Areas to be cleaned:
Abrasive polishes and cleaners can scratch plastic windows, but ‘squirty’, abrasive-free cleaners can work well without causing damage. A 50/50 mix of water and vinegar is a surprisingly effective homemade solution to sparkling windows but can make your caravan smell like the local chippy. Mushy peas, anyone?
Overhead lockers, cupboards and catches
With overhead lockers and cupboards being used to store a wide variety of things, now’s a great time to give them the TLC they deserve. Crumbs, etc. can gather in the corners but the vacuum cleaner will quickly remove any cheesy Wotsits left by kids during that trip to the coast. A squirt of anti-bac and a wipe round leaves the interior as good as new, and with the locker door closed, a dab of furniture polish on shiny surfaces will make them sparkle. Sticky door catches? Caravan workshops often use silicon spray but a squirt of Pledge, Mr Sheen, or similar, inside the catch serves as a temporary fix, making the snack cupboard accessible again.
Sink, basin, shower and washroom
The vacuum cleaner and anti-bac combo works well here, with microfibre cloths ensuring a streak-free finish on shower doors and plastic basins. Leaving a damp tissue on soap and/or toothpaste marks will aid removal and squeaky hinges on the vanity unit can also be given a squirt of furniture polish. If you use the shower on a regular basis, hair can be removed from the plughole with a simple cable tie. Using scissors, cut a couple of millimetres into each side and feed down the plughole. The cuts catch hair, removing it when the cable tie is pulled out again. Ps. running low on loo rolls in the house? I’m sure you will find a roll or two hidden under the washroom sink.
With the majority of ‘leisure loos’ being made of plastic, harsh chemicals should be avoided, especially if they contain strong dyes or colours. The humble anti-bac is a good option but it’s probably best to use with kitchen roll or disposable cloth. My wife would be less than amused if I accidentally used the same microfibre cloth elsewhere. Sticky flap on the loo? The rubber seal can sometimes stick to the blade, but a dab of olive oil on the bottom of the seal will soon sort thins problem. Disposable gloves are optional but no double-dipping.
Under seats and beds
Resembling Narnia, these storage areas in our caravan often lead to another world with memorable ‘finds’ being a plastic hand grenade and a crab claw. Again, the Hoover and anti-bac ‘dream team’ do the hard work, with Milton Fluid providing back-up where necessary. Milton is great for shifting mould but be careful to follow the instructions and don’t accidentally drip or spray on soft furnishings.
Kitchen inc fridge, grill and oven
Along with ageing carrier bags from Woolworths, everyone has a discarded aerosol tin of cooker cleaner hidden under the sink at home. An over-cooked Fray Bentos pie-in-a-tin left its mark in our oven but such stains were soon dealt with after trying a small section to make sure the cleaner was compatible with the surfaces involved. The humble fridge can also suffer, with mould festering away behind closed doors. Again, anti-bac cleaner is king, with special attention paid to rubber seals and the underside of shelving. A discarded toothbrush is an efficient way of cleaning such areas. After this, the rest of the kitchen is a doddle and can be dealt with in the usual manner.
Upholstery, floors and carpets
If a thorough vacuum fails to shift stubborn marks on seats or carpets, carefully diluted upholstery shampoo might. After testing colour fastness on an inconspicuous area, spraying with an atomiser and rubbing with a microfibre cloth works incredibly well. Be careful not to soak one area and ‘blend’ the shampoo out to avoid watermarks. Removable carpets make it easy to clean lino flooring underneath.
This is a bonus round, but only if you have some Puriclean. Purifying the water system is an important thing to do if your caravan hasn’t been used for a while, especially if you drink the water. Thankfully, it is an incredibly easy thing to do.
- Dilute the Puriclean with fresh water (dilution rates shown on packaging), making sure it’s thoroughly mixed.
- Add to your Aquaroll and fill your water system as normal
- Leave to stand for the specified amount of time
- Drain water system
- Rinse Aquaroll and refill with fresh water
- Flush water system until the ‘swimming pool smell’ has gone