Cleaning Tips for RVs

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owlerj2510

New member
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Posts
2
My husband and I are new full-timers (Since Sept. 2006), and experienced for the first time a roof leak.  It was a small area of a rear seam, and has been repaired, but I am left with stains on my celing liner, which is fabric, as well a small area on one wall.

I would like to hear from those with the same experience and find out what you have successfully done to clean these types of stains.  I thought this would be a good topic, as I'm sure there are others who have run into these problems now and then.

Thanks!

Jo and Pat Owler
'97 National Dolphin
 

Gary RV_Wizard

Site Team
Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,522
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At our Silver Springs FL home
Are these light brown stains, what one might call "rust" stains?  It's difficult to give a solution, since the cleaning depends on what went into the stain. It usually has some dissolved woods fiber and glues (from the RV construction materials) but may also contain dirt from the roof and minerals from the water that seeped in.

If the ceiling is the usual white fuzzy fabric, a mild bleach solution can be tried (carefully, of course, and in a small area first). Soak lightly and blot more so than rubbing, because the fabric may "pill" if rubbed too much. Commercial stain removers (e.g. carpet stain products) may work too.  The ceiling fabric is usually Ozite or one of its relatives and is actually pretty tough. Wall coverings can be a different story, though. There is usually some coloring in the paper/vinyl of the wall covering and bleaches may remove or lighten it. Be very cautious. I would not be optimistic about success in getting the wall stains out.

We got some spaghetti sauce stains on the ceiling of our 02 Dolphin once (don't ask!) and were able to remove them by applying a fairly strong bleach solution carefully to the spatters with a Q-tip.
 

Daisy

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Oct 14, 2006
Posts
943
I've had some success with OxyClean with Woolite made for carpet cleaning.  The only trouble was spraying upwards.  It's made for spraying downwards.  I did just a small area at a time.  (Still not finished, my arms give out easily).  Sprayed, let set for about 5 min. then blotted with clean towel, just as the directions tell you.  Does clean it, but very slowly.  I'll have to go over some areas.  On the other hand, we may hire the lady that did our rugs last fall.  Rust is her specialty and she did a great job on an area of our rug.  The leak in the roof occurred after her visit to us.

Daisy
 

owlerj2510

New member
Joined
Feb 4, 2007
Posts
2
RV Roamer said:
Are these light brown stains, what one might call "rust" stains?  It's difficult to give a solution, since the cleaning depends on what went into the stain. It usually has some dissolved woods fiber and glues (from the RV construction materials) but may also contain dirt from the roof and minerals from the water that seeped in.

The ceiling fabric IS the white fuzzy-kind of fabric.  The stains are kind of a yellowish-brown; it is my guess that part of it is rust, but could be anything.  I will test out the bleach solution on a small area (in the closet so it won't be visible in case I bleach out the fabric).

Thanks for the tip!  :D
 

Gary RV_Wizard

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Joined
Feb 2, 2005
Posts
73,522
Location
At our Silver Springs FL home
The yellow-brown stains are more likely from wood fibers and glues. There aren't many things in RV body construction that can rust (the chassis is a different matter, but that's not involved here).

Since you have a closet to experiment in, you can try more things to see what will affect the stain. If you really think it is rust (metal oxide), the cleaners used to remove rust stains from building surfaces or bathrooms may work. Most home centers and hardware stores carry a rust cleaning product.

The Oxy-clean suggestion is a good one too. Let it soak awhile, though. Oxy Clean is a mild bleach and doesn't work quickly, but it is quite safe, even when used in strong concentrations.
 
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