Having a gleaming caravan brings a sense of pride to a caravan owner and using caravan cleaner is an excellent way of giving your vehicle a shining finish. Caravan cleaner soaps have two main benefits; firstly it will give your surfaces a good clean and the second is that they provide an additional layer of protection.
Cleaning your caravan can seem like a chore, but if you neglect cleaning then over time, this can cause the paintwork to start fading and peeling. This is made worse through the winter months due to the more extreme conditions of rain and snow.
Caravan owners have been misled about what the best caravan cleaner is to use. Not all cleaners are the same, and it’s common for people to use car cleaner, or even worse household soaps, on their caravans. The main issue with this is that it can be causing damage to your caravan surface because it’s not designed for this use.
This is why it’s vital to choose the correct caravan cleaner for your needs that has the right ingredient formula that will both clean and protect. We have designed this comprehensive guide to make this buying decision easier.
Muc Off Caravan & Motorhome Cleaner 5 Litre
This all-over caravan cleaner has gained rave reviews and is taking the market by storm. Their formula quickly breaks through grime and dirt while leaving the surface protected and shining.
The formula has the benefit of being eco-friendly as it is fully biodegradable and alkaline-based which prevents it from damaging the surface of your caravan. The cleaner also has the ability to remove black streaks, so your surface is left dazzling.
It can also be used to treat diesel fumes, moss, algae, drainage stains, rust, fungus and road and traffic film. This is ready to use and doesn’t require any form of dilution.
The product comes in multiple sizes of 1 litre and 5 litres while being very easy to use. You just simply spray on the Muc off, wait for a few moments, give it a good brush/scrub and then rinse off.
King of Sheen Professional Caravan & Motorhome Waterless Wash and Wax
King of Sheen cleans, polishes and protects the exterior surfaces of your caravan. It is free of damaging chemicals such as abrasives, phosphates, bleach, solvent, petroleum, acids and any other harmful ingredients and contains UV screen protectors.
The cleaner has a special scratch-free polish technology so you will not damage the caravan surfaces.
See more: Our pick of the best caravan polish solutions.
It is suitable for all types of caravans both new and old while its no streak or smear formula means that you simply just need to spray on the surface and then wipe off.
No water is needed, which means that you can clean your vehicle anywhere, which makes it useful if you’re in your caravan off-grid which restricted access to water or a hosepipe.
Also included is a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the results.
Dirtbusters Premium Caravan Motorhome Wash And Wax
The Dirtbusters wash and wax is fittingly named as it busts through the dirt on your caravan. The formula is a premium cleaning product and contains Professional grade carnauba which effectively removes dirt, grease, mud and oil deposits and leaves a lovely finish.
The cleaner also contains extra rinsing agents which means that the surface will not only quickly dry but will also leave a streak-free surface. The wax helps to protect the surface bodywork and works as a form of water beading treatment.
If having an eco-friendly product is important, then this also ticks the box as it is biodegradable and ammonia-free.
The formula comes in a concentrated form of 200 to 1 so you only require two capfuls for a full bucket of water making it very long-lasting as 5 litres equates to up to 1000 litres of blended cleaning formula.
Autoglym Fast Glass Caravan Window Cleaner
As we’ve previously said, you need a specialised product for different parts of the caravan, and the windows are no different.
The Fast Glass cleaner is suitable for glass, Perspex, acrylic, mirrors and plastic windows with it especially recommended for use on acrylic and plastic windows
The formula is free of silicones, waxes and abrasives while leaving no nasty residues other than a lovely clear finish.
It’s suitable for both the inside and outside of the glass and easily breaks through grime and dirt including bird droppings.
Microfibre Cleaning Cloth
Now you can’t clean your caravan without a good set of clothes, and these are made of microfiber which gives you streak-free results. They also can absorb liquids that weigh up to 8 times their weight which makes it great for cleaning caravan.
They are also machine washable so you can use them over and over again also bringing less of a negative effect on the environment. Also included is a 100% money-back guarantee in the rare case that you are unhappy with your purchase.
Caravan Cleaner Buying Guide
Caravan cleaner can sometimes be supplied in concentrated form, which then gives you the option to experiment depending on the size or type of vehicle that you’re cleaning.
The higher the concentration of the cleaner, generally, the greater the number of washes you’ll be able to get out of the bottle. If the cleaner is ready to use the product, then this will save you time as you won’t need to dilute it down.
PH level is a measurement of the alkaline and acidity within a liquid. In a caravan cleaner, this is critical because acidity helps to remove stubborn dirt and alkaline works to break up dirt and grime. Ideally, you’ll choose a cleaner that has a balanced PH level to avoid damaging your surface paintwork.
Finding a balanced pH level formula is important; otherwise, it could cause damage to the paintwork of your car.
Water Spot & Streak Resistance
If you’ve ever cleaned the exterior of your caravan, then you’ll know that one of the most frustrating experiences is spending hours cleaning it only to see that there are water streaks and spots that just won’t disappear.
These streaks and spots can ruin the appearance of your vehicle, but a high-quality cleaner can protect against this.
It may sound like a small detail, but streaks can give the appearance of your caravan looking dirtier than it did before cleaning. So it’s important to discover whether your caravan cleaner protects against water streaks and soap.
One thing you’ll notice during your research is that the same recognisable brands keep appearing. This is because they have a proven track record of being manufacturers that create top quality products. These brands have also been around for several years, so they become a brand that you can trust.
The cost will always be an important factor when making a purchase, so you need to consider what you’ll be getting for your money. Calculate the number of washes that you’ll get from each bottle which will fluctuate depending on the concentration of the formula.
Better quality caravan cleaner will usually be more costly, but this is offset by the fact that they will give your caravan a better clean, leaving a more effective finish. However, generally speaking, most cleaners will be affordable and won’t’ leave you massively out of pocket.
Types of Cleaning Cloths
It may be tempting, but you should avoid using the same cloth for both cleaning and drying because these two stages require different types of fabrics to provide the best cleaning results. this can be used in combination with a caravan cleaning brush.
Cleaning cloths can also come in the form of a mitt and are specially designed for cleaning vehicles. Microfibre is a great material because they can remove tough stains and dirt without scratching at the paintwork.
Once the cleaning stage has been completed, you shouldn’t just leave it to dry naturally. A drying cloth should ideally be soft and absorbent because there will be water on the surface of the caravan. Microfibre towels are extremely effective, but you can also use cloths made from cotton.
Step by Step Caravan Cleaning Guide
Preparation is the key, so you first need to position your caravan, so you have enough room to walk around it. The worst thing is to realise halfway through cleaning that you can’t reach one side because it may be parked against a wall.
Also, ideally, one end of the caravan will be lowered, which will enable water to run off more effectively, which will reduce the amount of drying that you need to do. This can easily be done by lowering down one of the corner steadies.
2. Begin by Rinsing the surfaces
Before you begin any type of cleaning, your next step should be to rinse it down with water. This can either be done with a bucket of water or a hosepipe. Doing this helps to remove or loosen any dirt which will make it easier to clean once you get to that stage.
You should avoid using a high-pressure washer because this can not only cause damage to the paintwork, but caravans are made watertight, but this can break these seals.
The seals will then need to be repaired at an additional cost otherwise you’ll be left with a leaky caravan which is the last thing you want especially if you’re an off the grid style camper.
3. Clean Systematically from Top to Bottom
It can be easy just to get stuck in with no plan or order. Cleaning your caravan will be easier and quicker if you do it methodically starting by cleaning it from top to bottom.
This will mean that you won’t miss any dirty areas and it will stop cross-contamination where you end up getting dirty water onto areas that you’ve already cleaned five minutes prior.
Use Caravan Specific Formulated Cleaners
It’s a common myth that you can just use your existing car cleaner on your caravan, but this is a huge mistake. Car cleaners can be more abrasive and rough than caravan cleaners which means this can damage and scratch the paintwork.
This is because car bodywork has a stronger type of paint which often requires a stronger cleaner to remove surface dirt.
Caravans can be very expensive, costing thousands of pounds and it isn’t wise to try and cut corners just to save a few pounds. Investing slightly more into a highly effective cleaner will save you more money in the long run as it will keep your caravan exterior in better condition.
How to Clean a Caravan Roof?
Most people will ignore cleaning the roof because let’s face it; it can seem a difficult task to even get into position to clean it. If you do decide to clean your caravan roof, then you need to ensure that you have a sturdy, high-quality ladder or platform.
Ideally, you’ll have someone holding your ladder because the water can splash, making it slippery. A long brush makes the cleaning easier to remove stubborn stains and dirt, which is likely to have been there for several months depending on how frequently you clean the roof.
Cleaning Caravan Windows
Windows, as you’d expect, are sensitive to cleaner, and most caravan windows in this modern era are made of acrylic which can be easily scratched even by the smallest amount of grit. Be sure to use a specially formulated caravan window cleaner which is softer on acrylic material.
Similar to the body of the caravan, you need to wash them down first with water to soften and remove any surface dirt. Following this use your window cleaner and then wipe down with a microfiber cloth.
Cleaning Caravan Drains
You can clean your whole caravan but still be left with a horrible smell lingering. This is likely to be coming from the drains, which is especially the case if you only use your caravan is certain seasons. This means that for the months that it’s in storage, the dirt in the drains will be getting worse.
However, it’s easy to clean, and you just need to create a liquid paste consisting of a litre of warm water and a single tablespoon of bicarbonate of soda. You then need to cover the outlet with a bung or stopper to stop the liquid flowing all the way through.
Pour the solution into the pipes and leave it for a few hours to soak and clean. You can take it to the next step if you have a flexible cleaning rod that allows you to get cleaning bristles inside a pipe.
Cleaning Caravan Wheels
Lastly, don’t forget the wheels! Dirty wheels stick out like a sore thumb when the rest of the vehicle is gleaming. This just takes a quick spray of caravan wheel cleaner and rinse, and they should be good to go!