The garage isn't great - its external, unheated, the concrete walls let moisture in, and the air is cold and feels somewhat damp as a result in winter. But not actually mold ridden or damp on the floor, no condensation, even our books in long term storage stay in decent condition there, and they will be off the floor on racked shelving.
I aired both tents indoors over the summer, let them dry, and packed them, but before stowing them last week, my partner told me both bags still smell, maybe of mold but unsure. Nothing was visible when I packed them during the summer. I have a very poor sense of smell, so I can't verify, and I know polyester/polythene aren't nutritional to molds. But I trust my partner's comment. In any case they are very smell-sensitive and if its enough to matter to them, it needs to go before we use them again, anyhow.
Research says that both inners are both polyester/polythene. The flysheets are one nylon, the other proprietary "Outtex 3000",apparently some kind of PU-coated nylon??
- Wash the tents in something that will kill anything on them, remove any smell on them, but not damage the fabrics.
- Hang up to air dry indoors.
- Wash again in some high quality breathable waterproofer solution.
- Hang up to dry thoroughly again.
- Show away in bags.
My questions about this process
- What are some appropriate types of products to both kill anything that is present, and also remove smell regardless? I gather bleash isn't relevant, but I don't know what is useful. I have a spray bottle of Tetrion "fast acting mold&mildew remover" labeled as a pesticide (so I know it isn't just a simple whitener) if that helps, which I used for the shower. (Also if this needs 2 wash-and-dry cycles because mold-icide and smell are 2 separate specialist products, that's absolutely fine, I'm after certainty, or as near as it gets)
- The tents are big (5 person + 2 person). Pros and cons of swishing them around in a bathtub, or throwing on a gentle wash in a washing machine? It's a many times folded waterproof fabric, so will the products even get to all of it?
- After the wash, whether tub or machine, is drip-drying sufficient to remove any mold/smell product? Or should I drip dry then rinse again? Same reason - its a many times folded waterproof fabric, so its likely that it'll come out of the wash without the final rinse/swish removing everything.
- How do I best choose a really good long-lasting effective hard-wearing breathable waterproof soaker?
- I'm in the UK, so if product names rather than contents/type are mentioned, UK available ones are better.
- No allergies, good gauntlets available, pet cat can be kept far away, and not worried about getting any products on bare skin.
- Commercial, industrial, and more robust product types are just fine, provided when rinsed the tents are human-safe for breathing. I don't need nice and gentle, or mild high street treatments, if there's better