You may not notice it, but your guests do. Whenever an odor introduces itself, we tend to think that it’s just part of the RV, but I assure you, it’s not. When you travel across the country with kids, food and dirty, sweaty clothes, those smells will creep up on you and boy, are they strong. No RV is immune to having a little bit of an odor. Whether it’s the smell of food that you left behind or a pile of dirty clothes that sat there too long we all have to deal with smelly RVs at some point in time. Here are a few ways to get that stink out!
1. Deep clean those carpets
Next time you’re in a hardware store, ask them about renting a steam cleaner and get to work on those carpets! If you’ve had your RV for a few years, there are years of dirt and grime that have been pushed deep into the carpet and padding underneath. The only way to get that out is to give it a good deep clean from a steam cleaner. Not only will it take the smell out of the carpet, they’ll look like new!
2. Give it a top-to-bottom scrub
We spend one weekend a month cleaning our house for “Spring cleaning”, so why not do the same for your RV? Get your Windex, Comet, and any other cleaners you use and put in some elbow grease to get that RV clean from top to bottom. Pay particular attention to the kitchen area since food odors are very common in RVs. Clean out the sink, get all of the food out of the cabinets and the refrigerator, scrub the oven and burners, to name a few. The bathroom are another culprit of those smells in your RV, so get a good solution of vinegar and baking soda to clean the surfaces, the toilet and the shower to get rid of any mildew.
3. Clean out those water tanks
With water tanks that hold any amount of water, you run the risk of a certain smell emanating from them. I recommend, at least once a year, cleaning your water tanks out with bleach to sanitize them and get rid of any smells. Of course, you will want to rinse out your fresh water tank a few times before putting potable water back in it, but that should do the trick.
4. Take out all of the trash
We all have secret compartments where we hide things in our RV, even with trash. We may put it there for convenience’s sake or just feel lazy and leave candy wrappers in a drawers. Regardless, it needs to go. Get a trash can and go through every storage compartment, drawer, closet and nook to get the trash out.
5. Air fresheners can help
If you’ve done all the above, and you’ve still got a faint smell of something that you can’t seem to locate, some over the counter air fresheners can do the trick and not be so overpowering as to knock you back when you enter the RV. We use Febreze on our upholstery and furniture cushions. You can also purchase bowls of little pellets that absorb the moisture in the air, to help with mildew and mold from forming. The best way to keep smells out of your RV is to stop them before they start!