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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!

##RVDT1884

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Kris
19 days ago

I use vinegar mixtures for cleaning around the house too, but I hate the vinegar smell. I started added a few drops of essential oil (lemon is nice, but any scent will do) to help. You can still smell the vinegar, but the essential oil comes through stronger.

Kris
19 days ago
Reply to  Kris

Oh yeah, and don’t EVER wash your microfiber cloths with fabric softener! Just like terry cloth, it will clog them up and make them useless.

Barry
19 days ago

What about cleaning the “dirty” places downstairs? Especially the compartment that houses the DEF tank?

Jane
19 days ago

Microfiber TIP- don’t wash or dry with terry cloth, the lint clogs up the microfibers, they’ll last longer.

Coffee maker- after we dump out the coffee grounds we put the basket back in, in a tipped position so the lid doesn’t shut. This allows the reservoir to dry out each day. Remember bacteria loves to grow in dark, damp places. Then using the vinegar periodically to clean it.

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