Caravan cleaning: getting it squeaky clean
Let’s face it, cleaning is unlikely to be your favourite job but it’s an essential one. These products will help make the job easier – inside and out!
Your caravan really is your home from home and, like your house, it could really benefit from a deep clean every now and again. During the summer months, cleaning is not exactly a priority (and why should it be? The sun is out!) but come winter, it’s a good idea to set aside some time to keep your caravan sparkling.
Caravan Magic’s range of products are developed to suit those dirty jobs we all need to tackle from debugging the front of the caravan to scrubbing the sink.
Down the drain
Our caravans are full of all kinds of gadgets and gizmos that enable us to camp in home from home luxury. But, like our appliances at home, these need looking after.
Unless you’re an expert, don’t tamper with gas and electrics; instead, take your caravan for a habitation check from time to time.
Most other things are easy enough to maintain. For example – you’ll be used to cleaning your loo on a regular basis, with a specific disinfectant product. Likewise, you’ll be familiar with emptying the (grey) waste water tank.
Fresh water tanks and pipework need maintenance, too. Never leave water in the tank at the end of a holiday as this can go stagnant, allowing algae to grow.
When you do fill the tank, run the water for a while in order to rinse pipes through. From time to time, however (especially if your caravan spends long periods out of use), the whole system will need a proper flush with something like Caravan Magic’s Multi Wash Concentrate.
If in doubt about the condition of your water systems, to be on the safe side, don’t drink water from your tank without boiling it first. Avoid running cleaning products through boilers, too, as it can cause damage.
Be caravan body beautiful
Head to the countryside and your caravan will come back caked in mud and cowpats! If you regularly go to the seaside then watch out for sand and salt corrosion (as with gritted roads in winter).
Driving in itself is a messy business, too. You only have to look at the amount of bugs splatted on your windscreen at the end of a long journey to get an idea of how grotty your caravan is going to be. As a result, it’s probably the exterior that gets the most attention.
Some companies will clean your caravan for you but it’s best to DIY it at home and luckily there’s a whole host of products on the market that certainly make life easier.
Use Caravan Magic’s Crud Buster and Black Streak Remover if your caravan is very filthy. Wash Wizard Shampoo and Spot Wax Finisher can be used routinely, while Waterless Wondershine is handy for buffing when out and about if other caravanners are watching, naturally.
The inside matters
If there’s one thing that’s going to make your lovely caravan look tatty in years to come, it’s neglecting the soft furnishings. If you often travel with messy kids and pets, it’s wise to use seat covers and blankets that can easily be chucked in the washing machine, or replaced.
And if the kids have got ice cream up the curtains or you’ve spilled wine on the bed, tackle it as soon as you can. Keep a bottle of upholstery spray in the 'van, and you can deal with it immediately.
The same goes for general cleaning, as it’s easier to do it in situ. At the end of any caravanning trip, wipe down the cooker and work surfaces, wipe out the fridge and sink, and sweep the floor. Don’t forget to clean the windows, either.
While it’s easy to see how dirty the outsides get, it’s easy to forget that the insides become grotty, too. After all, we live in our caravans. That means squished bugs and grubby handprints! Gross.
Go the extra mile
Avoid pitching your caravan under trees as leaves and sap make for messy business, not to mention the birds! Covers come in all shapes and sizes, for all makes and models of caravans, and these are really handy for protecting your caravan from winter weather.
Think of your towcar, too – windscreen covers are also really handy, and always ensure your windscreen washer bottle is topped up. In winter, carry a good-quality ice scraper and/or a bottle of de-icer.
You’re probably accustomed to regularly checking tyre pressure, but how often do you polish your alloys? Heavy use means brake dust and general road grime quickly builds up, which is damaging to metal surfaces. A product like Metal Trim & Alloy Wheel Cleaner from Caravan Magic can be used on both the wheels of your car and caravan.
Don’t forget to show any outdoor accessories some TLC, too. Things like awnings and windbreaks have a hard life, as they’re permanently exposed to the elements. If you have to pack up in the rain, make sure you dry things out properly once you’re home as damp and mould can cause the fabric to rot.
While, some offer UV protection and were waterproof when you bought them, it’s important to look after them in order to keep them in tip-top condition. Treat them with an awning and fabric reproofer spray.
Once a year should be enough and at the start of your caravan season is the ideal time. Pick a warm, dry and wind-free day to put your awning and ensure it’s free of mud, before you start.
If your caravan lives outside, things like solar panels (if you have them) will appreciate being cleaned and covered over in winter, too, if you’re not going to use them much. Similarly, it’s a good idea to disconnect the leisure battery.
Keep the floor and carpets clean. Recycle old beach towels or buy some from a charity shop to make a great floor covering to collect sand, grass, mud and debris from pets and people traipsing in and out – simply gather up and shake! Before starting, clear the clutter.
Thoroughly vacuum clean the interior of your caravan before applying any cleaning fluids or spray. That way dust and debris will not be ingrained into surfaces, cracks and crevices. Avoid using abrasive or harsh chemical cleaners – stick to recommended products.
Use the right thing
Use only foaming specialist care products on furniture fabrics and curtains. Avoid heavily soaking fabrics and furnishings with water, as foam dirt transfer systems, such as Carpet and Upholstery Wizard, work best. Keep all worktop surfaces free of grease and food debris to prevent attracting flies and pesky creepy crawlies.
Assemble equipment before you start. You'll need a good-quality sponge, microfibre cloths, a good-sized bucket, a lengthy water hose and a sturdy ladder – preferably a multi-positional ladder that won’t fall on your caravan! Small soft-bristle brushes are a boon for cleaning hard-to-reach places, too, such as under skylights and around tricky window edges.
Wet your caravan before washing
Keep it wet during the washing process to soften grease and algae. On a hot day, try to wash the 'van in the shade, or wash and rinse sectionally. Don’t be tempted to blast off the dirt, it’s better to ease it off using specialist shampoos and cleansers with a quality sponge and microfibre cloth, rinsing as frequently as needed.
Add the finishing touches
Finish the paintwork and panels with a sealer to build up a resistance to dirt and to protect the paintwork from oxidisation. Clean windows with specialist glass and acrylic cleaners only, as general cleaning products may contain abrasives or chemicals detrimental to acrylics. For more cleaning tips, visit: windowboxlimited.co.uk