One of the best parts of having a tent at your outdoor event is that it protects you from the unwanted elements. While it does an excellent job shielding us from the sun and rain, it bears the brunt of the mud, bird droppings and leaf and grass stains that often accompany being outside for long periods of time.

It would be great if we could just roll up the entire tent and put it in a standard washing machine, but the actual process of washing, repairing and drying a massive amount of vinyl is a bit more complicated than that. Let’s take a look at our in-house process of making our tents sparkle and shine for each and every customer.

1. Inspection

When we first receive a tent, whether it’s from one of our own events or an outside customer, we always begin with a thorough inspection. This helps us to identify areas that will require extra cleaning or parts of the vinyl that are in need of repair. We can fix an array of common wear and tear problems including zippers, pin holes, roles and stitching.

For organization, we use tags with a unique numbering system to help us to keep track of each piece that is being washed. All vinyls are kept separate for both organization and sanitization. This also helps to ensure that everything is kept together and returned to its rightful place.

2. Pre-spray

About half of the tents that come into our warehouse for cleaning require a pre-spray. We use a solution called Power Force that allows us to concentrate on problem areas, such as at the corners of the tent. Just as you would presoak a stain in your laundry, this pre-spray process lifts heavy dirt that may be missed in the wash cycle.

This pre-spray service is included in the original quote. We do not charge our customers extra for the various steps in our cleaning process unless it should include excessive dirt and damages that require additional attention. We then get pre-approval before completing any of these add-on services.

Our pre-washing process is an important step to achieve a thorough, even cleaning.
Our pre-washing process is an important step to achieve a thorough, even cleaning.

3. Magic Fold

One of the most important steps in our cleaning process is the special way we fold our tents before they go inside the washer. We use a combination of fan and accordion folds that allow water to flow in and around the vinyl during water cycles. This ensures the chemicals are evenly distributed to all parts of the vinyl and prevents zebra striping that can occur otherwise.

4. Wash

Our industrial Teeco Tent Washer can hold up to 1,800 square feet of vinyl inside a wash drum that is four-feet deep. We use 125 gallons of water per cycle, filling the tank within 30 seconds. The washing chemicals are liquid, not powder, to ensure even cleaning and are managed by a single computer that releases an exact combination into every wash cycle. This consistency and accuracy is very important for protecting and thoroughly cleaning the vinyl.

125 gallons of water combined with Ecolab chemicals fill the machine in 30 seconds
125 gallons of water combined with Ecolab chemicals fill the machine in 30 seconds

5. Air Dry

Once the tent has successfully completed its wash cycle, we hang the vinyl across our 36-foot long trusses. Using a wench and pulley system, we are easily able to raise and lower the vinyl. The material dries in a temperature controlled environment with 3-phase, high-volume fans to provide constant air flow. It takes at least three days of drying time before we can fold the vinyl. Any residual moisture could cause mildew. Our production facility can wash and hang between 2,500 and 5,000 square feet of vinyl in a typical day.

A powered hoist, truss and cable system runs on a rail, and is operated by a wireless transmitter to easily lift up vinyls for air drying.
A powered hoist, truss and cable system runs on a rail, and is operated by a wireless transmitter to easily lift up vinyls for air drying.

6. Loading and Pick-Up

An average size tent washing requires 2-4 weeks from drop off until it is ready for pick-up. Once the tent is completely dry, we will carefully fold it and place it inside its storage bag. For tents that we own, we return them to their designated spot within our warehouse. For outside tents that were sent to us, we help load the tent into the customer’s vehicle upon pick-up, so they can simply drive off with their clean and shiny tent.

Want to see these steps in action? Take a look at this video about our unique process for washing tents…

What part of the tent washing process are you most curious about? Ask us a question and we are happy to provide an answer!

 

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