it to clean. Put on your preferred nozzle, position your steam cleaner towards some camp chairs, and get to work cleaning them.

Try to thoroughly clean both the frame and the fabric with a steam cleaner. A couple refills of water may be necessary but the concentrated heat in the form of steamed steam is likely to kill off any mold and mildew that may still be present on your seats after they’ve been taken out of direct sunshine.

Method 3: The Vinegar Method

When it comes to cupboard staples, vinegar is one of the most universally accessible. As a marinade, it’s fantastic, but it’s also an excellent cleaning and has antimicrobial characteristics that may destroy mold and mildew on fabrics and other items.

Even better, even at high concentrations, vinegar is absolutely non-toxic. What you must do is as follows:

  • Fill the bottle up. Fill a spray bottle up with white vinegar. There is no need to dilute it as the vinegar is completely safe to use in any amount.
  • Fill the bottle to the brim. Spray a white vinegar solution into a spray bottle. Amount does not matter because vinegar is safe in any amount.
  • It should be incorporated into the cloth somehow. Scrub the vinegar into the cloth with a sponge now to allow it to seep deep into the fibers. Allow for a minimum of 15 minutes to pass.

Make a solution of warm water, a quarter cup of detergent, a quarter cup of baking soda, and a teaspoon of lemon juice and apply it to your camp chairs once you’ve cleaned them.

Rinse the camp chair’s fabric with warm water after using this solution to clean it thoroughly. Once the chair or chairs are completely dry, put them back outside in the sun.

Your camping chairs are now mold and mildew-free and ready for your next trip.

Method 4: The Alcohol Method

This method is pretty similar to the vinegar method in terms of execution. The only thing that differs is the anti-microbial solution.

After drying the chair in the sun, you can repeat this procedure:

  • Add water to the spray container and shake it up to combine. Equal parts rubbing alcohol (ethanol) and equal parts water should be placed in a spray bottle and shaken well. Make sure you have enough solution to clean all of the afflicted chairs.
  • Take a look at it. Spray a small amount of the alcohol and water solution onto a piece of fabric of the same color. Allow the test piece to dry out. When the fabric is completely dry, inspect it for color fading. Your solution can be used if there is no fading, but if there is, you should add more water to the solution.
  • Camp chairs should be sprayed down with bug spray. Spray the afflicted areas of each camp chair you need to clean with care using the spray bottle. Because it will take a while for this to dry, there is no need to rub it in.
  • Put the seats back in the sun. After a few hours in the sun, move the chairs back into the shade to finish drying.

Is there anything else I can do for you? We’ve covered a wide range of options for dealing with mold and mildew on your next camping trip, so you’ll be prepared for your next adventure in the great outdoors.

Cleaning Different Types of Camping Chairs

Foldable Spectator Seat

A foldable chair with an integrated cooler is a traditional camping chair that can also be found at sporting or tailgating events. A lightweight mesh material is sometimes used to improve airflow in these seats, which are typically constructed of canvas or polyester.

You may be able to remove the canvas fully and wash it in the washing machine depending on the type of chair you have. Fabric protection for outdoor use should be applied to the material after it has been washed and dried.

Zero Gravity Chair

For people who suffer from back problems, these seats allow you to recline like a La-Z-boy and put your feet up. This material, which is usually comprised of a textaline cloth and strung by bungees, is ideal for the outdoors.

Because of the material’s strength and long-term usability, cleaning it is a breeze. However, since the material covering the chair cannot be removed, a complete cleaning is unlikely.

Stadium Seats

Toss one of these inside your backpack and you’ll be ready for anything. Despite the fact that they are ideal for hard bleachers, they aren’t the most comfy for sitting on the ground.

When dealing with thick cushions, you’ll want to avoid soaking the padding because it takes a long time to dry. Mold and bacteria may begin to grow inside the seat if it isn’t completely dried.

Different Cleaning Methods

Steam Cleaning

The chair’s fabric can be cleaned with a portable or hand-held garment steamer. Fill the chamber with clean water and aim it at any stains or filthy areas.

Using this method is ideal for seats that don’t come apart. Using hot steam to eliminate germs and bacteria in the fabric is also an excellent idea.

Steamers need to be plugged in, so you’ll either have to move your unclean chairs indoors or use an extension cable to get them outside, which isn’t ideal for cleaning outdoor furniture.

It may take multiple treatments and a lot of time to clean the entire chair using a little steamer, which can only offer a few minutes of continuous steam.

Spray with Alcohol

Spray the chair’s fabric with ethanol or rubbing alcohol in a plastic spray bottle. Let the chair air dry for a few days in the sun.

For best results, you may have to repeat the procedure multiple times. Always test the alcohol treatment on a tiny, inconspicuous section of the chair first to ensure that it does not result in discoloration or damage to the fabric.

Vinegar Treatment

Vinegar, like alcohol, can be used in a spray bottle and sprayed over mold and mildew-infested places. Even if you don’t want to, you can dilute the vinegar with water. To remove the vinegar, use a sponge to clean the chair.

After the chair has been cleaned, it will need to be exposed to the sun to dry. In the immediate aftermath of cleaning, the chair may still smell of vinegar, but this should fade with time.

In order to avoid a strong vinegar smell, you can rinse it with soap and allow it to dry in the sun after the vinegar treatment.

Using the Washing Machine

Do a little research to discover if your chairs are machine washable with a light detergent. Always wash delicates in a laundry bag designed for delicates, and only use the gentle cycle on materials like mesh.

Vacuum Cleaner

The attachments on your vacuum cleaner can be used to thoroughly clean soiled but not stained chairs. For more robust textiles, use the brush attachment; for softer ones, use the upholstery attachment.

Hand Wash in the Bathtub

Hand washing removable fabrics in the bathtub is preferable to machine washing them. Use soap or another cleanser to clean the tub after it has been filled with warm water. Submerge the materials in the container.

Use a soft brush or towel to remove any stains without hurting the fabric. The fabric can also be rubbed together to dislodge dirt and debris. Rinse thoroughly after many hours of soaking.

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Hydrogen Peroxide

Using hydrogen peroxide and baking soda to remove stains is simple, however it doesn’t work on grease or oil stains. For stains caused by food, tea or coffee, and other organic stains such as grass, it is excellent. It is also a disinfectant and odor-killing agent.

Spot treat the stain by combining two-thirds water with one-third hydrogen peroxide in a spray bottle. Depending on the strength of the stain and how long it has been there, soak up the extra moisture with a cloth.

Car Wash

Because of the readily available equipment, using a vehicle wash to swiftly clean a large number of chairs is an excellent option. Load the chairs into the car, scrub them with the brush, and then blast them clean with the pressure washer.

To avoid tearing the fabric, don’t apply too much pressure. Using an angle, point the hose a few feet from the chair. To get your wet chairs home and dry them, spread a blanket or tarp across the back seat of your car.

Removing Stains From Your Camping Chair

Spot Treat with Baking Soda

When it comes to removing stains, baking soda and water are usually all that is needed. Allow the stain to settle for a few minutes after applying the baking soda. You can use a vacuum to remove the residual soda, or you can spritz the stain with water and use an old toothbrush to scrub it.

Dealing with Tree Sap

To begin, use a butter knife to remove any extra sap. Soften the sap by using an acetone nail polish remover as a solvent. An enzyme-based stain remover or isopropyl alcohol can also be used.

Before scrubbing away the sap, give it some time to soften and dissolve. Stain remover and hot water should be used to scrub the stain. If there is a stain, do it again.

Removing Grass Stains

Grass stains can be removed in a variety of ways with common household items. All of the above options are available to you:

  • Alcoholic swab
  • Sodium bicarbonate of soda
  • Vinegar
  • Detergent

Just be careful to scrub the stain well and allow the cleanser rest long enough to dissolve it, then thoroughly rinse it off.

Cleaning Bird Droppings

It’s best to use something disposable to get rid of as much as possible. Next, use a spray bottle to moisten the chair and let it soak for a few minutes to remove any dried residue. Use soap or a bleach solution to clean the area.

Hydrogen peroxide or an oxygen-based bleach can be used to remove berry stains from carpets.

Mildew Treatments

As soon as you see mildew on your fabric, you should clean it as quickly as possible to avoid damaging or weakening the chair’s structure. Brush or shake the item outside and then use liquid detergent to remove any stains.

Allow it to sit for about 15 minutes before rinsing it off. Use hot water that is appropriate for the sort of fabric you’re cleaning and then wash it thoroughly. Oxygen bleach can also be used to get rid of stains, particularly on colorful clothing.

When and Where to Clean Your Chairs

If mold or mildew is found on a dirty chair, it’s preferable to clean it outside. You’ll need a place that is well-ventilated to allow the air to flow freely.

If you don’t want your garage floor or patio to get soiled, lay down some old newspaper or a tarp. Additionally, this is vital to prevent the spread of any spores.

When cleaning the chairs, pick a day with plenty of sunshine so that they can sit in the sun after being washed. Because they won’t be able to dry completely if it’s raining or overcast, your chairs are at risk of mildewing.

As soon as possible in the day, begin cleaning the chairs so that they have time to dry in the sun. How long it takes depends on the fabric and whether or not the padding was washed together with the garments.

DIY Camping Chair Cleaner

You can create your own cleaning gadget for folding chairs if you have a lot of them to clean. Pick up a large plastic trash can, some broom heads, and the appropriate nuts and bolts from the hardware store.

When the bristles are facing inward, drill holes in the can and through the heads of the brooms. You may then fill the fan with water and rapidly pull the chair into and out of position. You can then do the other side by flipping it over.

Using this method, you don’t have to scrub the chair yourself. It’s more difficult to target specific places with the larger brushes, but it’s a quick and easy way to clean seats. When the chairs come out of storage, use the brooms without water to eliminate dust and cobwebs.


How do you get mildew out of a canvas chair?

Using 12 cup Lysol and 1 gallon of hot water, prepare a cleaning solution. Lysol and water can be used to clean the canvas. 1 cup lemon juice, 1 cup salt, and 1 gallon of boiling water are all that is needed to make this drink. Rinse the canvas with the mixture after it has been sprayed with the paint.

How do you clean a folding saucer chair?

Using a mild soap and water mixture to remove grime and food stains can be followed by a clean water rinse. Use a soft brush or towel to clean to prevent scratches. Before storing the chairs, a soft towel should be used to dry their surfaces.

How do you clean a canvas chair?

In a bucket, combine 2 gallons of warm water with about half a capful of mild liquid laundry detergent (free from bleach). Scrub the canvas with water and a soft brush. Wipe the canvas using a sponge that has been soaked in the pail of water. Using a scrub brush, begin with the dirtiest parts of the garment and work your way outward.

How do you remove black mold from outdoor wood furniture?

Allow an hour’s worth of white distilled vinegar to rest on the mold before removing it. After rinsing with warm, soapy water, apply a second coat of vinegar. Rinsing away the vinegar is unnecessary. It is possible to etch white plastic outdoor furniture by using bleach.

How do you remove mold from outdoor furniture?

When it comes to outdoor patio furniture, wood is always a good choice Pour in 1 gallon of water a mixture of 1 cup ammonia, 12 cup white vinegar, and 14 cup baking soda, and stir thoroughly. Apply with a kitchen sponge or rag. Use full-strength white vinegar immediately if you observe any mildew development returning.

How do you clean metal folding chairs?

Warm water and dish soap may clean any surface, whether it is made of wood or metal or plastic or resin. To clean, all you need to do is use soapy water and a cloth soaked in fresh water.

How do you clean aluminum folding chairs

To clean aluminum use a solution of water and some type of grease-cutting dish detergent. Apply the solution by dipping a soft-bristle brush in it and then scrubbing the chair. Once it’s clean rinse it off with clean water. If there are any tough stains or marks, apply the soapy solution with a light steel wool.

How do you clean a dirty camping chair?

Aluminum can be cleaned with a mixture of water and a grease-cutting dish soap. Dip a soft-bristle brush into the solution and then scrape the chair to apply the cleaning solution. Once it’s been thoroughly cleaned, thoroughly rinse it under running water to remove any remaining dirt. Apply the soapy solution with a mild steel wool if there are any stubborn stains or markings.

How do you remove mold from a wooden chair?

Aluminum can be cleaned with a mixture of water and a grease-cutting dish soap. Dip a soft-bristle brush into the solution and then scrape the chair to apply the cleaning solution. Once it’s been thoroughly cleaned, thoroughly rinse it under running water to remove any remaining dirt. Apply the soapy solution with a mild steel wool if there are any stubborn stains or markings.

How do you remove mold from antique wood furniture?

Solution of water and a dish detergent is all that is needed to clean aluminum. Using a soft-bristle brush, apply the solution and then scrub the chair. To get it clean, run it under fresh water for a few minutes. Apply the soapy solution with a light steel wool if there are stubborn stains or markings.


It’s simple to remove mold from camping chairs if you know how to do it. Fortunately, there are a number of options for you to consider.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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