How do you sanitize a grow tent or grow room without damaging it with harsh chemicals?
Keeping your indoor gardening space clean and sanitary is the first step to avoiding pest and fungus infestation. This is true of both dedicated grow rooms, grow tents and boxes.
The first step is to sweep or better yet vacuum out any large debris. If you have a vacuum, use a hepa filter if possible so you don’t blast mold spores or pest eggs all over. Be sure to get all the leaves and soil particles out of the grow area. This practice is not reserved for sanitizing the grow room in between cycles. It is always a good idea to keep your grow room clean.
After the visible contamination is removed, use a small pump sprayer to distribute a sanitizing agent. There are probably loads of sophisticated cleaners that are purpose built for this application but I always use one of two cleaners, hydrogen peroxide or bleach. Both are effective against mold, mildew and bugs.
Food grade hydrogen peroxide is nasty stuff and if it comes into contact with your skin it can cause chemical burns. This is a hazard but on the other hand, hydrogen peroxide does not emit any strong odors or dangerous fumes and it should not cause damage to a grow tent or anything else in the grow room.
Bleach is also a great sanitizing agent but it has the potential to damage the color of your tent. While it is unlikely to damage the nylon wall material, it could damage other materials found around seams and zippers. Bleach also emits dangerous fumes that can irritate your lungs and eyes. Always test a small area of fabric before hosing down the place.
Finally, if you are in a grow room, a fresh coat of paint on the walls and ceiling with an anti-mildew additive assures that there’s nothing left in those areas, The floor, tables and equipment can then be mopped out with either the strong hydrogen peroxide or bleach solution. Grow tents obviously should not be painted.
Start high and and apply your sanitizer from the ceiling to the floor. Make sure you have 100% coverage and spray in long even overlapping strokes. Pay special attention to corners and around vent openings. If needed, spread a few old towels at the bottom of the wall to keep runoff from creating a slippery puddle. After the inside is sprayed use these towels to wipe up the excess and scrub out the inevitable tough spots.