RVs require proper cleaning all year round whether you’re constantly on the road or not. In fact, it needs more care if you’re just letting it sit in the garage.
Starting from all-purpose cleaners to microfiber cleaning towels, RVs require a bunch of cleaning materials. Without specific cleaning intervals, the state of your RV will continue to degrade over time. And not just the outside, you need to thoroughly clean the inner RV too.
And just getting the appropriate cleaning supplies isn’t enough either. The actual procedure of cleaning and proper aftercare is just as important. So, let’s have a look at the best RV cleaning supplies out there and figure out how they work to keep your RV clean.
A thorough cleaning of your RV will require a bunch of cleaning supplies at once. You can’t just use some detergent with warm water and call it a day.
- All-Purpose Or, Multi-Purpose Cleaners
If you want to make cleaning a much simpler process, you should go for the all-purpose cleaners right away. They are like the avatar version of cleaners – mastering all elements i.e. cleaning solutions at once.
So, if you have them on your team, you don’t have to spend lots of money on multiple cleansers. Whether it’s carpet, leather, or vinyl, one single cleanser will take care of it all.
Again, many multi-purpose cleaners come with special concoctions that can help with rough surfaces as well. You can easily use the same cleaner for both fabrics and RV walls then.
Here’s what you should look for while buying an all-purpose cleaner:
- Whether you can use the cleaner on multiple fabrics with ease
- Doesn’t damage any of the following kinds of material – plastic, vinyl, leather, rubber, etc.
- Whether you can use it with wipes or not and clean surface gunk like grease, web, etc.
- Should simultaneously work for carpets, handles, seats, dashboard, door panels, etc.
If the multi-purpose cleaner you’re looking for meets all these criteria, buy it right away.
- Microfiber Towels
Well, you can’t use a cleaner to wipe down the surfaces without using actual towels, can you now? Precisely. In fact, the mere thought of someone using their hands with acidic cleaner just sent a shiver down my spine. Their hands would probably just corrode off by now.
Anyway, the point is that you cannot handle such multi-purpose cleaners directly. Or any cleaners for that matter. Even though they are good for cleaning RV surfaces, they have quite different effects on actual human skin.
So, while you’re out buying cleaners, buy some soft microfiber towels as well. You can also find them under the category of cleaning mitts. Don’t confuse the cleaning mitts with the oven mitts though as they are completely different products.
These mitts or towels will do two great things while cleaning. One – they are practically amazing scrubbers so they will just ‘scrub, scrub’ away all the impurities. Provided that you first doused the surface with appropriate cleaners and let it soak for a while.
Because the soaking will really help the dirt to loosen up over time. So then when you go to scrub, all the dirt will readily come off the surface with no extra effort. Sometimes, it helps a lot if you use warm or lukewarm water to fasten up the reaction procedure.
Alongside the great scrubbing, another benefit comes with these microfiber cleaning towels. They protect your soft and delicate hands. As you know, cleaners come with quite corrosive properties. So, by putting in an extra layer, the mitts keep your skin safe and sound.
Immediately buy a cleaning mitt or microfiber towel if it:
- doesn’t scratch the RV surface both interiors and exteriors
- doesn’t mess up the color of the surface over time
- keeps the RV paint safe from corrosion
- comes with extra softness and absorbency
- can scrub away dirt and grime effortlessly
And if it doesn’t cost as much, that’s even better. Because you’re going to go through loads of these mitts in your lifetime.
- Wash Brush (Adjustable)
Microfiber towels are great but you have to get in a fully hands-on situation to use them. As a result, most people like to use them for surfaces they can clean directly. So, what about the places where you can’t reach without extra support? How can you clean all those high-rise glasses in the widespread RVs with a big rig?
Simple. Instead of a cleaning mitt, you use a wash brush instead. And it’s a bonus if the wash brush is adjustable i.e. you can set it to different sizes at will. That way, you can easily reach all those places that you can’t normally reach with a microfiber towel to clean.
Wash brushes are equivalent to all those sweepers you use around for the house. But here you’re going to use them cleaning such a hardcore vehicle like an RV. So, you do have to make sure the wash brush matches the industrial-grade quality of your RV.
Even if it costs a bit more, it’s best to get a wash brush you can fully depend on. To help you out, here are a few features you should look for in a wash brush for an RV.
Adjustability: The brush should extend quite a lot to reach all the top places with ease.
Maneuverability: You should get to bend the brush in multiple directions to clean thoroughly
Water Flow: The brush should have an adjustable on-off button that lets you control the water flow and pressure.
Material: The fiber with the extendable brush should have great quality with extra absorbency and softness.
- RV Wash
If you’re looking for a more centered cleaning solution, you can go for RV washes. Unlike multi-purpose cleaners, these washes are made specifically for RVs. As a result, they are probably the best cleaners to use in an RV as they were quite literally made for them.
You can find good quality RV washes in any local mechanical shop. If not, you always have Amazon by your side to reel in a good wash at an affordable price.
Their concentrated formula is one of the best cleaning concoctions out there, especially for RVs. And here’s a few more qualities that top-notch RV wash solutions should have if you’re looking to buy them.
- They should have biodegradable properties as excessive chemicals are harmful to the environment
- In addition to biodegradable properties, it should also have a concentrated but non-toxic formula
- The concoction should have non-corrosive properties as well to prevent color or paint deterioration
- It should produce enough suds after mixing with water so that it’s easier to scrub the dirt
- The wash shouldn’t actually wash off easily and leave a fresh smell on the RV exterior
- Wheel Cleaner
Speaking of RV exteriors, it’s not enough to just wash off the rigs, is it? You have to take proper care of the wheels that come with the rig too. And if you have previous experience, you know that cleaning wheels are indeed not an easy job.
So, you need something expert that can clean the wheels of your RV exquisitely. And since the interior parts of a wheel are pretty complex, you need appropriate cleaning materials to clean them thoroughly. Here is what you should focus on while getting wheel cleaners:
- Make sure that the cleaner comes in a spray bottle arrangement. Normal liquid cleaners can’t reach all the places evenly.
- The cleaner should have specific wheel cleaning properties. The cleaners from the Car guys are a great example of this.
- It should adhere to all types of wheels. Well, at least the general types.
- The cleaner should work effectively against all sorts of brake grime, dirt, corrosive salts, etc.
While getting a wheel cleaner, make sure to get a small brush too. That way, you can use it to reach all the nooks and corners to keep everything squeaky clean.
- Glass Cleaner
Although you can use multi-purpose cleaners to use the glasses, glass cleaners are quite handy too. They can work more effectively against a glass stain and keep the windows crystal clear at all times.
Again, you can find glass cleaners in spray bottles which makes the job all the easier. Just spray on a little cleaner on the dirty windows and use a brush or scrubber to scrub off all the dirt.
So, you can continue with your journey easily without having to bring out all the cleaning supplies. And with the long-reach washers, cleaning the top glasses is no hassle at all. Whether it’s bird poop or a little mud, you can get rid of it immediately.
- Fabric Wash Or Cleaner
Like glass cleaners, you can go for specialized fabric cleaners as well. These are must-have cleaning supplies if you drive an RV with exquisite seating arrangements. Because if you don’t, using cheap cleaners will deteriorate those top-quality fabrics of yours.
Again, if you use multi-purpose cleaners, they will most likely clean all types of fabrics. However, in such concoctions, the formula is almost always balanced out. So that none of the fabric items aren’t heavily affected by it.
While that little trick indeed works to keep the fabrics in good condition, it sometimes has a little side-effect. It fails to clean some of the complex fabric materials thoroughly due to a lack of appropriate reaction. As a result, it’s best to use specific fabric cleaners for such cases.
For instance – if your seating arrangements are made of leather, keep a cleaner that’s made for cleaning leathers. And vice versa for all other material types. That way, you won’t have to face any side effects while cleaning. Your seat fabrics will stay in peak conditions at all times.
- Antibacterial Cleaning Wipes
Nowadays, everyone is always on their feet about ensuring total protection against viruses and bacteria. And understandably so as the viral and contagious diseases are indeed an absolute pain to go through. So, no one is willing to take a chance against these.
Again, if you’re driving an RV, chances are that you travel a lot. While traveling, you may come across several unknown places that can carry harmful bacterial pathogens. And if that happens, you won’t even show signs of infection until much later.
That’s precisely how pathogens like the Ebola virus, Covid, etc. spread to other countries and nationalities. So, it’s best to exercise absolute caution while you’re traveling around unknown territories. Using antibacterial cleaning wipes is the first step in exercising such cautions.
You can keep a large stock of them in one of the RV drawers and use them when needed. Just take one out and sweep across the dashboard and wheels once in a while. Doing only that much can end up making a lot of difference for both you and your companions.
- Holding Tank Treatment
Holding tank treatments are absolutely necessary unless you want your RV to smell like rotten industrial sewage. Quite the vivid imagery, isn’t it? Well, that’s going to end up becoming a real-life scenario if you don’t clean up the RV pipes.
Like the surfaces, these inner bearings need cleaning too. Thankfully, you don’t have to take a microscopic brush and go all the way up to clean them. That’s reserved for the professionals when you take your RV to the official car cleaning shops.
But you can do your part by using flavored and scented holding tank treatment solutions. They are practically like laundry detergent pods except for the fact that they are for tanks instead. Just drop in a few pods or ounces to keep the septic or gas tanks fully odor-free.
- RV Wax
Finally, aftercare is just as important as the actual cleaning. Especially if you drive a gorgeous RV, you will want to keep it all glossy. And to achieve that status, you need to keep some RV wax alongside your regular cleaning supplies.
In addition to making the rigs shinier, waxing will help to protect them against damaging UV rays as well. Furthermore, it will ensure a slippery consistency (not too much) so that dirt, garbage, etc. can’t easily stick to it.
12. Rubber Roof Cleaners
13. Broom and dust pan
14. 5 gallon bucket
15. Roof brush
Precautions For Using Cleaning Supplies On Your RV
Now that you know all about the RV cleaning supplies, time for a few last-minute precautionary measures. Always make sure to maintain these measures before putting your RV through that annual cleaning roller coaster.
Use Hand Gloves At All Times
Even if you’re using microfiber towels, it’s still best to just put on an extra pair of hand gloves. Since the cleaning solution is pretty corrosive, it can harm the skin on your hands. And microfiber towels will only protect you until they get fully soaked.
Once the towel is soaked, your hands will again get exposed to the solution. So, to prevent that, wear hand gloves in advance if you’re about to handle cleaning concoctions.
Let The Mops Dry
It’s a really big pet peeve of mine when I see someone neglecting their cleaning supplies. It’s surprising how so many people think that it’s not important to clean the cleaning tools themselves. Because apparently, they are ‘self-cleaning’ as they are ‘cleaning the RV’.
And just like that, they forget to include that the mops are cleaning the ‘dirty surfaces’ of the RV. As in, they are taking in dirt-filled substances from the RV. So, how can you not properly clean and dry them afterward?
Keeping the mops unattended after cleaning can result in heavy germ build-up over time. Depending on the material, it may rot and fall apart into shreds as well. As a result, unless you want to open your cleaning cupboard to a disgusting odor, clean your mops!