RV Cleaning in Phases

Before heading out on your next RV adventure, you should make sure your RV is clean and ready to hit the road. Mastering how to clean an RV efficiently can be achieved by breaking down the task into phases or specific areas—such as the ceilings, kitchen, bathroom, living room, and exterior. This approach makes the cleaning process far more manageable.

You have the option to tackle one specific area a day or power through cleaning the entire RV at once. By breaking down the task into phases and following our tips on how to clean an RV, you’ll find the entire process much more straightforward. This approach to RV cleaning doesn’t just make the task feel less overwhelming; it ensures that every corner is meticulously attended to, guaranteeing a thoroughly cleaned living space.

Start by getting rid of any trash and removing random items that might get in your way. Then, before you really get into it, crack open a few windows and grab your RV cleaner and supplies.

Man Cleaning RV Motorhome Interior Using Vacuum

RV Cleaning Supplies

When learning how to deep clean an RV inside and out, having the right cleaning supplies is half the battle. A well-stocked cleaning kit can make the difference between a task that feels like a chore and one that’s satisfyingly straightforward. Here are some RV cleaning must-haves to ensure you’re equipped to tackle every nook and cranny of your home on wheels.

RV Cleaning Supplies List:

  • RV Cleaner: Look for multipurpose RV cleaners designed specifically for the materials in your RV. These cleaners are formulated to be safe on various surfaces, from countertops to your RV furniture.
  • Microfiber Cloths: These are a must for dusting and polishing. Microfiber cloths are gentle on surfaces but effective at trapping dirt and grime.
  • Sponges and Scrub Brushes: Different textures and stiffnesses are useful for various surfaces like your toilet and shower.
  • Disinfectant Wipes: Convenient for quick cleanups, especially in the kitchen and bathroom areas.
  • Window Cleaner: For a streak-free view out of your RV windows.
  • Vacuum: A compact, handheld vacuum or a stick vacuum is perfect for cleaning floors, upholstery, and tight spaces.
  • Mop and Bucket: Opt for a compact, easy-to-store mop for cleaning hard floors.
  • Rubber Gloves: Protect your hands from cleaning solutions and grime.
  • Extendable Duster: Great for reaching high ceilings and awkward corners.
  • Specialty Cleaners: Depending on your RV’s specific needs, you might also want specialty cleaners, such as leather conditioners for leather surfaces or mildew remover for the bathroom.
Woman cleaning the outside of an rv

How to Clean an RV

Phase 1 – The Ceilings

Begin your RV cleaning by examining the ceiling for discoloration, water spots, or mold signs. Early detection is key to preventing these problems from worsening, allowing you to promptly tackle any leaks or mold growth.

Once you’ve checked your ceiling, wipe it down using a suitable RV cleaner that’s safe for your ceiling’s material. A microfiber cloth is perfect for this task because it’s soft enough to prevent scratching while actually capturing dust and dirt.

If your ceiling has stains or an odor, you can mix water with a gentle detergent and apply it lightly. Then, use clean water for a final wipe to clear any leftovers. For tougher stains, try an RV cleaner made for your ceiling type. Just remember to spot-test on a hidden area first.

To prevent mold and mildew, make sure your RV is well-ventilated. After cleaning the ceiling, turning on a fan or opening windows will help air circulate and speed up drying. It’s also important to regularly check for leaks and quickly fix moisture issues to keep your RV clean and healthy.

Phase 2 – The Kitchen

With a bit of organization and the right RV cleaning products, learning how to clean an RV’s kitchen can be easy. Begin by tidying up your cabinets and refrigerator, and taking everything out to clean the shelves. Once emptied, thoroughly wipe down the inside of your refrigerator to eliminate any spills or stains, ensuring it remains fresh and clean. Likewise, ensure your cabinets are spotless and fully dry before neatly arranging your items back. This method not only keeps your kitchen area clean but also helps you maintain an organized inventory, ensuring everything is exactly where it should be.

For your counters and stovetop, opt for a multi-surface RV cleaner that cuts through grease and buildup without damaging the surface. A gentle scrubbing pad can help with the stovetop grates and burners, ensuring they’re free of cooked-on residue.

Remember the furniture; your RV dinette booth, kitchen tables, and chairs need attention, too. To prevent moisture damage, a mild soap solution can be used on these areas, followed by a dry cloth. For upholstered seats in the dinette booth, consider using a fabric cleaner that removes stains without leaving a lingering scent.

Phase Three – The Bathroom

When it comes to RV cleaning, the bathroom requires special attention to ensure it’s not just clean but also sanitary. To effectively clean your bathroom, start with the shower. Use an RV cleaner to scrub the walls and glass doors, targeting areas where shampoo and soap scum can collect. Even if it’s not immediately visible, these spots can harbor buildup that needs regular cleaning.

For your RV’s toilet, opt for a disinfecting solution that’s safe for your RV plumbing system. Don’t forget the sink! Use a gentle yet effective cleaner to remove grime and keep your faucet sparkling.

It’s also vital to use cleaning solutions specifically formulated for RV toilets. Avoid concentrated cleaners, scouring powders, or any harsh chemicals, as these can harm the toilet’s surfaces and damage the seal. Instead, opt for mild, RV-safe products that can sanitize effectively without causing harm.

Man cleaning an rv toilet and bathroom

Phase Four – The Living Area

When diving into how to clean the living area of your RV, you should pay attention to the type of fabrics you have on your RV furniture. For RV sofa beds and recliners, choose the right cleaner that matches the material, whether it’s leather or fabric. A vacuum with a suction attachment can reach deep into crevices, pulling out dust and debris. Regular vacuuming is essential for carpets, and spot cleaning with a carpet cleaner can tackle any stains.

If you have curtains or drapes, shaking them out or washing them will remove dust and freshen up your space. Also, consider sweeping and mopping your tiled floors. After, your RV will feel like a clean, cozy retreat.

Phase Five – The Exterior

Cleaning your RV’s exterior isn’t just about aesthetics; it’s crucial for your RV’s maintenance and longevity. Knowing how to clean an RV from top to bottom will make your motorhome look great on the road. Starting with the roof, use an RV cleaner designed specifically for RV roofs to gently remove debris and dirt without causing damage. 

Finding the best RV wash and wax is essential when it comes to your RV’s body. These products clean the surface and apply a protective layer to repel water and dirt, keeping your RV looking new. Don’t forget to clean your RV awning; a gentle cleaning solution and a soft brush can remove dirt and prevent mold.

The wheels of your journey, your RV’s tires, and rims also demand attention. A quality tire cleaner can remove road grime and dirt, making them shine. Beyond the surface, regular RV maintenance should include cleaning and checking the other parts of your RV, like your water tanks and vents.

Man Vacuuming the Interior of Camper

Clean an RV Regularly

Learning how to clean an RV regularly is crucial, not just for maintaining a fresh and pleasant environment but also for preserving your rig’s value and functionality over time. If the thought of cleaning your entire RV seems overwhelming, there’s no need to worry. Your local dealership or maintenance shop most likely offers RV cleaning services. 

Hopefully, these step-by-step phases will help break down cleaning your RV into manageable chunks. You’ll feel proud to own an RV if you keep it clean, whether you do it yourself or hire someone.

Get RV Repairs and Upgrades!

When the interior of your RV needs an upgrade, Bradd and Hall is here to help! We carry custom wood furniture products, and we’ll perform services from complete coach reflooring to simple wood window valence installation. We also carry RV furniture, including theater seating, sofas, captain’s chairs and more. Call Bradd and Hall for a custom RV interior renovation by our professionals!