I know I’ve loved my solar shower since the very first time I set it up and used it during an extended outdoor camping. Set that up with a portable changing room, rinse off in the swim trunks, and set up everything to dry. Sometimes a little scrubbing goes a really long way. But drying a solar shower in sunny 99 degree July weather is easy.
How do you dry out a solar shower properly before tucking it away in storage?
Drying a solar shower out in the sun is ideal while using your fingers to press out excess water, especially from the hose. If time is an issue using a hair dryer set on low to move hot air through the interior is a good way to ensure the shower is properly dried before long-term storage.
While that’s the nuts and bolts of properly caring for a solar shower, there are some extra details depending on how thorough a cleaning (and how long a storage) you’re looking at.
When it comes to how to clean, dry, and store a solar shower, this is a good question and it’s important. For anyone who ever lost a favorite canvas tent, t-shirt, or other piece of gear to mold – you know what the stakes are.
Cleaning & Drying Your Solar Shower
Generally a solar shower is going to be pretty clean, considering what it’s used for. If you want a more through cleaning before putting it in storage for a long period of time, some people use a bleach water mix.
Personally, I prefer something less harsh like baking soda over bleach. This is also what the representative from Advanced Elements recommended, so I feel pretty good about this choice.
For most people, washing it isn’t going to be the major issue. It’s getting the full dry out prior to long-term storage.
That’s fair. The last thing you want to smell when unpacking your solar shower after 6 or 12 months or more is mold & mildew. Proper drying before storage can help you avoid this.
Outdoor Solar Shower Drying
Generally there are two major methods for drying your solar shower and both are safe and very effective when done right. Each one is described step by step right below or you can scroll down to the embedded YouTube video for detailed instructions on the coat hanger method.
Use a Hair Dryer to Dry Your Solar Shower
A good solar shower is going to be way more solid than a black garbage bag and cut plastic jug setup. Good material isn’t going to wilt to a little bit of heat, especially when you’re being careful on the low settings like you should be.
For this method the first step is for you unscrew the caps and pop them open.
Step Two: Put a hair dryer on low and aim the heated air into the solar shower using the openings for water.
Step Three: Slowly and patiently dry out the solar shower, watching for the condensation inside the bag to dry up. Do NOT turn up the heat past low or rush this step – a little patience goes a long way!
Step Four: Repeat with all openings and don’t forget to blow dry the inside of the solar shower’s hose.
Once it’s fully dried out, dry out the caps with a towel as well to make sure all the moisture is gone and then you can safely pack your solar camping shower away for long-term storage without worry.
Using a Coat Hanger to Dry Your Camping Shower
For this method you want a cheap plastic clothes hanger that you are willing to cut the bottom of. Don’t use wire hangers: these can damage your solar showers and do so in a way that voids any warranty or coverage.
You want a cheap plastic coat hanger, preferably with a snap in the middle though if you have one you’re willing to cut in the middle, that can work as well.
With this method you want to hang the solar shower by using the holes in the solar shower to hang from the plastic hanger. Doing this on a clothes line outside on a summer day would be great, or it can be done inside, as well.
This way you don’t have to watch over the solar camp shower as it dries out.
Good Solar Shower Drying Video
Or Store it in the Freezer
I mean this is kind of the lazy man’s way of doing it but as long as the solar shower bladder is mostly empty there should be no damage and this will definitely make sure there’s no mildew or mold in it.
In theory in the wrong circumstances this could cause some damage depending on the freezing and how rough you are with it once removing it from the freezer though I have not been able to find a first hand account of this issue actually happening in the real world.
Advice Direct from the Manufacturers
I contacted Advanced Elements directly (they’re the manufacturers of my favorite solar camping shower) and props to them – they answered our questions within 24 hours.
I asked if there was any official guide to the right way to cleaning and storing their solar showers. This is the response we quickly received.
There’s no official instructions, but just empty as much water out as possible, and make sure to drain the hose, too. Then leave the cap off and place the shower in the sun. Any additional air flow you can allow into the bag will decrease drying time. If needed you can use a solution of warm water and baking soda to occasionally clean then rinse thoroughly and finish drying.Matt, helpful fellow from Advanced Elements
So there you have it. Straight from the horse’s mouth a safe way to clean and disinfect your storage shower after multiple uses, as well as what to focus on while drying it off before storage.
You have a few really good options when it comes to drying out your solar shower and then storing it safely. Getting a thorough drying is the most important step because you don’t want any chance of mold or mildew – which are legitimate worries if you’re storing this for three, six, twelve, or more months.
Take care of your solar camping shower and it will be there to take care of you when you need it!