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RV cleaning may not always be fun, but it’s necessary. When your RV is tidy you’ll feel more at home. Plus keeping your RV clean helps maintain your rig and protects your investment for years to come.
You might be wondering, is cleaning your RV really all that different than cleaning a house? The answer is both yes and no. We’ll show you the best RV interior cleaning tips and products to use to protect and maintain your RV.
Do You Really Need Special Cleaning Products for Your RV?
Yes, you do need some special products to clean your RV. From cleaning the inside to washing the outside, you want to avoid damaging your camper.
Always use mild detergents and non-abrasive sponges and brushes. RV windows, sinks, and toilets are often plastic, so they are prone to scratching. Silicone toilet brushes and microfiber cloth are the best tools for cleaning these more delicate surfaces.
It’s also important that you avoid harsh chemicals when cleaning sinks, tubs, and toilets. Any chemical that you flush down an RV drain ends up in the black or gray water tank causing damage to the system.
8 Best RV Interior Cleaning Tips
Keeping your RV clean and organized doesn’t have to be hard. Start by following these simple tips and tricks, and you’ll have the inside of your RV sparkling in no time.
1. Keep Things Organized
One of the best RV cleaning tips is to keep things organized. Clear bins and containers are great for camper organization. They make things look tidy, help you utilize all available space, and keep related items together.
Where you store items also helps keep things organized. Try to store kitchen items near the kitchen and bathroom items in the bathroom. If you don’t have to go out of your way to put something away, you’re more likely to do it.
Another great tip is to keep frequently used items in easy-to-access places. Save the hard-to-reach space at the back of the dinette cabinet for rainy day activities.
2. Reduce Clutter When Possible
Reducing clutter is a great way to help keep your RV clean. The fewer items you possess, the fewer things you will have to worry about keeping organized. Also, you could see a fuel efficiency gain due to the weight reduction from your “RV spring cleaning.”
Start by emptying out all of your cabinets so you can see everything you have. If you’re like me, there’ll be several things you hardly ever use. Ask yourself, “do I really need that apple slicer, or can I make a knife work?” Donate any items you don’t need.
If the budget allows, replace some single-purpose items with items that do more than one thing. For instance, our extra blanket is all white and doubles as our outdoor movie projector screen. When space is limited, you have to get creative!
3. Conserving Water? Try This When Washing Dishes
Keeping your RV clean while boondocking can be very challenging. When your water supply is limited, you need to know how to clean your camping dishes with less water.
First, wipe all of the food debris you can into a garbage can. Then, fill your sink or wash basin with just enough soapy water for the number of dishes you have. Next, fill another container with just enough water to rinse your dishes. A two-basin sink is great for this. Separate washbins or even large cooking pots work just as well.
Once you have your two containers of water, dip the dirty dishes in the soapy water and scrub. Finally, use the clean water to rinse the dishes before drying. Voila, you’ve just cleaned your RV dishes with very little water!
4. How To Clean Your RV Toilet
Cleaning a toilet is a skill as old as indoor plumbing, or so you might think. But RV toilets are different than home toilets, and you need to clean them differently.
Anything you flush down an RV toilet goes right into your black water tank. Since black tanks often use bacteria-based tank treatments to break down waste, avoid flushing any chemical cleaners. Bleach, chlorine, or formaldehyde-based cleaners will kill the enzymes and potentially damage your system.
RV toilets are also different from home toilets in that they’re usually plastic. Plastic toilets are great for making your RV lightweight, but they aren’t so great for cleaning.
Standard toilet brushes can easily scratch the inside of a plastic toilet. Use a silicone toilet brush and soft cloth along with a non-chemical cleaner to avoid damage.
If you have a plastic RV toilet, learn how you can take advantage of a porcelain insert without replacing it.
5. How To Clean Your RV AC Filter
It’s easy to forget to clean your RV A/C filter. Out of sight out of mind as the saying goes. But the A/C filter literally controls the quality of the air you breath. Not to mention a clogged filter can cause lasting damage to your A/C unit.
Luckily, cleaning your RV A/C filter is easy. Once you’ve turned the A/C off follow your RV owner’s manual instructions to carefully remove the A/C cover and screen.
When you have the filter screen in hand, use a vacuum and very gentle suction to remove any dirt. Be careful since powerful suction can damage the filter.
Sometimes vacuuming your filter will be enough, but especially dirty filters will need a good soak too. We recommend using your RV tub and a 50/50 mild detergent and warm water mixture. Soak the filter for at least 15 minutes, then use a toothbrush to gently scrub and remove the guck.
Be sure to rinse the filter and allow it to dry completely before returning it to the A/C unit. A great tip is to let it dry in direct sunlight. Not only will this speed up the drying process but it will help kill any bacteria.
6. RV Kitchen Cleaning and Organization Tips
The kitchen is one of the most cluttered places in any home, and a home on wheels is no different. But there are a few simple things you can do to help keep your kitchen clean and organized.
First, try to stack dishes whenever you can. Buy stackable items or nest items that you already have.
Next, invest in shelf racks and hooks to take advantage of all of the vertical space in your kitchen cabinets. Finally, look for space-saving solutions like magnetic spice racks, magnetic knife strips, and a collapsible colander.
Remember, less is more. But if you’ve decluttered all you can and still don’t have enough storage, consider repurposing other space. We added shelves to the wardrobe cabinet next to the bunks, and now we have a huge RV pantry!
Keeping your kitchen clean and organized is essential while RVing. When you live amidst the great outdoors, any food item is an invitation to intruders like bugs and rodents. Avoid messy spills and critter invasions by keeping your food tightly sealed.
A press and seal wrap is great for protecting opened pantry items. Rember, if you do have a food spill, clean it up quickly and as completely as possible.
7. RV Bathroom Cleaning and Organization Tips
Where do you keep your chemical-free cleaners? The bathroom of course! But finding room to store all of those cleaners in addition to your toiletries can be tricky.
Tension rods are a great space-saving solution in your RV bathroom. You can hang cleaning supplies with small tension rods in a cupboard and create a place for wet clothes to dry with a large tension rod in the shower.
It’s also helpful if each family member has their own toiletry caddy. When it’s your turn in the bathroom, simply take your caddy out of the cabinet. Return your caddy when you’re done, and avoid cluttered bathroom counters.
Remember, bathroom organization and safety are especially important if you have little ones in the RV. Always keep cleaning supplies up high and out of reach.
After an unfortunate flooding incident, we learned it’s a good idea to also keep our sink and tub stoppers out of reach.
8. RV Living and Sleeping Area Organization and Cleaning Tips
RV living is great, but RV cleaning can be a challenge. Dirt, sand, and mud are easily tracked in when you’re camping. A compact, cordless vacuum makes quick clean-ups a breeze.
RVs have a variety of different types of flooring including vinyl, pre-finished hardwood, and carpet. Using the right cleaner for each type of floor is important.
Removing shoes at the door keeps some of the dirt out, but our family really struggled with shoe organization. After all, one pair per person quickly turns into a heap of shoes at the door.
Now we keep stackable storage bins outside for shoe storage. We also have a pocket shoe organizer hung with command hooks in the cabinet beneath our TV. We store extra shoes and miscellaneous items, like sunscreen and bug spray, here.
Speaking of command hooks, they’re your best friend when it comes to organizing your RV living and sleeping spaces. Need a place to put jackets? Hang a command hook by the door.
If your phone charger keeps falling behind the RV nightstand, keep it in place with a command hook. Remember, creating a place to keep each thing will help you keep up on your RV cleaning.
7 Best RV Cleaning Products
To get the inside of your camper spic and span, you’ll need the right tools. These are a few of our favorite cleaning supplies to help you maintain your RV.
1. Dawn Powerwash Spray
You already know about the two-basin method of washing dishes to help conserve water. Dawn Powerwash Spray takes water conservation a step further by eliminating the need for the suds basin.
Simply spray your dishes with Dawn Powerwash, wipe, and rinse and they’re clean! Dawn Dish Detergent has been an RV cleaning hack for ages due to its RV-safe chemistry. Never leave home without a bottle of Dawn packed away.
2. Toilet Tank Cleaning Wand
If you need to clean stuck-on waste in the black tank you’ll need a toilet tank cleaning wand. Simply screw the wand onto a utility hose and adjust the spray to blast the grime away.
3. Compact Silicone Toilet Brush Cleaner
A silicone toilet brush is essential to prevent scratching and damaging your plastic RV toilet. While cleaning your RV bathroom, you’ll also appreciate that this toilet brush comes with built-in tweezers to help unclog drains.
4. Multi-Purpose Cleaner
A good multi-purpose cleaner is essential to any RV cleaning supply kit. You can use it to clean countertops, floors, and sometimes even windows. BLUELAND’s Multi-Surface Cleaner will clean virtually any surface.
Dissolve one of the tablets in 24 ounces of water and you have a fast and easy multi-purpose cleaner ready to go. The best part is that the box of 5 tablets takes up little space in your RV storage.
5. Disinfecting Wipes for RVs
Disinfecting wipes come in many varieties, but they all serve the same purpose. Keep these wipes on hand to quickly clean and disinfect your RV. Some of these wipes contain chemical cleaners, so simply toss them in the trash when you’re done cleaning.
6. Window Cleaner for RVs
Windex continues to be one of the best RV window and mirror glass cleaners for RVs. The product is ammonia-free, so there are not any harsh chemicals to damage the rig.
The vinegar version is a gentler version, but it is just as effective. The company does its best to minimize the vinegar smell without reducing the natural cleaning power it has on streaks and dirt.
You can also simply use warm water and dish soap to clean your RV plastic windows. Remember to also always use a soft cloth to wipe your windows to prevent scratching.
7. Magic Eraser Scrubbing Pads
Magic eraser scrubbing pads have been the secret home cleaning weapon of parents everywhere for years. But did you know they’re also great for keeping your RV clean?
They come in many different varieties. Use the kitchen magic eraser to cut through greasy countertops. Use the bathroom eraser to remove hard water stains. Or use the generic eraser to get that mysterious scuff off your RV floor.
RV cleaning is a bit different than cleaning a bricks and sticks house. But cleaning your RV doesn’t need to be difficult. With the right cleaning products, you’re RV will stay as shiny and clean as the day you bought it.
Keeping your camper organized will also make your RV feel tidy and clean. Remember, less is often more. Decluttering your space can go a long way toward adding peace and tranquility to your environment.
When the inside of your RV is as pristinely beautiful as the nature outside, you’ll enjoy camping even more than you already did.
About the Author
Laura Tyrell – Author and Part Time RVer
Laura is a part-time RVer and a full-time mom of three. Long-time campers and RVers before children, Laura, and her husband have fallen even more in love with the RV lifestyle since becoming parents to a child with food allergies.
Having her own kitchen on wheels makes her RV trips amazing. Laura is passionate about finding ways to make traveling with young children fun, easy, and attainable.