Guide to Deep Cleaning your RV
RV owners know how difficult it can be to keep up with the deep cleaning that is needed to maintain a pristine and safe environment, especially for those of us who live in our RVs full time. While cleaning a smaller space is certainly less time-consuming than cleaning a much larger house, there are still many nooks and crannies in RVs that can be forgotten about. In addition, dirt and dust tends to pile up much quicker because there aren’t as many places for it to go. Because of these factors, there is a lot that goes into the upkeep of an RV. This can be overwhelming for some people, and they might not know how to get started.
There are many different things you need to do on a regular basis to maintain your RV’s cleanliness, but one of the most important things is to keep a regular cleaning schedule. The below outlined tasks are my personal cleaning schedule, as an RVer who lives full-time in my class A motorhome with a German shepherd and two cats. I recognize that everyone’s cleaning schedule will look different, and some may need to clean more or less often, depending on their household size, daily activities, frequency of use of their RV, and more. However, the below cleaning schedule should help you to establish your own baseline schedule, which can then be tweaked as needed until your RV reaches your ideal desired cleanliness. Let’s dive in!
As mentioned above, coming and going frequently from my RV means that it can quickly become dusty and dirty, especially with pets. To combat this, I sweep my floors daily (sometimes twice!), being sure to move any floor items and carpets to sweep under and/or around them. After sweeping, I vacuum my area rugs to collect any dirt or debris that has accumulated since the previous day.
I cook at least twice a day, which means that I have to clean my kitchen often. To keep up with this task, I wipe down my kitchen counters and table daily, and I also wipe down my bathroom counters and nightstands either everyday or every other day. Finally, I wash any dishes that have accumulated each day and put them away once they have dried.
Twice per Week
Twice per week, I also complete some additional chores. I usually break this up and do just one of these three tasks each day, in addition to my other daily tasks. I mop at least twice per week (immediately after sweeping), and I also wipe out my bathroom and kitchen sinks at least twice per week using a cleaner and a rag. Because I cook frequently, I also clean my stove a few times per week, as needed, This helps to further keep everything neat and tidy.
Finally, I have a combination washer and dryer in my RV, which saves me a lot of time, money, and energy. I do any dirty laundry once or twice per week to stay on top of it and prevent it from accumulating. This includes pet beds and my own bedding, as well as any rugs or mats, clothing, or towels that have become dirty.
Once per week, typically on a Saturday or Sunday morning, I add some more extensive weekly tasks onto my list of daily tasks. Because the RV stays fairly clean throughout the week, these few tasks just help to further touch it up and keep everything neat and tidy. The first is to wipe off the windowsills and the dashboard. These can be a bit more difficult to get to because of the way the RV hardware is shaped, but I sometimes use vacuum attachments to access the harder-to-reach places. While I have my vacuum out, I also vacuum under the seats in the cab, as well as all the corners of the rooms and the bathrooms, my couch, and anywhere else that seems to need it.
Next I clean the toilet using an RV-septic-safe cleaner (self-explanatory). I finish it off by sweeping my front porch, to keep my outdoor area clean, as well.
Every other week, I add a few additional tasks to my cleaning list. These include cleaning the dust off of my vents and air conditioners, which can quickly accumulate if ignored for too long. Then I clean all my furniture, including my couch, accent chair, bookshelf, and dinette cushions. Because my furniture is fabric, I use a vacuum and roller tool to get everything clean. However, if I had leather furniture, I would wipe everything down with an appropriate cleaner.
After cleaning the furniture, I wash my shower out. I know many folks do this weekly, but my shower just doesn’t tend to become dirty very quickly. Lastly, I wash all my windows, which helps to keep the outside views pristine and pretty.
Once per month, I also add some tasks to my cleaning day. These include cleaning some areas that are much easier to miss or overlook. I start by wiping out my cabinets, drawers, and closets as needed, since these can become dusty over time. I also wash all my curtains and dust off my roller shades. Then I hand wash and dirty spots and high-contact areas on the walls, cabinets, baseboards, etc. These areas may need more or less frequent attention, depending on how many children and/or pets you may have in the RV.
Finally, there are a few tasks I complete seasonally (perhaps four times per year), to further maintain cleanliness in the RV. First, I give the whole RV a bath, using the steps outlined in this blog post about washing your RV’s exterior. Then, I clean my awning using an awning-safe soap (more details in this blog post on awning maintenance). Next, I decorate for any holidays that may be coming up, such as Halloween, Christmas, etc. Taking care of your RV’s exterior can be just as important as taking care of the interior, so be careful not to miss this important step!
In order to maintain a clean RV, you must be diligent in your cleaning habits. As with any other type of home or vehicle, it is important to stay on top of the messes that inevitably happen when living inside an RV. With these deep cleaning tips for RVs and some time spent focusing on following through on them, you will have a cleaner rig with less effort! Be sure to download this cleaning checklist to help you get started!
What schedule do you follow to keep your RV clean? Do you clean as needed or are you on a certain timeline? Feel free to share all about it in the comments below!
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