For many, an RV is a convenient and comfortable home away from home. Recreational vehicles have kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, and even extra levels. That’s a lot of areas that can get dirty, so what’s the best way to keep your camper spotless? Here are the best ways to clean various surfaces in your RV, straight from one of the best-known motorhome manufacturers.
Interior of a 1930s Airstream trailer | Joe Sohm/Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
According to Winnebago, you should use only mild cleaners without harsh chemicals on the plastic parts of your RV. That means no acetone, benzene, or similar ingredients common in household solutions. They could weaken or dissolve the plastic if you apply too much.
Also, avoid bleach because it can discolor or corrode the plastic. For tough stains, scrub the area thoroughly with a melamine sponge.
Although simulated wooden wall paneling is impervious to rot, vinyl still stains easily. Wipe it with a washcloth and a water-based cleaner. Don’t clean your RV’s vinyl fabric with solvents, acetone-based cleaners, or wax polishes.
As with vinyl fabrics, avoid applying solvent-based cleaners or wax polishes to your RV’s vinyl flooring. Using commercial mop-and-shine products will leave a film on your floor and could affect the color quality over time.
Instead, mop your RV’s floors with a non-abrasive cleanser, and use warm water to rinse the area. Before you begin, remove any debris from the floor using a vacuum or broom. Consider covering high-traffic areas with rugs or doormats to help keep them free from scuff marks and dirt.
Most RVs have artificial, solid-surface, non-porous countertops. You can use an ammonia-based cleaner or warm, soapy water to clean them. Even if they contain bleach, liquid and gel-based cleaners are also usually safe for your RV’s countertops. Rinse with water alone, and wipe the area when you’re finished.
Some high-end RVs have granite countertops. They should also be cleaned with dish soap and warm water. Stay away from bleach and other cleaning products with harsh chemicals.
In addition, granite can scratch easily, so be careful when using abrasive scrubbing pads for stains. Avoid granite stains by wiping the area as soon as a spill occurs.
Drapes and curtains
Cleaning your RV’s curtains in a conventional washing machine can shrink them. Use a professional dry-cleaning service whenever possible. Some curtains can be washed on the gentlest cycle, but always consult the owner’s manual first.
Tubs and shower walls
Abrasive cleansers can leave scratches and discoloration. In most cases, warm water and dish soap are enough to keep your RV’s bathroom clean.
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For wood surfaces, dampen a soft cloth with a wood finishing solution and wipe the area. Avoid using excessive amounts of water.
Alcohol-based cleaners can be used safely for tough stains on leatherette seats and other surfaces. Faux leather is easily cleaned with water and mild soap, which you can rise and leave to air-dry.
Use hot water and dishwashing liquid to clean stainless-steel appliances and fixtures. For grease stains, you might have to rub the area with a paste of warm water and baking soda.
Rinse the area with clean water. Because RV tap water often leaves hard-scale deposits, wipe stainless steel with a microfiber cloth immediately after rinsing.