Cleaning Your Caravan | 10 Expert Tips and Tricks

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Cleaning your caravan can feel like a daunting task, but it’s key to keeping it in great shape. Regular cleaning prevents dirt and black streaks from building up, especially after long trips across Australia’s beautiful countryside. Additionally, you can easily spot dents, scratches, and wear and tear while scrubbing your caravan.

So, catching these early helps avoid bigger repairs later!

Before you grab the high-pressure hose, let’s go over the best tips and tricks for cleaning your caravan. We’ll cover everything you need to know about how to clean your caravan, from the basics to the best cleaning products and times. We hope our tips will keep your caravan in pristine condition.

Let’s get started!

Top 10 Expert Tips for DIY Caravan Cleaning

1. Decide the Place / Where to Wash the Caravan.

When it’s time to clean your caravan, the first thing to figure out is where you can wash it.

You can’t just wash it anywhere, and in many places, it’s not even allowed to do it on your property. Harmful cleaning agents can run off and end up in the environment, which is why there are restrictions.

To be on the safe side, it’s best to clean your caravan at a designated car wash. Look for self-service washing areas specifically designed for motorhomes. These areas are perfect because they provide plenty of space and the necessary facilities to clean your caravan effectively. The wash box for larger vehicles has the height and space needed for your caravan, which is often over 2 meters tall.

If you prefer not to do the cleaning yourself, consider the caravan cleaning services. These facilities are equipped to handle larger vehicles and can do a thorough job on your caravan.

2. Wash Gently / Avoid High-Pressure Wash

When cleaning your caravan, this is the most important tip! The surfaces in a caravan are made from much lighter materials compared to those in a house. This helps keep the weight down but also means they require more gentle care.

When cleaning these surfaces, be gentle. Scrubbing too hard or using harsh cleaners like bleach can damage the laminate surfaces commonly used in caravan interiors. Instead, use a soft caravan cleaning brush to do the job.

Additionally, resist the need to grab your high-pressure hose. While it can be great for tackling dirt and dusts around the house, it’s not suitable for your caravan. High-pressure water can damage seals, leading to costly water leaks.

3. Use Eco-Friendly Caravan Cleaning Products

While cleaning a caravan, go for eco-friendly products. They are safer for the environment and you. These cleaners are typically low in phosphates and sodium. They also don’t contain harmful chemicals like ammonia, bleach, or chlorine.

  • Pick the Right Detergent

Use a mild, eco-friendly detergent that helps protect your caravan’s surfaces and reduces your environmental impact.

  • Select a Soft Cleaning Brush

A brush with soft bristles will effectively remove dirt without damaging the exterior or interior materials. So, use a soft brush to avoid scratching the surfaces.

  • Avoid Harsh Chemicals

Harsh chemicals can damage the caravan surfaces and there’s no need to use them as well. Get eco-friendly alternatives that work just as well for keeping your caravan clean.

4. Go Top to Bottom / Let Gravity Help You

It makes sense to start at the top when cleaning the caravan so you don’t end up washing things twice!

Begin with the roof and let the soapy water run down, which will help loosen dirt and grime on the way. This makes cleaning the lower sections much easier. However, just like with cars, it’s a good idea to tackle the wheels first using a separate bucket of water. Wheels can have more contaminants like grit, oil, and brake dust, so it’s best to clean them with different water than what you use for the body.

5. Cleaning the Caravan Exterior

Cleaning the exterior of your caravan is essential to keep it looking great and functioning well. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get the job done right.

  • Start with the Roof

Begin by cleaning the roof. This area collects the most dirt and debris, so it’s important to tackle it first.

  • Get a step or stepladder to reach the roof. Be careful when working at heights, especially with soapy water around. Wear sensible footwear to prevent slips.
  • Long-handled brushes can also be used to make this job easier.

Moreover, cleaning the caravan roof gives you a chance to inspect and clean hatches, air conditioning units, and solar panels. Check the condition of sealants; if they’re failing, avoid using high-pressure water as it can cause further damage.

  • Move to the Sides

Next, clean the sides of your caravan. It’s best to clean from the bottom up. This method helps you see which areas you’ve already cleaned, especially when using soap or cleaning products.

Use a good-quality car wash solution and a microfibre cloth. Warm and soapy water works well to remove dirt and grime.

  • Clean the Rims

After the sides, move towards the rims. They can collect a lot of dirt from the road. Use the same car wash solution and a microfibre cloth for a thorough clean.

  • Clean the Caravan Windows

To clean the windows, use a car glass cleaner for the best results. Spray the cleaner on and wipe it with a clean microfibre cloth. Otherwise, a vinegar cleaner works well. Avoid using brushes on windows as they can scratch the surface. For a streak-free finish, rinse the windows with water and dry them with a chamois or kitchen towel.

  • Don’t Forget to Clean the Air Conditioner Filter

Whether you use it for heating or cooling, air con pulls the dust, especially in summer.

So, pull down the filter and wash it under running water every 2-3 weeks. If it’s very dirty, scrub it gently with a soft-bristle brush and let the filter dry completely before replacing it.

6. Caravan Interior Cleaning

After giving the exterior a good scrub, it’s time to focus on the interior of your caravan.

Start by removing all movable items, and take the opportunity to sort through things you no longer need. Decluttering makes cleaning easier and keeps your space organized.

Here’s a list of items to clean the caravan interior:

  • Lukewarm water
  • Sponge and cloth
  • Household cleaner
  • Vacuum cleaner or wet/dry vacuum
  • Steam cleaner
  • Carpet vacuum cleaner
  • Stain remover (if needed)

9 Easy Steps to Clean Caravan Interior



1. Use Water Cautiously

  • Use water sparingly and always dry any wet areas thoroughly.
  • Open the windows while cleaning to help moisture escape and improve ventilation.


2. Vacuum Upholstery and Carpets

  • Use a vacuum cleaner or a wet/dry vacuum to clean upholstery, mattresses, and carpets.
  • For tougher stains, a carpet cleaner or stain remover works well.


3. Clean Windows from Inside

  • Clean the inside of the windows with a suitable cleaner for either glass or plastic.
  • Use the right product to avoid damage.


4. Vacuum Interior Thoroughly

  • Vacuum the entire interior, including the floor, cabinets, compartments, and drawers.


5. Wipe Benchtops and Surfaces

  • Wipe down all surfaces with a damp cloth.
  • You can add a mild all-purpose cleaner to the water for better results.


6. Clean Caravan Floors

  • Try to sweep the floor daily with a soft bristle broom to pick up dust.
  • For deeper cleaning, use a mop with warm water.
  • For quick clean-ups, a damp microfiber cloth works well.
  • Use an old toothbrush for cleaning the grooves where the floor and wall join, which tends to trap dust.


7. Brush the Mats

  • Take the floor mats outside and brush them off with an old-fashioned straw broom head.

8. Clean up the Caravan Fridge

  • Remove the shelves and wash them with warm water and dish soap.
  • Wipe down the back wall of the fridge with a clean cloth.
  • Leave the fridge door open when it’s not in use, to prevent mould.

9. Kitchen Counter and Stove

  • Lift the grill and burner caps on the gas range and clean any residue with warm water and a bit of cleaner.
  • Use vinegar to remove limescale and unclog drains.
  • For stubborn stains and grease around the cooktop, a steam cleaner works wonders.


 7. Cleaning Caravan Toilet

Understanding how to clean a caravan toilet properly makes the task easier and more efficient. Follow the tips:

  • A great way to save water while doing this is to use baby wipes with a couple of drops of antiseptic tea tree oil. Simply wipe down the surfaces to remove germs and freshen up the area.
  • Remember not to wipe over the seal, as this can cause damage.
  • Importantly, never flush the wipes down the toilet as they can block the dump point. Instead, dispose of them in a bin.
  • For the bowl, use a soft toilet brush to scrub gently and ensure a thorough clean. This method keeps your toilet sparkling clean without using excessive water.

8. Cleaning Caravan Water Tank

The water tank in your caravan can become a breeding ground for microorganisms over time. The limescale and a slimy biofilm can form on the tank walls and pipes, where bacteria love to settle. To keep your water system clean and safe, you should clean the tank at least once a year, ideally before and after the camping season.

Here’s how to clean a caravan water tank:

  1. Sterilize: Start by sterilizing the tank to kill any harmful microorganisms.
  2. Disinfect: Thoroughly disinfect the tank to ensure it’s completely clean.
  3. Descale: Use a descaling agent to remove any limescale buildup. Follow the instructions on your cleaning products carefully.
  4. Rinse: After cleaning, rinse the tank thoroughly with clean water and remove any remaining chemicals.

9. Cleaning Your Caravan Awnings

For normal dirt and debris, simply use a bit of warm water and a brush, cloth, or sponge to clean the surface.

If there are some stubborn stains, mix some mild soapy water or washing-up liquid to help break down the grime. Once cleaned, let the fabric dry thoroughly in the fresh air before rolling it up or storing it away. This practice will keep your awnings fresh and ready for use whenever you need them.

10. Make Sure Your Caravan is Dry

After you’ve finished cleaning, it’s important to dry your caravan completely.

Use a chamois or a microfiber cloth to wipe down the entire exterior. This will help prevent streaks and keep your paintwork looking fresh. Additionally, while you’re drying, you’ll get a closer look at your caravan, which can help you spot any potential issues that need attention.

Pro Tip: Don’t forget to open all the hatches and toolboxes to let them air out thoroughly. Leave them open until they’re completely dry to avoid any trapped moisture, which can lead to mould or rust. By ensuring everything is dry before sealing it back up, you’ll keep your caravan in great shape and ready for your next adventure.

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