Wednesday, November 29, 2023


Your RV’s hidden dirtiest places and how to clean them

I rarely clean certain items inside our RV. Maybe you avoid them, too. Besides the things I simply forget to clean, there are items in our RV that are harder to clean than others. Or at least that’s the excuse I give myself for not tackling these cleaning jobs very often.

I know there are specialized products made specifically for certain cleaning chores. However, these products often take up valuable space inside our RV or add unnecessary weight. So, I pack just a few cleaning items when we RV. I use them along with some tips and tricks that make cleaning tasks easier.

Secret RV cleaning potion and products

This mixture can be used for so many cleaning jobs in and around your RV. I like to keep a full squirt bottle of it in our RV. The secret potion? Mix equal parts white vinegar and water. That’s it. Easy and inexpensive, but so effective.

I also keep baking soda on hand in our RV. It, too, can help with many cleaning jobs. And, of course, good ol’ blue Dawn dishwashing soap is another one of my go-to’s when I get the cleaning “bug.”

Another “secret” cleaning product I use is microfiber cloths. You can read about the many, many ways they can be used in and around your RV here.

The following items only need occasional cleaning. They are the things I usually forget to clean. That is, until the ceiling fan rains dust down on us or the coffee tastes a bit strange…

I hope you’ll find these tips helpful as you attack the cleaning chores inside your RV.

Ceiling fan

  1. You may choose to put a rug or old newspaper under the fan before you begin to clean it. The rug or paper will help catch the dust that falls from the fan.
  2. Use a microfiber cloth to dust the housing around the fan’s motor.
  3. Remove any dust in the intake holes using compressed air.
  4. You can use an old pillowcase to dust your ceiling fan blades. First, spray a light mist of equal parts white vinegar and water into the case.
  5. Slip the case opening over a fan blade. As you gently rub both top and bottom of the blade, the dust will fall inside the pillowcase. Repeat for all fan blades.
  6. Carefully take the pillowcase outside and away from your camper. Turn the case inside out and shake out the dust. Then launder the pillowcase as usual.

Window blinds

Use an athletic sock. That’s right! The “dad sock.”

  1. First, turn the sock inside out.
  2. Put your hand inside the sock and spritz the exterior of the sock with the secret cleaning potion (vinegar/water).
  3. With a gentle pinching motion, you can clean both sides of each blind slat in one swipe.
  4. Be sure to frequently change your hand position inside the sock so that you’re using a clean area of the sock for each swipe.

Note: Some folks believe that giving clean blinds a quick wipe-down with a dryer sheet will forestall dust from settling there for a while. I haven’t tried it. Have you? Does it work?

TV and computer screens

  1. First, stay away from glass cleaners and wood-based products (paper towels, face/toilet tissues). Over time these can cause damage to the screen. Instead, use a microfiber cloth.
  2. If there are smudges on the screen, you can spritz a little bit of distilled water onto the microfiber cloth, rub gently, then gently buff with a dry microfiber cloth.
  3. For greasy smudges that do not respond to distilled water, put a drop of dish detergent (like Dawn) into a spray bottle filled with distilled water. Lightly spray the cloth and use it to remove the greasy smudge. Use a dry microfiber cloth to finish the job.

Enjoying this article? Check this one out when you’re done: Make RV life easier with these 396 tips using everyday items.

Coffee maker

An independent health organization recently ranked coffee makers as the fifth dirtiest item in your home. Yipes! Turns out the reservoirs can harbor mold and yeast, and they can make you sick! So, it’s good to clean that coffee maker once in a while. Here’s how.

  1. Fill the reservoir with equal parts of (you guessed it) water and white vinegar.
  2. Place a filter in the basket and turn on the machine. After the coffee maker has completed about half of its brewing cycle, stop the machine, and allow the water/vinegar mixture to sit for 30-40 minutes (longer, if necessary).
  3. After soaking, turn the coffee maker back on and allow it to finish the brewing cycle.
  4. When the cycle ends, remove and dispose of the filter. Also, dump out the water/vinegar mixture.
  5. To rid the machine of the vinegar smell (and potential taste) you’ll want to run two additional cycles. Use clear water with a new filter each time and your coffee maker should be good to go.

Stovetop fan filter

Our stovetop fan (or grease fan) is located on the underside of the microwave, which is mounted above the burners. While all fan filters may be a bit different, they are easily removed by carefully sliding or gently pulling on the filter tabs. (The filter is usually a rectangle or square-shaped piece made from metal mesh.)

  1. Once you remove the metal mesh filter, soak it in a sink filled with hot water and a liberal squirt of Dawn dish soap.
  2. Let the filter soak for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. If the filter doesn’t look visibly cleaner, add 1/4 cup of baking soda to a clean sink full of hot water and repeat the soaking procedure.
  4. To remove stuck-on grease or grime, you can use an old toothbrush. (Be careful not to bend the filter as you scrub.)
  5. Rinse the clean filter thoroughly and pat dry with a fluffy towel. You can let it air dry if you prefer.
  6. When the filter is completely dry, reinsert it into place.

Hard water stains on metal sink fixtures

  1. Soak a rag in white vinegar.
  2. Wrap the soaked rag around the fixture, making sure the rag makes direct contact with all hard water deposits and/or stains.
  3. Leave the rag in place for about an hour.
  4. Use a non-abrasive scratch sponge to remove any remaining stains.
  5. Buff dry with a microfiber cloth.
  6. Repeat the procedure, as necessary.

Do you have cleaning tips or tricks for those “occasional” cleaning jobs? Please share them with us!


Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh
Gail Marsh is an avid RVer and occasional work camper. Retired from 30+ years in the field of education as an author and educator, she now enjoys sharing tips and tricks that make RVing easier and more enjoyable.



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Neal Davis (@guest_253703)
2 months ago

Thank you, Gail! We have ceiling fans in our sticks-and-bricks, but not our DP. However, we dust with a Swiffer duster. The extendable handle is kept at home and the handle that does not extend is kept in our RV. The duster refills are stored in a shoe cubby in the closet (shoes stored on closet floor) of the RV. We’ll try the white vinegar&water/magic cleaning spray; thank you!

Mel Jones (@guest_253144)
2 months ago

My biggest need is something small enough to go under our slides and get all the dirt out from under the slides. Our slides are flat floor and there’s only about a 3/4” space. Any suggestions would be great.

Diane McGovern
2 months ago
Reply to  Mel Jones

Hi, Mel. Here’s a link that goes to several articles online at about cleaning under slides: Hopefully, you’ll be able to find your answer in one of those. Good luck!🤞 And have a great day. 😀 –Diane at

Thomas D (@guest_253136)
2 months ago

Compressed air in ceiling fan hole. I don’t think so or be prepared to clean and dust the whole area. How about a vacuum cleaner instead?

DW/ND (@guest_253135)
2 months ago

To clean anything greasy, use Dawn Power Wash lst – let it work for about 5-10 mins. then rinse in hot water. If there is any stubborn or baked on grease following the hot water rinse, use the white vinegar and water. Let it soak about :15 min. Should dissolve everything away. Electric coffeemaker mfgr’s recommend the vinegar soak should be used about every 30 days; this will not only clean it, but it will protect the irreplaceable fuse which gets coated in calcium and chemical buildup. Not cleaning will require replacement of the coffeemaker.

Drew (@guest_253125)
2 months ago

Can I clean our portable ice maker with the vinegar/water mixture too?

Jim Johnson (@guest_253096)
2 months ago

Buy a large zip lock bag, big enough to hold gas grill grates – yes they do come that big.

Brush as much of the baked on crud as possible, put the grills into the zip lock bag and add no more than an inch of household ammonia cleaner to the bag. Seal the bag and let it sit for 8-12 hours. The household ammonia solution will release ammonia gas inside the bag which will attack the crud. The crud should then easily scrape/wash off with some Dawn. Rinse well.

Rinse the bag, let it dry and fold it up for the next time your grill needs cleaning.

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