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5 Ways to Get Your Clothing Clean Again After An Outdoor Adventure

5 Ways to Get Your Clothing Clean Again After An Outdoor Adventure

Summertime is a season when you’re supposed to get down and dirty with the a great outdoor adventure. The possibilities are endless when you land yourself outside, but the fun inevitably comes with a few smells and stains that are unique to earthy adventures. Every camping trip, fishing excursion, and healthy hike eventually brings home some interesting cleaning conundrums that can take a little creativity to overcome.

Here are our top five tips to help you get your outdoor clothing back in clean and pristine condition so it’s ready for your next expedition.


Waterproof clothing’s contains fabric that requires special care when it comes to getting it clean. Everyday detergents and fabric softeners can actually harm this type of clothing, causing the fibers to breakdown and become less waterproof as time wears on. Instead, you’ll want to look for a detergent that’s specially made for waterproof clothing.



  • Before you load your outdoor adventure clothes into the drum, run your empty washing machine on a hot cycle.  This will help to remove residue left over from your everyday detergents and softeners.
  • When that’s finished, load a small amount of clothes into your washer. Then, pour the amount of special detergent into your washer, as specified by the product’s guidelines. You’ll want to hold off washing any non-waterproof articles until a later time.
  • After you run a complete wash and rinse cycle, check your garments’ care instructions. It may be best to either air dry or tumble dry on low. This depends on what the tag says.
  • Also, feel free to read our published blog post to learn more about quickly removing stains from your clothing items.


Fun times around the campfire notorious for sticking around long after the evening’s complete. Campfire smoke is a strong beast to battle, but you may have the perfect weapon right in your kitchen.

  • For a DIY solution, hang your smoky outdoor adventure clothing over your bathroom shower rod.
  • Fill the bathtub with the hottest water you can produce so your bathroom starts to steam up.
  • Add four cups of white vinegar to the full tub, and in ten minutes or so, the smell should be gone.



Did a weekend camping trip leave you itching to get back home? Poison ivy and oak are unwelcome visitors that can invite themselves on any trip. Urushiol is the allergen in these plants that makes for unpleasant encounters when you brush upon them, but decontaminating clothing isn’t as scary as it might seem! The key is in the heat.

  • Using your normal laundry detergent, set your wash cycle to the hottest possible temperature.
  • Be sure not to overload your washer, as the clothing needs to agitate freely in order to remove the urushiol from the fabric.
  • Once the allergen has been set free, it will remain suspended in water and will not contaminate other areas of your clothing.


Synthetic fabrics also require special care, and each article of clothing may be a little different. Be sure to read the care instructions for each piece of clothing because the requirements may vary significantly. If you ignore the warnings, you could damage the special fibers of the fabric. Some synthetic clothing is not machine-washable, and some may not be suitable for the dryer. Care instructions are essential for synthetic clothing.


Forgotten clothes can leave an unwanted funk that happily secures itself on almost any fabric. If you’ve left swim trunks in the backseat too long or suddenly remembered some sweaty hiking gear that’s been hiding in your trunk for a week or two, chances are, it’s turning colors and comes complete with a wreak all its own.

Fear not! Mold and mildew can come out of clothing, but when fungus has taken hold, you’ll likely need some extreme heat to kill these living invaders. If you’re seeing green and blue, your best bet is to head to pack up your clothing and head to the dry cleaner. Professional dry cleaners use excessive amounts of heat to get clothes clean, which is exactly what you need to kill the bacteria that’s taken hold of moldy and mildew-infused fabrics. Be sure to let the dry cleaning professional know the reason for your visit before walk away so he or she can target problem areas during the cleaning process!

Outdoor clothing tends to bring a bit of the earth back home after your weekend getaway. Sometimes, despite your best efforts and most innovative tactics, the grime and goo is more resilient than typical household items can combat. If your outdoor clothing contains weird smells and stubborn stains that seem like they’re intent on sticking around, it’s time to call on the help of the experts. Find your way to your neighborhood dry cleaner with your filthy fabric, and let the experts take on the challenge!



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