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How To Clean Camping Chairs


Camping Chairs are an essential piece of gear along with other basic requirements for camping. Without the chairs, it sure must feel quite uncomfortable, for you will not have a cozy seating arrangement to enjoy the views of the campsite.

Now, since you do own camping chairs, that means you did sign up for the commitment of caring for them just like your other camping gear. Right? So, if you’re a novice camper/hiker or even a pro one and you wonder how to clean your camping chairs by yourself and slightly on budget, then this blog post is for you. So, stay with me!

How Many Times Should I Clean Camping Chairs

Technically, it is better if you clean/wipe or even spot-clean your camping chairs after each use. But assuming that you cannot invest your time that frequently, once every 6 months is good enough too. Frequent cleaning really helps your camping chair live a long life and look not so ragged after just a few uses.

camping chair at a campsite

How To Clean Camping Chairs Using Household Items

Cleaning your camping chairs shouldn’t be a hassle, and you don’t need any specialized cleaning products. Before we dive into cleaning using detergents etc., let’s talk about cleaning the camping chairs using household items or DIY in other words.

You will need the following household items to effectively clean your camping chairs:

Items needed:

  • Mild dish soap
  • White vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Warm water
  • Soft-bristle brush or sponge
  • Microfiber cloth
  • Garden hose or bucket of water

Clean A Camping Chair: Step By Step

Step 1: Dust Off Loose Debris

Remove any loose dirt, leaves, or debris from the camping chairs by shaking or brushing them off. By taking this first step, the cleaning process will be easier and the chair surface will be less likely to be scratched during the process.

Step 2: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Make a cleaning solution by mixing warm water with a few drops of mild dish soap. As a natural alternative, a cleaning solution can be created by mixing equal parts of white vinegar and water.

Step 3: Scrub the Chair Surface

Dip the soft-bristle brush or sponge into the cleaning solution and gently scrub the entire surface of the camping chair. Pay extra attention to areas with visible stains or grime. Mild dish soap or vinegar will help break down dirt and grease effectively.

Step 4: Remove Stubborn Stains

For tough stains, create a paste by mixing baking soda with a small amount of water. Apply the paste to the stains and let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing with the brush. Baking soda is a natural abrasive that can tackle stubborn stains without damaging the chair material.

Step 5: Rinse Thoroughly

After scrubbing, rinse the camping chair thoroughly with clean water. You can use a garden hose or a bucket of water for this step. Make sure to remove all traces of the cleaning solution and baking soda.

Step 6: Dry the Camping Chairs

Once the chairs are thoroughly rinsed, use a microfiber cloth to wipe away excess water. Then, let the camping chairs air dry in a shaded area to avoid sun damage.

Step 7: Optional: Apply a Protective Coating

To prolong the life of your camping chairs and protect them from future stains, you can apply a fabric or UV protectant coating. Follow the product instructions for the best results.

cleaning material

Read Also:

How To Clean a Camping Chair Using Detergents

While you can totally DIY clean your camping chairs using household items, there may be some instances where even those are not as effective. In such cases, you may go for commercial detergents, cleaners, and other supplies that are specialized for this purpose. This paragraph talks about the camping chair types such as fabric, wooden, plastic, and metal materials, and the steps you must take to clean each type

1. Identify the Chair Material

Camping chairs come in various materials, such as nylon, polyester, or canvas. It’s essential to identify the material of your camping chair to choose the appropriate cleaning method. Check the manufacturer’s label or manual for information on the chair’s material.

2. Pre-Treat Stains

For stubborn stains, pre-treating is necessary. Create a mixture of detergent and warm water in a spray bottle. Spray the solution directly onto the stains and let it sit for a few minutes before moving on to the cleaning process.

4. Cleaning Fabric Camping Chairs

i. Remove Dust and Debris

Start by dusting off any loose dirt and debris from the chair using a soft-bristle brush. Pay attention to crevices and folds where dirt can accumulate.

ii. Hand Wash the Fabric

In a bucket, mix warm water with a mild detergent. Dip a microfiber cloth into the soapy water and gently scrub the entire fabric surface. Be thorough but avoid using excessive force to prevent damage.

iii. Rinse Thoroughly

After cleaning, rinse the fabric chair thoroughly with clean water. Make sure there’s no leftover soap residue.

iv. Dry the Chair

Allow the camping chair to air dry in a shaded area. Avoid direct sunlight as it may cause the fabric to fade or warp.

5. Cleaning Plastic Camping Chairs

i. Remove Dirt and Grime

Wipe down the plastic chair with a damp microfiber cloth to remove dirt and grime. For stubborn stains, use the pre-treatment solution from step 3.

ii. Scrub the Chair

Create a mixture of warm water and detergent in a bucket. Dip the soft-bristle brush into the soapy water and scrub the plastic chair gently. Focus on areas with visible stains.

iii. Rinse and Dry

Rinse the plastic chair with clean water to remove any detergent residue. Allow the chair to dry completely before using it again.

cleaning clothes

6. Cleaning Metal Camping Chairs

i. Remove Rust

Inspect the metal camping chair for rust spots. Use a rust remover or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda to eliminate rust.

ii. Wash the Chair

Create a soapy solution with warm water and detergent. Use a cloth or sponge to wash the entire chair thoroughly.

iii. Rinse and Dry

Rinse the metal chair with clean water and ensure it’s completely dry before storing it.

7. Cleaning Wood Camping Chairs

i. Dust Off

Using a soft-bristle brush, dust off the wood camping chair to remove loose dirt and debris.

ii. Gentle Cleaning

Dampen a microfiber cloth with a mixture of warm water and mild detergent. Gently wipe down the wooden chair, taking care not to saturate the wood.

iii. Dry the Chair

Allow the wood camping chair to air dry completely before using it again.

8. Dealing with Mildew and Mold

i. Create a Cleaning Solution

In a spray bottle, mix equal parts of water and white vinegar. Spray the solution onto the affected areas.

ii. Scrub and Rinse

Use a soft-bristle brush to scrub the mildew or mold gently. Rinse the chair thoroughly with water and let it dry.

Which Detergents Should I Use?

Here are some of the recommendations you can safely choose to buy from Amazon:

  1. BOATER’S EDGE Fabric Clean
  2. Nikwax Tent & Gear Solarwash Cleaning and UV Protector
  3. Sea To Summit Trek & Travel Pocket Laundry Wash
  4. BEWDIO Microfiber Cleaning Rags
  5. JohnBee Empty Spray Bottles 
  6. Dawn Dish Soap Ultra Dishwashing Liquid
cleaning agents

Maintenance And Care For Camping Chairs

Keeping your camping chairs clean and well-maintained doesn’t stop at the cleaning process. Here are some expert tips for maintaining your camping chairs and ensuring they stay in top condition:

Store Chairs Properly

When not in use, store your camping chairs in a dry and cool place. Avoid leaving them exposed to direct sunlight or extreme weather conditions, as this can cause damage to the material.

Use Chair Covers

Consider investing in chair covers to protect your camping chairs when not in use for an extended period. Chair covers shield the chairs from dust, dirt, and harmful UV rays.

Check for Damages Regularly

Inspect your camping chairs regularly for any signs of wear and tear. Promptly repair any damages, such as loose screws or torn fabric, to prevent further deterioration.

Clean Spills Immediately

Accidents happen, especially during camping trips. If any spills occur on the chairs, clean them up immediately to prevent stains from setting in.

Avoid Harsh Chemicals

While household items are generally safe for cleaning camping chairs, avoid using harsh chemicals or bleach, as they can damage the chair’s material.

For better understanding, you can refer to the video below. Even though it is about cleaning the upholstered chair, it involves certain tips and tricks that would be helpful in cleaning camping chairs.

YouTube Channel: The Clean Loft

Final Thoughts

It’s important to have enough knowledge to be able to maintain and care for any camping gear that we own including our camping chairs. With these simple steps and following the guidance, you can keep your camping chairs clean fresh, and ready for your next outdoor adventure. Remember and try to clean your camping chairs after each use or if not then at least once every 6 months, store them properly, maintain them regularly, and in case of any damage, make sure to try to repair them too, either by yourself or by an expert’s help. Follow all these steps and make your camping chairs last for many camping seasons to come.


Can I use bleach to clean my camping chairs?

No, it’s best to avoid using bleach as it can damage the chair’s material. Stick to mild dish soap, vinegar, and baking soda for effective yet gentle cleaning.

How often should I clean my camping chairs?

The frequency of cleaning depends on how often you use the chairs and the level of dirt or stains they accumulate. In general, it’s a good idea to clean them after each camping trip and before storing them for an extended period.

Can I clean camping chairs with a pressure washer?

While pressure washers can be effective, they may also damage the chair’s fabric or frame if used at high pressure. It’s safer to stick to gentle cleaning methods using household items.

My camping chair has mold. How do I remove it?

To remove mold from your camping chair, create a mixture of white vinegar and water. Apply the mixture to the affected area and scrub gently with a brush. Rinse thoroughly and let the chair air dry.

Are there any eco-friendly cleaning options for camping chairs?

Yes, using a mixture of white vinegar and water is an eco-friendly cleaning option. Additionally, baking soda is a natural and non-toxic abrasive that can help remove stubborn stains.

Can I use a washing machine to clean camping chair covers?

It depends on the material and care instructions provided by the manufacturer. Some camping chair covers are machine-washable, while others may require hand washing. Always check the label before attempting to clean them in a washing machine.

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